For starters, letting the Memphis Grizzlies have a big offensive first half of their loss in Memphis on Tuesday.
Since Marc Gasol came back from injury on Jan. 14th, the Grizzlies have had the 22nd ranked offense in the league in terms of points per 100 possessions. This the second game in a row that the Grizzlies mediocre offense has exploded against the Blazers.
Their defense was also struggling against the Spurs in their next game as their normally very stingy three-point defense, gave up 24 three-point attempts, which is six more than their league-leading per game average.
Nicolas Batum continuing to hit the glass is even more important with Aldridge out and his 22-point, 18 rebound, five assist performance could have been Batum’s opus for the season.
He logged 45 minutes, guarded Anthony Davis and helped push the Blazers all night in many ways. Only he and Minnesota’s Kevin Love have had a game with at least 22 points, 18 rebounds and five assists this season.
Damian Lillard also took over in the fourth quarter of a much-needed win that snapped a four-game losing streak.
Lillard scored 16 of his 27 points in the 4th quarter to help give the Blazers the finishing kick they needed to get by the Pelicans.
It also helped that every starter scored in double-figures.
By the Numbers
The Blazers force turnovers on only 11 percent of their opponents possessions. Their are only three teams that have a lower opponents turnover rate in NBA history according to Basketball-Reference.com
Damian Lillard is 6th in the NBA in points per 4th quarter behind Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Miami’s LeBron James, Seattle-native Jamal Crawford of the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant.
Tuesday vs. Milwaukee Bucks (7 P.M. on CSNNW): The Bucks have the league’s worst record but in 19-year old Greek rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo, some feel they have a potential superstar.
Thursday vs. Washington Wizards (7 P.M. on CSNNW): Led by All-Star point guard John Wall the normally laughable Wizards have a chance at having home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Saturday at Charlotte Bobcats (4 P.M. on CSNNW): The Blazers start a five-game road trip against Al Jefferson and Charlotte’s top-ten defense.