Well I decided agaist making up all the games that I have not written about because I'm simply too excited about tonight's game against the Houston Rockets. I'll start with this...we won the game, but it wasn't as pretty as I would've liked. In yesterday's game against the Utah, the Blazers had the same problems they've had so far this year. Roy struggles from the field and Aldridge's soft play inside leaves much to be desired. We had a lead going into the 4th quarter and our lack of having a quality point guard came back to haunt us in the end.
In today's game we caught a glimpse of why people picked the Blazers as a potential playoff team this year out west. Although Brandon Roy struggled from the field again today he showed up when it really mattered, the 4th quarter and OT. Aldridge played a bit more physical today, especially on the glass pulling down 9 boards and blocking 3 shots. Travis Outlaw and Rudy Fernandez are easily the most exciting and impressive tandem off the bench across the league. These guys both end up playing near starter minutes and both are capable of filling up the box score and do so fairly consistantly. Outlaw finishes with 14 points, 13 boards a steal and a pair of blocks. Rudy spread the floor sinking 3 three pointers on his way to 15 points. For those of you that missed it, ill give you a recap of the last 10 seconds of the game. Roy brought the ball up the court in a hurry after grabbing a rebound. He runs the to the right elbow of the arc, tries to make a move to get the basket baseline and gets stopped, turns around and throws up a fade away jumper and nails it. They are now up 2. Rockets call a time out with 1.9 seconds left, after the ball is advanced to midcourt they inbound the ball to Yao who turns and fires his own fade away jumper getting fouled by Roy trying to strip him, the ball goes in and Yao is headed to the line for one. He sinks that shot nd with 0.8 seconds left the Blazers call a time out to advance the ball, down by 1. Brandon Roy catches the ball and shoots a 30-foot jump shot.......SWISH!!!!!!!!! Blazers win and B.Roy sinks it when it counts.
Enough recap. There is something on my mind that I want to get out there. The Blazers have a major problem: They need a good veteran point guard, that can penetrate and get to the basket. Here is what we have, Steve Blake, Sergio Rodriguez and Brandon Roy. Blake is a very fine role playing PG. He spreads the floor with his range, plays quality defense and takes care of the ball. Sergio runs an exciting up tempo brand of basketbal and finds a way to thread the needle at times in a slow down offense. Roy takes over the point guard role in the 4th quarter (even if Blake is on the court). He has shown he is a great ball handler in this situation, but as he showed today he is not the answer for us. He has the ability to get to the rim, however he has a score first mentality. This caused problems for the Blazers down the stretch. At times he is out of control, doesn't seem to have full control of his body at times while he is trying to do his thing and make plays. Obviously down the stretch you want the ball in the hands of your best player, however we need a guy who can get to the rack and dish the ball. What happens late in the game is that the entire team on the court sits back and watches Brandon do his thing, they might set a pick, but offensively they pretty much stand there and get out of his way. I would rather see the ball in the hands of a distributor at times and work Roy off some screens and get him some easier shots, while also getting guys like Aldridge and Outlaw in the game. How about a penetratin and kick out to Rudy for a 3? The Blazers truely are limited right now in clutch situations. They have other options, but no means to get them involved. The team has plenty of talent, and expiring contracts. I know they want to keep the cap space cleared for the 2010 free agent super class, but i think at the deadline they have got to consider going out and trying to use Reaf LaFrentz's contract t bring in this type of PG.
All in all this was an amazing game and one that shows the Blazers are for real. They have probably the hardest schedule in the NBA so far this seasn and have been able to pull a few upsets over two NBA championship contenders in the Spurs and Rockets. However they also lost to other contenders in the Suns and Jazz. This is still going to be an up and down season, but they are showing that they are a team that should not be taken lightly.