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NO WAY!
posted: Friday, November 23, 2007 at 9:30 PM

ROY JUST TOOK A CHARGE! BLAZERS BALL!

Do not pass go! Do not collect $200! And do not try and out-play Brandon Roy during crunch time!

Now, the Trail Blazers can seal it with free-throws... BUT JACK IS LOCKED UP BY RON ARTEST!

It's a jump ball... And the Trail Blazers come away with it! It was tipped, tossed, and turned over before Travis Outlaw finally emerged with the loose ball. He'll shoot two free-throws with just .4 seconds to play, and dare I say it, for a chance to put this game in the refrigerator.

Outlaw connects! The only ones that count are the one's during crunch time!

.4 seconds and a three-point lead! One more stop!

AND THERE IT IS! PORTLAND WINS! PORTLAND WINS! PORTLAND WINS!

Aldridge finished with a game-high 28 points and 12 rebounds, and Steve Blake turned in what has to be the most clutch performance of his NBA career.

Blake hit 2 three's during the fourth quarter and picked Brad Miller for a huge turnover.

Roy finished with 13 points and 8 assists, none of which were bigger than the lay-up which gave the Trail Blazers a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter.

Who else? Travis Outlaw altered numerous shots and hit two big free-throws down the stretch, but his biggest play probably won't even end up on the stat sheet. After Ron Artest tipped the late jump ball, Outlaw emerged with the loose ball and locked up the Trail Blazer W.

For the Kings, Kevin Martin had a steady night, finishing with 21 but Portland held him to 4 points less than his season average.

It's a big win and the Trail Blazers 5th victory in a row when I run the "Game-Time" Blog. Some call it "luck," I call it destiny...

Man, oh man. What a night! Until next time, good luck and good night!


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83 - 84...
posted: at 9:24 PM

Oh and you hate to see that...

Brad Miller just flopped like an empty wallet and drew a sympathy call out of the baseline referee. Aldridge now has 28 points, 12 rebounds and 4 fouls.

There's 25.2 seconds left and the Trail Blazers are down 1, 83 - 84.

My money's on Brandon Roy, but Steve Blake and LaMarcus Aldridge have to be solid second and third options....

IT'S ROY! IT'S ROY! IT'S ROY! IT'S ROY!

Roy sliced through the Kings defense like a warm knife through butter and the Trail Blazers lead by 1! 85 - 84!


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LOOK OUT!
posted: at 9:19 PM

Now, it's Jarrett Jack swiping Brad Miller.

Miller must seriously be regretting eating that buttery popcorn right before the game as he's just coughed up two key turnovers here in the fourth quarter.

Not to be out-done, Miller than completed the trifecta with a stupid back court foul on Jarrett Jack.

If the referees don't step in soon, Aldridge and Miller might be exchanging more than just words...

With 1:15 left in regulation, the Kings have turned it into a 84-83 ball game with Portland now trailing by one basket.


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DEE-FENSE! DEE-FENSE
posted: at 9:16 PM

STEVE BLAKE- WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?

Somebody woke up the beast inside Steve Blake and he's really turned it on for the Trail Blazers. After hitting 2 three-pointers, Blake picked Brad Miller like the last kid left in dodgeball.

Blake now has 13 points to go with his 4 assists and the Trail Blazers lead by 4 with 2:35 left in regulation.


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BLAKE FOR 3!!!
posted: at 9:11 PM

Somebody call the doctor!

It's 74 - 74 and emotions are running high as the game draws to a close.

Coach McMillan is about 10 feet onto the court and the Rose Garden is so loud I think I might have nightmares about thunderstix!

Then, it's STEVE BLAKE AGAIN! Another 3! We don't need no stinking free-throws, we'll just step back into three-point land!

79 - 74 GOOD GUYS!


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Aldridge to the line...
posted: at 9:06 PM

At this point, the Kings might just employ a "Hack-A-Blazer" strategy for the next 6 minutes.

After Aldridge went 1 of 2 from the line, Portland has now connected on just 10 of 21 free-throws for a 47.6% percentage and you get the feeling that if it comes down to free-throws in crunch time, the Trail Blazers might not be feeling as confident as they should be.

Just 5:47 left and the Trail Blazers are within striking distance. It's 71 - 74 Kings.


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Sergio to Webster...
posted: at 8:57 PM

Sergio picked the pocket of Francisco Garcia and nearly turned it into a Martell Webster slam dunk.

Webster was fouled on the play, however, and immediately sent to the line.

Over on the sidelines, Coach Nate McMillan is off the bench and ready to climb into the shorts of the next Trail Blazer that throws an errant pass. Nate is also begging Brandon Roy to get a little more aggressive on the offensive end. There's only one Trail Blazer in double figures right now, but Roy is knocking on the door with 9 points.

Roy also has 7 assists.

One player that you never need to encourage to be aggressive is point guard Sergio Rodriguez. Sergio has turned in a nice night playing along side Brandon Roy. He has 3 points and 4 assists.

Trail Blazers find themselves down 4, 70 - 74, with 7:01 left in regulation.


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Third quarter round-up...
posted: at 8:48 PM

Heading into the fourth quarter, it's really time for the Trail Blazers to get it going. They've out-worked the Kings, they've out-hustled the Kings, and they've out-played the Kings for 36 minutes...

Now, it's time to out-score the Kings.

Joel Przybilla has picked up his 5th foul on a questionable blocking call, so it'll be interesting to see how long he plays in the fourth quarter. Portland needs his presence around the basket, but Coach McMillan can't afford to see his big man foul out.

Aldridge has been nothing short of amazing tonight, turning in an 11 of 14 performance for 25 points and 10 rebounds with 12 minutes left in the game...

But you get the feeling that the Trail Blazers need Brandon Roy to step up and carry this one home. Roy has been frustrated by Ron Artest, but he's also gotten his looks near the basket. He's 4 of 12 for 9 points, so far.

Francisco Garcia now leads the Kings with 16 points and Kevin Martin also has 14. Ron Artest has done just about everything short of selling tickets for the Kings.

He has 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.


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Frye me to the moon!
posted: at 8:39 PM

Channing Frye just put a strong move on Francisco Garcia to put the Trail Blazers up by 5 and the Trail Blazers could get a nice boost if Frye gets going offensively.

Frye has a tough job whenever LaMarcus Aldridge is on the floor because Aldridge receives a majority of the looks within the Trail Blazers offense. Because of this, it's tough for Frye to get in rhythm, but when he does, he's one of the more dangerous mid-range shooters in the NBA.

As I type this, Portland has slipped up a bit as Ron Artest has forced a couple turnovers and Kevin Martin has continued his hot shooting. Right now, it's 61 - 62 Kings with 1:19 left in the third quarter.


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Oh my Aldridge!
posted: at 8:35 PM

Start filling out All-Star ballots!

Vote early, vote often, VOTE ALDRIDGE!

LaMarcus just finished a missed Brandon Roy lay-up with a put-back dunk that has given the Trail Blazers a 4-point lead with 6:54 left in the third quarter.

Aldridge now has 23 points to go with 9 rebounds in 25 minutes of play.


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Second half is under way...
posted: at 8:25 PM

Mikki Moore got the second half started with a missed jumper from 15 feet and the Trail Blazers turned it into an Aldridge 'And 1.'

LaMarcus missed the free-throw, but he gave the Trail Blazers a 1 point lead, 44 - 43.

Coach McMillan has to be pleased with a couple of things from the first half...

First of all, the Trail Blazers have done an excellent job of breaking the full court press every time Reggie Theus implements it. This defense really hurt the Trail Blazers during their recent road trip, but tonight, it's turned into a couple easy baskets for Portland.

Just a second ago, Portland beat the Kings down the floor and Aldridge turned the possession into a one-handed thunder dunk.

Secondly, Portland has done a nice job on the defensive glass. With 8:49 left in the second half, the Trail Blazers have out-rebounded the Kings 24 - 22 and they had yet to give up an offensive rebound.

Unfortunately, Portland has not capitalized from the free-throw line. They're shooting an even 50% (7 - 14) but this is well below their season average.


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SWAT Team!
posted: at 8:07 PM

Travis Outlaw has just denied the Kings twice on back-to-back weak-side rejections.

Portland has 5 blocks on the night and, so far, has matched the Kings in the paint 18 - 18.

LaMarcus Aldridge still leads all scorers with 17 points and he's been the most consistent offensive threat for the Trail Blazers. Roy has been relatively quiet, shooting 3 of 8 from the field for just 7 first-half points.

Kevin Martin's 11 points have given the Kings a one-point halftime lead at 42 - 43, but the biggest surprise of the night has been Francisco Garcia. Garcia has frustrated the Trail Blazers by getting to the free-throw line and he's turned in a solid 10 points in the first half.

Tonight's halftime entertainment is a drum group named "The Groove Machine" and, to be honest, they make drumming look way cooler than Nick Cannon did in "Drum Line." One of the drummers, however, is outfitted in a Kings jersey and he's really hearing it from this home crowd.

Blaze, the Trail Cat, stepped in and absolutely leveled the unsuspecting drummer with a textbook tackle. Even Mike Belotti would've been impressed...

Although Portland currently trails, my guess is that Nate McMillan will send out a fired up squad in the second half. The Trail Blazers shot 58.3% from the free-throw line (7 of 12) and went 1 of 9 from three-point land in the first half, but the 'Law of Averages' tells us that it's about time for those shots to start falling.


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Kings in foul trouble...
posted: at 7:55 PM

The Trail Blazers will shoot free-throws from here on out as the Kings have entered the penalty with 3:21 left in the second quarter.

Ron Artest just picked up his 3rd foul, and Spencer Hawes and Mikki Moore both have 2 fouls down low. If Aldridge can entice Brad Miller into his 2nd foul, it might be a long night for the Kings front line.

They might have to turn the game over to former Trail Blazer Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Shareef is inactive for tonight's contest due to swelling in his right knee, but with all this foul trouble, he might just get in the game...

Portland still trails 40 - 38.


1 Comments:
Blogger darb said...

what about Outlaws blocks! HUGE!

8:18 PM  

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Interesting lineup...
posted: at 7:48 PM

You'll notice that Coach McMillan has gone with a somewhat rare lineup tonight as point guard Sergio Rodriguez is getting some time with former Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy.

Normally, with the logic being that both players need the ball to be effective, Sergio finds himself subbing in for Roy as the head playmaker on the floor.

Tonight, however, Sergio has seen about 5 minutes with Roy and the result has been a ton of open looks for nearly every Trail Blazer on the floor.

Portland still trails but it's only 1 point... 35 - 36...


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Around the Rose Garden...
posted: at 7:40 PM

One slightly weird thing about tonight's game is that the "Rock the Rose Garden" thunderstix are out and clapping early in tonight's game.

Standard procedure is that the thunderstix are handed out at the half- that way no Kings fans get a hold of them and distract the home team during crunch time.

Tonight, however, the thunderstix are out early.

For now, there's not much to clap about as the Kings have pushed it back to a 6-point game, 34 - 28.


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Speaking of stuffing...
posted: at 7:30 PM

That's an extra side for Joel Przybilla as he just stuffed forward/center Mikki Moore on a lay-up attempt.

Not enough can be said about Joel's improvement this season. Last year, more often than not, the Trail Blazers found themselves playing 4 on 5 when "The Thrilla" was in the game on offense, but this year, Joel has been extremely aggressive on both ends of the floor and he's really sewed up that front line.

Coach Nate McMillan looks a lot more calm when he's got Joel in there anchoring the back of the Trail Blazers defense.

At the end of the first quarter, the Trail Blazers have cut it to a one-point game at 24 - 25. Kevin Martin has 11 points to lead the Kings but LaMarcus Aldridge leads all scorers with 13 points.

Aldridge also has 4 rebounds.

The biggest differential so far has been free-throw shooting. The Kings have shot 5 of 6 from the charity stripe, while the Trail Blazers have only mustered 2 foul shots for 1 point.


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Lucky number 7!
posted: at 7:19 PM

That's 7 straight points for LaMarcus Aldridge and he's on pace for a 56-point performance as we near the halfway mark of the first quarter.

56 points would almost certainly guarantee a win for the Trail Blazers and it would also really help out my Fantasy Basketball team. Currently, because of injuries, I'm basically running with a lineup of all Trail Blazers.

I guess that just makes it easier to root for them!

Joel "The Thrilla" Przybilla just threw down a mean two-handed dunk. He didn't mess around with the mashed potatoes, the gravy, or the turkey- he just went straight to the stuffing for two points.

A Trail Blazers rally has cut the Kings lead to 2 at 18 - 20 and Portland has really started to heat up from the field. They're shooting 8 of 15 for 53% with 2:44 left in the first quarter.


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Aldridge plus one!
posted: at 7:09 PM

The Trail Blazers look a little stagnant early on, but Brandon Roy got things going with a textbook pick-and-roll that created a lay-up opportunity for LaMarcus Aldridge.

LaMarcus connected on both the field goal and the free-throw for the first Trail Blazer points of the night.

From the looks of it, Coach McMillan is really unhappy with the soft play early on and the Trail Blazers are really hearing it from this home crowd. Especially against the undersized Mikki Moore, both Channing Frye and LaMarcus Aldridge need to stay aggressive and go hard to the rim.

The Kings have rushed to an early lead, 11 - 3, and the Trail Blazers have just used their first timeout of the night.


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Thoughts from the warm-up...
posted: at 6:58 PM

Josh McRoberts and Martell Webster are having a friendly slam dunk competition for all the fans that made it to the Rose Garden for the pre-game shoot-a-round...

Honestly, although McRoberts' dunk was extremely tough, Webster got him with an underhand toss, one bounce windmill slamma-jamma.

Tip-off is just around the corner! Let's get to work....


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Announced starters...
posted: at 6:39 PM

As the "white" team from the Harvey Scott basketball league knocks down a last second bucket for the 4 - 2 victory over the "blue" team, it seems like a good time to go over both teams expected starters.

The Kings will run out Ben Udrih, Mikki Moore, Brad Miller, Kevin Martin and Ron Artest to start, with John Salmons, Francisco Garcia and Quincy Douby rounding out the rotation.

One thing you can expect, though, is that this lineup will run. Mikki Moore excelled with Jason Kidd throwing him fastbreak passes last year in New Jersey and Ron Artest is an excellent finisher on the break.

The Trail Blazers will begin with their new starting lineup of Steve Blake, Brandon Roy, Martell Webster, LaMarcus Aldridge and Channing Frye.

LaMarcus Aldridge should be a focal point of the offense early on. Brad Miller is flat-out too slow to contain the sophomore power forward and, although he works hard, Mikki Moore is not nearly strong enough to slow Aldridge down.

It's also important to point out that rookie center Spencer Hawes is a member of the growing list of athletes who have recovered from microfracture surgery. Hawes had the procedure done when he was 14 years old and it hasn't slowed him down a bit...


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New sponsors!
posted: at 6:28 PM

Speaking of great advertisements, you’ll notice that all of the post-game recaps written for Trail Blazers.com are now sponsored by Bud Light. I, for one, was super excited about this, because there’s nothing quite like cracking an ice-cold Budweiser and blogging a basketball game…

But then I realized that this wasn’t as cool as I initially thought.

First of all, were not allowed to drink on the job, even if we’re sponsored by Budweiser. This is probably for the best, however, because I can’t imagine what we’d talk about if I had a few drinks in me. Well, actually, I can imagine but none of it is basketball related and I’d probably end up getting dumped before the final buzzer.

That, however, is neither here nor there.

The worst part is that Budweiser doesn’t give the writers (namely – ME) any discounts on their product. This is unfortunate for obvious reasons, but I’m working on coming up with a valid argument that changes this. Maybe if my loyal readership banded together and went on strike until they finally broke down?

I’ll keep you posted on how it all turns out.


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Puttin' my streak on the line...
posted: at 6:23 PM

By the way, not to jinx the team or anything, but the Trail Blazers are currently on a four-game winning streak when I write the “Game-Time” blog and 4 – 0 on the year if you include preseason.

Now, if I was responsible for writing the Blog all the time and got to travel with the team on the road, we’d probably be 12 – 0 heading into tonight’s game.

Blame my bosses, I guess…

Anyway, here are tonight’s warm up videos… We’ve already seen the immortal “Bust-A-Bucket” video, but I doubt you've seen this in a while…



To be honest, I don’t even remember if they finished the “Greatest Auto Dealer Commercial of All-Time…” Let’s do some investigating…



I guess this was an update, but it’s still not the real deal… Hmmm…



Thomason, my friend, you are a genius. Did this ever air? Why doesn’t this have like 10 bazillion plays?

Let’s run through the checklist of awesomeness…
1.) Blazer Dancers – check
2.) Explosions – check
3.) Skate Boards – check and check
4.) Singing in falsetto – check
5.) Nerd doing front flips – check, check, check!

This may have just tied "Dawn of the Dead" as the greatest thing to ever happen to mainstream television!


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Not in our House!
posted: at 6:19 PM

Statistically, the Kings and the Trail Blazers are almost identical.

While the Kings score a little bit more at 100.0 points per game, they also give up 106.0 points (27th in the league) and neither team is known for their rebounding prowess. The Trail Blazers grab 38.5 rebounds per game (29th in the league) which slightly edges the Kings’ 38.1 rebounds (30th in the league).

Both teams feature a young stud at shooting guard. Kings guard Kevin Martin is currently fourth in the NBA with his 25.6 points per game while Brandon Roy has led the Trail Blazers with his 19.4 points per game.

Beyond Martin, Kings small forward Ron Artest has returned to his old self after having somewhat of a letdown season last year. Artest has averaged 23.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in the four games he’s played this season.

The biggest surprise for Reggie Theus and the Kings has been the play of point guard Beno Udrih. With Mike Bibby out with a torn ligament in his thumb, Beno Udrih has been thrust into the starting lineup and essentially been given the keys to a well-tuned Kings offense. Udrih has responded with a team-high 4.0 assists per game and added a steady 13.0 points for good measure.

More than anything, the Trail Blazers need to stuff the Kings running game and force them to operate out of the half-court offense. Udrih is not the same type of one-on-one creator that Mike Bibby is and the Kings offense tends to stall when they are forced to slow it down.

If Artest decides to defend Brandon Roy, as expected, point guard Steve Blake and small forward Martell Webster will need to carry more of the offensive load. When healthy, Artest is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league.

Grab some leftovers, smother them with gravy, and pull up a chair because this game has “Big One” written all over it!


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45 Minutes and Counting!!!
posted: at 6:14 PM

Whether it was the Tryptophan in the turkey, the 5AM shopping spree on “Black Friday” or the fact that I haven’t been able to sleep in 3 days, I’m not really sure, but the simple fact of the matter is that I’m exhausted.

Like most people, I spent yesterday at my grandparents house working my way down to the bottom of 10 pounds of mashed potatoes and gravy. Brett Favre handled the Detroit Lions, the Cowboys knocked off the Jets, and right about the time I was waking up from my food-induced coma, John David Booty led the USC Trojans past the Arizona State Sun Devils.

It was quite a night.

That is, until my grandpa dropped the annual “What’s wrong with the Trail Blazers?” question.

Being as it is, I should have at least some kind of a prepared response for the question, and in previous years, I’ve been all over it. First, we had Rasheed Wallace’s instability on the floor. Then, problems at the point guard with Sebastian Telfair. But what’s up now?

We’ve got a steady veteran point guard, two young stars in the making, and a whole slew of complimentary players that have flashed greatness. They’ve beaten some of the best teams in the league and, to be honest, Portland remains everyone’s chic pick for the “Next” dynasty.

And then it hit me…

Teams are starting to prepare for us. Teams are afraid of us.

The growing sentiment that “You better beat them now, because in a few years, you won’t be beating them” has quickly become a reality.

Brandon Roy is seeing 2 and 3 defenders. Teams are attacking and trying to force LaMarcus Aldridge into foul trouble. Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster and Jarrett Jack have been extremely streaky but have learned that part of playing good NBA basketball is affecting the game even without scoring.

And there’s that former #1 pick that seems to be missing from the Trail Blazers front line.

But the promise and the direction of the team is positive. As Richard Nixon once said, “You must never be satisfied with losing. You must get angry, terribly angry, about losing. But the mark of the good loser is that he takes his anger out on himself and not his victorious opponents or on his teammates.”

Don’t expect the Trail Blazers to make excuses, because you won’t hear any. Just get ready to grow with a great team and be thankful that you’re not a Kings fan!


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Both with Identical Records
posted: at 4:34 PM

Both the Kings and Trail Blazers come in to this game at 4-7. The Trail Blazers are looking at snapping a 5 game losing streak, and the Kings dropped 2 in-a-row to Phoenix.

Blogged with Flock


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