mikebarrett

Jan 20

Blazers Drop the Hammer on Clips

By mikebarrett
I suppose it's okay to admit that I had an awful feeling about this game the entire day on Thursday.  As I was standing on the court during pre-game warmups it wasn't getting any better.  Then, as if to confirm my pessimism, the Blazers missed 7 of their first 8 shots and fell behind the Clippers by 14 to open the game.  Jeez.  Glad we weren't broadcasting the game at that point because the language I was using at that point would have probably offended most of my audience. 

The Trail Blazers trailed 16 to 2 with just over 7 minutes left in the first quarter.  Even considering all the wacky stuff we go through as Portland fans, I can honestly say I would have bet my house at that point the team wouldn't finish the game on a 16 to 2 run to win it 108-93.  Crazy bit of irony there with the numbers, huh?

The Clippers came into the game having won 6 of their last 7, and were considered one of the hot teams in the Western Conference.  TNT, and the league, always quick to sell the individuals and not the teams, might as well have called this "Blake Griffin Night" at the Rose Garden.  That's all you heard about before the game.  Portland, undermanned and perhaps even a bit outgunned, proved once again that the sum of a team's parts is always bigger than one individual player.

Griffin was good on this night, but wasn't fantastic.  LaMarcus Aldridge was fantastic, again.  Not only did he win the individual battle, as this battle for an All-Star spot continues, but his team won the game.  Pretty much the same thing happened when he went up against Kevin Love and Minnesota on Monday.

After this game, Charles Barkley, with a straight face, said he'd still go with Love and Griffin, ahead of Aldridge, for the All-Star team.  Nevermind that Aldridge has put his team on his shoulders and has them four games over the .500 mark, while the Clippers are 10 games under, and the Wolves are 23 games under.  And, Portland is a combined 6-0 against both teams this season.

Aldridge finished with 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists, and was clutch during Portland's late run to put the game away.  He got a ton of help from Wesley Matthews, who was fantastic himself, scoring 28 points with 5 rebounds.

Andre Miller, who was so clutch at Sacramento on Wednesday, had 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists.  And, in the second of a back-to-back set you always need someone from the second unit to come up big.  Rudy Fernandez was that guy in this game.  He had 17 points, and countless hustle plays late in the game to help knock the Clippers to the deck.

The Trail Blazers, who came into this game 26th in the NBA in field goal percentage (44 percent), shot a season high 56.4 percent, and hit 7 of 16 three pointers.  They also outscored this Clippers team, a team that's very good inside, 48-44 in the paint.

To listen to Nate McMillan's post-game comments, click here.

Portland has now officially recovered from the loss to Miami on the 9th of this month.  That's probably taking things a bit too far, but that loss did start a three-game losing skid, and had this team rattled.  Now, they've won four in a row, and have won the last three without Marcus Camby. 

Thursday morning Camby had surgery, and the news afterward was very positive.  As expected, it was a very minor procedure, and he's expected back in about 3 weeks.  I talked to him before the game and he was very upbeat and wasn't even really walking with a limp.

Don't allow yourself to be sold this nonsense about some conspiracy involving the setting of a timeline for Camby's return.  The doctors set that timetable, and that's based on a ton of experience.  It boggles my mind at how so many positive stories around this team are glossed over in the effort to get you doubting every news release that comes out of Blazer headquarters.  It's really not as deep and sinister as you're led to believe.  Camby had surgery.  It was minor.  Things look good.  The usual timeline for something like this is 2 to 4 weeks.  They say they expect him back in roughly 3 weeks.  End of story.  Nothing more, nothing less. 

As I was watching this game come to a close, I started thinking about some of the great things that we're seeing.  It's been painful at times, that's for sure.  But, as always, without the bitter, the sweet 'aint as sweet.  

Watching Rudy hop around the court smiling as the clock ran out, I thought of what a strange journey this has been for him this season.  It's probably only worked out this way because Brandon is injured.  One big influence that's helped bring Rudy back from the edge has been his friendship with Patty Mills.  Patty (another great story) wouldn't even be here if Jeff Pendergraph hadn't hurt himself in the preseason.  

The contract given to Wesley Matthews was called "ridiculous" by so many people last summer.  Even when we were in Utah recently, a writer there still called him "overpaid."  A year and a-half ago he sat and watched every name called in the NBA Draft but his.  He made Utah's team, was given a huge opportunity, and now makes more money than Blake Griffin, who was the number-one pick in that draft.

Then, there's Joel Przybilla.  Flirting with thoughts of retirement just weeks ago, suddently started feeling much better recently.  Now, thrust into heavier minutes because of Camby's injury, has rediscovered himself, and was talking with me last night about the desire to get another contract.

Of course, there's Aldridge.  Last summer, Blazers assistant Bill Bayno predicted that Aldridge would be an all-star this season.  He had just spent a month with LaMarcus in Dallas, working on getting stronger, getting better, and adding to his post-up moves.  We needed proof, of course.  Now, we've got it.

There's your press release.

Forgive me for my unbelief earlier in the evening.  
  

40 Comments

  1. You weren't the only one that didn't think we could win. I said last blog I'd be surprised if we won. I still am. The Clippers are a great team. As much as I hate all the attention they're getting, they're a great team. Gordon is one unrated guy. Griffin is still a rookie. If it wasn't for Gordon, that team would be no where. Do not know why Griffin is the one getting attention, when they've got a young, exciting player in Gordon. I'd take beautiful shots over dunks any day. Luckily for us Portland fans, our Powerforward can deliver both.

    About Barkley. He has been a Portland hater ever since he wanted to create his own "big 3" with Terry Porter and Drexler. Now, he's being the dumbass hypocrite he is and blaming Miami's big 3 and has hated Portland/Oregon ever since. Anyone catch his words about the Ducks? He makes an excuse everytime the Blazers win.... for the other team. He did it for Denver, he did it for Phoenix, he does it all the time. If not that, he doesn't give any credit to Portland or the players. No one has held Griffin to 35% shooting, and forced 5 turnovers while playing man-to-man without their trusted center. That's impressive.

    The question isn't "Is LaMarcus an All-star", it's "Does this league have the honesty to make LMA an All-Star". I don't think he'll make it because the NBA is biased as crap, and the league is flirting with a lockout, so it needs money. As good as LMA is, he doesn't give them money. Love doesn't either, but him breaking statistic records is much more entertaining to the league than Portland winning with injuries again.

    Look at Brandon Roy for example. No question 3rd best shooting guard the 3 years he was an All-Star, but yet was dead last in voting. LMA is dead last in voting as well. We're the best fans, but the voting is based off of strength in numbers. Quality over quantity doesn't exist in this league.

    We now have the same amount of wins as Denver, with 3 more losses. Meaning, we've played 3 more games. Luckily, our next week is fairly easy, and it'd be a disappointment to drop any of these games. Only game that's tough is Boston.

    by Herr on 1/21/2011 12:23 AM
  2. Well, I was on record saying I did believe, but the awful start would have been my out, as I qualified with "if we don't get into a deep hole early" or words to that effect. So we get into a huge hole and still win going away. Is this team great or what? I don't mean "great" great, like Spurs or Celtics great, but great to watch, with all the triumphs achieved in the face of adversity. The TNT guys talked non-stop about the Great Griffin, but were forced to acknowledge every now and then that he was having a bad game thanks to the Blazers' defense, and was clearly outplayed by Aldridge. (As has been the case with almost every acclaimed power forward the Blazers have faced). And regardless of Charles' silly "travesty" comment at the end, the game announcers somewhat ruefully admitted that LA deserves to be an All-Star. I had wondered what would happen if we finally got a game where everyone hit his shots, instead of having a couple of guys with terrible shooting percentages. I guess we know now. Even in the face of Gordon's unconscious three-point shooting, we had them all the way. And the one saving grace of having to listen to the TNT guys talk the entire game about the Clippers and their prospects, and how great Griffin is, yadda-yadda, instead of sharing the win with a couple of classy announcers who know their home team inside and out, was that we were at least spared the Barrett overtones of doom when the lead was briefly cut to three. That didn't last long, did it? Teams usually trim leads, but Portland wasn't about to give this one away, not to a bunch of guys who, despite the recent hype, have been terrible on the road. Have faith, Mike. These guys aren't looking in the rear-view mirror. We'll roll until Boston, and I'm thinking now we'll give them a good game too. And if Marcus really is back in three weeks, that means we'll have him for the home stand that closes February, when we take on the Hornets, Lakers, Nuggets and Hawks. If Marcus and Joel are both in the house, that stretch doesn't look so scary any more.

    by Islander on 1/21/2011 12:42 AM
  3. Wow! I had to look twice at the standings. I can't believe we're only 4 games back of third place. I've been critical of Nate, but he deserves a lot of credit in keeping the team playing at a high level despite all the injuries. If we somehow get homecourt advantage in the first round, I think Nate has to be c.o.y.

    by C. Larry on 1/21/2011 1:27 AM
  4. Thnk you for the update Mike:

    I was excited, scared, antsy and optimistic, but never confident in us winning, so I was doubtful too. But my fear was that Joel couldn't perform two nights in a row and their big front line would roll us over without Camby.

    Up and Adam guaranteed that Wesley would have a 20 plus game. I felt that also, because he in now a every other night dude and his shooting was bad in Sac Town. I also felt that our shooters would get back on course also; not so much that they were due, as although their shooting is horrible they keep working very hard and I just felt the hard work would pay off.

    I didn't know for sure what to expect from the LMA/Griffin match-up. My fear was that the last game hostility would carry over to this game and things would get ugly. Other then that one foul they called on Aldridge for landing on top of Griffin after Griffin tripped him, the game was called pretty good. Maybe everybody else is right; the way to whip a bully is to bully a bully. I was pleasantly surprised in that respect.

    I am on record to saying that win or lose, if we go out and play with aggression and passion, I would be fine with that. We played great, with abundant amount of energy after an over-time win in Sac Town the night before.

    Most of the Posters on this blog have said it is still early in the season and the team just needs time to gel. Except for a few games, because of untimely events, the Blazers have been in the game with a chance to win in most of them. That is really all we can ask of them with all the injuries we suffer, Therefore as you said Mike without the adversity the greatness of playing together wouldn't be felt.

    I have always felt that the team we are watching this was a great team. I have caught hell for thinking so and called a helpless homer as you have been called, Mike. But our belief is starting to pay-off. But like you, I have my games that I doubt, SO YOU ARE FORGIVEN LOL.

    Hg

    by Hg on 1/21/2011 2:20 AM
  5. Wow, Herr....you pretty much took the words out of my mouth. Yeah lets get this straight right now, Charles Barkley HATES the Portland TrailBlazers. Anyone of you who do not believe this, you need someone to hold your hand, and take you back to school. Anytime I see Charles and the tnt gang, Im like oh boy, what did we do wrong now. Sometimes he makes valid points, like a team who shoots jumpshooters dont win rings, and that very true. But yeah hes always been very negative about our team since hes been in the broadcasting business. Maybe he got butthurt when Drexler&Blazers would run over his sixers back in the day, who knows. But he hates Portland.

    Im sorry but Kevin Love is not in the same league and Aldridge. Griffin is however the real deal, and hes gonna be a superstar in this league. Id still swing the vote to LA for the all star game, cause hes practicaly carrying this team on his back and the Blazers do have a better record, and Blake is a rookie who already gonna be @all star weekend for other events regardless. But Herr is right, he wont get the nod, Im gonna say Griffin gets it, and it is what it is.

    Any player who plays for a Texas or California nba team will get votes due to huge population bases,These states have several large metropolitan areas, Where Oregon has 1 with Portland, and maybe you got "some" support up in Seattle area, but thats it, everything else is scattered around the country in small numbers.

    Also yes the nba is very biased, this league really needs a huge punch in gut and reality check. Too many whiners and star treatment,its become some type of media circus where huge egos shine the way forward. The Blazers dont fit that image so much, therfore are sometimes over looked by the hey look at me figures in the league.

    This was a solid win tonight, good all around game from our players.

    Mike Barrett..........................................I am quite sure whatever you were saying in the beginning of this game, would not have offended most of us!, We were prabaly echoing your comments in our living rooms lol. I missed hearing you and Mike Rice tonight, you guys are the best team broadcasters in the nba, period.

    by whitefeather21380 on 1/21/2011 2:42 AM
  6. One of our best offensive games of the season, right when we really needed it too.

    On any given night, we need either Wesley or Rudy to have a hot hand. Tonight they both did and that was the difference in the game.

    Huge props to LA for regaining his shooting touch and for his great defense on the Beast, Griffin.

    Two games in a row we fall behind big early and come back to win. Shows huge heart and desire!

    Also Rudy's defense deserves mention. He may not be as good an on-the-ball defender as Wesley, but he's such a great off-the-ball defender! We need him out there this many minutes every night, at home anyway.

    by dgpdx on 1/21/2011 3:05 AM
  7. The three games in a row that we lost, we started fast and finished slow. the four games we won in a row, we started slow and finished fast. Therefore when we fell behind against the Clippers I told my wife that we had them just where we wanted them, Make them believe the hype, persuade them into letting their guard down and lower the boom on them. Well something like that.

    Hg

    by Hg on 1/21/2011 3:21 AM
  8. Nice W, loved the energy \o/

    Matthews playing good, very good, recently (finally getting off that ice cold hand he had previously).

    The bench is finally giving it's spark. As MB said, it's not... usual, but the injuries led us to recover Rudy's confidence, find the "real" Patty Mills, and mabbe build on for the future (I like Armon too, but we had to choose).

    Let's keep cheering for this great, never-quitting team, please. Don't try to "what if Roy was back?" , "what if Oden was dominant?", "what if we had Durant" and etc... we have a great team right now, we are lucky not to be cheering for a losing team, or a team that's without managemente/coaching and without direction.

    But, of course *-* I predict many many good things when Roy gets back (mabbe not 100% as 2008-2009, but great player anyways), and Oden develops, and Dante and Patty and rookies too. :D

    We have a right future, I can predict that...

    Hugs from Brazil...
    GO BLAZERS

    by Tiago Torigoe on 1/21/2011 4:13 AM
  9. Excellent win!

    While Blake is a better rebounder, LA is a much better defender than Blake. LA should go to the all star game, but he may not mainly because he hasn't been doing this all year. Once he had to take the whole load we finally got to see what he could do and I don't think he was lazy or soft before, just he was trying to be a team guy and let Roy lead. You have to look at our record though compared to the other PF playing at LA's level and put LA in. Especially when you consider all of the injuries to this team this year.

    Miller had another excellent game. Great balance.

    GO BLAZERS!!

    by mgb on 1/21/2011 4:30 AM
  10. Excellent win!

    While Blake is a better rebounder, LA is a much better defender than Blake. LA should go to the all star game, but he may not mainly because he hasn't been doing this all year. Once he had to take the whole load we finally got to see what he could do and I don't think he was lazy or soft before, just he was trying to be a team guy and let Roy lead. You have to look at our record though compared to the other PF playing at LA's level and put LA in. Especially when you consider all of the injuries to this team this year.

    Miller had another excellent game. Great balance.

    GO BLAZERS!!

    by mgb on 1/21/2011 4:31 AM
  11. Sorry for the double post. I had hit submit, but the page wouldn't come up so I hit submit again. Oh well. It's worth reading twice. :)

    by mgb on 1/21/2011 4:32 AM
  12. Love and Griffin may have better stats but LA does things that help this team win which should give him the edge for a spot on the all-star roster.

    by blazerdarren77 on 1/21/2011 6:44 AM
  13. If Rudy could play like this every game he'd quickly become a fan favorite again. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Andre Miller smile from ear to ear while hugging Rudy. That's more emotion I've seen from Andre since he's been with the team. Gotta love that spirit, and hope to see more of it.

    by Phi Slamma on 1/21/2011 8:44 AM
  14. everything was great until they focused on the embarrassing FREE THROW GUY.

    i can't believe nobody has told that chump where to take his antics or worse even.

    i don't mind the goggles or anything that brings people together, as i too like to be silly and have fun. the FREE THROW GUY on the other hand, is a tasteless, annoying, immature, egomaniac who makes portland fans look TRASHY. he does NOT bring people together. complete friggin tool. he has FREE THROW guy on the front of his shirt! need i say more?

    we need to send phi slamma to go sit next to him at one of the games. i would pay top dollar to see that!

    LETTING BARKLEY TALK IS A TRAVESTY.

    LMA OWNS BLAKE GRIFFIN!

    did i mention i cant stand free throw guy?



    by sudelander on 1/21/2011 9:13 AM
  15. Great Team win!!!! Check out Blazersedge, they added Keystone cop music to Rudy's crazy late game play where he ran in to Wes. Hilarious!!! Anyone think LMA game is looking alot like Carmelo's without the head case? Great game by LMA Wes, Andre and Rudy. Upcoming games against Celtics and Spurs should be great games, but they will need to tighten up defense to win those ones. Lets make a push for the 6 or 7th playoff spots!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Gavinfan on 1/21/2011 9:25 AM
  16. Sude: I'm not sure you'd be able to tell us apart since we both got "Free Throw Guy" printed on our shirts. To help you out I'll be the one wearing red & black. Hope that helps.

    by Phi Slamma on 1/21/2011 9:47 AM
  17. Awesome post Mike. I mean it. Love seeing LA really take it to teams, especially when they have more hype behind them, as yo pointed out here. I have respect for Blake and I think he's great for the league's future, no doubt about that. While LAC has been fighting good teams and beaten them, I still feel pretty confidant after the early win this season as far as us vs. them goes. Yes, we didn't get to a great start as you pointed out (though I would have liked to hear you using the bad language, haha! Just once!, for laughs . . anwyays . . hehe), but of couse, we stepped it up and some great lines and efforts by the guys as you told us.

    I really love how Rudy played and of course, I could tell this fro the highlights and at one ponit after the game (morning my time) Rudy was trending on Twitter in the US. He was pretty sweet tonight and his look on the court reminded of that game on TNT I think it was, when he made that sweet lay-up, then stole it to nail the 3 at the buzzer, with Kevin Harlen gonig crazy, as usual.

    Indeed, it's been a year of difficuties but again, as you said, the ups are that much sweeter after adversity and despite not having been able to achieve as we have liked, both coming into the season, as well as the bigger picture and our window of opportunity with these guys it is still pretty great to see the stories of: friendship, (Patty and Rudy), turn-around, (Rudy) new guy fitting-in and getting career-highs (Wes) and though we have had some lows, to see the guys not giving up and continuing to fight against the good teams, is something I am proud of and what makes it great to be a Blazer fan.

    -Anees, from Prague
    PS For anyone else like myself who does't get to watch the games or just if you want to get an extended highlight real, a YouTube "buddy" on occasion, when he's free, puts up the TV highlights that last about 7 minutes, so always nice to check out and this game was great and he's got some nice graphics as well with shots of Portland and the RG with cool music, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNLjjYs5L6M

    by Anees on 1/21/2011 9:50 AM
  18. So... I'm not going to take this time to bash the "bald" one about his reporting, and I'm not going to use it to bash Barkley, and I'm not even going to use it to laugh in the face of bandwagon jumpers. I'm going to use it to congratulate this "TEAM" for their continued effort on the floor and off, day in and day out. And also to this coaching staff for coming up with game plans on the fly that put this team in a position to win every game they play. We are some of the most fortunate fans in the entire league, with the opportunity to watch the embodiment of what hard work and perserverance and teamwork can do, even in the face of adversity and all out attacks. GO BLAZERS!

    by bigjeff911 on 1/21/2011 9:59 AM
  19. this was one of the best games i have been to this year. the fans were so loud. even when they got down in the first the fans would cheer. I looked at the the blake griffen and lmarcus matchup last night and thought to my self. LA is King Kong and blake is a chimp chump. Now dont get me wrong blake is a great player but matched up against a good defending power forward he can not get to the basket. Alot of times i saw him try and back aldridge up and he would just bounce off. This was the best shooting game all year so far. Rudy is so fun to watch he gives this team alot of spunk.

    Go blazers.

    by Avgjoe28 on 1/21/2011 10:34 AM

  20. 12>32

    by reverse on 1/21/2011 11:19 AM

  21. just read the greg oden interview. he's right on. can you imagine him coming back into the fold alongside lamarcus2.0 ??? SMASHY SMASHY!!! i think we'd all love to see that happen, and revel in it. i shouldn't go there, but i will. if we get to see LA, joel, marcus and greg play together next year, it would be off the charts. the rest of the league certainly doesn't want to see that. again, i shouldn't go there, but i have a greg oden jersey hanging in my place for crying out loud. i want to see the guy do what he wants to do, which is DOMINATE.

    by reverse on 1/21/2011 11:45 AM
  22. MB, Very nice write up! Went to the game and was thinking they probably wouldn't win. Had read the minutes they played the nigtht b4 vs. the minutes the Clippers played...Vinnie rested his team for the Blazer game.

    I wrote about your negativity when calling games this year...and only watched some of the Sac. game so far..but in the amount of game I have heard...YOU SOUNDED MUCH LESS NEGATIVE!!!! or...taking my own advice...YOU SOUNDED WAY WAY BETTER. Thank you. It is better for one's life to live in hope rather than fear. Of course it is human nature to do the former.
    I'm going to watch the rest of the Sacramento game today...as I finally have a few days off!
    LMA is amazing...hope so much that he makes the ALL STAR team...not only for his play but also for his team building skills. He makes others better. That is the mark of a LEADER and an ALL STAR.

    by natsthecat on 1/21/2011 12:00 PM
  23. a little more about the last night's game

    seeing lamarcus get on the floor to save possession a couple of times was huge. he showed a complete game.

    batum had a couple of noticeable shifts defending griff, and i thought he did well. his offense was efficient.

    andre was within shouting distance of a triple double, and his passion for the game is fully evident.

    rudy showed his creativity and fire, which is what the blazer bench needs.

    wesley was on fire all night, and did enough to counter-balance eric gordon offensively.

    joel getting a start was nice. after a long re-hab and a couple of surgeries, it is nice to see him rewarded.

    dante, patty & sean went out and scrapped for their team for the minutes they were out there.

    i like our team when they give this kind of effort.

    i'd also like to give the biggest shout to coach mcmillan. he may not be a perfect coach, but he's damn good. i for one think he's absolutely the right coach for this team. he takes lemons and makes up some tasty lemon-aid before rounding up the crumbs and making dinner. change the line-up every few weeks? the blazers are still a playoff team. take away major players and put them in front of a hot team? portland competes and gets some quality wins. make nate mcmillan the jerry sloan of oregon!

    by reverse on 1/21/2011 12:55 PM
  24. I am so frustrated with the TNT broadcasters I must say something. Twice this season SO FAR they have gone an entire segment of a Blazers game without even mentioning their team name! Charles Barkley deserves to be sitting home yelling at the TV in a drunken rage as he listens to another inept analyst instead of pretending to know it all for a handsome paycheck. They were even quibbling over the notion that Aldridge couldn't be the go-to guy so it must be Andre Miller. At what point in time do they realize that the NBA does not have to be about individual matchups if the team learns to play AS A TEAM?
    OK deep breath.

    On the bright side, this team has developed a toughness which is impressive. Nate has done a SUPERLATIVE job of keeping them focused on the task at hand, team basketball. No whining, excuses or arrogant ball hogging lately, only tough, "scrappy" work. As far as I'm concerned, the best free agent acquisition Mr. Cho can make is the head coach, Mr. Nate.

    by Just Tim on 1/21/2011 7:32 PM
  25. Great win on National TV...but I am still arguing with other fans about the legitimacy of LMA's All-Star bid! Seriously, I loathe people who comment on players or teams without not really watching them. Anyone who has watched what LA has done since December 15 knows he deserves to be an All-Star.

    I was really, really happy with how this one played out, especially the last few minutes. The TNT guys FINALLY quit acting like Clipper cheerleaders and started pointing out how well the Blazers were playing and noting the games of both LMA and Wesley. It was quite satisfying, as it usually is :)

    I am so proud of this team, for continuing to win in the face of adversity. If we are ever actually healthy, with some actual depth, we are going to be sooooo strong, and that will only make us harder to beat. As it is, we are already so much more mature than we were, and have stayed composed even late when it looks like we might give it all up. It's like the Blazers looked around at each other and said, 'alright, we can't really get much worse can we? Let's just play our game.'

    I really hope Lamarcus gets selected. I felt so sad when he told Cheryl Miller that he didn't think he'd get in this time.

    Hope the Pacer game is good!

    by EowynAmarie on 1/21/2011 7:36 PM
  26. Blazers are awesome!!!

    I was surprised immediately after last nights game, i hopped onto the Clippers blog to do some reading.. and saw that EVEN Clips fans were talking up LA!!!! Good for them!!

    I wish LA the best.. and am just hoping that the Coach's votes will turn things.. If they're able to over-rule all the idiots from Texas and Cali that are tweaking the votes... then I can see LA making it!!!

    In ^THAT^ Senario... i could actually see Carmello NOT making it, due to all the crap he's been stirring around the league.. I'm sure a few of them are fed up.

    GO BLAZERS!!!!

    by Blazermaniak on 1/21/2011 9:26 PM
  27. Awesome comments w/ valid points. I like how everyone is ANTI-TNT lol. But i really think Charles gave up on them when he really believed Portland could beat LA in the 2000 NBA Finals. I remember him on the bandwagon. Ever since then, he has everything to dislike about them. He admits it himself. He just a hater!

    Good 4 gm winning streak, two easy ones coming up and out of the two Juggarnauts in the spurs/celtics, i think we'll be able to pull one off against Spurs since they feel like they can't be beat but the underdog always prevails! After that it's a pretty fair schedule. Go BLAZERS!!!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 1/21/2011 9:32 PM
  28. Awesome comments w/ valid points. I like how everyone is ANTI-TNT lol. But i really think Charles gave up on them when he really believed Portland could beat LA in the 2000 NBA Finals. I remember him on the bandwagon. Ever since then, he has everything to dislike about them. He admits it himself. He just a hater!

    Good 4 gm winning streak, two easy ones coming up and out of the two Juggarnauts in the spurs/celtics, i think we'll be able to pull one off against Spurs since they feel like they can't be beat but the underdog always prevails! After that it's a pretty fair schedule. Go BLAZERS!!!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 1/21/2011 9:39 PM
  29. nice blog, Mike! like you, i was nervous at the beginning of the game, and through the first half. it was at the end of the second quarter when i started feeling a little more comfortable, though still skeptical. we did really well except that stretch in the middle of the fourth when the clippers narrowed it to three. i loved that hustle at the end when we kept extending the lead.

    to me, Rudy was the star of this game. i know he hustles night in and night out, but i don't recall seeing him running and chasing down every ball as much as last night. perhaps that's because i can't typically watch the games; relying on the audio broadcast. he had the steal of the night on nba-dot-com, but it wasn't even the most impressive play of his game. there was the hook to beat the shot clock; the finishing dunk; and the steal, recovery and leap over LaMarcus for the layup (the one for which Gavinfan mentioned the keystone cop/circus music being added -- i saw it on youtube). i know i always talking about shooting and here it is: Rudy was 7-10 from the field (2-4 3pt). at one point, the tnt announcers talked about his tumultuous summer and he becoming good friends with Patty. one of the announcers stated: "and now he never wants to leave." funny stuff.

    LaMarcus won the battle against Griffin. some may say that Griffin's overall stats were better, but when you lead your team to the win, YOU win the battle; no question about it. LaMarcus played 86 minutes in just over 26 hours. he has led his team to wins in both games. make no mistake; LaMarcus has earned the nod over Griffin, whether he receives it or not. LaMarcus' blazers have swept Griffin's clippers, 3-0. this season. for that matter, LaMarcus' blazers have blanked Love's timberwolves, 3-0, thus far in the season. that's 6-0 against the other two primary guys in his way for the asg invitation. there should really be no other numbers needed. unfortunately, the only numbers the nba seems to care about is the size of your television market.

    Wesley played well and played smart. like Rudy, he was all over the floor making a difference. in addition to his 28 points, he had three steals. Wesley had a great game.

    Nicolas is playing very well right now. he's drawing a lot of tough defensive assignments and been putting up some offense to help us out. he did both in this game. Andre was steady and smart, just as he's been the past several games. i remember a stretch where he hit about three straight mid-range jumpers to keep us on track.

    Joel looked a bit tired, but i thought his defense and rebounding were pretty good. while he's not all the way back, you can see he's getting there, and that's encouraging. Dante and Patty played hard when they were in the game, and Sean was good in his few minutes on the court.

    what i really liked about this game is that we shot over 56 percent for the game. our defense comes through often when we need it too, it's just that sometimes our shooting becomes our achilles heel. overall, i'm pretty pleased with the way the guys are playing right now. the're fighting hard and picking up some wins. that's all we can ask for right now.

    and hopefully it continues against indiana.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 1/21/2011 10:18 PM
  30. I dropped this over at BE a little while ago. If you want to read it, and you don't know French, you need to put it through the Google Translator. It's a very rough read, since Google Translate isn't quite right, but I think the gist comes through.

    Nicolas says some great things about Lamarcus, sheds light on his feelings about being benched earlier, and basically thinks Kevin Love is a stat padder! Enjoy :)

    http://basketsession.com/blog-batum-aller-sur-le-banc-ca-ma-fait-retomber-sur-terre/

    by EowynAmarie on 1/21/2011 11:00 PM
  31. That was a Hella Uv U Game! Both teams fought, scrapped, and played the game it's suppose to be played. I was thrilled to see Portland's fans and team get excited about this game. This game was just plain fun to watch. It reminded me of the games played in the late 80's and early 90's.

    Aldridge is a whole new player this year. He carries himself like a man and it shows. Wesley does the same. The rest of the team deserves props too. We played as as team on both ends and it looked like we cared about each other. That's the Blazer team I like watching.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 1/21/2011 11:16 PM

  32. this short video of coach nate talking about lamarcus is enjoyable:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/index.ssf/2011/01/nate_mcmillan_on_lamarcus_aldr.html

    he has that look of a guy with a great basketball mind and game of his own that wishes he had had the tools that aldridge is blessed with.

    i also watched the highlight package the team put together. very nice. i think LA's number have bumped up since that was put together.

    by reverse on 1/22/2011 12:18 AM

  33. also, your portland trailblazers are currently a game back of 7th, and only 4 games back of 3rd place in the west.

    did i type that correctly? only 4 games from 3rd?!? no one is running away from the competition aside from s.a. and l.a.

    if they keep working hard and playing team ball, they could climb a spot here or there and make a move!

    by reverse on 1/22/2011 12:29 AM
  34. Eowyn Amarie:

    I read your article from BE, it was great. Like you said a little hard to follow if you don't speak French. It has been said that a lot is lost through translation.

    I asked you about Love padding the stats. thank you for the answer. The translation of calling Love a liar, or in my mind a cheat was cute. The translation I got said "I was pissed off when I was benched but later found out it was my fault and Nate wanted some fire power in the bench.

    I don't know for sure if I got the whole article right, but it was sure a great read.

    BTW, getting so anxious that you can't watch the game live is sad because you do miss out on a lot of excitement. I cannot critique you because I recently went to college and I got test anxiety so bad I couldn't read or write. Of course that has not been my strong points my whole life anyway.

    by Hg on 1/22/2011 3:47 AM
  35. We seem to have found different ways to meet the adversity that keeps haunting us and you got to love it. I see a good streak continuing at home.

    by Jonsey86 on 1/22/2011 9:38 AM
  36. In wake of travisd last blog, I looked up the schedule of teams in the chase for play-off spots NOH and Houston has a tough game today, therefore it becomes more important to put the emphasis on winning, plus Ind is not a slough team.

    We have the momentum,we have an All-Star caliber go to guy, we have the energy and although it is Wesley's game to shoot poorly we are getting fire power from Rudy, Batum and Skeeter (Mills).

    It is never enough to take to the bank, but if up and Adam can guarantee that Wesley can get another 20+ game then we can count on it as being a victory

    Hg.

    by Hg on 1/22/2011 9:58 AM
  37. Kassandra,

    You didn't mention Miller's game. He had the most rounded game of any player. I just love how he's been playing the last five games or so. I always liked his game, but recently he's been playing exceptionally.

    by mgb on 1/22/2011 10:26 AM
  38. barkey is a peice of sh!t

    by Miller on 1/22/2011 10:36 AM
  39. I wrote a new FanPost about +/- and the freakish statistical anomaly I found last night. It's called "+Armon, -Sense".

    http://www.blazersedge.com/2011/1/22/1950572/armon-sense

    Enjoy.

    by 500Dogs on 1/22/2011 5:34 PM
  40. Great blog and an amazing win

    by RedRudy5 on 1/23/2011 1:19 AM
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