This was one of the tighter games Portland has played this season; the score was close throughout. After Oden's departure in the first quarter, guys who we needed to step up did come through. Brandon Roy regained his scoring touch and excellent closing ability. He made Blazer fans believers again, despite the devastating news that Oden was lost for the season.
The injury situation has gotten to a ridiculous point this year. Batum, Outlaw, now Oden, lingering injuries to Rudy and LaMarcus, and even coach Nate got injured this week. It's bizarre, and frankly, emotionally draining. It's tough not to feel like it's us against the world, with the world also delivering season ending blows to the face.
Obviously having Brandon back on track is going to be huge as we embark on multiple road trips this month. He will now be the undisputed No. 1 option on offense and he'll be carrying this team once again.
It was also a big lift to have Jerryd Bayless contribute with 13 points. His six freethrow attempts (five makes) and only one turnover bodes well for his involvement in the line-up. His +12 in the +/- is telling. In a close game like this, his presence was huge.
Of course, I also have to mention our point guards, handling Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry. Brooks was held to only six points, missing all four of his three-point attempts and never going to the freethrow line. Brooks had been killing us, and I knew if we wanted to win this game, he needed to be stopped. For Portland, Andre Miller was tremendous. He didn't rack up the assists but his efficient shooting, including making his one three-point attempt and scoring 24 points, was key for our offense.
Steve Blake and Martell Webster were pretty ineffective. They combined for one of seven from three with zero trips to the freethrow line. The Blazers either need more out of these two, or I need to see more Bayless and more Cunningham.
From bad to devastating has to be Greg Oden's broken kneecap. I've never been more emotionally connected to Blazer player before, and I've always rooted for Greg to succeed. This injury is so painful for me, I can't even imagine what it's like for the Blazers, and especially Greg. I hope he heals quickly and picks up where he left off.
Can somebody please foul Chuck Hayes so I can see this??