5 Things I Liked

By the hair of our chinny-chin-chins! At the end of the year, it’ll look like this: W. All that matters and, in all honesty, there was a lot to like about this game, especially the 1st quarter.

1) Lonzo Ball shooting the three ball with a lot of confidence, had his legs really into and under his shot, great rhythm; it was really nice to see. While he struggled to score inside the arc, he played a lot better defense than in recent games. Nice game, but this really needs to be the bottom line norm, improvement on this would be nice.

2) JaVale McGee’s nightly block party. Averaging 3 bpg. Had another double-double, color me impressed with his great start to the season. If we can just figure out how to foul a little less, rebound a little better (need our forwards to box out better) and keep dominating the easy points categories we’ll be good for the regular season. Playoffs…when the games slow way down…that’s a different topic of discussion. Thankfully one we don’t have to engage in at this point. Still finding our way.

3) Starters scoring in double figures. Overall they shot 36-67 (could have been better if Brandon Ingram had a better night, just missed some looks he normally knocks down). That’s a trend that needs to continue with just about all of our best scorers front-loaded as starters. Puts a lot of pressure on Lance, Hart and KCP to make it happen and they’re all fairly streaky.

4) LeBron’s post-game comments. Talked about how these are foundation-building moments that are good for the young guys to go through, how they’ve been in every game, and continues to impress me with how he’s able to break down the game into moments and beats. Gave BI a nice hug, too.

5) The grinding and gaining we’re doing early on. There’s a lot of pressure and focus on this team, something that can derail progress in some locker rooms and front offices. This whole organization seems like it’s really on the same page. They got players who play a certain way, vets who were tough, play makers young and old, potentially solid, to great, defenders. LeBron is into it, the young guys are trying to rise to the challenge, it’s a work in progress but it is also starting to take shape. Not sure what that shape is, yet, but they needed this win and they held onto it.

Team has a couple of days until a back-to-back weekend of games against tough opponents, here’s hoping they can split the pair and at least win on Sunday against Toronto. Always tough for us up in Portland but winning both would be a real sign of growth. Coaches got a few days to work on some things with the guys.

Also, shout out to Derrick Rose for dropping a career high 50 points on the Utah Jazz. No easy feat and he’s had a rough several seasons. Great thing for a guy who has suffered a ton of injuries and seen the luster on his star chip more than a little.