Thursday, March 16, 2017

Trail Blazers Defeat Spurs

After seeing Atlanta fall to the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night I was also able to catch the Portland Trail Blazers play San Antonio last night.  It was Portland’s second game in two nights on the road as they fell to New Orleans on Tuesday.  The Blazers prevailed 110-106 in a tough game despite some late game miscues.  Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum starred while new addition Jusuf Nurkic also had a good game.  Lillard led the team with 36 points on 12 of 22 shooting (3/8 threes).  McCollum added 26 hitting both three’s he took.  I like what I see from Nurkic.  He gave them a solid game at center ending the night with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals.  Kawhi Leonard had a great game for San Antonio  34P, 9R, 6A, 3S, 2B) while LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 points.  It wasn’t enough in the end.  After erratic play early, Portland put together a late surge to put them up enough to hold off the Spurs.  Lillard and McCollum were once again the driving force and won them the game.  Great to get to see the Trail Blazers play.  They are usually on TV too late at night for my old man schedule.  Also nice to see them win as the season has definitely been a disappointment (30-37) after winning 44 games last year.   

Portland is very reliant on their backcourt as scoring from their forwards has never materialized.  This will have to be addressed at some point.  They gave contract to Maurice Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu but they aren’t getting much back for the money spent.  Nurkic looks really good right now and I am loving that trade with Denver.  I do think if Portland can get a bit more punch from the front line they can compete with better teams.  Some better defense is also up there on the list of needs.  Evan Turner ($16M) and Allen Crabbe ($18.5M) are really tying up a lot of money and, while they are very good in their roles, they can’t be paid that much money to give the team nine and 10 points respectively.  I expect that to change once McCollum’s four year contract extension kicks in next season.  As is, all the pressure and shots are coming from the back court and every team knows that.  I believe the future is bright for Portland.  They have two dynamic young stars that if surrounded by a good supporting staff, can take this team far.  I still think they can make it to the playoffs this year as well (currently 2 games out of the playoffs) but as always there are good teams in the West that they will have to catch up to and overtake.  I have hope…    

No comments:

Post a Comment