25 April 2009
About halfway through the third quarter, ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy read my mind. When asked if he thought Portland could win the series, Van Gundy said he did. He just doesn’t think the Blazers have enough fire power to do so.
There is a difference.
You know what Brandon Roy is going to give you. You know what LaMarcus Aldridge is going to give you. Or at least Portland hopes. But when it comes to Travis Outlaw, he’s been essentially missing from action this postseason.
Game 3 was a prime example.
Outlaw had his looks. He had his shots. He even had mismatches against a much smaller Kyle Lowry for much of the second quarter. Still, Outlaw managed to fadeaway over Houston like his textbook jumper right when Portland could have used his scoring the most.
That shot usually falls for Travis. But right now, Travis’ scoring numbers are the only thing falling for him. He finished with 4 points in 31 minutes, after going 2-11 from the field and 0-4 from beyond the arc.
It’s no wonder Rudy Fernandez was visibly upset sitting on the bench when he got yanked late in the fourth quarter with Portland down just four points. He’d just sunk four three-pointers, yet Rudy – who finished with 17 points in 22 minutes on the night - was being substituted for Outlaw for what? Defensive purposes?
Portland needs scoring if they are going to salvage this series. It may be their only defense.
On the season, the Blazers reserves accounted for 35% of the team’s scoring, which was second best in the NBA behind Dallas. Outlaw’s 12.8 points per game during the regular season were a big part of that equation.
It needs to be thee part come Game 4.
pic via: espn
|< Prev||Next >|