Mile High Defeat
The Portland Trail Blazers didn’t start out the second half of the season on a good note last night. Instead, they went to Denver and were beaten by a short-handed Nuggets team. Portland trailed by double digits almost all game before getting as close as six in the fourth quarter.
In the end, Denver won 104-95.
BOXSCORE | My POST GAME NOTES
Denver 104, Portland Trailblazers 95
When: 9:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Officials: #47 Bennie Adams, #24 Mike Callahan, #63 Derek Richardson
1. Jamal Crawford
I’ve given Crawford a hard time quite a bit this year, but he has very good last night. Crawford put up 21 points on 5 out of 9 shooting from three-point range.
Just as importantly, he picked up five assists compared to just one turnover.
If he can continue to play that efficiently, it will help the Blazers a great deal.
2. Block Party
The Blazers racked up ten blocked shots last night. Every starter had at least one blocked shot. Marcus Camby led the way with three blocks.
Portland isn’t a great shot blocking team normally, but they made it tough for Denver’s guards to get into the paint last night.
Portland has had this issue multiple times this year. The Blazers were simply dominated on the boards last night. Denver grabbed 21 offensive rebounds, while the Blazers had just 11. Overall, the Nuggets held a 54-36 edge in the rebounding department.
It is very tough to win games when you are getting beat that badly on the boards.
2. Gerald Wallace
Wallace was missing-in-action last night. He is usually a guy who fills up the stat sheet very nicely, but he didn’t do much of anything yesterday. Wallace was just 2 for 7 from the floor, and he had only three rebounds.
The Blazers need Wallace to be more aggressive.
3. Lack of Free Throw Attempts
As a team the Blazers got to the line only 11 times last night. Anytime an NBA team with this much talent only gets to the line 11 times, it tells me that they are settling for jump shots and not getting to the basket.
Portland returns home to face the hottest team in the NBA tonight, the Miami Heat.
It will be a major test for this Blazers team, but if they can somehow win this game it will be a major confidence booster.