The Portland Trail Blazers have been outrebounded for four straight games as they head into a matchup with one of the league’s top rebounders.
Portland (4-2) has had trouble on the glass all season, and was outrebounded 47-38 in Thursday’s 107-106 overtime home loss to Oklahoma City. The Trail Blazers gave up 20 second-chance points and 15 offensive rebounds.
“They killed us on the boards,” guard Brandon Roy(notes) said. “They got a lot of second-chance points. I think because of that, they were able to kind of keep a flow. They got a lot of attempts. We didn’t do a good job of keeping them off the boards.”
The Trail Blazers will have to try and keep a body on Evans, who is third in the league with 13.8 rebounds per game. Evans was limited to 28 games last season with Toronto (1-4) due to a sprained left foot, but appears healthy in 2010-11.
Portland is extremely short-handed in its frontcourt, with Greg Oden(notes) and Joel Pryzbilla both recovering from knee surgery. The Trail Blazers got more bad news when center Fabricio Oberto(notes) abruptly retired before Thursday’s game because of a prior cardiac condition that caused heart palpitations.
The Raptors are trying to avoid a winless four-game trip after falling 108-103 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. Toronto held a 49-31 advantage on the boards, as Amir Johnson(notes) had 15 rebounds and Evans grabbed 14.
“They’re a very unorthodox team,” said Lakers star Kobe Bryant(notes) about the Raptors. “You’ve got rebounders coming in from all over the place. You’ve got the floor spread, and very athletic guys that are crashing and jumping, so it’s just their style of play.”
Toronto is adjusting to playing without last season’s leading scorer Chris Bosh(notes), traded to Miami in the offseason. Andrea Bargnani(notes) is averaging a team-high 22.0 points, but was held to a season-low 14 on Friday.
Portland has won four straight over Toronto, cruising to two double-digit wins last season. Roy totaled 40 points and 10 assists in those games.
The three-time All-Star is off to a slow shooting start, connecting at 39.8 percent. He missed 11 of 17 shots Thursday.
Coach Nate McMillan felt Roy and other Blazers took too many jumpers as opposed to attacking the basket.
“I just think we settled. I thought there were lanes to drive and get to the basket against this team. There were a few times where we settled for the jump shot,” McMillan said. “We shot the ball well in the first half. In the second half, we continued to rely on the jump shot as opposed to attacking, being aggressive, playing from the inside out.”