Antonio’s Morning After Recap: Wizards
Good morning Blazers fans, Antonio here. The Blazers defense and the Wizards defense met Tuesday night in a battle to see who could give up the most points. Portland tried their hardest to blow another 20 point lead but ultimately held off a charging Bradley Beal to win an interesting game, 132–121.
Melo’s Historic Night
In my last recap, I discussed Carmelo Anthony’s struggles in the last few games and the rise of Nassir Little. With Little sidelined with a knee injury, Melo decided that he would prove me wrong, putting up 21 points on 50% shooting.
The rest of the bench struggled, as Anfernee Simons reaggravated his hamstring and Harry Giles was ineffective, leaving Melo to do the heavy lifting.
The star moment of the night would be a pull up three by Melo, moving him past Dominique Wilkens for 13th all-time in scoring. As I stated before, a good Melo means a good Blazers team, and Tuesday night proved his value.
Strong Start Without Dame
The Blazers jumped out to an early 18 point lead in the first seven minutes of the game. No big deal. But guess how many points Damian Lillard had in those seven minutes? Zero. That’s right. Zero.
Rodney Hood, Robert Covington, and Gary Trent blitzed the Wizards with three-point shooting, and Enes Kanter cleaned up the inside to leave the Wizards speechless. While Trent has been shooting well (And hit seven threes against Washington), Covington and Hood have gotten off to slow starts shooting. If both can hit their open shots, it will take a lot of pressure off of Dame.
Lillard v. Westbrook (Part 18)
While Lillard got off to a slow start, the second half was no snoozefest. Dame exploded for four threes in the finals frames after missing on every first half attempt. Meanwhile, his archenemy Russell Westbrook tallies another triple-double and another loss.
There was no true “beef” moment between the two as there has been in the past, but whenever they play, there’s always a highlight. When the Wizards tried to cut the lead to a reasonable margin, Dame made sure they would get nowhere close by slamming down an emphatic dunk.
The Blazers played far from perfect against Washington. But on the second night of a back-to-back, fresh off of a massive blowout, the team pulled themselves together and played hard. In the NBA, having a short-term memory is crucial to success. So hopefully the Blazers will be just as hungry Thursday against Philadelphia.