Another Defensive Dud from Portland
The Blazers were mathematically eliminated from the NBA playoffs in their loss to Phoenix earlier this week. Utah is right in the thick of the playoff race, and the Jazz came to the Rose Garden and thumped the Blazers last night.
Utah 112, Portland 91
When: 10:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Where: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Officials: #17 Joe Crawford, #68 Marat Kogut, #71 Rodney Mott
The game was tied 28-28 early in the second quarter, but Utah went on a big run to take a 57-39 halftime lead.
The Jazz coasted to a 112-91 victory.
This was Portland’s last home game of the season.
1. Wesley Matthews
Wesley Matthews led the team in scoring with 21 points last night. He made three shots from beyond the arc and netted all four of his free throw attempts. Matthews also led the team with two steals.
2. Jonny Flynn
Jonny Flynn dished out seven assists compared to just two turnovers last night. He also scored 11 points. It’s nice to see Flynn put together some good minutes, because the team is likely deciding whether to keep him around for next season.
More performances like the one he had last night will encourage management to keep him.
1. Lack of Defense Yet Again
It seems Portland has stopped playing defense in the last few games. Phoenix piled up 125 points earlier this week, and now Utah put up 112 points.
Coach Canales wants this team to be a defensive-minded team, but right now they simply aren’t getting it done on this end of the floor.
Portland had 17 turnovers in this game and the Jazz turned that into 26 points off turnovers. The Blazers had just six points off Utah’s 15 turnovers.
This is just another statistic showing that the Blazers aren’t getting back on defense the way they need to, which is giving opponents easy layups.
3. Nolan Smith
Nolan Smith was on the other side of this list last game. He did score 16 points last night, but when you are starting at point guard it simply isn’t good enough to only score.
In 39 minutes he had zero assists and three turnovers.
The Blazers get a couple days off before taking on Memphis Saturday night. Portland’s last three games are all against teams in the playoff race.