â€œWe’re both competitors,â€ Ariza said. â€œWe don’t care who we have to guard. It’s not a discredit to anybody. It’s just that I don’t care who I play against.â€
He wanted a match up with Brandon Roy Saturday night, turning down Battier’s offer to switch assignments. Unlike Wednesday against Ellis, when Battier shut down the high-scoring Warriors guard early and Ariza stopped him late, Roy scored the Blazers’ final 10 points Saturday, including a twisting drive past Ariza and around Chuck Hayes with three seconds left for the game-winner.
Ariza’s defense on Roy grew tighter with each play, with Roy hitting a turnaround jumper before his game-winning drive, forcing Ariza to face the reality of the job.
â€œI think I played great defense,â€ Ariza said, â€œbut it was better offense.â€
â€œYou can’t be a good defender unless you want the tough guys,â€ Battier said. â€œTrevor has a lot of confidence in his abilities. I asked him if he wanted to give a different look to Roy. He said, â€œI got him.’ That’s all I need. You trust your teammates.â€
This article out of Houston is kind of funny, because it talks about how much Ariza wants to defend the best players, with Ariza talking about the challenge and all of that and then Battier being reasonable and saying that Ariza’s a better on-ball but that he’s better with man-help. And then it’s pretty clear from that excerpt that Roy torched Ariza. They’ve got James next, so I hope they don’t follow through with letting Ariza guard him. Because he’ll try real hard and then get destroyed. Of course, that’ll probably happen regardless of who’s guarding him.