Blazers in Review: Week of March 18-24

By Matt Calkins, Columbian Sports Reporter

Published:

 

Report Card

Grade: C-

The Blazers had their most impressive home win in weeks, but it came after what may have been the worst home defeat of the season.

Once the brutal seven-game, two-week road trip came to an end, Portland finally came back to the Rose Garden last Tuesday and perhaps got suckered into the idea that such a return would prompt an easy victory.

Anything but. Milwaukee ended up pounding the Blazers 116-87 on a night in which the boo birds rained down from the rafters.

But after what could have very easily been described as a season-low, Portland bounced back with a 97-93 win over Memphis, one of the deepest teams in the NBA. Five players scored in double figures that game for the Blazers, including Nic Batum, who led all scorers with 24 points.

Portland, however, would not sustain the momentum, falling to the Lakers in Los Angeles the following night by a score of 103-96. LaMarcus Aldridge looked like his All-Star self by scoring 29 points on 12 of 18 shooting, but this time, the support wasn’t there — nor was the interior defense, as Andrew Bynum scored 28 points for the Lakers.

In Focus

It’s hard to debut much better than J.J. Hickson did for Portland on Friday night, as the forward scored 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting. The Blazers picked Hickson up off of waivers last Wednesday after the Kings released him. The 23-year-old averaged just 4.7 points per game with Sacramento this season, and was congratulated by a reporter in the Blazers locker room before Sunday’s game vs. Golden State.

“Wanted the W,” Hickson said.

By the Numbers

5 — Number of games Luke Babbitt has played at least 10 minutes this month. He had two double-digit minute games in February and none before that.

.500 — The Blazers’ winning percentage in the 2007-2008 season, the year they last missed the playoffs.

11 — The number of games — out of their remaining 17 — in which the Blazers will face a team with a winning record.