The Blazers’ loss in Orlando to the 21-52 Magic was one of their least-inspiring outings. The Magic did play well, but Portland should have found a way to win that game.
It didn’t help that they were cold from three but they didn’t help themselves by not attacking the basket.
During both the Miami loss, which was an admirable effort, and the struggle in Orlando, the Blazers took far too many jumpers.
If we put together the second quarter against Orlando and the third quarter against Miami, the Blazers were in the penalty for more than 18 minutes of play and shot just eight free throws. In the penalty and with jumpers that hadn’t been falling, the foul line could have helped out a struggling Portland offense.
Bravo to LaMarcus Aldridge for coming back. He’s helped out on both ends even though he says he’s still not 100 percent.
His presence on the court has created more open looks for his team and his length and size has been helpful to Portland’s interior defense.
By The Numbers
10 — In LaMarcus Aldridge’s first two games back from injury, the Blazers are 10th in the NBA in rebound rate.
50 — Damian Lillard is shooting 50 percent on 3s since Aldridge’s return, going 7-of-14.
5 — Five of the final seven games for the Blazers will be played at the Moda Center.
The Week Ahead
Tuesday at L.A. Lakers (7:30 p.m. on TNT): The Blazers play their final game against the lottery-bound Lakers, who won in Portland on a backdoor lob to Wesley Johnson on March 3.
Friday vs. Phoenix Suns (7 p.m. on CSNNW): A Portland win splits the season series, but Phoenix has dominated in both of their wins. Portland’s only win came via a game-winning layup from Damian Lillard way back on Nov. 13.
Sunday vs. New Orleans Pelicans (6 p.m. on CSNNW): The Pelicans are an injury-riddled disaster but 21-year old All-Star Anthony Davis alone makes them tough.