Playoff Grades for the Portland Trail Blazers, Part 2
This guy gave the team a huge lift before and during Game Four to comeback from knee surgery to play in the game. It was easy to tell that one of the main reasons Portland was able to pull out a victory in Game Four was the energy and emotional buzz from the return of B-Roy. Roy was clearly not fully healthy and able to play with maximum effort and it also seemed as if his tempo was off, which kept him from making much of an impact offensively. Brandon gets a passing grade for playing in this series, however he didn't make enough of an impact to pull of a B.
Dante played good in somewhat limited minutes. I've been really surprised by his contributions this season and he continued in strong play in the playoffs. Cunningham always hustles after rebounds and is able to his the mid-range jump shot consistently. He is a valuable bench player for the Portland Trail Blazers and his contributions should increase as the years go by.
This guy just doesn't quit. Juwan proved this season that he could still play solid minutes in the NBA. Howard played physical defense and hustled after rebounds. Only problem was that he just didn't have the physical skills to match up against Amare Stoudamire, along with the other big men on the Blazers.
Jerryd played a solid series coming off the bench or starting the game. He was able to create offense during slow spots in games, but he sometimes forced shots or drives leading to turnovers. Also, Bayless works off of contact as he drives the lane, but the refs don't call those minor fouls during the playoffs, which hurt his production.
If Martell had only played the whole series at the same level of play he exhibited in Game Six. Webster led Portland in scoring in Game Six with 19 points on 6-10 shooting. The previous games though, Martell was basically nonexistent and seemed to be uncomfortable shooting the ball. This series could have ended much differently if Martell had played well before Game Six.
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