Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Game 29: Nuggets @ Trailblazers

(Boulder-CO) My prescription for another win against the Trailblazers is the same as before, only this time the task of containing Brandon Roy is going to be much tougher. In last night's game, Roy was held to just eight points partially due to foul trouble, but he still played over 30 minutes so that's not to take anything away from the great job defensively by the Nuggets.
The bad news is Roy has been even tougher to contain on his home floor. Roy is averaging 27.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.1 assists while shooting 49.7 percent at the Rose Garden in comparison to 20.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists on 44.4 percent shooting on the road.
And to compound the degree of difficulty of tonight's match-up...
The Trailblazers are a stout 9-2 in Portland where their only two losses have come at the hands of the Orland Magic and grossly under achieving Los Angeles Clippers.
Now, here's where I weigh in...
I wasn't impressed with anything the Portland Trailblazers did last night. They are a jump shooting team that lives and dies by the perimeter percentage they shoot because of the lack of an inside scoring option and the absence of a fast break. In addition, Steve Blake is only as good per as wide open as you leave him and I'll be very surprised if he connects on four treys again. Furthermore, and as long as the Nuggets dominate the rebounding facet of the game again, Denver should enjoy a large margin of points scored by way of the fast break. So, as long as Denver gets another great effort by everyone involved, runs the break, and doesn't allow Brandon Roy to explode offensively expect another win by Mile High crew tonight.
Go Nuggets!

1 comment:

Stumbleweed said...

Tough loss. But yeah, it was mostly lack of ball movement and bad shot selection that killed us -- we were in the game a lot of the time, but could never really get into a groove offensively. Two things:

1. Billups, Anthony Carter, Chucky Atkins...on the floor at the same time... what is wrong with this picture? My god Karl, get over your PG fetish -- we have Balkman rotting away on the bench instead of chasing Aldridge away from those 17-footers and flying all over the place and you run a lineup with not two, but THREE point guards? Did someone switch George's brain with Nellie's after a night of angry, scotch-fueled gameplanning?

2. Why did they not just pound the ball into Nene? Melo even mentioned it when he was on the mic -- it's crazy that he had so few shots through the first half, and it didn't get a lot better as the game went on. Especially with Melo out, if JR is not shooting the ball well, we've gotta ride Nene. Chauncey shooting contested 18-footers and pullup threes with 17 seconds left on the clock isn't what we need.

3. JR needs to start, but he needs Melo there with him because it opens up the floor a TON and he doesn't feel like he has to make so much happen off the dribble. With Melo taking up space in the mid-range area, JR gets those open deep threes that he likes and has more room to drive (so he's not so turnover-prone driving into a crowd of arms). JR gets into trouble when he's handling the ball and trying to drive and dish -- there were several instances last night where Chauncey took off and left JR bringing up the ball and essentially playing PG. I kept yelling at the TV -- didn't we get Chauncey to run PG? Why do AC and JR handle the ball so much when they're in? JR is a finisher, and AC basically SHOULD NOT be on the floor with Chauncey, yet somehow they end up handling the ball over and over again, causing unnecessary turnovers.

Meh, at least we should beat Philly... they've been playing pretty badly as of late. Unless they catch fire from deep, I think we'll be just fine. I'll be at the game, and I just hope that Balkman might see some time, because this 3 guard business is insane when we're playing anyone with any kind of size (Thaddeus Young is too big for JR, who should be covering Iggy as the starting SG). I hope Karl will try starting Chauncey, JR, Kleiza, Martin, and Nene to see if we can get solid production from the starting five and then rotate the bench in to give the starters a breather. It's early in the season and they're coming off a big layoff... they should be able to all play around 40 minutes, especially since Melo is out.