Let the post-Brandon Roy era begin. While the Blazers' superstar and his sawdust-filled knees were being crammed into an MRI machine, the Trail Blazers wrapped up a dismal three game road trip last night in Memphis with a 100-99 victory over the Grizzlies.
Wesley Matthews made huge strides towards justifying his mammoth contract with a career night in scoring. Matthews had 30 points in the game, 22 of which came by halftime. It wasn't just the points, Matthews looked like a starter on the court, a player deserving of serious minutes (he lodged over 42 of them last night). As always, Andre Miller quietly controlled the pace of the game, while LaMarcus Aldridge contributed his usual pillowy soft line of 23 points and four rebounds. Watch video of Aldridge's performance from last night. (I've used that joke before, but it applies here.)
The most telling stat in Roy's absence was that Portland piled on 21 fastbreak points, which is nearly double their average of 11.3 per game—although this might have more to do with the porous defense of Memphis, which gives up over 105 points per game (good for 24th in the NBA). Portland has today off and they welcome the Nuggets to the Rose Garden tomorrow night for a nationally televised game on TNT.
In other Blazers news, the team is still rumored to be kicking the tires on Andre Iguodala of the 76'ers, a move wholeheartedly endorsed by the Philadelphia media. Iguodala can play defense, score at the basket (something this Blazers team needs), and he adores his former teammate Andre Miller. The problems with Iggy: a bloated contract that would make Matthews' blush and the fact that he has not been healthy all season. An unhealthy player? He'll fit in just fine.
Also, a personal note to Greg Oden: Stop wearing T-shirts that embarrass you. Oh, and play basketball again.