Shooters come alive for Portland
The Headline: L.A. puts up a double-double, and Portland uses a rain of shots to sink the Rose-less Bulls 102-94.
Chicago Bulls vs. Portland Trail Blazers
When: 9:00 ET, Sunday, November 18, 2012
Where: Rose Garden (Portland)
Officials: Rodney Mott, Pat Fraher, Kevin Cutler
1. Great outside shooting
Once again, Blazer shooting looked really good in this one (as it has throughout the entire three-game win streak).
Four of the Blazers five starters shot over 50 percent, and the team as a whole shot 49.4 percent. Nicholas Batum and Wesley Matthews had 21 points a piece, while shooting a combined 15-28.
Damian Lillard also had a strong game, shooting 7-13 for 16 points.
2. LaMarcus Aldridge
Facing off with a very tough Chicago Bulls interior, L.A. had a very good game.
The big guy finished with his third double-double of the season (first in six games) with 18 points and 13 rebounds. He’s now averaging 22 points and 8 rebounds per game during the win streak.
After shooting 50 percent for the first time this season against Houston, it was a little disappointing to see L.A. not do it again.
Still, 6-14 isn’t too bad, and this was an overall great game for Aldridge.
3. Bench showing some life
For once, the bench wasn’t a liability!
Portland’s backups had a combined 16 points and 8 rebounds between five different players. Only one player had a negative point differential when on the court (Meyers Leonard at -4).
The biggest contributor was Ronnie Price, who finished his night with 4-8 shooting for 10 points with 5 assists and a steal. Portland had a net +18 points when he was on the court, highest of any of their players.
Also impressive was Will Barton, who had 2 points and 3 rebounds (2 offensive) in just nine minutes.
1. Fouls still issue for bench
Despite their improved play, fouls were still a major issue for the bench. Portland had 17 total personal fouls in the game, and the bench totaled 11 of those.
The biggest culprit was Leonard, who had four despite just nine minutes of play. Jared Jeffries also had four, but that was at least spread out through 22 minutes of play.
Chicago shot 88.9 percent on their free throws, only missing two of their 18.
With Portland only winning by 8 points, this game was a lot closer than it needed to be.
2. Ball control still an issue
While Portland’s offense has been faster and more dynamic, protecting the ball remains a big issue for the Blazers.
Portland’s 14.8 assist ratio is 27th in the NBA, and their 13.7 turnover ratio has them tied for 11th. The team had 16 total turnovers in the game, compared to just 15 assists.
Batum was a big culprit, serving up the ball four times on the night. The bench was surprisingly solid in this aspect, coughing up the ball just three times.