RIP CITY REPORT:
For the eleventh straight year and eleventh different opponent, the Blazers walked off the Rose Garden court with their hands raised in victory on opening night.
The 107-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday evening featured a little bit of everything from everyone.
Although the starting backcourt struggled from the field, combining for 8-28, Wesley Matthews did finish the night with 16 points and added six rebounds, while Raymond Felton had his hand in everything with a dozen points, eight dimes and six boards.
What of Seattle’s favorite son?
While unspectacular, Jamal Crawford finished with a well rounded effort in his backup role, dropping 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in just over twenty minutes of floor time.
Game 2 – Sacramento Kings
For all the fans that were pining for the NBA, the action returned on Tuesday as JIMMERMANIA and the Sacramento Kings came to town!
As a Jimmer fan, it was disappointing to see that he only managed to drain one of his five long range attempts, however a pair of those misses were quickly flushed down by teammate DeMarcus Cousins.
While the Blazers frontcourt looked to be firing on all cylinders, with Wallace and Aldridge once again pacing the stat sheet with 25 and 24 points respectively along with a combined 16 rebounds, the guard play once again fell short of expectations.
If fans thought the trio struggled on opening night, the 8-33 shooting on Tuesday left many scratching their heads. Yes folks, that is $18.6 million shooting a horrid 26% from the field!
Tied at forty six points apiece at the break, the Blazers took advantage of the Kings lack of finish throughout the second half to break away for a 101-79 victory.
Although Marcus Camby was quoted to be ready to run for a third straight night on Wednesday, the team used that as a travel day, heading to Mile High country for a meeting with old friends Andre Miller, Rudy Fernandez and the Denver Nuggets.
Game 3 – Denver Nuggets
A strong double digit Blazers lead in the first quarter quickly diminished in the second stanza as the visitors outscored the host squad 36-23 to start the game all over again in the final twenty four minutes.
Early in the fourth quarter it appeared as though Rudy was trying to show the Blazers that he was deserving of more playing time, with back to back buckets, including a bomb from downtown to once again tie the game at 84.
Thing is, with JCrossover in the lineup, few in Portland are missing Fernandez as Thursday night, as Crawford drained 13 of his 22 points in the final stanza to help the Blazers start the season with three straight victories 111-102.
After being carried by their frontcourt for the first two games of the season, the guard trio picked up the slack on Thursday as Matthews came alive with 25 points (including 15 from deep) and 23 from Ray Felton.
While not wanting to call the threesome RUN FMC, memories of the late 80′s Golden State Warriors come to mind, as the three not only drained a variety of buckets, but they also combined for 15 rebounds and 8 assists, including a tasty hockey assist from Felton to Crawford to a trailing Aldridge for the cram.
NEXT THREE GAMES:
Jan 1 @ LA Clippers
Jan 3 @ OKC Thunder
Jan 5 vs. LA Lakers
LaMarcus Aldridge 3 games, 62 points, 20.7ppg
Gerald Wallace: 3 games, 59 points, 19.7ppg
Gerald Wallace: 3 games, 23 rebounds, 7.7rpg
LaMarcus Aldridge: 3 games, 20 rebounds, 6.7rpg
Ray Felton: 3 games, 20 assists, 6.7apg
Marcus Camby: 3 games, 13 assists, 4.3apg
Greg Oden – Out indefinitely – Knee – 12/11/11 Oden is recovering from microfracture knee surgery on his left knee but has recently suffered a setback. He remains out indefinitely due to the possibility that he may require another surgery.