Marcus Camby took the inbounds pass with one second on the clock deep in the corner, wound up and took the shot. Swish.
What came next was the culmination of the three goggles -- the craze which originated by Rudy Fernandez and Patty Mills which took the basketball world by storm. Marcus flashed those three goggles to his teammates in game two of the Blazers playoff series last spring.
It seems as though there's a Blazer craze every season. Last season's three goggles even spread to the NCAA tournament.
This year, things are a little different. Patty and Rudy are both gone, Marcus isn't shooting threes, and the three goggles phenomenon has all but been laid to rest. However, in true Blazers fashion, something else has taken it's place. It's something innovative, interesting and interactive. It's also just plain fun.
During the Blazers pregame show, Homecourt, in-studio hosts Adam Bjaranson and Michael Holton join the Mikes (Barrett and Rice) in the Pick to Click. Each night, each selects the player they feel will have the most impact in the game.
Usually, the determining factor is highest scorer; however rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and even defensive performances contribute to the "winner," who is determined by a seemingly anonymous source during the post-game show.
The four Broadcasters' Picks to Click vs. San Antonio
For instance, the broadcasters split on LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum in Tuesday night's game against San Antonio. Given LaMarcus' team-high 21 points (along with his seven rebounds), it'a very possible he could claim the Pick to Click honors. Nicolas' 19 points and supurb defense puts him in the conversation. But not so fast; strong cases could be made for Gerald Wallace (19 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three blocks) and Jamal Crawford (20 points on 6 of 8 shooting -- 5 of 7 from three-point range -- four rebounds and eight assists). Some might even throw Elliot Williams into the mix for his 17 points in just under 18 minutes -- 15 of those coming in the fourth quarter.
"(It's a) great segment where we test our intuition," Adam told me Sunday. "A little game within the game for us broadcasters and fans alike."
The latter part is where it's gotten interesting, most notably in the in-game chat on the Blazers main website. As the broadcasters are makng their Pick to Click, most of the regular chatters are submitting their own on the chat board and discussion often ensues. Occasionally even, you'll see members of the BlazerNation tweet theirs (I've done this a couple of times myself when I've been unable to join the chat).
But it doesn't end with the broadcasters, game chat and the occasional tweet. About a month ago a new, final segment was created on Homecourt, where the fan vote from the Blazers official facebook page is revealed. Fans can go to the page for a few hours before that night's game to vote among the players: Portland Trail Blazers Facebook Page
Choosing the criteria for your own Pick to Click can rely on any number of things. Now, it would be easy to just select LaMarcus for every game. He's been the best and most consistent Blazer this season. On the other hand, there are any number of other guys who are often in the conversation; Nicolas (my recent pick four games in a row and again against the Spurs). Gerald (especially at home), Jamal, Wesley Matthews, and Raymond Felton to be frequently considered.
As each broadcaster makes his selection, there's usually a brief depiction of his reasoning. Someone might have chosen Jamal against Atlanta in the hopes he would have a great game against his former team. Another person might select Gerald in a home game because his propensity for strong performances at the Rose Garden. Raymond could be the selection based on how he played the opponent the previous time(s) he played against them. If someone may expect Elliot to see a lot of time in a game, they might be inclined to pick him for his pure athleticism. Still someone else might tab Wesley with the thought he might have a breakout game against a particular opponent.
For one game, Michael Holton even selected Marcus Camby. Now, I don't think Marcus actually was awarded the Pick to Click title for the night, but he did finish with 12 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block. He was integral in a home win over the Clippers.
There's also my case as of late, where I selected Nicolas four games in a row, believing he would step up once in the starting lineup (pleased with those selections, and the only reason I didn't select him against the Lakers is because I thought he would be consumed more on defense with Kobe Bryant; expected his contributions to be more on the defensive end of the court). I did, however, select him again against San Antonio.
Blazers Facebook Pick to Click vs. Atlanta (with my selection of Nicolas)
Though I'm someone who enjoys the process of research, I generally rely on my gut feeling about my choice on any given night. As I mentioned before, a person would probably do well taking LaMarcus each night, but that kind of takes the fun out of it. Also, it's pretty cool when your selection actually ends the game winning the honor.
By the way, for the Atlanta game, both Mike Barrett and I both selected Nicolas. Following the game, It was deemed that Nicolas and LaMarcus were co-Picks to Click. Nicolas had 22 points, 8 rebounds, an assist, steal and block. LaMarcus registered 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. For my money (which, being a college student, isn't all that much!), Nicolas won that, if only for his masterful defense against the Hawks.
The main point is, there are a plethora of reasons one might name one guy as their Pick to Click. In most cases, there probably isn't a bad choice. The one thing I will tell you, this Pick to Click is a growing craze amongst the BlazerNation.
And you don't even need to be wearing your three goggles to play the game.
In Kassandra's Words features regular blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @PDXKass