Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/27/12
Blazers drop close one The Headline: despite a nagging back injury, LaMarcus Aldridge comes alive for Portland; unfortunately, it’s not enough to hold off the Pistons in this 101-108 loss. Lets review the game, Love’em & Hate’em style. Portland Trail Blazers vs. Detroit Pistons When: 7:30 ET, Monday, November 26, 2012 Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills (Detroit) Officials: James Capers, Kevin Cutler, Bennie Adams Attendance: 10,212 Love ‘em 1. LaMarcus puts together steady game LaMarcus Aldridge has been dealing with back spasms this season, and apparently they’ve been nagging him of late. But if you watched this game it was sure hard to tell. L.A. had a stellar night, putting together a season high 32 points on 12-22 shooting. He was incredibly proficient on defense, garnering 10 rebounds (six offensive), three steals and three blocks. It’s hard to put together a much better night than this. And L.A. did it all fighting through his injury. Aldridge was incredibly proficient with getting to the basket, scoring in a myriad of ways. He had 10 free throws in this one, hitting eight of his shots. 2. Rookies solid off bench Portland’s bench has struggled this season, which I have beat into the ground plenty. Tonight I get to cover some good! The Blazers rolled with four bench players in this one, and two played particularly well. Those were Portland rookies Will Barton and Meyers Leonard. Barton played his best game of the season, making the most of his season high 21 minutes. He posted a season high 12 points on a stellar 5-8 shooting, including 1-2 from beyond the arc. Barton wasn’t prolific on defense, but he did manage two steals and a rebound. Time for Stots to solve his defensive woes. (Photo: Carlos Osorio / AP) Leonard didn’t put together as good a game, but put together some quality minutes. He big man had eight points, and was 2-2 from the line. Leonard also nabbed four rebounds and three blocks. Hate ‘em 1. Where’s Batum? After a raging start to the season, Nicolas Batum has been incredibly silent over Portland’s last three games. Tonight was no different. No. 88 had a walloping seven points on 2-9 shooting (1-3 from the three). The lone bright spot was his season high 10 rebounds. With another disappointing night in the bag, Batum is averaging nine points per game over Portland’s last three contests. In that time, he’s shooting a mere 31.3 percent and 20 percent from downtown. 2. Shutout in the paint The great debate rages on in Portland. While J.J. Hickson has been solid on offense, his had issues shutting teams down on D. Tonight was no different, as the Blazers were outscored 36-56 in the paint. With another ugly defensive effort, it might be time Portland uses Hickson’s scoring abilities off the bench while starting the defensively savvy Meyers Leonard. If Portland wants to see some positive turnaround, they need to start getting more consistent production on defense. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT OUR TRAIL BLAZERS BLOG AT THE NWSB!
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