Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/15/14
New Look Blazers take huge win in opener The Headline: with double digit points from each starter, the Blazers put up 116 points in this win to kick off the 2012-13 season. Portland Trail Blazers 116, Los Angeles Lakers 106 When: 10:30 ET, Wednesday, October 31, 2012 Where: Rose Garden, Portland Officials: Leon Wood, Tre Maddox, Bill Kennedy Attendance: 20,401 Love ‘em 1. Damian Lillard Debuts Damian Lillard made his official NBA debut on Wednesday night, and it was a great coming out party. The Blazer’s new man at the point put up 23 points on 7-17 shooting. He was a perfect 8-8 at the free throw line, while garnering 11 assists. Two things from Lillard’s performance stuck out to me. First, he was a great facilitator, moving the ball around and nabbing 11 assists. While Portland needs him to score, it’s more important that he spreads the ball. Could have done without the six turnovers though. The other, was that he finished the night with only two fouls. Not bad for any rookie in their debut, especially one who was being played so hard by the Lakers. Walk tall Nic, you earned it. Photo Credit: The Oregonian 2. Batum Makes his Money Nicolas Batum came into this season with a world of expectation—happens when you get a huge new contract. And even though it’s just one game, he looks like a man ready to make his mark on the NBA. Batum finished the night with 26 points, six rebounds (four offensive), a block and three steals. He was all over the place, scoring in just about every way imaginable. The extra punch he had on defense was a real x-factor for Portland. 3. Bench Comes up Big Solid bench play is going to be important for Portland down the stretch. While they are a sound defensive unit, they also need to find ways to score. Though they didn’t pile it on—just 13 total points from four guys—they did it when it counted. The biggest contributor was Sasha Pavlovic, whose seven points were crucial for this win. He finished the night shooting 3-4, all in just 18 minutes of play. Hate ‘em 1. Letting L.A Crawl back in With 9:38 left in the fourth quarter, Portland was up 81-99 and seemed absolutely unstoppable. It looked like the game was in the bag. Then they started missing their shots. Over the next five minutes of play, they would manage just six points while L.A. put up 13. Luckily, they were able to ramp it up at the end, but it wasn’t before the Lakers had crawled back in. As we get deeper into the season, those are the kinds of problems that can sink this team. 2. Hacking Solution to Howard “Did you see that shot Lillard just made?!” Photo Credit: The Oregonian After shooting 3-14 on his free throws against Dallas Tuesday night, Portland had one solution to Dwight Howard: make him beat us at the line. So they came into the game with the plan of hacking Howard with fouls and putting him on the line. Well, the big man made them pay with that strategy. He finished the night with 31 points, while shooting 15-19 from the line. And even though it was apparent this plan wouldn’t work early on, the Blazers kept going to it. While this game plan seemed smart at first, it turned stale fast. 3. Nash’s New ‘Do What’s up with Steve Nash’s haircut? Okay, so this isn’t really something to hate about the game. But this was a great Blazer win, and with plenty of season left, it’s too early to micro-nit-pick. So I’ll just say that I think Steve Nash’s long hair—as ratty looking as it was—much more fit his style. The clean cut thing does not exude Nash, and I am not a fan. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT OUR TRAIL BLAZERS BLOG AT THE NWSB!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

Dockett: I would have signed with Cardinals for less money

Report: Darrelle Revis' decision to come down to Patriots, Jets

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Associated Press will have 'robots' writing game stories

Jaworski on Winston: 'I would not take him at that No. 1 pick

Peyton Manning passes physical, returning to Broncos

Gregg Popovich rips notion of NBA Finals games in July

Ortiz on Schilling controversy: 'It makes you angry'

Report: Josh Hamilton facing one-year suspension

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

Michelle Beadle’s campaign to be cast in ‘Sharknado 3′ pays off

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Dodgers will have a tough time dumping Andre Ethier

Brian Cashman: Derek Jeter should be final Yankees captain

Tom Brady, Rory McIlroy to play round at Augusta National

No one knows who will win the 2014-15 NBA MVP

Giants TE on plane that slid off runway in New York

TSN to stop airing tweets after trade deadline debacle

Is there a team for Rajon Rondo?

Five most likely running back targets for the Eagles

Marijuana and MLB's Joint Drug Agreement

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

AP will have 'robots' writing game stories

Manning officially returning to Broncos

No one knows who will win the MVP

Pop rips notion of NBA Finals in July

Is there a team for Rajon Rondo?

Five likeliest RB targets for Eagles

Pot and MLB's Joint Drug Agreement

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.