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Lock it up!
posted: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 at 9:48 PM

Lock it down!

The Trail Blazers just worked the Hornets like a well-oiled machine and it's Jarrett Jack who converted on the free-throws.

With 15.3 seconds left, all we've got to do now is count down.

It's a great first win for the Trail Blazers as they saved their best effort of the young season for this raucous home crowd. Not only did we see Greg Oden step onto the floor for the first time without crutches, we also saw what has to be the most complete effort turned in by the Trail Blazers in a long time.

Final score 93 - 90... Jarrett Jack and Martell Webster both led the Trail Blazers with 20 points, and Brandon Roy turned in 17 of his own. Aldridge battled foul trouble all game, but still finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds.

I'm not sure if it totally counts, but this also extends Greg Oden's home winning streak. Allegedly, G.O. has never lost a home game (ever) and his success has seemed to carry over to this year!

Also, I'd like to point out that I'm 2 - 0 (including one preseason game) this year. What can I say? When I'm here, the Trail Blazers never disappoint...

Chalk this one up to the good guys! Go Trail Blazers!


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Jack is scrappy!
posted: at 9:44 PM

Like a junkyard dog, Jack refused to give up on a loose ball and he wound up ripping it from the grips of the much larger Peja Stojakovic...

The Trail Blazers and the Hornets are going back and forth now, and the Rose Garden is living and dying with each possession...

The game is on the line with 55.5 seconds left and the Trail Blazers up by 5. One more defensive stop and we should be able to throw this one in the refrigerator.

The Thundersticks are clapping, the cheerleaders are cheering and the roof is shaking as we head down the home stretch...


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Crunch-time...
posted: at 9:35 PM

Coach Nate McMillan has yet to sit down this game, and it's a safe bet that he won't until the final buzzer.

Portland's having trouble finding a basket with 4:43 left in the 4th, but they're still clinging to a 6-point lead.

More than anything, the Trail Blazers need a play to get the crowd back on their feet.... AND THERE IT IS!

Brrrrrrrandon ROY FOR THREE!

Before that, you could almost hear a pin drop at midcourt but the Rose Garden is re-energized and ready to close out the Hornets...

With 2:47 left, it's 84 - 79 Trail Blazers...


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The return of Small Ball!
posted: at 9:24 PM

Call it Small Ball Part Deux, but this shorter lineup has caused all sorts of problems for the Hornets tonight.

Jarrett Jack has played like a man possessed opposite Sergio Rodriguez and he looks incredibly comfortable shouldering a bit more of the offensive load for the second line.

Jack has 15 points on 5 of 9 shooting.

It's also important to notice that Sergio Rodriguez has gotten some serious action tonight. Normally, Sergio is a lot like TNT and used best in small doses, but tonight he's been a steady influence on the court and has really opened things up for his teammates.

His performance might not show up on the scoresheet, but if basketball kept track of assists the same way hockey does (counting both the pass to the made basket as well as the pass before that), Sergio would have about 37 assists.

He's also done an outstanding job defending Bobby Jackson.

It's 81 - 68 with 7:21 left... Tick, tick, tick...


1 Comments:
Blogger Jennie said...

Whether the Blazers win or lose,
Portland fans can’t sing the blues.
‘Cause this team will put on a good show,
Even without big Greg O.
And while we can’t wait to get our big buy back,
We have lots of young talent to lead the pack.
We’ve got Blake, Frye, Outlaw, and Jack,
Who destroy their opponents like toothpaste does plaque.
And then there’s Webster, the Thrilla, and Taurean Green,
Who look great on the Rose Garden’s new HD screen.
And last season, a great player emerg-io-ed,
In the form of Spanish point guard Sergio.
Also Portland’s home to a Hollywood star,
As L.A. leaves us breathless; in need of CPR.
And don’t forget the NBA’s golden boy,
Who else? But our very own Brandon Roy.
Not only is he our favorite acronym,
But we love to watch him attack the rim.
In short, there’s nothing this team lacks,
As they have us all wearing the RED, the WHITE, the BLACK!

9:37 PM  

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True Life: Cotton Candy Vendor
posted: at 9:15 PM

In all the games I've watched, which is over 40 plus in the last 18 months, I've noticed one fail-safe way to determine whether or not the Trail Blazers are doing well.

Sure, you could just judge by the crowd noise or by the enormous screen which hangs over midcourt, but I like to be a little more subtle.

The way I tell is by looking at the Cotton Candy Vendors.

Everyone else in the Rose Garden is here to watch the Trail Blazers, but the Hot Dog, Beer and Cotton Candy guys are here to put some work in from start to finish. They never sit down, they never stop pushing their mid-game snacks, and they're rarely caught off-guard...

Unless, it's a real nail biter.

In that case, all bets are off. The vendors become the biggest fans and the coolest guys to watch the game with. They've seen everything but each time, it feels like the first time, and that's a great way to be a fan!

At the end of the third quarter, the Trail Blazers have built a 12 point lead, 76 - 64, and almost more importantly, they're back on pace for Free Chalupas!

76 down, 24 to go!


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BOO-YAH
posted: at 9:09 PM

Tyson Chandler has been ejected!

Hit the road, Jack! Don't you come back!

This may be the loudest ovation Chandler has ever received in the Rose Garden!

Unbelievable- one minute a gaggle of guys were fighting for a loose ball and the next minute, Chandler just popped his lid and started elbowing people.

It's 72 - 62 and the Hornets will be without their best rebounder from here on out.

By the way, just so you don't have to look it up, the last time the Hornets played in the Rose Garden, Tyson Chandler was ejected and the Trail Blazers recovered from a 27-point deficit to beat the Hornets. That means were 1 - 0 (to the best of my knowlege) when the Hornets play the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden and Tyson Chandler gets ejected...


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Game-Time Woot!
posted: at 9:03 PM

Deeefense! Deeeefense! Deeeefense!

The Trail Blazers have sprayed a little "Raid" on the Hornets here in the third quarter and they've taken the lead 64 - 60.

Aldridge is back and has more energy then ever after having sat the last 19 minutes, and Martell Webster is still lighting up the Rose Garden.

You can see it in his eyes- Martell is a new man. Half the time, he looks like Denzel Washington in "Man on Fire" with that same glare and swagger. The rest of the time, he's smiling after he's knocked down a three.

Webster has 16 points with 5:53 left in the third quarter.


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Halftime Report...
posted: at 8:40 PM

As "The O'Jays" return to rock the Rose Garden, I'll do a little bit of break down on what we've just seen.

For the most part, Portland had to turn to a small lineup because forward LaMarcus Aldridge picked up three really quick fouls. It may, however, have been a blessing in disguise...

The small lineup gave the Trail Blazers enough speed to stick with point guard Chris Paul and cover the range of Peja Stojakovic. Instead, it was David West who had to shoulder most of the offensive load for the Hornets, but as we pointed out at the outset, it's much better to have David West or Tyson Chandler putting in baskets than it is to have Peja knocking down 10 three-pointers.

For the Trail Blazers, it's been a balanced night. Roy has been the most aggressive and has 11 attempts to show for it, but Jack leads all Trail Blazers with 9 points.

Joel Przybilla has also been a force to be reckoned with. He has 8 points and 6 rebounds off the bench.

Maybe, Jack and Joel are better suited to provide a spark off the bench. Tonight, they've combined for 17 points, 8 rebounds and 11 free-throw attempts in the first half.

Tonight is also a special occasion for the Game-Time Blog as we have an extremely reputable fan as our guest on "15 Minutes of Fandom."

Dave Deckard runs the internationally reknown Blazers Blog called BlazersEdge, which you can check out at http://www.blazersedge.com/, and he has volunteered his time for the first interview of the regular season.

Honestly, I have a few things to admit before I get into our interview. With the Game-Time Blog being so new, we had very little idea what was "right" and what was "wrong" when it came to Blog etiquette. Dave has been instrumental in providing some direction and he's been super cooperative in terms of putting up with my epic posts over at BlazersEdge. You may not have noticed, but I like talking, and I like talking at length about the Trail Blazers, and really, there's no better time to talk then when you're stuck in a cubicle all day...

So, without further ado, I introduce to you... BlazersEdge Blogger Dave Deckard!

Me: When did you become a Blazers fan? A lot of people have one defining moment when they decide “This is my team.” Did you have this same sort of ‘magic moment’ and, if so, when was it?

Dave: For almost everyone in my generation (thirty-somethings) I think the defining moment has to be winning the World Championship. I was just a kid when I walked into the family room and my dad had a basketball game on TV. I asked what it was. He said, “Basketball. See that team in the white uniforms? That’s our team.”

“Our team?” I asked.

“Yes, the team for all the people around here.”

So I sat down, watched, and promptly fell in love. That was the year they won it all and what a feeling that was! The whole town was talking about it! Overnight basketball hoops went up in every backyard (including ours). Every kid I knew was out there learning to shoot and dribble. I wanted nothing as much as to grow up to be seven feet tall, have red hair, and be the starting center for the Portland Trailblazers. A few years later when I was out practicing my mom got a call from my teacher saying I was twenty-odd math assignments behind. She called across the street and made me come in and do my homework before I could play any more basketball. Those two lost days may have cost me a multi-million dollar contract. Thanks mom.

Of course the Blazers didn’t win the trophy every year, but those memories made it easier to get excited about a Ron Brewer jump shot, a Steve Colter pass, or a Wayne Cooper rebound in the intervening seasons. The fire lit anew with the trade for Buck Williams completing the last piece of the puzzle during the Drexler-Porter years. That brought in a new generation of fans. Then it happened again the summer we got Scottie Pippen and Steve Smith. Blazer fans are lucky right now because the Roy-Aldridge-Oden trio is going to define yet another generation. The deep-seeded passion for the Blazers in this town still stems originally from that ’77 team though. They started it, preparing the way for the teams and fans who have come since.

Me: So, it was the “Spirit of ‘76” that got you hooked forever, huh? Since this was basically your “introduction” to the Blazers, how has that shaped your perspective of the team? Do you look at the roster with more hope than say- someone who started watching in 2000?

Dave: It’s hard to compare between eras because the game has changed so much. Although I would say this year’s style of play appears to be as close to the ’77 style as we’ve been in a while.
I think the biggest contribution of the championship team is that it taught Portland fans to expect excellence. I’m not sure we knew what great basketball was before we saw that team play but it didn’t take long to figure it out. Even though players and schemes have evolved over the years we’ve never lost that taste for good ball. When Zach Randolph was still here the greatest applause wasn’t for his post moves. It came when he worked hard on the offensive glass and stuck with a play until he put it home. You see standing ovations for guys going to the floor and strong appreciation for guys making smart passes and moving feet on defense. If anything Portland fans tend to disparage guys who can score but don’t work on the other aspects of their game.

The biggest thing I see from this year’s team is that they appear to want to play hard and unselfishly. It’s unlikely that they’ll win big this season but their effort and heart will give fans reason to cheer.

Me: Also, fans who describe the 1976 season almost always mention an “aura” that these Trail Blazers had. They were Portland’s team. Do you feel that this sentiment has changed? Has this same fan-team dynamic changed around the league?

Dave: Again this is difficult, as I’m comparing a child’s perspective back in the day to my adult perspective now. However from what I remember the championship Blazers were everything in this town. You didn’t even have to ask--they were a common bond to all of us. It’s harder to duplicate that now because the world has changed so much. For one thing you have so many entertainment options in sports and otherwise. Thanks to satellite TV it’s perfectly possible to live in Portland and be a passionate fan of the New York Jets instead of the Blazers. You also have every movie and piece of music ever published at your fingertips every second of the day. You’re much less likely to have those things in common with your neighbor than back in the day when everybody listened to 62 KGW on the radio and could only see the Blazers on TV. In fact you’re not nearly as likely to know or talk to your neighbors now, since you can be connected to anyone you wish at any distance 24 hours a day. If anything we’re trying to filter people out of our lives more than bring them in (flip channel, hang up on telemarketer, screen calls with answering machine). I doubt any team will have that same aura and bonding effect that the 70’s Blazers did. However I think Portland will get as close as you can still come.

Me: Finally, Portland notoriously overachieved in 1976 by playing one of the youngest lineups in the league. Now, fast forward to 2007 and we’re playing with 10 guys (by my last count) who have yet to celebrate their 25th birthday. Are there any other similarities that you notice? Any glaring differences?

Dave: Let me differ a bit. That team didn’t overachieve. They were just that good. You don’t go 40-8 the year after you win a championship, destroying everybody in your path and marching to a repeat, if you’re playing above your heads. One year, maybe. But after that the target is on you. If it weren’t for Walton’s foot I guarantee you would have seen at least two banners in the rafters, maybe more. It’s fashionable nowadays to downplay the achievement but believe me, they were everything they were cracked up to be.

It’s far too soon to tell how many comparisons there are between this year’s squad and the old one. I tend to think few. Superficially they both have strong forward-center tandems (Lucas and Walton, Aldridge and Oden) plus a great, multi-purpose scoring guard (Hollins and Roy). I suppose you could also draw parallels between Twardzik and Davis at point versus Blake and Sergio if you really wanted to stretch it. But in reality the players and the game today are so far different as to make true comparison impossible. Oden isn’t Walton, he’s Oden. Aldridge and Lucas are completely different. Nate McMillan’s sets look different than Jack Ramsay’s. The championship Blazers ran far more than this team will. And of course the shorts are six times as long now.

I think you can take some general lessons from the old team though. Great talent playing hard and unselfishly beats just plain great talent. When you’re young you need a couple years to put yourself together before you can win consistently. (Many forget that Walton and Hollins came before the championship season and Walton was injured his first year.) Once you have most of your pieces together you can make the final leap by adding the right player. Maurice Lucas taught us that in ’76-’77, Buck Williams in ’89-’90, Pippen and Smith in ’99-’00. I wonder if we’ll see it again in 2009-10?

Me: First and foremost, I have to admit that I’m incredibly jealous. For me, it’s been heartbreak after heartbreak, with 1992 being the first year I passionately followed the Blazers, and then with the ensuing seasons (first round exits, Western Conference finals in 2000, Sean Elliot, Robert Horry, Shaq and Kobe, etc, etc, etc…), it’s almost gotten to the point where I’ve become so generally bitter towards larger markets that I yell “East Coast bias” when there’s a questionable foul call. I just need one championship. I wouldn’t mind 10, but just one championship during my lifetime would appease my largely Sports-Driven Depression…

Dave: There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like a championship. No award or honor or record comes close. If you haven’t experienced one it’s hard to understand. It transforms everything. In sports terms it’s the best and highest validation there is. I was very young when we won it all and I have never forgotten that feeling. Somewhere inside me I am still that little kid, smiling from ear to ear at that moment. It never leaves you. Other moments are beautiful too and worthwhile. It can be great to follow a team that only wins 35 but makes progress towards playing well. But the championship is the finish line of the marathon that makes all those previous steps worthwhile and gives them their fullest meaning. I am fairly realistic in my outlook on the team. Having learned lessons from the 1990-92 and 1998-2000 seasons I understand how difficult it is to win it all. I am confident that this team is going to challenge and my gut tells me they’re going to win one. Then you won’t have to be jealous anymore and someday you, too, can say, “Let me tell you about the time when…”

Me: I think the general consensus of Portland basketball fans everywhere is that this team (or this core rather) will someday compete for an NBA championship. Getting over the top, however, seems to have just as much to do with luck as it does anything else…

Dave: I think teams make 95% of their own luck. You have to be very talented, very consistent, and very committed to make a serious run at a championship. Teams that win it all generally don’t have off and on nights. Rather they play very good basketball on their off nights and are unbeatable when they’re on. That takes a lot of work and professionalism on top of your natural talent. After that you and everybody else are subject to the whims of fate. But if you never get good and consistent enough fate doesn’t matter. You lose.

Me: Assuming we are a perennial contender in 3 years, which seems to be a fairly realistic timeline, how many familiar faces- that is faces from the current roster- do you see on the team?

Dave: Three years might be a little short to seriously contend, especially with the Oden injury. I believe we’ll make a run at the playoffs next year but there’s a large gap between making the playoffs and emerging from them victorious. Give Oden two seasons to get acclimated, keep everybody else healthy and happy in the meantime, then we’ll have a shot.

The point is well-taken that the roster may look different by the time we actually approach the pinnacle. The most fluid position right now is point guard. It looks like we have four good ones with different strengths but in reality we don’t know if any of them will pan out. Another way of saying “different strengths” is “none of them is yet the complete player we need”. Fortunately they are all young and have time to develop. It’s a sure bet we won’t see all four of them here three years from now. It could be anything from three (unlikely) to zero (also unlikely). You also have a mash-up between Martell Webster, Travis Outlaw, and Channing Frye. Nobody’s entirely sure what position each plays yet and that will go a long way towards determining who there’s room for. I don’t think anybody knows how that will shake out. If Martell and Travis play different positions you could keep them both. If they’re both primarily small forwards it might be an either-or choice. Channing Frye has talent but the question is whether his skill set, desire for playing time, and salary expectations will fit with this team in the future. At this point only Roy, Oden, and Aldridge look like locks to remain. We could see as few as 3-4 guys from the remainder of the roster sticking around or it could be most everyone. Those questions will be answered by how the guys play in the next two seasons.

Me: As much as I would like to talk about all the undefeated seasons and NBA championships that are in the Blazers future, I’m also interested to know more about BlazersEdge. Is it true that the idea was passed on to you by a wise Ninja rat whom you met in the illustrious sewers of Idaho? Was there any ooze involved? And in a slightly more serious side-note, how do you see your blog (or blogs in general for that matter) fitting in with the mega media moguls and 4 letter networks? Is “the Blog” a digitalized version of a Sports Bar Chat or is it a legitimate medium for news, music, entertainment and sports?

Dave: Actually I won Blazersedge in a card tournament. The guy I won it from now administrates a gas mine on the Cloud City of Bespin.

Blogs contain elements of both the sports bar/water cooler chat and legitimate news. I don’t think the world needs more straight-out reporters. Beat writers and national journalists already do their jobs very well. Not much is gained by sticking eight microphones in a player’s face instead of seven, all to get the same locker-room quote.

However journalists, though unquestionably the best source of information, have their limitations. National sources cover the entire league and don’t have time or will to dig in-depth consistently. They’re good at conveying the big picture and how a team stacks up against the rest of the league (and of course the latest hot trade rumor) but they’re not adequate in and of themselves. Beat writers dig more in-depth but even they have constraints. They are supposed to be primarily observers, not interpreters. They can tell you what they see but must refrain from guessing at what it means. Also they have space limitations while publishing. You can’t get a three-page analysis of what the latest innuendo from the general manager might really mean. Nor do you get the benefit of back-and-forth discussion to hone your thoughts and opinions. The communication is one way.

This is where blogs step in. They’re usually team-dedicated, deeply involved, and free to explore those between-the-lines areas that journalists leave out (but that are often critical). They are led by a small group of people but they harness the brainpower, experience, and interpretive skill of thousands. Amazing insights and great conversation evolve from that process. It’s not meaningful every single day but it’s fun more often than not.

Also, truth be told, we don’t need more information. Between Mike Barrett, Jason Quick, Kerry Eggers, Brian Hendrickson, OregonLive, local and national TV networks, and coverage from ESPN, TrueHoop, AOL, HoopsHype, RealGM, and other newspapers there’s not a single piece of good information that doesn’t come out in the wash. There’s really no more to be had. We’re kind of on information overload. What we need is a place that lets us access all that information, helps us synthesize and make sense of it, and lets us reflect on its implications. This is where blogs fit in. In today’s world with so much information pouring over such a diverse and scattered fan base they’re essential.


As always, tune in to home games and catch the next edition to "15 Minutes of Fandom" and if you'd like to participate email us at chelgeso@gmail.com!


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Hats off to Hat Night!
posted: at 8:30 PM

For those of you that don't know, tonight was Trail Blazers Hat Night, with the first 15,000 fans getting a free Trail Blazers cap.

The hat might become the must-have fashion accessory for the Trail Blazer faithful and, by my last count, 12,341 hats currently rest on the heads of some disappointed Trail Blazers fans.

The Rose Garden is a lot quieter now that the Hornets have swarmed to a 46 - 40 lead with 1:33 left in the second quarter. Really, the biggest factor has been the inability of the Trail Blazers to get an uncontested shot.

Brandon Roy has had three lay-up attempts partially blocked and forward Channing Frye has been knocked around on his attempts...


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Nate is IRATE!
posted: at 8:23 PM

Boy, there sure was a long delay before the stripes finally blew the whistle on Chris Paul. From where I'm sitting, it looked like Paul used some sort of leg whip on Jarrett Jack and then dove in for either the pin or the ball...

Either way, Coach McMillan was irate that it took so long for a foul to be called. Prior to the timeout, Coach McMillan was about 15 feet onto the floor pleading his case.

The same play resulted in another technical foul call, this time on point guard Chris Paul. Jarrett Jack, however, was unable to connect on the free-throw.

With 5:27 left in the 2nd, it's the Trail Blazers by 7, 38 - 31.


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Time for some McD's!
posted: at 8:16 PM

It's the Tricycle Timeout Challenge with the winner scoring a year's worth of free McDonalds.

Section 304 is eating dinner on the house tonight thanks to 5 year old Gavin, who ran away with the victory.

I'm not really sure how much of a "prize" winning a year's worth of free McDonalds is, but then again, it has to be healthier than my steady diet of hot dogs mixed with macaroni and cheese.

Oh and mom, if you're reading this, I'm just joking. I eat lots of broccoli and cauliflower and peas and....


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Back to work...
posted: at 8:08 PM

Sorry, I was incredibly distracted by that video of Sergio Rodriguez pumping up the crowd...

It's the end of the first quarter and the good guys are up 26 - 23.

Basically, Coach McMillan is daring the Hornets to beat the Trail Blazers from down low. They've went to an incredibly small lineup, which has forced the Hornets to utilize David West and Tyson Chandler more than their dangerous duo of Chris Paul and Peja Stojakovic.

For those scoring at home, center Joel Przybilla has 8 points and 5 rebounds. Who is this guy and what has he done with the center that we knew and loved? Actually, I'm beginning to fall for this "new" guy...

With 9:17 left, it's 30 - 27 Trail Blazers!


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Small ball!
posted: at 8:02 PM

With the exception of Joel Przybilla, the Trail Blazers have gone with a microscopic lineup against these up-tempo Hornets.

Sergio is running the point with Jack, Webster, Outlaw and the man they call the Thrilla down low.

David West's size has been a problem but the Trail Blazers have ran their way into the lead, 23 - 21.

How does Sergio feel about that? Just ask him...


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Coaching styles...
posted: at 7:54 PM

One thing that you might not pick up by watching the game on TV or listening to the radio is the stand up coaching styles of both Byron Scott and Nate McMillan.

Both coaches are on their feet, either calling plays or directing traffic, and you probably won't see them sit down for much of the game.

Meanwhile, Martell Webster has been en fuego as the first quarter winds down. Webster has 6 points and has sparked the offense while Aldridge has been out with foul trouble.

Joel Przybilla has also helped fill Aldridge's gigantic Nike's. Przy has locked up Tyson Chandler and even antagonized the young center into a technical foul here in the first quarter.

Hornets still lead but not by much! It's 19 - 17 with 2:15 left to play...


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Keys to the game..
posted: at 7:44 PM

Obviously, containing Chris Paul is the biggest task for the Trail Blazers tonight. Paul is like the "Little Engine that Could" in the Hornets offense and if they can contain him, it'll show up on the scoreboard.

As for the rest of the Hornets, there isn't really a dominant scorer out there. Peja Stojakovic is capable of lighting up the scoreboard, but he has an incredibly difficult time finding his own shot. As for Tyson Chandler, well, if he's the Hornets leading scorer than the Trail Blazers finished tonight with a win.

One player who might give this smaller Portland lineup problems is power forward David West. West is a big body who has a nice touch around the basket.

West already has 8 points with 5:47 left in the first quarter.

Worst news for the Trail Blazers is that LaMarcus Aldridge has already picked up foul #3. Tyson Chandler has done his best Vlade Divac impression early on, and the refs have given him the benefit of the doubt.


1 Comments:
Blogger Jennie said...

Those videos were tyyyyyte! They should write a new song for this year's teams. Haha, I hope the Blazers can bust a bucket on New Orleans!

7:58 PM  

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Rise with us...
posted: at 7:31 PM

No surprises from the Hornets as they roll out the usual suspects- Chris Paul, Peja Stojakovic, and Tyson Chandler have to be at the forefront of Coach Nate McMillan's mind tonight.

President Larry Miller introduced the 2007 Trail Blazers at home for the first time this season, but before he got to the starting lineup, he called out the absolutely awesome R&B group "The O'Jays" to help him with his task of "giving the people what they want."

"The O'Jays" then called out Greg Oden, who (WITHOUT THE AID OF CRUTCHES) walked to halfcourt and listed off his teammates for the 2007 season.

The roar of the Rose Garden was deafening as Oden waltzed onto the floor, and it only got louder as he introduced LaMarcus Aldridge, Channing Frye, Steve Blake, Martell Webster, and BRRRRRRRRANDON Roy!

What a start to the season, and we haven't even thrown the tip yet!


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T-Minus 10 minutes and counting...
posted: at 7:08 PM

Both teams are warming up on the floor and the anticipation within tonight's sell-out crowd is growing by the second.

Rasual Butler drew some "Oohs" and "Ahhs" from the crowd as he threw down a 360 degree, one-handed monster mash but you can expect that to be the last time that any Hornets players draw cheers out of this Rose Garden crowd.

One thing that really stands out in warm-ups is the improved jump shot of center Joel Przybilla. Last year, when Joel lined up for a jumper, everyone in the Rose Garden held their breath, but this year- his jumper has arc, his wrist has some snap, and more often than not, that shot finds its way through the hoop.

2 minutes to tip-off! Cue my theme music!


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While we wait...
posted: at 6:42 PM

Can't wait for tip-off? Need something to keep your mind occupied? Or are you just one of the millions of Americans who spend their life trapped and bored in a cubicle?

Well, then, this Blog is for you!

Here's a throwback from when a gallon of milk cost less than a dollar, back when the Mariners played in the Kingdome and when America believed in a crazy little thing called love...

If that's not enough, there's this "Miracle Minute" video. It kind of plays out like a "Where are they now?" feature with appearances by Bonzi Wells, Rasheed Wallace, Scottie Pippen, Ruben Patterson, Steve Kerr and even Dale Davis.



And then, just because he's the greatest player that I've ever shook hands with, I'll give you this gem before I give way to the "Itty Bitty Kitties" who are performing for the first time in front of a live audience.




You'd think that they'd plan a smaller venue for their first performance, but these 4 to 7 year olds are truly brave little kitties and, man, they know how to bust-a-move!


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Blogger shhhplz said...

Great energetic posting to warm us up before the game! Go Blazers!

7:14 PM  

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Point guard battle...
posted: at 6:30 PM

It is apparent, even with one hour left before tip-off, that the Trail Blazers point guards are going to come out firing tonight.

Jarrett Jack, Steve Blake and Sergio Rodriguez have been firing up three-pointers, isolating on the base line, and attacking the paint. By my unofficial count, Jarrett Jack is shooting around 80% from both corners.

Sergio Rodriguez looks even faster when he's blowing by Assistant Coach Monty Williams.

One of the biggest keys to tonight's game is the Trail Blazers ability to contain CP3 aka Chris Paul. If Jack, Blake, Sergio and Taureen Green can play strong enough man defense, the Hornets won't be able to free up their lethal outside shooters. Although he is deadly when given space, Hornets sharp-shooter Peja Stojakovic is not known for creating his own shot.


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One hour to tip-off...
posted: at 6:03 PM

Call up Air Traffic Control because NBA basketball is about ready to takeoff in Portland.

For the first time in what seems like ages, the Trail Blazers are back in the friendly confines of the Rose Garden and after a rough start, there's really no place like home.

Jarrett Jack, Steve Blake and Sergio Rodriguez started their pre-game shootaround almost an hour early in order to prepare for the tough task of handling former Rookie of the Year Chris Paul. Although its early in the 2007 season, Chris Paul has the city of New Orleans buzzing with playoff talk as he and forward Peja Stojakovic have returned from an injury-plagued 2006 season to spark the Hornets to an undefeated start to their season.

Just one night ago, Paul led all players with 21 assists and Stojakovic hit 10 three-pointers to lead the Hornets over the Lakers.

The Trail Blazers, however, are starting to piece together the puzzle. After facing a nightmare schedule which featured 3 road games against playoff caliber teams, Portland returns home to face a familiar Hornets team.

Just two games ago, the teams squared off in New Orleans and, unfortunately, New Orleans won that game 113 - 93.

But tonight is a new day and there are plenty of changes that could make the difference in tonight's game. All reports indicate that both Channing Frye and Steve Blake will join LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy and Martell Webster on the starting lineup with the hope that the extra offense will get the Trail Blazers off to a fast start.

With Frye and Aldridge down low, Hornets center Tyson Chandler won't be able to play his notoriously tough help defense without giving up an open jumper to a dangerous shooter. The change also adds toughness, in the form of Jarrett Jack and Joel Przybilla, to the second unit.

Last year, the Rose Garden was a real thorn in the sides of these New Orleans Hornets and here's to hoping that they have just as much trouble this year!


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