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And that's how you beat the Heat...
posted: Thursday, December 06, 2007 at 10:25 PM

No need for an air conditioner... Just get 25 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds out of Brandon Roy, and a double-double (14 points, 10 boards) from LaMarcus Aldridge and you've got the cure to all that ails you!

Steve Blake added 12 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds in what was one of his best games as a Trail Blazer...

James Jones is quickly playing himself into the starting lineup, or at least into contention. Jones scored 14 points on 5 of 7 shooting and also turned in 3 rebounds for good measure. Jones has been on fire for the past two games and here's hoping his hot streak continues!

Another red-hot Trail Blazer is Travis Outlaw who, one game after nailing the buzzer-beater, turned in 20 points and also grabbed 7 rebounds off the bench.

Dwyane Wade finished as the leading scorer for the Heat with 21 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Until next time... Enjoy Gold Fish Crackers and Jelly Beans!


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Aldridge says "No No"
posted: at 10:17 PM

Dwyane Wade has had an extremely quiet 17 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists, but LaMarcus Aldridge just made sure that Wade didn't pick up his 19th point.

Aldridge rose up and rejected the MVP candidate like he was an admissions officer at an Ivy League school...

It's 106 - 97 and we're just shooting free-throws from here on out. Talk about a game with it's ups and downs. First, the Trail Blazers jump all over Shaq and the Heat for a 14 point halftime lead. We were even talking about whether or not Penny Hardaway was going to see time...

But then, the Heat turned up the temperature. Ricky "Get Buckets aka Roaches" Davis and Daequan Cook combined for 35 points, and Dwyane Wade scored 6 fourth quarter points to make it really, really interesting with about 2 minutes to go.

Now, however, after some big baskets by Aldridge (who has a 14 point, 10 rebound double-double), Steve Blake, and Travis Outlaw, we're looking at a 10-point lead... 7 point lead after that Daequan Cook three-pointer...

There's just never a dull moment here at the Rose Garden, but we'll take them as they come!

It's 110 - 102 with 16.6 left...


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Full timeout...
posted: at 10:11 PM

It's 97 - 90 Trail Blazers lead with just 2:22 left in the 4th quarter...

Brandon Roy just twisted, toppled and turned in a beautiful lay-up to give the Trail Blazers an extremely clutch 2 points, but Travis Outlaw has once again been a beast down the stretch. Outlaw now has 16 points and 7 rebounds.

Brandon Roy has 20 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists....

TRRRRRAVIS OUTLAW JUST THREW ONE DOWN FROM THE RAFTERS! HOLY COW! Like he was a 747 coming in for a landing, Outlaw skied up and then came down right on top of Daequan Cook for two points and an extra free-throw. You're going to need special effects if you're going to try and top that slam for's "Dunk of the Night!"


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posted: at 10:08 PM

With a lean-in jumper! For two!

He's got 16!

The Trail Blazers lead is now 5, 95 - 90!


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posted: at 10:04 PM

Steve Blake for three!

LaMarcus for a long two!

It's too loud to think!

TRAIL BLAZERS LEAD 93 - 87 with 4:52 left in regulation!


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The magic number...
posted: at 9:55 PM

Right now, as Pat Riley and Nate McMillan duel it out on the sidelines, the Rose Garden has to be thinking about the "magic number."

Tonight, that magic number is 100 points. Not only does that mean free Chalupas all around, but 100 points most likely puts the Heat away.

As of right now, Dwyane Wade and Daequan Cook have taken over the offensive hole left by Shaquille O'Neal (who is on the bench with 5 fouls) and sparked a Miami run. The Trail Blazers, however, still lead by 1 point, 88 - 87.

At halftime, it looked like the Trail Blazers were going to run away with this one, but no one said it would be easy!

There's just 5:59 left in regulation...


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Pay atttention...
posted: at 9:45 PM

If you're watching this game at home, pay attention to Ricky Davis who is guarding LaMarcus Aldridge.

Every time down the floor, Davis sticks a shoulder into Aldridge and then he'll hang onto his jersey for about 3 steps as he enters and exits the key.

Earlier, I forgot to mention that Aldridge and Davis have quite a history even though LaMarcus has only been in the league for just over one full season. Last year, Ricky Davis called the Trail Blazers "roaches" referring at least in part to the fact that they never die or go away. In the following game, Davis fouled Aldridge hard during crunch time and the two players exchanged words.

After hitting the two free-throws and sealing the game, Aldridge (and this is all on YouTube by the way) explained in gentlemanly fashion his thoughts and feelings about Davis' style of play.

It's not exactly fundamental defense, but Davis is doing a pretty good job containing Aldridge. Hopefully, L.A. can shed Davis' "roach-like" defense and turn on the jets in this 4th quarter!


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End of the third...
posted: at 9:41 PM

Roy leads all Trail Blazers with 18 points... Travis Outlaw has 10 points on 5 of 11 shooting... James Jones is still stuck on 14 points (including 4 of 5 from the perimeter) but LaMarcus Aldridge has nearly capped off his double-double.

Aldridge has 8 points and 8 rebounds.

For the Heat, it's been all Ricky Davis and Daequan Cook who are tied with a team-high 12 points. Dwyane Wade has 11 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

It all comes down to this! 12 minutes... 4 point lead... 23 points until Chalupas!

Blogger Jennie said...

Charles Barkley was right to keep Dwayne Wade out of his top 5... Wade ruins all the fun.

9:52 PM  

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See-sawing through the 3rd
posted: at 9:32 PM

The Heat have come out of the timeout on fire, hitting three straight contested jump shots, but this Rose Garden crowd is refusing to let Miami back in the game.

The stripes are letting Ricky Davis get away with murder on the much bigger LaMarcus Aldridge down low, but Aldridge did draw a charging foul against Dwyane Wade on the defensive end.

Wade's foul on Brandon Roy on the other end of the floor gave him 3 for the night, and now both Shaq and Dwyane Wade are in a bit of foul trouble.

Roy now has 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Time is ticking down here in the third! It's Trail Blazers lead 75 - 71!


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Wonder Roy!
posted: at 9:25 PM

With the lay-up over Shaq plus the free-throw!

With 7:04 left in the third quarter, Shaq now has 3 fouls and will head to the bench. He has 8 points and 10 rebounds on the night.

It's ROY-TIME here at the Rose Garden as Brandon has just taken over this third quarter... After his highlight reel lay-up over Shaq, Roy just went around the back and through both Ricky Davis and Dwyane Wade for a reverse lay-in.

Wonder Roy now has 12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

As the Heat take a timeout, let's welcome the "Trail Breakers" a little known Blazer-inspired break dance squad that really mystifies the Rose Garden audience.

No word yet on whether or not Shaq will respond to this brutal 'serving'...


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Third quarter is rolling...
posted: at 9:16 PM

At the Rose Garden! The Thunderstix have been handed out, the hot dogs have been smothered in ketchup, and the cotton candy guy is back on his grind, which can only mean one thing: GAME ON!

Tonight's question of the night is "If you had to sing one song karaoke, what song would it be?"

For Jarrett Jack, it was "Beat It" by Michael Jackson. James Jones also selected Michael Jackson but he went with "Thriller." Josh McRoberts said "Nothing. I would sit down..." (perhaps he has bad memories from all that rookie hazing!).

But the loudest ovation of the night went to Channing Frye who selected Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" as his karaoke song of choice.

Hopefully, we'll get some YouTube of Channing doing his best Def Leppard impersonation later on in the season...


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That's Mr. Jones!
posted: at 8:51 PM

Another 3 for James Jones!

He's 5 of 6 from the field for 14 points on the night and that brings his running two game total to 11 for 13! One game after going 4 for 4 from three-point land, Jones has started off shooting 4 of 5 from deep, meaning (if my math's correct) he's 8 of 9 from deep in the past two games.

Heading into halftime, Jones leads all Trail Blazers with 14 points and he also has 2 rebounds in 11 minutes of play.

Shooting guard Brandon Roy has 7 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists... LaMarcus Aldridge is almost half way to a double-double with 6 points and 4 rebounds... Travis Outlaw has 8 points and 3 rebounds...

For the Heat, well, there's not really much to say. The Trail Blazers have out-scored their opponent 5 to 2 from the perimeter (on 50% shooting versus 33% for the Heat), they've gotten 38 points from their bench compared to just 17 for the Heat, and the Trail Blazers have 15 assists against just 10.

Surprisingly, Portland has also out-rebounded the Miami Heat (24 - 20) and scored more points in the paint (20 - 16).

Dwyane Wade is Miami's leading scorer with 7 points at halftime, and he's followed by both Jason Williams and Ricky Davis, who have 6 each.

In 15 minutes of play, Shaquille O'Neal has 4 points and 5 rebounds, but he's just 2 of 7 from the foul line. Credit the defensive scheme and the individual efforts of Raef LaFrentz, Channing Frye and especially Joel Przybilla, who has returned from his early bloody nose to anchor the Trail Blazers last line of defense.

Three things to look for in the second half-

1.) Trail Blazer intensity! With a 14 point lead, the Trail Blazers need to slam the door early and stop Dwyane Wade and company from creeping back into this game. Brandon Roy should look to score off the dribble, Jarrett Jack needs to maintain his aggressiveness and James Jones - well - he just needs to keep shooting.

2.) LaMarcus Aldridge. Nothing really in particular- he just needs to keep up his activity down on the low block. When the Heat switch on the pick-and-roll, Aldridge should take advantage of his speed and torch whomever is left in his wake.

3.) Get out the binoculars because we might get some rare sightings tonight (hopefully!). If the Trail Blazers can come out hot in the third quarter, rookie Josh McRoberts might get to show off that McDonalds All-American slam dunk championship winning 360 windmill throw-down that he frequently drops during warm-ups... The night, however, will not be complete until we get a Penny Hardaway sighting. I was always a fan of "Lil' Penny" and "Blue Chips" is one of the greatest sports movies of all-time!


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posted: at 8:43 PM

Joel Przybilla just caught a serious case of the rejections as he turned away an Alonzo Mourning jumper and, after another James Jones jumper (for 3!), Travis Outlaw got in on the block party...

Outlaw's rejection turned into a LaMarcus Aldridge "don't-come-a-knockin'-when-the-house-is-a-rockin" thunder dunk!

That's 3 blocks for the Trail Blazers and they're also winning the rebounding battle, 21 to 17, despite the presence of Shaq, Udonis Haslem and Alonzo Mourning.

It's 53 - 38 with 2:49 left!


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Get Jack'd!
posted: at 8:36 PM

The Trail Blazers are going to love their Shot Selection Chart after tonight's game as just about everyone on the roster has either a dunk or a lay-up.

Aldridge has a dunk... LaFrentz has two tip-ins... Frye has a two handed throw down... And Jarrett Jack just put the exclamation point on a Trail Blazers run by burning Ricky Davis for a two-point lay-up.

With the score as it is, Trail Blazers lead 43 - 36 with 5:56 left in the half, there's no reason the Trail Blazers should stop attacking the basket!

The Rose Garden is turning up the volume as the Trail Blazers are turning down the Heat!

Blogger Jennie said...

They think they have Shaq so they can't be beat,
But watch as the Blazers put out the Heat.
Someone tell Shaq to take a seat,
put up his feet and opt not to compete.
Instead, he should admit defeat and retreat,
'Cause Miami can only win if they cheat.
So Miami's future looks pretty bleak -
All Aldridge has to do is drive, dunk, and repeat.
Portland will win any day of the week,
And in any weather; rain, wind, or sleet.
Though not full of conceit, the Blazers are elite,
And without them in Portland, Rose City would be incomplete.

9:01 PM  

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James JONES!
posted: at 8:30 PM


James Jones!


James Jones!

Allow him to introduce himself! His name is Jones!

The big mystery, as it was this off-season, has turned into a dynamite draft day steal by GM Kevin Pritchard. Jones has provided a steady hand on the defensive end, guiding the team defense at times and shutting down his opponent man-on-man, while also providing a nice offensive spark. In Memphis, Jones shot 4 of 4 from three-point land and tonight, he's already got 5 points in 6 minutes of play.


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The "calmer" Nate...
posted: at 8:18 PM

Is not exactly as calm as say someone like Ghandi, but he's substantially more calm than the Nate of yesteryear...

Even though he's still pacing the sidelines with his arms folded like a drill sergeant, he's more likely to argue a bad call (or question, I should say, there's no such thing as a bad call in the NBA) than to yank one of his young players out of the game.

One of the players who has benefited the most from the "calmer" Nate McMillan is point guard Sergio Rodriguez. Sergio has pushed the tempo tonight in his 2 minutes of play and he just found Channing Frye for an easy dunk to end the first quarter.

Sergio has 2 assists in 2 minutes.

In some ways, Coach McMillan is growing with this young squad and the result is only good things for the Trail Blazers organization.

Heading into the second quarter, Roy is tied with Dwyane Wade at 7 points a-piece and Channing Frye has 6 points off the bench.

Travis Outlaw also has 6 points, but his last basket got the Trail Blazers going in the second quarter.

It's all Trail Blazers! They lead 34 - 29!


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Technical difficulties...
posted: at 8:08 PM

Sorry about that... We're having a little bit of technical difficulties here at the Rose Garden, but let me get everyone caught up quick, fast and in a hurry.

At the start of the game I was shocked to hear a large number of Shaq supporters in the Rose Garden. Had this been three years ago, Shaq would've been booed at, cursed at, and basically miserable for 48 minutes. Unfortunately, things have changed...

But then, they changed back. Shaq sent Joel Przybilla to the bench on a brutal offensive charge that left Przy with a bloody nose and a sour demeanor.

From that moment on, Shaq became Public Enemy #1... again.

In Przybilla's absence, Coach Nate McMillan went deep into his bench, grabbing former "Shaq Stopper" Raef LaFrentz. In some ways, the match-up between Raef and Shaq has me feeling like it's 1999.

Despite the fact that Joel went down with his bloody nose, the Trail Blazers have ran away from the Heat, utilizing a smothering zone defense to protect the paint and, on the offensive side, they've pushed the ball for quick and efficient baskets. Roy has 7 points on 2 lay-ups and a jumper, Aldridge has 4 on two mid-range jumpers, and the surprise of the night has been Mr. LaFrentz himself.

Raef has 2 rebounds and 4 points in just 5 minutes of play.

Early on, however, the Trail Blazers already have 8 fouls (most of which on Shaq, although D-Wade also has a pair of free-throws) which is cause for concern if you're Nate McMillan. Between LaFrentz, Frye (who is now on the floor), Przybilla and Aldridge, there's only 24 fouls to go around and we're nearly 1/3 of the way there...

With 1:54 left in the first, it's the TRAIL BLAZERS LEAD 24 - 18!


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Starting lineups...
posted: at 7:17 PM

For now, at least, the starting lineups are as follows...

F - #1 - Dorell Wright
F - #40 - Udonis Haslem
C - #32 - Shaquille O'Neal
G - #3 - Dwyane Wade
G - #55 - Jason Williams

But expect Pat Riley to use rookie shooting guard Daequan Cook (formerly of the University of Greg Oden) and Ricky Davis as his go-to players off the bench.

For the Trail Blazers, it's more of what's expected...

F - #8 - Martell Webster
F - #12 - LaMarcus Aldridge
C - #10 - Joel Przybilla
G - #7 - Brandon Roy
G - #2 - Steve Blake

It'll be interesting to see how LaMarcus' size and speed match-up with Udonis Haslem's brute force because if Haslem gets into foul trouble, Aldridge should be able to run up, over and around Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Mark Blount.

Brandon Roy should also have a solid game against the relatively slow moving Heat defense.

Expect Coach McMillan to use Travis Outlaw, James Jones, and Jarrett Jack as the main guys off the bench. Travis has been red-hot of late and James Jones started the game shooting 6 for 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies.

As if the Trail Blazers weren't loaded enough at the small forward position, forward Darius Miles was finally cleared to practice today after nearly 2 years of post-microfracture surgery rehab. Although he's limited to light drills for the time being, Portland expects to see D-Miles back in action in just 6 short weeks.


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By the way...
posted: at 6:43 PM

Martell Webster and Jarrett Jack are engaged in an all out battle for bragging rights in a no-holds barred version of HORSE.

From the looks of it, Jack won on a 3/4 court pull-up jumper that Martell missed twice. Although Jack's shot landed nothing but net, I think Nate McMillan would've had a coronary if he put the same shot up in a game.

Webster's third shot, from the same spot, landed clean but it was too little too late.

Speaking of famous games of Horse, that's a great transition into tonight's YouTube round-up!

Say what you want about MJ the player, but the game will never see another "brand" quite like Jordan. When this next commercial came out, my close friend asked me what would happen if Jordan actually played in a game against himself. To this day, I still remember my response.

"It would be the greatest game ever. It would stretch the imagination of what basketball could be. Even if it was played by 2's and 3's, the spread would never be more than one-point between the two players, and then, as time winded down, one of the Jordan's would hit the game-winner and the other would explode, creating a black hole-esque vacuum that thus ended existence."

The scary thing is, this young collegian has beat MJ before...

Now, let's welcome the "Sweet Sensations" for our pre-game entertainment!


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Ring the bell!
posted: at 6:41 PM

School is back in session...

There's really nothing quite like game night in Portland- the weather dries up, the traffic gets worse, and Lloyd Center buzzes with unofficial scouting reports about how to slow down Flash (aka Dwyane Wade), Shaquille O'Neal and the rest of the Miami Heat.

The Heat are hardly the same team that won an NBA championship two seasons ago. Sure, they have the big man in the middle (Portland fans know him as Public Enemy #1) but regardless of how many times he publicly denies it, the Big Aristotle has lost a step or two as evidenced by his relatively human 15.4 points and 1.88 blocks per game.

Even Dwyane Wade, the same D-Wade who almost single-handedly knocked the Dallas Mavericks out of the playoffs, has struggled this season. After battling knee and shoulder injuries this off-season, Wade has seen only limited minutes as he tries to work his way back into game shape. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Wade threw down his first dunk on December 4th, nearly a full month and a half into the season...

Regardless of his status, D-Wade has to be priority number one for the Portland Trail Blazers. Wade averaged 34 points and 4 assists in two games against the Trail Blazers last season and, hurt or not, he always seems to bring his A-game to the Rose Garden.

Elsewhere on the roster, Jason Williams leads the Heat with 5.4 assists per game but Portland fans should be excited to see the match-up between the "old" Jason Williams and the league's "new" Jason Williams - Mr. Sergio Rodriguez. Sergio has been warming up against Trail Blazer trainer Bill Bayno since 6 o'clock (over an hour and a half before tip-off) and it looks like the Sophomore point guard is really expecting to torch the Heat.

Udonis Haslem leads the Heat in rebounds with an outstanding 8.9 per game. Haslem is extremely similar to Trail Blazer center Joel Przybilla in that he might not light up the scoreboard, but he does the little things to help his team win.

Because of Haslem's play this season, backup forward/center Alonzo Mourning has only averaged 16.1 minutes per game.

One of the biggest reasons that the Heat have struggled this season is because of their limited up-tempo attack. Miami only scores 89.5 points per game and they're 27th in the NBA in assists with 18.8 per game.

It might be time for Coach Nate McMillan to release the hounds and bring back that up-tempo attack that had Portland so energized this off-season! If all goes according to plan- the Trail Blazers will run the Heat out of the building and I'll extend my record to 5 - 1 on the season...

Pop some popcorn, grab a blanket and pull up a chair, because tip-off is in just 57 minutes!


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