Yeehaw! The Blazers first taste of the road, as well as their first helping of southern cooking, ended with a blowout of scintillating proportions in Dallas by a score of 114-93. The loss dropped the Blazers to 2-2 on the infant season, a half game behind (sure, why not start keeping track of this?) those Timberpuppies of Minnesota. In a game that was hotly contested through three quarters, the final frame ultimately did in the Blazers as their jump shots stopped falling and the Mavericks continued to drain just about anything they threw up. The sudden drought of shooting was only the A^2 of the Pythagorean Theorem for the Blazers. B^2 was the horrendous defense, lack thereof, and any other manner in which you would try to describe whatever the Blazers were doing when they weren’t scoring (or not scoring, or hilariously fumbling the ball away). Poor second half, particularly fourth quarter shooting, plus “poor-ous” defense equals C^2: blow out city. Down below are some quick hitting observations from the game.
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- Damian did not have his shot going at all tonight, but that didn’t stop him from attacking the rim. Getting to the line for 8 freebies is a nice sign. He also had some good plays where he was able to find shooters, but his teammates couldn’t hit shots.
- LaMarcus going to work on the block was a very nice sight. Through the first few games I have watched he looked like LMA 1.0 and settled for jumpers. Tonight had a similar feel, until he went to work in the post (1st quarter, 3:33 on the game clock) and from there utilized his skills on Brand/Wright. That play in the first quarter was also the first legitimate post attempt the Blazers had up to that point.
- Offensive rebounding was a nice sight to see as the Blazers used their length to create extra possessions and 2nd chance points.
- Meyers Leonard had a very nice first half of 6 points and 7 rebounds, which included a nice streaking dunk.
- OJ Mayo. Sorry, I’m not sorry, but Ovinton J’Anthony Mayo was sensational to watch tonight as he continues his torrid start to the season. Everything looked effortless, which it was because he was either wide open or got to his spot unabated.
- Watching the Mavs feed and every Dirk fist pump was shown. Awesome.
- Joel Freeland sighting!
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- The defense was absolutely atrocious. The Mavericks were able to shoot 63.4% in the first half, 77.7% in the fourth quarter and 61.5% for the entire game. On top of that, the Mavericks shot 50% from 3… ugly, ugly, ugly numbers that will lose you a ton of games. I hope you know what you’re doing Coach K!
- The Blazers shot 36-93. 93 shots! A lot of that was thanks to the offensive rebounds, but goodness. After going 24-48 in the first half, a paltry 12-45 (an icy 26.7%) sunk the Blazers ship. The team’s lack of depth and inability to match Dallas shot for shot reared its ugly head.
- Too many long shots. As many of the PWE community commented in the game thread, watching hoist after hoist is irritating. With few low post options (HicksLOLn), it is something we should gear to watch game after game.
- Give me three or give me death: Blazers died by going 5-22. Lillard and Batum combined for 1-13.
- Wesley needs to stop talking about defense, and opposing commentators need to quit lauding his defense. He was termed a “rugged defender,” “underrated defender,” and “a defender who has gone the gauntlet having faced Kobe, Durant and Harden.” This all happened as Mayo continually torched him. STOP THE MADNESS ALREADY, THERE IS NOT MUCH EVIDENCE TO PROVE THIS CLAIM CORRECT!
- Wesley also needs to stop trying to be a mass facilitator. It’s just not his game, as he had some extremely grotesque turnovers where his lack of vision was on display. SMH, STOP IT ALREADY WESLEY!
- Meyers Leonard looked like a rookie in the second half. #thismakesTIMBupsetbecauseheisnotAndreDrummond
- The continued idea that Sasha Pavlovic deserves playing time. I’d complain about Ronnie Price, but then I think of the idea of Nolan Smith playing and I shudder. Watching Pavlovic play is like eating leftover KooKaRoo or a pile of dirt (Peter Klaven voice).
- Inability of the Dallas Mavericks clock workers to understand the words that were coming out of part-time Turtle Wax salesman and NBA referee Joe Crawford’s mouth.
- The ignorance and uncouth nature in which a Dallas commentator confused Australia for Great Britain and basically said, “What’s the real difference?” and deflected it as a Dumb and Dumber reference. Really guy?
This game was a perfect reminder to fans that this team will look fine and passable on some nights and other nights will look about as bad as they did tonight. Get ready to ride the sinusoidal wave that is this Blazers season! (Obviously put as much effort into this conclusion as the Blazers did defense tonight.)