Will definitely remember the best basketball game that happened on April 3, 2021 (by the way, I want to know what happened to Gonzaga-UCLA), the Blazers blew up the Oklahoma City Thunder 133 -85. CJ McCollum was Portland’s leading scorer at night, scoring 20 points at night, and Kenrich Williams led OKC with 18 points off the bench.
You can find Dave Deckard’s summary of operations on a quarterly basis in our instant review. Here are five observations tonight.
Blowout? ! ? ! ?
This is really a blowout of kindness. There is no doubt that the Blazers will win, and they have never been so. The Thunder without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Al Horford? Yes, for OKC, this may not be done well.
Regardless of the skill level, it is good for the Blazers to bury their opponents. Remember, just last week Portland played in a game, the Orlando Magic is technically an NBA team, but it̵
Enes Kanter comes off the bench
Although there are no other expectations, Enes Kanter has been performing well as a substitute since Jusuf Nurkic returned. Kanter’s tireless pursuit of rebounds resulted in more possession of the ball, which made life for the second team even more painful. He had 12 points and 17 rebounds tonight. I think he will have more doubles and doubles this season.
Far from normal
Since joining the club at the NBA trade deadline, Norman Powell has performed very well against the Trail Blazers. He is an effective offensive player and a solid defender. He may not have a negative +54 game like the former Blazer Gary Trent Jr. (Blazer Gary Trent Jr.) did for the Toronto Raptors, but we have seen how effective Powell is.
Tonight, Terry Stotts enabled Powell to create. I hope to see more. Powell knows how to succeed. When Damian Lillard or McCollum is on the bench, why not put the ball in your hands more? With Powell in control, why not let Lillard lose control? Stormin’ Norman is not a passer, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to let Lillard get off the ball occasionally. Trailblazers can get more creativity through how to use Powell.
Good defense or bad offense?
Technically speaking, the Blazers’ defense is very good. The Thunder made 22 turnovers, which is a new high for the Trail Blazers this year. They shot less than 40% from the field and less than 30% from three-pointers. Due to the efforts of the Trail Blazers, they couldn’t create anything for themselves.
However, I don’t think this game is a good barometer of Portland’s defense. The Thunder didn’t even have an ordinary shooting creator. Their best player is probably the rookie Theo Maledon, who made 1 of 12. This is a good defensive game for Portland, but it’s not enough to re-evaluate them.
Moses Brown, anyone?
One last thought, because there is only so much to gain from games like this: it’s so fun to see Moses Brown tonight! It’s great to see him perform well in the Thunder and get a long-term contract, even if there are more loopholes in the contract, it can’t be counted. His outstanding performance means that at least it is worth your few minutes to consider whether he is worth keeping Brown near Portland.
Well, maybe not to play. Last year, any time he played for the Trail Blazers was terrible. But his case reminded me of how great it would be if Portland had a direct G League member to train a guy like Brown. He works hard to develop his body and uses it in a way that can at least accommodate a large number of people, especially in the G League. I still think he is not particularly good, but I am also very happy that he now has shots in his NBA career. His trajectory consolidated Portland’s demand for G League teams.
Next, the Trail Blazers will head south to Los Angeles to play against the Clippers. They will play at 7pm (Pacific Time) on Tuesday night.