Blazers fall to Mavs
Coming off a road victory at Minnesota in their first game of a six-game road stretch, the Portland Trail Blazers (25-24)were starting to establish a little bit of that momentum that they have previously lost last month. Though the game was much closer than it should have been, the Blazers found a way to escape any let-down away from Portland as they held off a Timberwolves team that fought its way back into the game.
When Portland took the court against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night, there were plenty of similarities between this contest and their game in Minnesota. The Blazers established a lead, could not find a way to continue building that lead in the second half, LaMarcus Aldridge had a monster game, and Nicolas Batum was still missing.
Unfortunately for the Blazers and their fans, Portland could not find a way to squeak out a victory in this one as they fell to the Mavericks 105-99. The loss was all the more disappointing because of the fact that the Blazers once again were far outplayed in the second half and could not put anything together that would suffice as decent basketball.
The victory over the Blazers marked Rick Carlisle’s 500th win as a head coach, a more than commendable achievement. He is the 28th coach in NBA history to reach that mark.
To bring attention back to the Blazers, here’s the love ’em and hate ’em from last night’s loss.
Aldridge Continues to Streak
Aldridge once again had another big night for the Blazers, putting up 27 points while giving them big momentum swings throughout the first and second halves. As I have mentioned recently, Aldridge is quickly becoming one of the biggest names in the league, something Portland fans more than appreciate as it brings some much-needed publicity to a basketball team that is sometimes shrouded by other teams on the West Coast.
LaMarcus is currently one of the only consistent producers for the Blazers along with Wesley Matthews.
Though the Blazers would eventually lose on Wednesday night, the fast start they got out to was promising against Dallas. The Blazers put up 61 points in the first half, impressive numbers by any means.
If they could repeat these efforts in the second halves of games, Portland would be a no doubt playoff team.
Poor Second Half
The problem with Portland in their last two games is that they have had terrible second halves. As mentioned above, the Blazers are able to get going in games very quickly. The only problem with that, however, is that they seem to drain every ounce of energy they have while allowing other teams to get back into games.
Last night was just another example of a disappointing finish as the Blazers could only put up 38 points in the second half.
Nothing Without Aldridge
As was evident last night when Aldridge was on the bench, Portland is not good. Dallas used moments when LaMarcus was given a rest to climb back into the game.
If the Blazers want to see Aldridge performing his best towards the end of the season while making a playoff push, other players will need to step up when he takes a seat on the bench.
Batum still missing
Will somebody please find Nicolas Batum and tell him that the Blazers need him?