W: Blazers 111, Pheonix Suns 101
Blazers WIN!!!!!!! We fought hard, stayed tough and scrapped it out for a ten point win. Everyone on the floor played hard, and the night was highlighted by a great home crowd, sustained effort, and a few unbelievable performances by certain individuals. Z-Bo missed a shoot-around, but came off the bench for a 32 point, 14 point performance. Steve Blake finished with 18 points, 13 assists and no turnovers-he even outplayed Steve Nash. Darius had a nice night as well (20 Points, 7 Rebounds, 4 Assists), knocking down almost all his shots (10 of 15), including some deep jumpers. He did display the ability to work hard and showed the desire to win, however, it will take a lot of games like this for me to even consider hopping back on the Darius Miles bandwagon. Bassy had 11 points off the bench, and gimpy Brian Skinner had a nice game as well. On the down side, Theo re-inured his ankle.
A few comments:
-Steve Blake is way better than most people give him credit for. Look for him to become a VERY solid PG in this league. However, we may not be able to hang on to him because he is only signed for two years, and thus we will not have his Bird Rights and will be put in the same situation as we are in this year with Pryzbilla. Either way, John Nash is a genius when it comes to signing free agents.
-Z-Bo is this team’s go-to guy, and again put the team on his back and carried them to victory. This is exactly the type of play that you expect from your franchise star, and it is also the type of play that will keep him in Portland and in McMillan’s good graces.
-Bassy’s stepped upped his play of late, appears to have his confidence back, and has cut his turnovers way down (averaging half a turnover a game in the last 9 games) and appears much more in control and is playing better defense. McMillan gave him a huge vote of confidence tonight by putting him on Steve Nash down the stretch.
-As much as I would love to see this team take off on a torrid run through the remainder of their schedule, it may be better for them to only have wins like this once in awhile and instead keep up their losing ways. If we’re not gonna make the playoffs, we should at least get the best draft pick possible. I really would love to see this team get Adam Morrison…
-The Telfair-Blake combo works really well, and McMillan should stick with it. Blake may be undersized for a two, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. This could work out to our advantage, much like the Stoudamire/NVE lineup did last year.