Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Roy’

Three For All: Portland Trail Blazers

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Portland Trail Blazers, who played three straight from Jan. 23-25.

Every time I see a fan base start to complain about bad luck, or how nothing ever works out for them, I think of Portland. That is not to say that I think Blazers fans whine all the time; on the contrary, I think of the incredible adversity and horrible luck with injuries that franchise has faced in the past few years and how despite that, they’ve still managed to make the playoffs and contend where I believe others would have folded up the tent and gone home.

When this season started with the announcement of another Greg Oden injury setback and then the retirement of Brandon Roy, I assumed Portland was done for. And though it hasn’t been easy, here they are again, keeping their heads above water and competing for the playoffs. If they have the fortitude for that, I’m sure the three-play will be a piece of cake. Let’s go to the scoreboard and find out:

Game 1: Blazers 101, Kings 89 - When you have three games in three nights, it’s great to have a guy like Jamal Crawford available, who on the right night can get hot and carry the team by himself. This was one of those nights, as Crawford sprung for a game-high 26 off the bench to lead the Blazers to an easy win. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 2: Blazers 97, Grizzlies 84 - So far so good, as Portland picks up another seemingly easy win, this time against the Grizzlies. Marcus Camby did his best Ben Wallace impression in this one, pulling down 22 caroms while scoring only three points. 4 points (3 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 3: Warriors 101, Blazers 93 - Finally away from the friendly confines of the Rose Garden, the Blazers fell short to the Warriors in the final game to fall short of becoming the third team to sweep their three for all. Normally you’d like your chances against the Warriors when Monta Ellis scores only four points, but on this night he dished out 12 assists and Steph Curry picked up the slack with 32 to deny Portland perfection. 0 points

The Blazers finish with 6 total points, which in some ways doesn’t do them justice for their performance (with two +10 wins), but that’s why the third game is so important — it’s the hardest to win, home or away.

Up next: The Detroit Pistons play three straight Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 as they take on the three-play challenge entirely on the road: at Milwaukee, at New York, and at New Jersey.

Three for all Scoreboard:
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Charlotte Bobcats (3 points)
New Jersey Nets (2 points)
Sacramento Kings (2 points)
Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)
Toronto Raptors (1 point)

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Bragging Rights Bracket: No. 1 Texas vs. No. 4 Washington



by Micah Hart

For the complete Bragging Rights rules and to vote for other matchups, click here. With 70% of the vote, the Washington Huskies defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 5-4 play-in game, and for their trouble they get the Kevin Durant-led Texas Longhorns. Let’s take a look:

VS

Texas Longhorns

Starters (all stats per 48 minutes):

LaMarcus Aldridge, Trail Blazers: 26.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.3 steals
D.J. Augustin, Bobcats: 20.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 8.4 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.9 steals
Kevin Durant, Thunder: 34.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.1 blocks, 1.4 steals
T.J. Ford, Pacers: 14.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 0.5 blocks, 2.0 steals
Maurice Evans, Wizards: 13.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.3 blocks, 1.0 steals

Missed the cut: Damion James, Nets; Daniel Gibson, Cavaliers; Royal Ivey, Thunder; Dexter Pittman, Heat; Avery Bradley, Celtics

Team synopsis: A real title contender, with both Durant and Aldridge providing matchup problems for just about any potential opponent. Augustin is also having a breakout season in Charlotte. Ford is somewhat redundant with Augustin on the floor, but his track record is a little better than rookie Damion James. I could see an argument for James over Ford, but he hasn’t really played enough yet to cement a place over Ford or even Daniel Gibson. (more…)

Bragging Rights Bracket: No. 5 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Washington

by Micah Hart

For the complete Bragging Rights rules and to vote for other matchups, click here. In this matchup, Ohio State’s Mike Conley and Evan Turner face Brandon Roy and the U-Dub Huskies. Who ya got?

VS

Ohio State Buckeyes


Starters (all stats per 48 minutes):

Mike Conley, Grizzlies: 18.8 points,4.2 rebounds 8.9 assists 0.3 blocks 2.4 steals
Daequan Cook, Thunder: 18.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.0 blocks, 1.1 steals
Evan Turner, Sixers: 14.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 0.4 blocks, 1.2 steals
Kosta Koufos, Nuggets: 15.4 points, 13.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 3.0 blocks, 1.2 steals
Byron Mullens, Thunder: 12.9 points, 16.3 rebounds, 0.0 assists, 2.6 blocks, 0.9 steals

Missed the cut: Greg Oden, Trail Blazers (injured); Michael Redd, Bucks (injured)

Team synopsis: A very young Ohio State team is proof of the work coach Thad Matta has done in Columbus. This team would certainly be better if Oden or Redd were available, but neither has appeared in a game this season so they remain ineligible (though Redd says he’ll return soon). Conley is blossoming into a competent starting point guard, but Turner, a rookie, is still raw. Neither Koufos nor Mullens has made an impact on the league yet, although both have nice statistical rates for the limited minutes they have played. (more…)

Last night in…money well spent

by Micah Hart

When Portland signed restricted free-agent Wesley Matthews to an offer sheet this past offseason, I wasn’t sure if they really liked him, or if they just liked to stick it to the Jazz. After all, this is the same team that signed Utah’s Paul Millsap to a large offer sheet the year before, forcing the Jazz to match (and paving the way for Carlos Boozer‘s exit from Salt Lake City).

Regardless of their intent, the signing is working out well for the Blazers. Matthews, playing in place of the injured Brandon Roy, dropped 30 points on the Grizzlies last night, every one of them needed in a 100-99 win in Memphis. With Roy’s status up in the air (Is there a more injury-cursed franchise in all of sports than Portland?), the Blazers are going to need Matthews to continue to play at this level if they want to keep up in the loaded Western Conference.

Last night, he was worth every penny.

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