Down and up and up and down the Rip City roller coaster rides. Nothing like a second half surge to rebound after a devastatingly embarrassing showing on Saturday. Tonight's game showed resilience that the team has struggled to showcase during this season.
In a game after the beatdown that Minnesota put on us, the Blazers started out a step slow. New Orleans got out to a brief 5-0 lead, then kept up a bit before the Blazers captured the lead. But, scoring runs and droughts throughout the first half kept the Hornets buzzing, getting down 14, closing to within 3, and heading to the locker room down 10.
And then someone probably told LaMarcus he was an All-Star and should act like it, because he came out and scored the first three Portland field goals in the third quarter. The first part of that third was a playground scramble for anything. A bunch of chickens with their heads chopped off, trying to play ball. I guess that was all LA needed to get going.
The defense seemed to lock onto the poor shooting of NO also, clamping down on their dry spell and holding until Portland blazed a 20+ point lead. From there, the pinwheels went kick push, kick push and coassssssst.
A nice thing to see was Felton and Matthews getting a little taste of scoring. Flip side of that was seeing Felton try to continue tasting when it quite obviously was no longer time for that. It was like he went to Costco and was trying to make Thanksgiving dinner out of the samples. Know when and where the points come from, and stick to those.
I did enjoy Elliott getting more minutes tonight as well. He keeps this up and people might actually know who he is. Batum too, will be famous soon. How he isn't already is probably due to the same reason my lady didn't know the Blazers existed until she started checking me out a few years ago. The northwest is an enigma to outsiders, and the Rose Garden flies below the radar.
Brilliant Blazes tonight: Joel. Knocked Vasquez out his kicks tonight. Blaaaah. Batum. Mr. Consistency.
Bleck Blaze: Everyone was pretty solid tonight. Good to see team play. A lot of passing. I will just say there were too many turnovers for my taste. On point passes. Also, Mr. Thomas, no airballs. I know you're older than Grant Hill, but that's your shot, nucka.