WHY DID THE BLAZERS LOSE?
Man it has been a while, huh? The Blazers lost to the Clippers, who are pretty good, by not a lot of points, after losing a tiny little fourth quarter lead. Why did it happen!? Who can we blame!? Where is the smoking gun?
ONE: THEY CAN’T DO IT EVERY TIME!
You can’t win every close game! I know, for a while it was starting to get eerie, a cold witchfinger poking out of the TV every time Lillard would drill late shots, a feeling that destiny and majik were aligning, signs in the stars, the Blazers were fueled by destiny, nothing could stop them late, but C’MON, that shit ain’t real! Okay, it might be a little real, but it’s not like 100% real, it’s a fallible kind of real that is also maybe not real. It’s alchemy.
ONE AND A HALF: ANOTHER THING ABOUT THE CLOSE GAME THING
They DID look tight and apprehensive in the 4th, so it wasn’t just bad luck. Clippers were on a swarm that was tightening things up
TWO: KAMAN COULDN’T KEEP UP WITH JORDAN IN THE FIRST HALF
Kaman was good in the second half, but Jordan beat him down the floor, avoided box outs and ran circles around him in the first. Lopez probably would have prevented that.
THREE: LILLARD STUNK FOR THREE QUARTERS
Look, this fourth quarter stuff is amazing, and Lillard was great in tonight’s fourth quarter but sometimes he is not, like, pressing very hard in the first part of a game and sometimes it’s not good. Paul played him really well tonight, the Clippers used traps and really zeroed in on him, daring Aldridge to win on his own. Also…
FOUR: THE GAME WAS PHYSICALLY CALLED, AND THAT WAS BETTER FOR THE CLIPPERS
I hate complaining about refs. HATE IT. I think it sounds silly and Portland’s media complex, top down, does it non-stop. Unless there is some high grade, Inherent Vice conspiracy shit, where the Lakers are involved and mysterious sixth players start appearing, it just reads as whining. The Refs are TRYING THEIR BEST!
So, instead of talking about calls that could have gone to the Blazers, I will say that at one notable play that was instructive for how the game was called both ways was Paul obviously getting fouled on the break in the third, and the no call was befuddling. The CLippers did a better job of exploiting this environment than the Blazers, especially regarding how tight Paul was able to call Lillard.
You could say “OH JEEZUS WHY DID REFGOD STINK US DOWN” or you could say “The Blazers need to learn how to roll with a more physical game, or the Grizzlies will annihilate them.” Or do both! Expeirence everything!
FIVE: WES WAS TERRIBLE!
3-13, eight points, Wes sucked, it happens, who cares. This was probably the most abnormal bad thing that happened to the Blazers tonight. Wes is normally the team’s efficiency linchpin, and he couldn’t buy one tonight. Batum was also not very good, but there have been a lot of games where that has happened this year.
Here is my opinion about Batum being bad this year: he was really good this summer, and he is probably not actually terrible now, and an All-Star week off could do him some real good.
SIX: THEY DID NOT LOSe BECAUSE OF ALDRIDGE
He scored 37 points on 28 shots and boarded a bunch. He was REALLY good in the post. A particularly impressive spin move against Jordan in the first.
Since he stunk on the Blazers and left for the Clippers, Jamal has lived to light the Blazers’ nuthair on fire. He scored 25 (On 23 shots which is “not horrible”) tonight and lifted the Clippers’ terrible-ass bench (He was their only bench player who scored) into a mediocre enough place they they were able to keep afloat when Paul was off the floor.
That is every reason I can conjure. Some players had terrible shooting nights, the game was a slog that favored the Clippers, you can’t win them all, who cares, next game. (thoughts on meyers tomorrow.)