Thursday, January 5, 2012

Game #6 Recap: Blazers vs. Lakers — Five Bullets or Less

By Jonathan Ryan Davis
  • Beat L.A.:  BEAT L.A.  BEAT L.A.  BEAT L.A...enough said.
  • Defending Bynum:  After getting manhandled by Lakers center Andrew Bynum in the first half (even though everyone outside of the Rose Garden was unable to witness it because of the stellar coverage by TNT), Portland went to Kurt Thomas in the second half to control the 285 pound center.  Thomas, who is shorter, but stockier than Camby, fronted Bynum to prevent him from gain good post position.  And when Bynyum did get the ball deep, the Blazers did a great job of collapsing on him, forcing Bynum to take a tough, contested shot or to kick the ball out.  After perfect shooting in the first half, Bynum was only 2 of 9 in the second half, mostly because of the Old Man.
  • Poor First Quarter Defense:  The Blazers have started a routine of playing terrible first quarter defense.  Tonight, every Blazers defender sagged on its player, leaving the Lakers with WIDE open jumpers.  There were a few jumpers by Gasol where there wasn't a Blazer within five feet of him.  It's not surprising then that the Lakers started the game 13 of 15.  If it wasn't for Wesley Matthews matching the Lakers shot for shot, L.A. might have demoralized the Blazers and pulled the game out.  Portland needs to watch tape and realize they must start to play four quarters of defense.  They may win games now by playing 3 quarters of defense, but that won't be acceptable come playoff time.
  • Ball Control:  After showing the league that we can win while turning the ball over 25 times against a good team, tonight, we won in the traditional way by securing the ball.  A game after reducing our turnovers to single digits, Portland only turned the ball over 4 times tonight, twice each half.  The Lakers out-rebounded us and out-shot us; however, we forced 14 turnovers only only coughed up 4.  That's the game.
  • Gerald Wallace/LMA:  Crash and the L-Train were a dynamic combination tonight, driving hard to the basket, cutting with precision and power, and knocking down shot after shot.  Add in some phenomenal defense on Kobe and controlling the defensive glass, and these two Blazers earned the game ball tonight.  Against the best teams, our stars must rise, which is exactly what they did.  BEAT L.A.
Go Blazers!

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