Clippers vs Blazers: NBA love ‘em & hate ‘em breakdown
Los Angeles Clippers vs Portland Trail Blazers
When: 10:30 ET, Thursday, November 8, 2012
Where: Rose Garden (Portland)
Officials: Tom Washington, Mark Lindsay, Eric Lewis
1. Nicholas bounces back
Nicholas Batum needed a rebound game bad, and tonight he got just that.
The savvy frenchman took a lot of shots tonight, but he hit the ones that counted. He finished his night with a team leading 23 points on 6-18 shooting.
More impressive was what he did on defensing, tallying up 9 rebounds, 3 steals and a block—all team leading. And just for good measure, he had 5 assists.
2. Blazers keep fighting
After the first quarter, Portland was down by just 7 points. At halftime, the number was a disheartening 21 points.
Suddenly, by the end of the third Portland was back within 6.
Though you would inevitably be outpaced in the fourth, the Blazers never gave up in this one. They came out guns-a-blazing in the third quarter, keeping themselves in a great position to win this one.
3. Containing Griffin
Once again, the Blazers were pretty solid inside, mostly when it came to Blake Griffin.
Portland held the big man to just 7 points and 10 rebounds tonight. It was a huge improvement, seeing that Griffin has averaged 20 points and 13 rebounds in his career against the Blazers.
Griffin also had 2 turnovers, but that’s pretty outweighed by his 3 steals.
1. Burned by Crawford
You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who was sad when Jamal Crawford left Portland. He took too many shots for someone as offensively inconsistent as he was. And, there were rumors that he was the root of many of the Blazer’s internal locker room turmoil last season.
Whenever a player leaves your organization like that, you never want to see him beat you as badly as Crawford did tonight.
The guard finished his night with 25 points, 3 rebounds an assist and a steal.
2. Ronnie Price
Last game, I wrote about Ronnie Price and his four fouls in 18 minutes. The summary: Price needs to step up.
Well, he certainly did that tonight. Price one-upped himself this week, in a stellar 15 minutes. Not to mention, he also had a turnover.
Price did manage 5 points and a rebound, but it doesn’t really balance this one out.
3. Continued perimeter trouble
For the second game in a row, Portland struggled gaurding the perimeter.
They allowed L.A. to shoot 53.2%, with Jamal Crawford leading the scoring on 9-17 shooting for 25 points. This all comes after their last game against the Mavs, in which O.J. Mayo had 32 points and Dallas shot 61.5%.
What is going on Portland?
The team’s been great at guarding under the basket, but suddenly the can’t shooters from exploding on them.