Blazers in Review: Week of April 8-15

By Matt Calkins, Columbian Sports Reporter

Published:

 

Report Card

Grade: D

Or: B+

Depends if you’re looking for wins or draft position.

Portland went 1-3 last week, beating a depleted Warriors team while falling to Houston, Dallas and Sacramento.

The Monday loss to the Rockets seemed to most palpably end the Blazers’ playoff hopes, with acting general manager Chad Buchanan admitting that it was “a pretty big blow.”

The win over Golden State two days later was one of the most entertaining games the Rose Garden had seen in weeks, and Jamal Crawford, who scored 34 points, hit all 13 of his free throws to take the lead in the NBA’s foul-shooting race. The loss to Dallas on Friday was expected. However, coming back from a 20-point deficit and cutting it three was not. Kaleb Canales was pleased with the effort, and ... well, why not? Then there was the one-point loss to the Kings on Sunday, which just seemed emblematic of Portland’s entire season.

At this point, it just doesn’t seem as if April 26 can come quickly enough.

In Focus

Jamal Crawford is lighting it up. Not from the field, no — but from the foul line. The guard has made 55 of his past 56 attempts from the stripe and is shooting 93.5 percent on the year — 0.5 points better than New Jersey’s Anthony Morrow.

Crawford said that eventually he’s going to miss one, because, “What comes up must come down,” but he seems to be defying that theory at the moment.Seems as though the Rose Garden has a new Free Throw Guy.

By the Numbers

11 — The number of 3-pointers Luke Babbitt has to make in the next five games to qualify for the 3-point title. He’s currently shooting 0.26 points better than the league leader, but does not have enough attempts.

1 & 4 — Hypothetically, the two best picks Portland can get in the draft. If they somehow win the lottery (highly unlikely) they will have the first pick, and if New Jersey selects fourth or higher, the Blazers will get that selection as well (the pick, which was acquired in a trade for Gerald Wallace, is top-3 protected).

.444 — Kaleb Canales’ winning percentage as interim head coach (8-10 record). Nate McMillan, who went 20-23 this season, had a percentage of .465.