|LaMarcus Aldridge, PF38 MIN | 13-21 FG | 5-5 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 31 PTS | +11
Aldridge was everything the Blazers needed in the win. With Lillard playing not so well, the Blazers threw the weight on LaMarcus’ shoulders whenever he needed a hoop, and the 7th year man out of Texas carried the load. Only reason why he doesn’t get an A+ is his early defense on Greg Monroe wasn’t outstanding, but it was an overall great effort out of him.
|Nicolas Batum, SF38 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | +6
Batum was very solid and well rounded in Portland’s win. The stat line isn’t reflective of how well he really played. Nic was his usual, always-hustling self, and made a couple huge defensive plays that won’t be noticed on the stat sheet tomorrow morning. Throw in 17 points on 50% shooting and 6 assists and you have a solid game.
|J.J. Hickson, C33 MIN | 7-14 FG | 4-5 FT | 15 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 18 PTS | +6
J.J.’s game tonight was sort of a microcosm of his season. Hickson was entrenched as a large part of Portland’s porous defense in the paint. He did however provide his typical energy, and posted his 10th 15+ point, 15+ rebound game of the year. Hickson isn’t the most enjoyable part of the Trail Blazers, but he is certainly better than matchup counterpart Jason Maxiell
|Damian Lillard, PG38 MIN | 3-12 FG | 7-7 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +8
The rookie had a tough night. While Lillard had 14 points, it was on an incredibly ineffecient 25% from the field. Only way that Lillard gained any momentum on offense was when he would get to the free throw line, or passing out for the assist after good penetration. On defense, he did alright on Calderon, but greatly struggled with Will Bynum’s energy off the bench.
|Wesley Matthews, SG38 MIN | 4-10 FG | 7-7 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +16
Matthews was pretty average tonight. 17 points is more than his typical scoring night, but he did so on pretty similar shooting percentages to his average. Also, he was usually the man on Rodney Stuckey. Even though it seemed Stuckey was getting baskets in transition or hitting the tough shot, I also feel Wes could have perhaps done one or two more things to slow him down.
|Joel Freeland, PF10 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | 0
Freeland scored as many points tonight as he has all month, which is pretty strange. It was nice to see Joel play with more energy than he had been before. Definitely on a pipe dream that he keeps it up going forward.
|Meyers Leonard, C15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +5
Leonard didn’t have his best game, and he was also lost on some defensive rotations as usual. Batum throwing him the lob was probably the best highlight the Blazers had all night.
|Eric Maynor, PG20 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | +3
Maynor’s numbers weren’t big, but it was more him being passive than anything. He wasn’t shooting the team out of possessions and two turnovers isn’t awful. Maynor’s role is to be passive until he’s called upon and tonight the starters never gave him the call.
|Will Barton, SG10 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | 0
Will didn’t seem 100% lost, which was encouraging to see in his marginal minutes. The foul on Maxiell getting a clear path to the hoop was nice, and so was stealing the ball of the rebound and following up his miss right after. I would consider this one of his better games.
FIVE THINGS WE SAW
- It was noteworthy that the Blazers went 23 of 24 from the free throw line. Some of the free throws came in bigger moments of the game, so it was certainly impressive to see the entire team to keep hitting them.
- Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum took advantage of some weak efforts on the wing defensively, and proceeded to do the same to the help defense from the Blazer big men. The Pistons scored 62 points in the paint and the number felt as bad as it looks.
- Damian Lillard for some reason struggled in both his games against Detroit combining for 7-22 from the feild in both games. I feel as though the Pistons game plan focuses on Lillard, as Aldridge is averaging 31.5 points and 10.5 rebounds a game against Detroit.
- The minutes the Blazers starters does come into play in these games. Will Bynum is a solid player off the Pistons bench, who always brings a ton of energy. Lillard, who was playing in college a year ago, typically struggles even more on a fresh Bynum while going over the 30+ minute mark and beyond.
- Just an interesting stat, Rodney Stuckey easily had his best game of the season, and the best scoring game for a memeber of the Detroit Pistons at the Rose Garden since Joe Dumars scored 35 on November 20th, 1994.