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9 STRAIGHT!
posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 9:14 PM

Cha-lu-pa! Cha-lu-pa! Cha-lu-pa! Cha-lu-pa!

James Jones makes it 101 - 96 on a pair of free-throws and you know what that means! Even the unpaid interns are getting dinner tonight!

Brandon Roy finished with 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists and this might have been the most complete game of the young shooting guard's career. He did everything short of sell popcorn for the Trail Blazers tonight and it's about time he started getting some All-Star love.

I know that I'll be voting at least 1,000 times tomorrow.

Martell Webster finished with 15 points as did LaMarcus Aldridge, who also grabbed 7 rebounds, and Steve Blake scored 14 in 24 minutes.

Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 18 points on 6 of 13 shooting and 11 rebounds, but he has to be kicking himself for coming to Portland on the same night that LaMarcus Aldridge returned from injury. Aldridge and Bosh battled all night to the point where they almost took each other out of the game.

Jose Calderon turned in a team-high 19 points on 9 of 16 shooting and he also dished 9 assists.

The win makes it 9 straight and the Trail Blazers have just tied the record for longest winning streak after drafting the number one pick. Prior to tonight, there have been only three teams in NBA history who have selected number one overall and then went on to have a 9 game winning streak in the following season.

Not that it needs mentioning, but with the Celtics loss, the Trail Blazers also have the longest running winning streak in the NBA!

WHEW! I NEED A VACATION!


1 Comments:
Blogger thedanman said...

Whew, that one had me on the edge of my seat the entire game! Amazing display of fortitude and maturity for this young team to hang in a shootout game that never seemed to slow down. Brandon Roy was nothing short of spectacular and Travis Outlaw came through when it was most crucial. I would say that Jarret Jack hit one of the most important shot of the game to pull us within 2 down the stretch. Everyone deserves credit on this one. 25 assists as a team says something about our unselfishness. great teamwork blazers!

10:32 PM  

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OUTLAW TIPS THE BOARD!
posted: at 9:12 PM

OUTLAW JUST TIPPED AN OFFENSIVE REBOUND!

It's all free-throws from here on out!

Everyone in the Rose Garden was waiting for the unsung hero... Would it be Outlaw? Steve Blake? LaMarcus Aldridge returning from plantar fasciitis to stick a dagger in the Raptors?

But tonight, it's the hustle board!

Outlaw and Roy just kept fighting for every rebound. One possession at a time.

Just takin' care of business...

With 11.7 left, it's 99 - 94 TRAIL BLAZERS LEAD!


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Tick, tick, tick!
posted: at 9:09 PM

With 1:42 left in the game, the TRAIL BLAZERS lead is now 3 points at 97 - 94.

Normally, I'd have something witty to say about the Rose Garden crowd or how good Brandon Roy is, but right now, it's too intense to type.

Roy just grabbed another rebound! He's 2 assists and 1 board away from a triple-double!


1 Comments:
Blogger Jennie said...

Oh lordy, this is too intense for me. I think the Blazers are just trying to give everyone in the stands a stress-related ulcer...

9:20 PM  

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RIP CITY!
posted: at 9:04 PM

With 3:34 left in regulation, it's 92 - 89 TRAIL BLAZERS LEAD!

Aldridge's jumper is short... BUT TRAVIS GRABS THE REBOUND!

IT'S 94 - 89!

The Raptors are playing what I'd call a "Everyone Guard Brandon Roy" Defense and it's just not working at all. Roy has 25 points, 8 assists, 8 rebounds and he just made 15,000 fans, including myself, fall in love.

Holy cow!


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MVP! MVP! MVP!
posted: at 8:59 PM

And there go the chants!

Roy just grabbed a defensive rebound and drew a loose-ball foul out of Kris Humphries to put the Raptors in the penalty!

It's 90 - 87 TRAIL BLAZERS LEAD!

ROY JUST DID IT AGAIN! THIS TIME IT WAS A "NO-BIG-DEAL-360-TURNAROUND-LEFT-HANDED LAY-IN!"

SWEET MOTHER McGEE! I'M RUNNING OUT OF ADJECTIVES TO DESCRIBE THIS MAN!

HE'S SNEAKY QUICK, HE'S STRONGER THAN AN OX, AND HE JUST MIGHT BE THE SINGLE GREATEST THING TO HAPPEN TO PORTLAND SINCE SALMON.


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Put away the coffee!
posted: at 8:55 PM

This Rose Garden crowd is alive and kicking!

It took 36 minutes, but like an undead Zombie, the Rose Garden crowd has awoken from their slumber and carried the Trail Blazers to an 87 - 87 tie!

With 5:53 left in regulation, I get the feeling we've been here before. The Trail Blazers are huddling around you know who as he puts on his superhero outfit and gets ready to slam the door on these pesky Raptors.

And here he his! ROY WONDER HAS ENTERED THE BUILDING!

BLAZERS LEAD! Roy's lay-up just made it 89 - 87!


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THE SURGE IS LOOSE!
posted: at 8:46 PM

Sergio Rodriguez has a quick basket and an assist, and the Trail Blazers have cut the Raptors lead to just 5 points!

Entering the fourth quarter, Brandon Roy has 20 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds to lead the Trail Blazers, but Martell Webster is hot on his heels with 15 points and Steve Blake has 14.

LaMarcus Aldridge leads all Trail Blazers with 7 rebounds.

For the Raptors, it's been Chris Bosh who has a quiet 16 points and Jose Calderon, who now has 15 points.

Travis Outlaw just missed a monster dunk that would've blown the roof off the Rose Garden, but the Trail Blazers turned up the intensity on the defensive end and ripped the ball away from the suddenly ice-cold Raptors.

Jarrett Jack's three-pointer just made it 87 - 85 with 6:28 left in regulation!


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National media...
posted: at 8:35 PM

I agree with the sentiment that the Trail Blazers may be feeling a little extra pressure to perform now that they've been getting fairly regular national attention, but it's also important to remember that the Trail Blazers are in the middle of playing a treacherous part of their schedule...

*Pardon the interruption- but Martell Webster just threw down a vicious no-look one handed jam that just shook the very foundation of the Rose Garden. Once again, however, the Raptors have answered with a three-pointer. Basically, every time the Rose Garden starts to make a little noise, the Raptors answer with either a three-pointer or a three-point play. Kris Humphries just continued the streak by drawing an "And 1" to finish out the third quarter....*

Anyway, since Dec. 3rd (the start of this 8 game winning streak), the Trail Blazers have played 9 games, including tonight. Basically, that means they're playing a game every other night and I think as much as anything, fatigue is starting to play a major factor.

Heading into the 4th quarter, it's time to quit messing around. The Raptors have built a 7 point lead, 83 - 76, on some clutch three-pointers and a shooting percentage of 54.7%. It's time to turn up the intensity and send the Raptors back to Canada with a big L.

Enough is enough!


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R.O.Y.
posted: at 8:24 PM

Roy - Webster - Roy - Webster!

It's back and forth and they're pumping up the volume here at the Rose Garden!

Webster has 3 three-pointers and Brandon Roy now has 18 points to go with 7 assists and 5 rebounds to lead the Trail Blazers here in the third quarter.

It's still 72 - 68 Raptors but the Trail Blazers and this Rose Garden crowd are warming up...

Better late than never!

The Rose Garden got especially loud when the P.A. announcer spotlighted Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury who is in attendance. Ellsbury was my pick for World Series MVP but apparently East Coast bias applies to baseball, too.

Ellsbury was beat out by Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell.

Brandon Roy just cut the Raptors lead to 2 points with a twisting and turning, zippity-doo-dah lay-up. On the play, Roy went up with his left hand, switched to the right to get around one defender and then switched BACK TO THE LEFT for the finish right in the face of Raptors forward Chris Bosh.

Whoa.

Right now, it's 76 - 70 Raptors lead with 2:44 left in the third quarter.


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Blake!
posted: at 8:17 PM

Breaks the ice with a beautiful dribble drive to give the point guard 12 points on the night.

The Trail Blazers, however, have had a rough time finding a handle on the ball to start this second half...

Martell Webster found a grip and let it rip from three-point land to cut the Toronto lead to just 4 points!

It's 56 - .... CHECK THAT! MARTELL AGAIN! 59 - 60 Raptors!


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Halftime here at the Garden...
posted: at 8:02 PM

First, the bad news...

Heading into halftime, it's Toronto 56 - Trail Blazers 51.

The Raptors have shot 54.5% from the field (compared to 50% for the Trail Blazers), grabbed 19 rebounds against 18 for Portland, and shot 3 of 6 from range which is substantially more efficient than the 6 for 13 that the Trail Blazers have shot from the perimeter.

But Coach McMillan should be pleased with the ball movement he's seen over the first 24 minutes. The Trail Blazers have 18 assists, compared to just 13 for the Raptors, and for the most part, they've effectively attacked the basket.

In the second half, however, the Trail Blazers need to dial up the intensity. Brandon Roy has carried his team for 24 minutes, with 16 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds, but he can't defend 5 positions, which has been the bigger concern for the Trail Blazers.

Contesting shots and forcing the Raptors to drive into our interior defense should help knock a few points off their 54.5% shooting percentage and, more importantly, the Trail Blazers need to attack the basket.

Travis Outlaw is having another tough night from the floor, he's 1 for 7 for 2 points, but he's also settling for contested 16 foot jumpers. If he gets to the basket, he'll not only open things up for his teammates, but he'll also get to the free-throw line.

There's 24 minutes left in regulation and the Trail Blazers have some catching up to do but stick around... The third quarter is next!


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ROY FOR PRESIDENT!
posted: at 7:53 PM

You'll see the signs all over the Rose Garden...

"Roy for President!"

And as long as he's a democrat, I think he's got the rest of Oregon's vote.

Roy has just hit back-to-back three's giving him 16 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds on the night and he's almost single-handedly kept the Trail Blazers in this game.

Right now, we're all wondering what the definition is of "traveling." Andrea Bargnani just took two giant steps down the lane, then stopped, in order to pass the ball to Chris Bosh, who then took two giant steps, spun, and took off on his third plant foot.

Does he need luggage? A tent?

It sure looks tough to play defense against a rumbling 6'11" forward who is currently channeling more Jamal Lewis than he is Kevin McHale...


1 Comments:
Blogger Ed said...

With all the national media attention the Blazers may be feeling a little pressure to live up to what is being said about them. They just need to chill and have fun and their shots will come.

Land Broker

8:13 PM  

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LaMarcus!
posted: at 7:48 PM

Welcome back!

Aldridge's put back just cut the Raptors lead to 6 points and we're finally starting to see some life out of the Trail Blazers defense and this home crowd.

Section 319 is finally on their feet, leading the "Let's Go Blazers" chant, and Brandon Roy has just hit a three-pointer to give the young shooting guard 11 points on the night.

It's 45 - 42 Raptors, but the Trail Blazers are making a run with 4:13 left in the half...


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

There's a nice crowd on hand tonight, especially for a Wednesday night, but I've got to say that this crowd is a little bit more docile than the one we had on Monday.

Maybe, everyone's on auto-pilot after all that holiday shopping and planning, but regardless, the Trail Blazers could use a boost from their home crowd.

Sergio Rodriguez's fast break was broken up by a slippery floor, "Surge" slipped underneath the hoop, and that's been the best indicator of how things are going for the Trail Blazers.

The Raptors have found some of that deft perimeter shooting that we talked about earlier and built a quiet 6 point lead with just under 7 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.

Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge have checked in for the Trail Blazers...


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Pace becoming a factor...
posted: at 7:30 PM

This morning, if you would've told me the Trail Blazers were going to score 30+ points in the first quarter, I would've done a triple lutz over my cubicle...

But here we are, heading into the second quarter, and it's 31 - 30 TRAIL BLAZERS LEAD!

Not exactly a showcase of stellar defenses.

Toronto is using a 2 - 3 zone similar to the one that Coach McMillan uses with a fair amount of regularity, but after Brandon Roy's three-pointer, we might not see that again for a while...

Steve Blake leads all scorers with 10 points, but Brandon has 8, LaMarcus has 5 and Channing Frye has 2 points to go with 2 rebounds.

For the Raptors, it's been Rasho Nesterovic who has 8, Jose Calderon who has 6, and both Jamario Moon and Chris Bosh who have 4 a piece...


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Steve Blake for 3!!!!
posted: at 7:24 PM

Steve Blake already has 10 points to lead all Trail Blazers, including a recent three-pointer which cut the Toronto lead to 1 point!

Martell then followed up Blake's three with a three of his own! We're all tied at 22...

And now Roy has a chance to give the Trail Blazers the lead!!!

As Brandon sinks his free-throw to make it 25 - 24 Trail Blazers, I wanted to discuss something that's been on the tip of everyone's tongue...

With the Trail Blazers recent success and his individual performance during that streak, when can we officially start calling Brandon Roy a "Superstar?"

In order to be a "SUPERSTAR," you must do "SUPERSTAR" things, like...

1.) Leading your team in multiple categories (typically points and assists for guards, points and rebounds for forwards/centers)...

2.) Playing hurt. A defining characteristic for any SUPERSTAR is that they're team would rather have them at 50 - 75% than a backup at 100%...

3.) Carrying a team through the playoffs. In Roy's case, it might be carrying this team too the playoffs but a "SUPERSTAR" should be able to get his team deep into the playoff mix.

4.) Elevating your teammates to levels beyond that of their talent. Why do we know BJ Armstrong's name? Bill Cartwright? Luc Longley? Because Michael Jordan made them good enough for us to pay attention...

5.) Signing a shoe deal or, better yet, having a brand named after you.

6.) Hosting the ESPYs or at least giving out one of the more prestigious awards.

7.) Winning a Gold Medal with Team USA (the real team, not the practice squad)...

8.) Hoisting an MVP trophy (Season MVP, Finals MVP, MVP of the Olympic Tournament).

9.) Dating an A-List celebrity or a SUPERMODEL.

10.) Leading a squad that features Bill Murray against a band of cartoon aliens who want to steal the talent from the NBA.

11.) Hosting Saturday Night Live- although with the current status of the show, maybe we should switch this to starring as Jack Bauer's sidekick for a full 24 hours...

12.) Starring in a primetime commercial or series of commercials.

13.) Having future players heralded as the "Next" you in a positive fashion...

14.) Being invited to provide color commentary during the playoffs after your team has been eliminated (although, if you're truly a SUPERSTAR, you won't let your team get eliminated)...

And finally...

15.) You have to be in William Wesley's T-Mobile "Fave 5".

That pretty much sums it up!


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THE THRILLA!
posted: at 7:18 PM

Cue the Michael Jackson!

LaMarcus just found Joel Przybilla on a beautiful pass out of a double-team for a two-handed "Vanilla Gorilla" dunk.

Portland needs to find a way to start contesting Toronto's mid-range game. Jamario Moon, Rasho Nesterovic and Jose Calderon have all put up uncontested jumpers from 12 feet and in, and the result has been 20 quick points.

With 5:25 left in the first quarter, it's Toronto 20, the Trail Blazers 16.


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Tip-off is next!
posted: at 7:09 PM

Before we get under way here at the Rose Garden, I wanted to issue a fair warning to all the loyal readers of the "Game-Time" Blog...

This past Monday, I was blogging my heart out as usual, but afterwards, I got some feedback that the Blog would be more interesting if I didn't always talk about basketball.

Now, since this is a "Game-Time" Blog, I'm not really sure what else I'm supposed to talk about, but if you have any ideas- let me know! Just keep in mind, I don't watch "The Hills" or "Beverly Hills 90210" and I promised my girlfriend I wouldn't mention how much I dislike the Golden State Warriors...

In the game, however, the Raptors are really stretching out the Trail Blazers defense by using a feathery mid-range game to spread the floor. Steve Blake has 4 quick points and LaMarcus Aldridge also has 4 to lead all Trail Blazers.

For now, it's Raptors 12 - Trail Blazers 9...


1 Comments:
Blogger Jennie said...

Don't even pretend like the Warriors aren't your second favorite team! Roy's a pretty decent player, but GS has the reining MIP...

8:37 PM  

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Starting lineups...
posted: at 6:59 PM

From the look of it, the Raptors will run out...

G - Jose Calderon
G - Anthony Parker
C - Rasho Nesterovic
F - Chris Bosh
F - Jamario Moon

With Barnani, Carlos Delfino and Kris Humphries seeing most of the action off the bench. Look out, however, for a Juan Dixon siting as the ex-Trail Blazers currently busts his buckets for the Toronto Raptors.

For the Trail Blazers, it's good to see some familiar faces...

G - Steve Blake
G - Brandon Roy
C - Joel Przybilla
F - Martell Webster
F - LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE!!!

Expect Travis Outlaw, James Jones and Jarrett Jack to see extended minutes off the bench, but tonight's "X-Factor" might be Sergio Rodriguez. Not only does Sergio square off with his Spanish National Team competition, Jose Calderon, but the Raptors have been victimized by quick point guards in the past. Rasho Nesterovic, Andrea Bargnani, and even Chris Bosh struggle to defend the hoop with any tenacity, so if Sergio can get into the paint, he might be able to rack up the easy baskets...

Earlier, I alluded to this game being a little bit more important than a "normal" regular season game, and now it's official, so I'll elaborate. The Boston Celtics just lost to the Detroit Pistons, making the Trail Blazers winning streak the longest active in the NBA.

Here's to making it 9 in a row!!!


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Trail Blazers in the House!
posted: at 6:29 PM

Goooooooood evening Trail Blazers fans!

Is today a great day to be a Trail Blazer fan or what? Not only are we riding on the momentum of an 8 game winning streak, but tonight, we get to see a showcase of two of the most talented young teams in the NBA.

And, although the players would never admit it, there's a little more riding on this one than a normal regular season game...

But first, the night's preview-

Toronto is arguably the Eastern Conference's version of the Trail Blazers. They have two stud sophomores in Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani, who handle a majority of the same responsibilities that LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy handle for the Trail Blazers, but they also have one of the most talented young post players in the NBA in Chris Bosh.

Bosh leads the team with 19.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game and he'll be Coach McMillan's priority number one on defense.

Normally, it would make sense to employ that lethal zone that has worked so effectively for the Trail Blazers over the course of the last 8 games, but tonight, the Trail Blazers might want to think twice. As a team, the Raptors shoot 42.6% from three-point range and they have last year's reigning three-point champ in Jason Kapono, who is a remarkable 53.4% on the year, to break any zones that the Trail Blazers think about using.

Individually, however, the Raptors aren't the best team at creating their own opportunities. A majority of their points come from their extensive offensive sets which play to the strengths of Spanish point guard Jose Calderon and forward Chris Bosh. If the Trail Blazers can stop Toronto's transition game, it will, without a doubt, show on the scoreboard.

For the Trail Blazers, all early indicator's point to the return of LaMarcus Aldridge, who has suffered recently from plantar fasciitis. Aldridge's return should give the Trail Blazers another offensive weapon to accompany the devastating attack of Brandon Roy and the rapidly developing offensive game of Travis Outlaw.

Aldridge's return, however, does create some interesting lineup possibilities for Coach Nate McMillan... Will Raef LaFrentz continue to see consistent action? Does Aldridge's return mean that Channing Frye will only see light action? And, now that Aldridge is back, will Portland be able to keep the Raptors off the boards?

Toronto gives up 42.4 rebounds per game, so they're should be ample opportunities for Aldridge to fill up the stat sheet.


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