Against an undermanned San Antonio Spurs team, the Portland Trail Blazers learned a valuable lesson, faced some adversity, and somehow mustered a fourth-quarter rally to hold off the substitutes for a 100-92 victory behind Andre Miller's superb performance.
The latest trick up Gregg Popovich’s sleeve works wonders
With starters Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili in already ruled out due to injury, Popovich had an idea. He decided to give fellow starters Tony Parker and Antonio McDyess the night off.
Facing a rotation not used to getting extended minutes, Portland’s mentality clearly changed and not for the better. No matter who was out there for San Antonio, they played within Popovich's system. The Spurs were efficient, aggressive around the rim, waited for high-percentage shots, and played solid defense.no comments
In the Timbers’ second game of their inaugural MLS season, the team was able to show some improvement over their deer-in-the-headlights opening act against Colorado, but in the end, the result remained the same: another loss.
Matching up against Toronto FC, Portland played competitive soccer, down one goal, for most of seventy minutes before the Reds’ Javier Martina was eventually able to put the game out of reach with a brilliant goal for his second score of the day.
There were no further goals and the game concluded with a final score of Toronto: 2, Portland: 0.
The two goals that Portland allowed were more mental lapses and defensive breakdowns than a representation of the game summary as a whole. In fact, Portland outshot Toronto 16-11 on the day, but the team failed to make the most of their countless opportunities.
Coach John Spencer even went as far as to give the following statement afterwards:
“I don’t think the best team won the game, but at the end of the day they scored two goals and that’s what matters.”no comments
There’s more to the Oregon Ducks three-game series duel with the Creighton Bluejays for the College Basketball Invitational than just a battle between two red-hot teams. It is particularly significant because it marks the return of Ducks head coach Dana Altman to Creighton on Monday.
The Bluejays, a team orchestrated by his recruits, know his style of play. Altman, likewise, knows the strengths and weaknesses of his former players. Something has to give.
"They know all our stuff," Altman said, as reported by The Oregonian. "We put a few wrinkles in for Joevan [Catron], but coaches don't change philosophy, so what we do is what we've been doing. Yeah, I know their guys, but they know our system, so that's a wash."no comments
Gerald Wallace had his best game as a Portland Trail Blazer, but his team couldn't find a way past the Russell Westbrook-led Oklahoma City Thunder, falling 99-90 in extremely disappointing fashion.
Blazers lack balance as Thunder take 12-point halftime lead
Portland has been used to getting solid production out of at least Wallace, LaMarcus Aldridge, Andre Miller, Nicolas Batum, and Wesley Matthews. Those five have been their most consistent players, and when they all score the Blazers have usually been in contention. After sticking close in the first quarter, the Blazers were significantly ouplayed in the second due to their lack of balance offensively. Aldridge and Wallace both shot 5-9 from the field in the first half, combining for 24 points. The rest of the team had 17 points on 7-21 shooting, an unacceptable total going against a very good team.
Down six with a minute and 20 seconds left, the Portland Trail Blazers needed defensive stands and clutch baskets to defeat the 53-win San Antonio Spurs Friday night. They accomplished what they set out to do, coming all the way back in incredible fashion, 98-96, behind the defense of Andre Miller and Wesley Matthews and the most miraculous 0.9 seconds of Nicolas Batum's career.
Blazers interior defense struggles as Spurs run layup drill
Without starting power forward Tim Duncan, the Spurs guards were under a lot of pressure to step up. Early on, they did. Portland remained close throughout the first quarter, but San Antonio scored 10 of their first 13 points in the paint, either penetrating off one-on-one scenarios or running the pick-and-roll to perfection. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 11 points in the first quarter, and 18 of the team's 28 points came near the basket.
The Blazers were only down four after one, but already San Antonio had the looks of a vastly superior team. It didn't help matters that LaMarcus Aldridge wasn't nearly as aggressive as he should have been.