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News / Sports / Blazers

Blazers week in review 2/7

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers Writer
Published: February 7, 2016, 5:17pm

Blazer Beef

Portland’s first quarter defense against Toronto was one of their worst defensive performances in the past month. They gave up 37 points, basically giving up a 3-pointer on every other possession.

They let Kyle Lowry comfortably take pull-up 3-pointers and they didn’t stop fellow All-Star DeMar DeRozan from getting to his spots.

However, it wasn’t just those two who did the Blazers in as the Raptors are a very good team.

Portland was also extremely sloppy with the ball during their win over the Rockets en route to 23 turnovers, which they were able to get away with.

The Blazers have had a turnover problem all season long and at times, it’s one of the only things holding them back from where they are and where they want to be.

Blazer Bravo

The Blazers defense in their win over Houston deserves a lot of credit. Slowing down the Rockets is not an easy task and although James Harden had 33 points, it was mostly empty calories.

The Rockets had no chance against the Blazers with the way that the rest of their team played, and the Blazers deserve a lot of credit for holding the Rockets to under 80 points.

The fact that they were able to win so decisively without 6th man Allen Crabbe and starting power forward Noah Vonleh made it even more impressive.

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The starting lineup that game with Moe Harkless in Vonleh’s place posted a defensive rating of 65.5 points per 100 possessions according to NBA.com.

The Blazers have had a lot of excellent defensive performances over this recent stretch, but most have come against below average teams. Their performance against the Rockets is one they can be proud of and one that’s not as easy to dismiss.

By The Numbers

4.5 — Over the last 14 games, the Blazers have the eighth best point differential in the NBA, outscoring their opponents by 4.5 points per 100 possessions according to NBA.com.

18 — After this last stretch, the Blazers are 18th in defensive rating according to be NBA.com. The Blazers have stated that being a top-15 defensive team is a goal for this season. If they keep playing this way, they’ll get there by year’s end.

17 — Allen Crabbe is one of 17 players in the league averaging 10 points or more while coming off the bench. Among those 17, Crabbe is 3rd in overall field goal percentage and 7th in 3-point percentage.

The Week Ahead

Monday at Memphis Grizzlies (5 p.m., CSN): The Grizzlies demolished the Blazers 91-78 in Portland on Jan. 4. A Blazers win would even the season series between the teams.

Wednesday vs. Houston Rockets (7:30 p.m., KGW, ESPN): The Blazers can even the season series with the Rockets with a win. Houston should be looking to avenge Saturday’s blowout loss to Portland but they’ll be coming off a visit to the 46-4 Warriors.

NBA All-Star Saturday in Toronto (5 p.m., TNT): Blazers guard CJ McCollum is Portland’s lone representative at NBA All-Star weekend, competing in the NBA Skills Challenge.

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Columbian Trail Blazers Writer