Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Portland 120 : Golden State 124 (OT)

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The second pre-season game for the Portland Trail Blazers was a pleasing one, despite losing by 4 in OT to the Warriors. The Trail Blazers did not lead at any point during the game, but some inspired play from Zach Randolph and Martell Webster pulled the Blazers back to tie it up at 114. The Blazers had a chance to win it in regulation but a shot with 10 seconds to go missed. The Warriors went on to win in OT, after Webster, Brandon Roy and Jarrett Jack had fouled out.

A loss is by no means normally a positive for the team, but the way in which the Blazers finished OT, after being down by 11 with 6 minutes to go certainly bodes well for the character of the team. Key notes from the game:

- In contrast to the first pre-season game, Jamaal Magloire started at C (with Joel Przybilla on the bench). This was likely due to the smaller lineup the warriors had, running Troy Murphy at C and Mike Dunleavy at PF. It would still appear that McMillan's preferred rotation would involve starting Randolph and Przybilla at the power positions, with Magloire getting about 20 minutes off the bench backing up both and Zendon Hamilton getting the remaining scrap minutes (LaMarcus Aldridge to replace him when healthy).

- Magloire was largely uninspiring with zero FG attempts, 6 turnovers, 5 fouls and 3 blocks in 17 minutes.

- Despite fouling out -- and picking up a tech foul -- Jarrett Jack replicated his productive performance of the Seattle game with 16 points (5/7 FG, 6/6 FT) and 4 rebounds in 20 minutes.

- Webster came off the bench to play the majority of the minutes at SF (33 min) and did not disappoint. 25 points (6/11 FG, 3/6 3PT, 10/12 FT), 3 rebounds and 2 steals including a very strong close to the match before fouling out, inspired the Blazers and no doubt will do no harm to his playing time heading into the regular season.

- Roy seemed to play exclusively at SG during the game, despite bringing the ball up on occasion. With Jack, Sergio Rodriguez and Dan Dickau totalling about 72 minutes on court, there was no great need for the star rookie to switch to the point. Offensively Roy showed a strong all-round game once again, with 19 points and 9 rebounds, displaying leadership and ability to get to the rack along the way.

- Randolph was impressive. 27 points on 10/17 FG and 7/8 FT, to go with 12 rebounds and 3 assists showed that his off-season conditioning work has paid off. He certainly looks like he has slimmed down and toned up, regardless of any off-court distractions reported in the media.

- Travis Outlaw played a solid yet unspectacular complimentary role, starting and playing 36 minutes. His 12 points and 6 rebounds is likely what the team needs, but I'd like to see more on the defensive end from him, as I'm sure McMillan does.

- Juan Dixon appears to be well and truly on the outer. He only entered the game in OT after Jack, Webster and Roy had fouled out and a shooting guard was needed. McMillan definitely wants to promote the future of the team and sadly for Dixon, who was a good scoring option for the Blazers last season, he doesn't fit the mould. Whether he stays around past the all-star break will be interesting.

Boxscore here.

2 comments:

Nicholas said...

Did you know that Drexler ranked 6th best all-time shooting guard. Quite an achievement for any Blazer! But this puts him clearly behind KB and even behind AI...I reckon this is very generous to Clyde considering Joe Dumars was ranked 10th... and in the same era and MJ and Clyde..Dumars won 2 championships.. MJ himself rated Dumars his toughest opponent.. not to mention Clyde's Blazers lost to Dumars Pistons in the finals!

mookie said...

Nice comment! Only 2 years late!