I know the Blazers haven't played the best teams, but we have dominated the bad teams and it's nice to see them getting in sync and playing well with Miller. Love seeing Oden play so well too!!
Wednesday's win gives Portland its best nine-game start (6-3) since 1999-2000 (8-1). It's also the first time they started 3-1 on the road since 1999-00. A week ago this team was sitting a game under .500 (2-3) and has since found a rhythm to win four in a row, including two on the road. While only one of those four wins has come against a team with a winning record, San Antonio (4-3), Portland is doing what good teams do: putting away bad teams. The Blazers' average margin of victory in the last three wins is 20 points.
Over the course of this current win streak the Blazers have not only improved in sharing the rock -- 24 assists per game vs. 19 per in the first five -- but the overall offensive flow of the game is better.
And let's not forget about Greg Oden. We've known Oden for his rebounding and shot blocking/adjusting ability, but during the second half of the Memphis game and through the three quarters he played against Minny there's been an offensive prowess and ability not seen from Oden since his Ohio State days. Whether it's finishing around the rim with the soft touch of the right or left hand, spinning baseline, dipping his shoulder and blowing past his man for the dunk, putback dunks or alley-oops, there's a confidence and versatility from Oden few knew existed.
Among all the stats, there's one that really stands out in Portland's win Wednesday: this was Greg Oden's first career game without a foul committed. His foul numbers also equaled that of his turnovers.
linkMuch of the credit for the steamrolling goes to Greg Oden who is slowly coming to the realization that nobody without a huge, athletic, active center can stop him. He looked like the high schooler playing with 6th graders out there on the boards. He also dunked multiple times again, sometimes off of alley-oops and sometimes after great spins from well-established positions. The major caveat is that Minnesota doesn't have a strong defensive middle, but it wasn't too long ago that Greg looked tentative against any kind of opposition. Oden smashed his way to a double-double in the first half which made the ‘Wolves pay extra attention to him which opened up the offense for Portland's shooters. With the synergy going and the whole offense flowing Minny was grass and the Blazers were mowing. We saw great passing, good shooting, energetic defense, and a loose, relaxed team cruising to a win.