No Doubt Now
For those around the league thinking the Portland Trail Blazers weren’t for real, let’s hope they tuned in to last night’s contest that pitted the Oklahoma City Thunder against the high-flying Blazers.
Entering a game that would help sort out which of the two teams were better in the Western Conference, Portland saw themselves drop behind early but eventually make a huge comeback in the second half behind LaMarcus Aldridge and the rest of the starting lineup. Down 59-48 at half, Portland made up that deficit and then some in the third quarter, outscoring their opponents 35-21 while putting up another 28 to OKC’s 24 in the fourth en route to a 111-104 win that cemented their position atop the West.
And once the buzzer sounded off the win, boy what a scene it was.
Fans cheered louder than ever, streamers dropped from the ceiling, and for a moment fans got a glimpse of a fraction of the atmosphere that could potentially be the end result of Portland’s season.
With that said and now expectations skyrocketing, here are some things to love and hate about last night’s resounding win.
As mentioned briefly above LaMarcus Aldridge absolutely went off on Wednesday night against the Thunder. To say his performance was anything less than magnificent would be a fallacy.
Shooting 17-of-28 from the field, Alrdidge racked up 38 points while collecting 13 rebounds, 5 assists, and two steals just to pad his stats. The most dominating presence on the court on Monday, Aldridge outshined all others on the court and played a huge factor in helping the Blazers fight their way back in the second half of the game.
Are there MVP chants quietly building?
Best in the West
Also mentioned before there should be no doubt now that the Blazers are the best team in the Western Conference. Having downed San Antonio and Oklahoma City this year already, Portland is cruising along and absolutely outshining their opponents. The Moda Center is rocking, they are great on the road, and the team just has a certain way of finding a way to be in every game no matter the circumstances.
All of Portland’s starters reached double-digits on Monday against the Thunder and all the fans in attendance got quite the treat as they did so. It was a party in the Moda Center and party all around Portland as the nation tuned in to what was Portland’s biggest game of their young season.
The only thing to hate about this game was the first half, and more specifically the second quarter. While Portland was outscored just 27-25 in the first quarter, the Blazers surrendered 32 points in the second, allowing OKC to widen their lead and establish quite the presence heading into the break.
Now this game is likely an aberration but if Portland keeps falling behind early,there will be games in which they will not be able to rally and catch up to their opponents in the second half.
Look for the coaching staff to quickly fix this small problem, however.
Looking ahead Portland will now take the day off before hosting the 4-16 Utah Jazz for a game that should see the Blazers dominate.