Blazer analysis 3/25




Blazer Bravo

Wesley Matthews’ alley oop dunk in Oklahoma City after a third-quarter timeout.Matthews, who often limps about the court on his pained left leg, showed some hops that would make a Portland microbrewery proud during the play when he caught Nicolas Batum’s inbounds lob and finished with a two-handed flush. Throw it down, hobbled man! Throw it down.

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Rebound No. 7 for J.J. Hickson during his 10-rebound performance in Atlanta.

Hickson had an easy route to his 38th double-double of the season last Friday night as most of his rebounds came on the defensive end with little to no resistance from any other player. So Hickson could jump free and loose for the rock, but early in the fourth quarter, he needed to exert some energy to grab an offensive board. The Blazers lagged behind 78-73 when Hickson missed a turnaround baseline jumper but raced past Al Horford to collect his seventh rebound. The extra effort led to another possession, Batum capped it with a 3-pointer and the Blazers came back to win 104-93.

Blazer Beef

The no-show performance in the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Blazers shot abysmally — missing 18 of 20 shots — during that quarter that led to Milwaukee opening up a 27-point lead. Before Portland finally scratched with its first field goal at the 3:56 mark, the misses were hard to watch: Batum only reached the bottom of the net on a 3-point attempt, Eric Maynor had airballed a floater and Will Barton, streaking from the right wing on a fast break, tossed up a layup that bricked off the left side of the glass.

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The 7-foot-1 center Meyers Leonard stepping aside as Mighty Mouse — oops, we mean 5-9 Nate Robinson — dribbled right down the lane for a dunk. During the blowout win in Chicago, the Blazers defended well and held the Bulls to 43-percent shooting. However in the fourth quarter, Leonard would not defend the rim as he saw Robinson screaming his way. Leonard has shoes that are bigger than Robinson. He should never fear an opponent in which he owns the clear size advantage.