Blazers week in review / look ahead 11/11

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers writer



Week in Review

Blazer Beef

The Blazers were dominated at home on both ends by the Houston Rockets on Nov. 5 by the score 116-101.

James Harden dropped 33 points and Dwight Howard put together a 29-point, 13-rebound performance to put away the Blazers.

Portland had stretches during which it could not get buckets as Houston’s bigs gave up nothing easy in the paint. However, the game proved to be another reminder that you cannot always win with offense.

Blazer Bravos

The Blazers swept their Friday-Saturday, back-to-back series against the Sacramento Kings over the weekend.

For the second time this season, Portland won both games of a back-to-back situation. They accomplished that feat only twice all of last season.

It also wasn’t just that they won, but also how they won by putting together two good defensive performances.

The Kings scored 91 points in the meeting in Portland and 85 during the game in Sacramento. The Kings were 15th in offensive efficiency before playing the Blazers and now are 19th.

What was perhaps the most impressive about sweeping the back-to-back was that they won despite a 1-for-15 night from Damian Lillard, something that would have been nearly unthinkable last year.

By the Numbers

1st — Wesley Matthews leads the NBA in effective field goal percentage (eFG%), a metric that includes the value of three-point shots, among players averaging more than 10 field goal attempts a game.

3rd — Portland has the third most efficient offense in the NBA averaging 11.2 points per 100 possessions.

14th — The Blazers are 14th in opponents’ eFG%. They were 26th last season.

Look Ahead

Monday: vs. Detroit Pistons (7 p.m. on CSNNW Ch. 37 or 737 in HD)

The Pistons start three left-hand dominant players in Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith and Greg Monroe.

Wednesday: vs. Phoenix Suns (7 p.m. on CSNNW)

Portland will be looking for revenge against the team that beat them 104-91 on opening night.

Friday: at Boston (4:30 p.m. on CSNNW)

Portland kicks off a four-game Eastern Conference road trip against the new-look, Brad Stevens-led Boston Celtics.