Every March, before the start of the NCAA Tournament, you hear the same question posed over and over again, “Is this the year a 16 knocks off a 1?”. Well this year it came true, in the hostile environment that was the quarter full Cox Pavilion on a Thursday night.
Despite 31 points, six rebounds and three assists from Fred VanVleet, the Raps were unable to overcome a well balanced showing from the Blazers squad, who shot just under 49% as a team and played sound, composed basketball down the stretch under the lead of Caleb “Biggie” Swanigan, who finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 boards.
Jakob Poeltl was quiet and Pascal Siakam was invisible, so the bench mob was going to have to step up. That went about as well as Jonas Valanciunas’ trying to workout on a Monday after a weekend at Wasaga Beach.
Sadly, the Raps won’t be competing for the Summer League title now, so we can all just enjoy the Lonzo Show until next week.