PRS RADIO: THE RIP CITIZENS #37 – NO BIG MEN

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[NOTE: We recorded this before LaMarcus decided to not be injured, so please excuse all the injury talk]

This week we break down how the Blazers can move forward sans LaMarcus & Batum, break down the All-Star Starters, and pontificate on where Dame’s stardom can go from here.

Also, we wonder what’s more surprising – the recent success of Meyer’s Leonard or the struggles of Nic Batum.

All that, plus pitching products for the Blazers to sell, our earliest memories of watching the Blazers, and a few sips of tea.

TRAIL BLAZERS 103 WIZARDS 96: MOXIE

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(JAMES FILLMORE wrote tonight recap! Thank you James!)

There are known knowns, things we know that we know. Like the age of the Earth or the tide tables or the fact that LaMarcus Aldridge is a cool guy who tries very hard and plays very well.

There are known unknowns, things we know we don’t know. What effect would LaMarcus sitting out for a month or two (probably two, that’s probably what the doctors said, that’s probably why he’s playing) have on the Blazers’ playoff hopes? They’d certainly lose home-court advantage, although that’s not really a huge deal. Nor, really, is seeding. Teams hoping to advance in the playoffs by facing this team in this round instead of that team in that round don’t go anywhere. Could the Blazers miss the playoffs? Possible, not probable. They’d have to fall behind Phoenix and Oklahoma City, and Phoenix has a tough schedule remaining.

There are unknown unknowns, things we don’t know that we don’t know. This is a dumb concept and it doesn’t apply to you or me. Most of us expect the unexpected. Those who don’t are insecurely trying to prove how in control they are. Such people are sometimes harmless, sometimes dangerous, but always late for everything.

There are unknown knowns, things we know but don’t want to know that we know. Such as the fact that playing through injury in sports is almost always a terrible, terrible idea. Pretty much the only times you should play through injury are when there are a few games left in a championship series, or if you’re planning on retiring.

Aldridge’s attempt to play through injury is stirringly unselfish. It’s like in the movie “Spartacus” where the Romans ask which one of the defeated slaves is Spartacus and they each stand up and shout “I’m Spartacus!” Very stirring unselfishness. The Romans killed ‘em all anyways.

Oh, well. It’s a thumb, not a knee, right? They can reattach thumbs. I can scream annoyingly about how LaMarcus Aldridge at 75% or 80% or whatever%, hopped up on so many painkillers he finds old reruns of “CHiPs” thrilling, is notnotNOT going to help the Blazers win a title, it is a foolhardy decision, I can scream until my neighbors call the cops out of concern for my well-being, which would take about eight straight days of screaming and a small arsenal of gunfire. The decision is Aldridge’s to make. The Blazers employ him, they do not own him, and they can’t make him get surgery if he doesn’t want to have it.

(Coach Stotts could tell Aldridge he will not play until he is fully healed, but that is putting Logic before Dreamweaving Hope, and who wants that?)

 

So here’s yer recap, Dreamweaving Hope edition:

 

How was Aldridge? Well, one-handed, to be honest. He played with a lot of adrenaline or moxie or Drive/Energy* for the first quarter. After that he looked tentative when dribbling (can only trust one hand) and finishing around the rim (one hand.) This version of Aldridge helps the Blazers. Again, this version of Aldridge does not make the Blazers a contender to advance in the playoffs. Again, not my call.

Additional examples of smart/dumb things. Lillard’s outside shooting was pretty terrible. So he did a very smart thing and started looking to either drive inside or pass. With less than 20 seconds to go and the Blazers up three, Lillard ended up with an offensive rebound. He sat there, dribbling, waiting for a foul. John Wall, doing a very dumb thing, did not instantly foul Lillard. It took around ten seconds for Wall to foul Lillard, and the game was essentially over. Maybe Wall was so dazzled by Aldridge’s display of stirring unselfishness he forgot that clocks measure the passage of time and this is part of the NBA rulebook.

Allen Crabbe, missing lately, started the game and went missing thereafter. I don’t know if he’s hurt or doing something wrong that’s hard for a casual viewer to notice or if he farts constantly when he plays. He was replaced by Will Barton. I will grant you, Will Barton is a lot of fun to watch. He plays like barely-controlled mayhem. I would pay money to see a Godzilla movie made with Barton inside the rubber monster suit. At one point announcer Mike Barrett wondered out loud if Barton “stumbled over his own feet.” The answer to Barrett’s wondering is, yes, that is what Barton did. He also dives for balls and such. He’s fun. I don’t know if he should ever get serious minutes for a good NBA team, but he’s fun.

At another point Barrett stated, vis-a-vis what was happening on the game we were watching, “Robinson from 15.” You can guess how that went.

Kaman seems more lost every game, after such a nice start. Largely I suspect this is because Kaman started the season as the only player scoring off the bench and it took opponents a few weeks to realize “um, double Kaman in the post.” He doesn’t really have a sense of where to pass when he’s doubled, because he hasn’t played enough with the starters to have their system down and the bench has no system anyone can discern. I wonder if this happens everywhere Kaman plays. He still rebounds OK.

Myers hit two threes and was fouled taking another (hitting the free throws)! Yay Myers!

Matthews is also playing through injury, and it also shows. His best shot of the night, a crucial late three, was almost a set shot. (That’s a shot without jumping, for those of you unaware of archaic basketball terminology; congratulations, you have spent your life learning more useful historical things. I hope.) Matthews has a banged-up knee and banged-up ribs. Unlike torn goddamn thumb ligaments, these do not require surgery to heal; they will merely heal a lot more slowly with repeated irritation.

Do you want me to mention the Wizards? “Nene” fouled Myers on that three and fouled out of the game. Wall is good, prone to mistakes, I typed this yesterday. Bradley Beal looks a lot better than most NBA players who’d still be in college if they stayed in college; he’s also kind of a tweener, size wise, never a good thing to be. He should do alright. Former Blazer Martell Webster played. Former Blazer Andre Miller played, not bad for an aging guy, and got head-faked by another aging guy, Steve Blake. Movement fakes in sports are like magic, because making people guess wrong is how magic works. See? “Wizards.”

* — Energy beats Drive. The Iowa Energy of the NBADL beat the Grand Rapids Drive tonight, 111-95. I learned this from the super-lame NBATV sportsticker, which also told me that Kobe has an injury (oh fuck god fuck shit NO) and that the Knicks are 0-11 without Melo, a fascinatingly relevant statistic since the Knicks are then 8-26 with Melo. The NBATV halftime show featured one segment where a commentator’s lapel mike didn’t work. And Mike Fratello, looking these days like Chekhov after he retired from space travel and devoted his existence to vodka. All of this is still preferable to Mice Rice, who came out of one commercial break telling Mike Barrett that he saw Cirque du Soleil. And enjoyed Cirque du Soleil. Because nobody has ever shared that devastatingly razor-sharp insight with anyone else ever before. These are the co-workers that make you quit your job.

TRAIL BLAZERS VS. WIZARDS PREVIEW: WIZARDS OF THE COAST

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(This preview as, once again, written by James Fillmore, a frequent contributor to this website. And, once, again, I was befuddled by the operation of WordPress, so I could not post it underneath his name. No updates in that class at the library yet. I cannot say if these analogies make sense, I am not into fake “Magic,” only the real power of true majiks.)

The Wizards are in town tonight, “town” describing a large Oregon city, “in” describing in. They will try to extend Portland’s suffering via a game this evening. (“Portland” being the Blazers and their fans, not Portland in its entirety. There are hipsters in Portland, no doubt, who don’t care about the Blazers. Also perfectly normal Portland residents who don’t care about the Blazers. Normal people are outside my effective range.)

As you may be aware the Blazers are so injured they are suiting up an inflatable man-sized balloon with little remote-controlled fans inside which hoverblow the dirigible one way or the other. It doesn’t move fast and can’t shoot or rebound but it can fill space in a pinch. It wears jersey number 25 and frightens weak-willed children.

I’m not sure what to say about the Wizards. John Wall is good and has a strange surname. Many English-language surnames seem to have a logic behind them. “Smith” means somebody back in your line was a blacksmith. “Johnson” means somebody back in your line was a son of a John. I don’t know what “Wall” indicates. Was some ancestor of John Wall a shapeshifter who could disguise himself as a wall? This would be useful if local lords were running amuck killing and raping peasants one day; that day would be a good day to look like a wall. It might have been useful to the ancestor of John Wall who was kidnapped from Africa, except her/his name was probably not “Wall.” I’m guessing “Wall” used to be “Wallmasonson” and got shortened somewhere along the way to prevent confusion.

Are there other Wizards players besides John Wall? Sure, if you want to get all “everyone deserves mention before succumbing to the realm of death” about it. I don’t care about their basketball skills as right now the Sixers or Timberwolves would be flogged in public for losing to Portland. So, instead, let’s ask: what supernaturally-gifted figures do these “Wizards” resemble?

John Wall: Dumbledore. Sets up everything, learned much since his youth, amazingly powerful, still prone to mistakes.

Andre Miller: Merlin. Ancient, sagish, not above a dirty trick or two. Tried establishing a reign of righteousness and truth (King Arthur, the Blazers) but failed. Knows the future. (Andre Miller’s future is he will retire a very rich man.)

Paul Pierce: Gandalf. Has won great victories against evil in the past (the Lakers); evil is never vanquished forever, so he keeps returning from the dead.

Marcin Gortat: Miracle Max. White, funny accent, whines a lot, gets the job done.

Kris Humphries: God. Briefly enamored with Lucifer, had a bit of a falling-out.

Martell Webster: Rincewind (“Discworld” books by Terry Pratchett.). An incompetent boob who always manages to stumble his way into lucky outcomes; perhaps wiser than other wizards who try way too hard.

Nene Hilario: Wizard of Oz. Once tried to convince everyone he was a dominant force (the singly-monikered “Nene”), hype now revealed as so much smoke, but still pretty crafty.

Bradley Beal: Neo. Will he fulfill his talented potential or fail disappointingly? Aren’t you curious to know? You may never know (like audiences walking out of the last “Matrix” movie.)

Glen Rice: _____ Jedi (unnamed/unknown character in next “Star Wars” films). Supposedly magical spawn of overrated original, should not exist. (Waived recently, but I’m keeping the joke. I hate J.J. Abrams.)

Drew Gooden/Rasual Butler: Penn & Teller. One bigger, one shorter, been around forever, you kinda forget they’re still working.

DeJuan Blair: Nostradamus. TOTAL LIAR JUST MAKES SHIT UP

Otto Porter/Kevin Seraphin/Garrett Temple: Väinämöinen, the grand wizard of Kalevala. Probably significant, but who again?

Ted Leonsis: Bayaz, First of the Magi (“First Law” books by Joe Abercrombie.) Seemingly pleasant and full of pithy wisdom. In truth a conniving heartless motherfucker who uses people as playthings for his own vindictive ends.

It’s going to take some real “Houdini-esque” prestidigitation for the Blazers to “conjure” their way to a win here. Let’s hope they have some “tricks up their sleeves!”

CELTIC 90 TRAIL BLAZERS 89: OBLIVION

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The best thing I can say about that is that it was a basketball game, there was dribbling, passing, shooting, et cetera.

It was also close. If a game’s entertainment value is based on its leverage index, this was a great game. Both teams were FIGHTING and JOCKEYING for position! It was like an asthmatic horse race! This is not the case, of course. A game’s entertainment value is based on leverage, aesthetics, compel-ation. That is the quality of being compelling.

This was not a compelling match-up, because the Celtics are very bad, with many players who are psychedelic in their badness. I watched Kelly Olynyk square off against Meyers Leonard and I realized that they were the other’s doppelgonger, which is a doppelganger, but an opposite. The universe is in perfect balance and they both need to exist. When one dies, chaos reigns. They both have to go at the same time.

On the night when Aldridge’s protracted absence was announced, I was, for a second, oddly optimistic. Maybe this hole was an opportunity, I says to myself, the Blazers will take this blank canvas, these 20 empty possessions that would need to be filled, and they might find something interesting to do with them, and we will see NEW DIMENSIONS in the offense, new players who will be empowered to give their gifts, the motion offense, pushed to its limit.

This may still happen. Optimism is good. But it did not happen tonight. Tonight, without Aldridge the collective Blazers looked around, shrugged their shoulders, and said “Uhh I guess freelancing is going to have to do. The Celtics are bad, it will probably work” Shooting percentages bled. Lillard, 8-23, Wes 6-15, Batum 0-6. Team shot 37% from the field, also known as “The Bad Percentage, that is not high enough to win a lot of basketball games.”

There were injuries, there was rough play, there was a pace you could charitably call “Entirely too slow.” Batum, declared a one man war on determinism by following his best NBA game in nine months with a shitshow that ended with a wrist injury. At least there is a definition  to the problem now, a known malfeasance, instead of a vague idea of what might be wrong that leaves everyone confused and angry. Olynyk also got injured. Bass took a fucked up fall, he was going for a rebound above Kaman and he fell off him and his whole torso went SMACK on the hardwood. Kaman’s reaction to all this was a very cool turn around, walk away, I am a tough guy, watch this tough guy shit, here look, I have some chaw in my cheek, chew chew chew, gimmie the spitoon, Blake.

The Blazers probably should have gone to the rim more. What was Jared Sullinger going to do about it? The bench was not very good. No one was very good. Robinson was okay.

Meyers Leonard might be onto something with these three pointers.

At the end of the game, the Blazers were up 7 and then they stopped scored. There was one possession that crawled on me like a bug. The ball was sailing out of bounds, and Robinson dove and shuttled it to Lillard. Lillard took a shot, it missed. Kaman Rebounded, it missed, someone else rebounded, or Kaman rebounded again, my memory is incomplete, and it massed again. Everyone was underneath the rim trying to get a layup, so when Bradley caught the ball, he had an open shot at a transition bucket, but it ran off his leg and out of bounds. In this moment, I was consumed by an aggressive deja vu, like I had seen this play once in my dreams. This slow, horrible game has invaded my mind, convinced me that it was somehow natural and good, planted a seed deep in my subconscious, so that when this fucking bullshit happened…

…it was like rose thorns growing in every part of my brain, like a thousand knives.

God, what a terrible play. Sullinger, on the floor, all but defeated, swarmed, the game is over, but he squeaks a pass out to Evan Turner, of all people. Evan Turner is a creeping basketball nightmare, a dead man walking on professional basketball courts.

I hope that Evan Turner plays in the NBA until he is 35, but he never gets a contract that is longer than a year or plays for a team that is above .500. Teams that are bad, like the Celtics, should say to themselves, “We are bad, we are so very bad. But we have all these possessions that have to be used, so we will sign Evan Turner, and he can use them, and something that resembles basketball can happen on the court, because he is out there making ‘it’ happen.”

What I DO NOT hope, is that in the court of this long, horrifying journey, he game winners the Blazers every year. That would be a nightmare.

Hey, that last possessions was TERRIBLE. Batum is the normal inbounder, and he was injured, so Blake had the ball and passed to Lillard, who was covered like honey by flies. Leonard was open under the basketb and Matthews had an okay shot on the wing. This is the second night in a row it got forced to Lillard in a high leverage situation. Is this the thing, now?


Lillard dunked on Tyler Zeller. Did that sentence excite you?

SUNS 118 BLAZER 113: UHH SURE DUDE

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ten ways to think about tonight’s game by corbin, phd:

ONE: The Blazers came back in the second half, they really never quit and gutted it out, and they took the lead, but it just wasn’t in The Cards for our boys tonight. Let me tell you about The Cards. They are ards that god plays with. They have all possible events on them GOd shuffles the cards and deals them and whatever comes up, that’s what happens. If God draws your card, you die. The only way to live forever is to sneak into God’s house and take your card out of the deck. But make sure nothing happens to it, because then you will die an ULTRA DEATH, a death that goes beyond death, to a darkness that is darker than the darkest known dark.

 

TWO: The Blazers came back in the second half, but they wouldn’t have had to do that if they didn’t play like actual shit in the first half. Kaman scored 14 points on 7-9 shooting, but he did a heinous job protecting the rim. They had approximately, uh, 10-15 live ball turnovers. The Suns were blowing up motion sets left and right and drilling three pointers and living at the rim.

 

THREE: The Blazers are so exciting, this excitement goes on forever. I am excited. Look at me, look at this excitement. Even if they lost, I am excited. Look at me, wife, I have a look of excitement that betrays an excitement that goes all the way to my depths.

 

FOUR: The Blazer are too overwhelming. They should just roll over from time to time, because this high wire act every game is exhausting and monotonous.

 

FIVE: Batum was tremendous and looked good. His wrist had good snap. Even if the Blazers lost, Batum showing signs of life was encouraging, especially since everyone is injured.

 

SIX:

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Batum not trying to hear any positivity about his performance tonight. All he wanted to talk about was missing that free throw.</p>&mdash; Casey Holdahl (@CHold) <a href=”https://twitter.com/CHold/status/558126965425971201″>January 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

 

I did bad. I tried my hardest, but I did bad, and now everything is my fault. I will lie in my bed tonight, and I will not sleep, because I will be trying to take my spirit back to my body in the moment, when I moved my wrist a millimeter in the wrong direction, and I missed the shot. It was a shameful thing, my most shameful moment. I will die thinking of this shot, it is the demon that torments me for all time.

 

SEVEN: If Steve Blake could throw an entry pass, we would all be cheering for the Blazers’ latest victory, lighting cigars, drinking expensive champagne, eating bananas to restore the potassium we need for all night sex, because HE, that, that MONSTER, broke the watch, the LILLARD TIME watch that had struck midnight so many times. He should be traded for a dog.

 

EIGHT: Whatever, who cares, this Lillard Time mythbrand is grating and every strike against it has become perversely enjoyable, because a world of nattering meme generators get quiet for five minutes.

 

NINE: Sports are a blinder the man drapes in front out our eyes. Turn off the TV and go marching in the damn streets, reclaim public spaces, burn all arenas to the ground and grow food on the ashes.


TEN: DO these games even count, when half the roster is injured? They’re just going to remove them from the overall win/loss total at the end of the year. It would be unfair otherwise.

TRAIL BLAZERS AT SUNS PREVIEW

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(This preview was written by James Filmore. Once again, I have failed to master the arcana of WordPress.)

Recently, as I was watching a Suns game on ESPN, the announcers were talking about Marcus and Markieff Morris, twin brothers who play for the Suns. While generally I find bio bits to be so much promotional fluff, the Morrises are actually interesting. They played for the same college team, and apparently were distressed when drafted by two different NBA teams, as they would have to live apart for the first time in their lives. Once Phoenix traded for Marcus and the twins were due for contract extensions, the Suns signed them to a tandem contract. Not identical contracts; one contract for both players. They have matching tattoos, eat from the same plate, and are engaged to the same fiancee.

OK, I made up the plate/fiancee things, although the rest is true (good NYT piece on them here.) To be honest, some identical twin stories strike me as kind of creepy in a Jeremy Irons-“Dead Ringers” sort of way. (Irons plays twin brothers, one suave, one shy, and the suave one hands over sexual conquests to his brother, and the two are them are gynecologists and it’s CREEPY.)

This is probably just because I’ve never met any identical twins. And if you think about it the experience must be rather life-defining. Imagine people always mistaking you for someone else, and not someone else cool like a child actor/future addict but someone else you live with, whose face looks like the one you see in the mirror. Even your parents can’t always tell you apart if you play games trying to trick them. And other kids with their siblings don’t know what your connection/rivalry is remotely like.

We live in a meaner-than-necessary society, and if you make a connection with someone, who am I to say it’s odd? That’s assuming the Morris brothers don’t marry the same person, which is a likely assumption . . . then again, so what if they did? Many people have shared a lover/spouse with someone else (this seemed to happen a lot to famous writers back in the ‘40s and ‘50s, insert generic Edmund Morris joke.) I think that would be stressful, myself, yet it has been done. I wouldn’t advise the Morris brothers to marry each other as they seem to have a tight bond and sex always complicates things.

Now if we find out they used to talk in backwards Latin at the same time as children, despite never having taken Latin lessons, then they are creepy.

I dunno what I think about the “twins with a psychic link” bit (which the Morris brothers have not claimed to possess.) You do read about this stuff. One twin gets in a motorcycle accident and breaks her leg, the other 5000 miles away feels her leg ache at the exact same moment. I suppose anything is possible, still I usually err on the side of experimentally-verifiable science when it comes to extrasensory matters. When I have “bad vibes” nothing happens. It’s when I have no vibes or rank hopeful optimism that bad things happen, and this is probably true for most people.

I’m glad an ESPN announcer (sorry, don’t recall which one) brought the Morris twins to my attention. ESPN and TNT have, by-and-large, very good basketball announcers They don’t spread stunning NBA insight but I don’t either and they don’t yell. (Insert generic Stephen A. Smith joke.) I’m a little bit bummed that ESPN no longer uses Bill Walton for NBA games. I know a lot of people thought Walton was arrogant, and he may be arrogant, I have no knowledge of Bill Walton’s estimation of himself and how that squares with the over/under of his actual worth as a human. Mostly the reason Walton sounds arrogant is that he OVER enunciates WORDS in ODD places in SENTENCES he speaks. He does so because he used to have a stutter and concentrated enunciation helped him cope with stuttering. (Stuttering is an awful affliction, and Michael Palin writes emotionally about his father’s stuttering here.)

I’ve always kinda wondered why the Blazers never asked Walton if he had any interest in broadcasting for them. Maybe they’ve talked about it and both sides decided not to go that route. You would think the team would love to have Walton back in the fold; not only their greatest-ever player but someone who always embodied the whole “Portland weird” persona (if he didn’t help create it in the first place!) Oh well, we have Mice Rice, who is also weird, but in every way that is terrible and wrong.

TRAIL BLAZERS 98, KINGS 94: THE KNIFE

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(Tonight’s recap is a running recap. Corbin watches something happen, writes a paragraph, looks up, watches something else then writes another paragraph. It is not meant to be coherent, necessarily.)

 

“Adam says get off to a quick start. That’s true, Adam, that’s vital.” They COULD get off to a slow start, so they can take their opponents by surprise in the third. The forgotten arm, if you will.

 

The intro is on. I like watching the intro. They should pick different music, sometime. Maybe I recommend Sleater Kinney? “Let’s Call it Love” could be interesting. Guitar stomp, intense yelling, I think the people would get pumped. Wes is honored for the three pointers made mark. Congrats to him. Congrats to all of us for witnessing this. We did an excellent job, sticking our eyes on the TV.

 

I don’t remember the last game with the Kings.

There are so many games.

 

Cousins takes a long two pointer to start. Not a very good shot. He is taunting the Blazers. “I can take this, because I will get low soon, and I will rip your ribs out and play xylophone on them.”

 

Kaman with a banking layup, assist from Batum. Kaman’s show was very little touch, a flat palmed layup. Robotic, even. Kaman’s place on the robot/organic scale is confusing. Cousins is, of course, the most organic of all big men, he is like a plant that grows at the speed of sound. On the other side is someone who doesn’t post up, ever, and executes a lifeless routine on the block. Perk comes to mind, but his post ups are so chock full of neurosis and incident and context that I wouldn’t say he is totally inorganic. Sometimes Kaman looks like he is doing steps, sometimes he swings everything around with surprising grace. I think his beard makes his post game seem more artisanal.

 

Blazers lose Collison in transition, McLemore hits him, he fumbles the pass, ends up in the corner, and takes a three pointer that goes in. A corner three was probably the best case scenario there. If McLemore had sent him a better pass, it would have been a dunk.

 

Lillard goes at Collison on a direct penetration, pushing his body into Darre and tosses the ball up. He misses. It could have been regarded as a foul, but I don’t believe it was the kind of foul that really illuminates the law, the unspoken law, says calling a foul is supposed to be about. A foul is when someone else makes a bad move that gives them defensive advantage. Lillard’s move was a press, Lillard making contact on his own. I think this new manifestation of a foul is fine. It makes the game more deterministic.

 

A POEM:

An offensive foul

is called

 

on Meyers Leonard.

 

Rudy Gay takes a baseline jumper off the dribble. Rudy has been shredding the Blazers all year. The Blazers don’t have a lockdown wing defender type of guy. They have good defender, but not a guided missile man who says, “Rudy Gay is going to miss, and I will spill blood to do it.” They don’t even have a third good wing. Dorrell MIGHT be good, but he has been put in a little box on a shelf, a crystal man.

 

Batum fouls Rudy on the break. Or he doesn’t, because he gets very angry and gets a tech. I am inclined to trust Batum, because he doesn’t have a disproportionate sense of basketball justice, where the world strikes against him at every turn. Demarcus has this. Demarcus might also be right. Pynchon could write a novel about Demarcus and the refs, where an intrepid young detective looks into their relationship and finds whiffs of a more horrifying, underground system that has made their rivalry such a shitshow.

 

The Blazers are down by 11. I can’t tell why, except I believe Rudy Gay is doing his dark work. He is the last warlock, but his powers are diminished.

 

Another Gay turnaround. I hear faint outrage from the crowd. They are restless.

 

Meyers takes a push shot on the baseline when he was open for a dunk. There was not a lot of time on the clock, so you could call this a form of awareness. But there was ENOUGH time. Examining this play is, in its way, the most extreme question of process vs. results possible.

 

Lamarcus has the ball in the post against Thompson. He bullies, Thompsons tries to pull, Lamarcus doesn’t fall, he turns into the middle and drifts a little push hook into the rim. LMA is right smack in the middle of the Organic/Inorganic continuum, a small buzz that never moves, never higher or lower.

 

END OF FIRST QUARTER

 

Aldridge reposts and takes a turnaround that hits frontrim. It is too far out. He should have been closer, or gotten closer, or just been closer. They are saying Wes Matthews is the emotional leader of the Blazers. Who is the emotional leader in your life, at your job, in your church? Find that person, and think about what their leadership means. You live in a broader context.

 

Reggie Evans, a scoundrel, is taking foul shots. Reggie has the highest rebound percentage for a player with a terrible block percentage. Second is Kevin Love. I am not trying to throw Kevin Love under the bus here, I know my readership would appreciate that, but I can’t feed that craving for you. I can, but I refuse.

 

Thomas Robinson steals the ball, is the first at the rim, puts the ball behind his back, to pass or to hide the ball, but it just kind of hits him in the back and falls onto the court. It was a sad sight, a sign of might and magic betraying their user. He collapsed onto the court and sunk into the wood and his tears filled the Rose Garden until the salt killed the flowers.

 

I look at Facebook during commercial. Someone else got engaged. I am falling behind. I will die behind.

 

Robinson takes a charge. I hardly see it behind the other bodies. I do not know if it was a good charge, or a bad charge, or even a charge intentionally taken.

 

A foul shot. Moment of quiet. Cousins sticks his tounge out of the left corner of his mouth. His left corner, not mine.

 

Lillard goes baseline and makes a layup. He protects the ball by extending his arm away from the shotblocker and pushing the ball off the glass. It is a nice move. There is talk that Lamarcus might be injured. Jermaine O’Neal is watching and waiting for his moment. He already knows how to use the bus. He will be shocked when he sees the MAX goes to Hillsboro, but NOT Vancouver.

 

Wright gets closed out, drives and finishes off the glass. His back makes a weird arch when he takes the shot, like he needed to thrust his torso out to get the shot off. Maybe his energy lives in his middle, he takes it straight from his heart and pushes it into his limbs.

 

“Watch Cousins and Kaman underneath. They are really banging each other.” In actuality, Batum is trying to get position. Kaman and Cousins are just standing outside the key, taking a possession off.

 

Lillard drives and gets a foul on Cousins. Aldridge will not return to the game. He is gone. Another big man has left. Soon, Meyers will melt, Kaman will leave the NBA forever, and the Blazers will forsake the center, the power forward, the everything, and be forced into starting the new basketball age, total basketball, unstoppable force, titles, near titles, failures, all one right after the other.

 

I wish I had a burrito. Matthews has a post up against Collison, or what appears to be Collison, he drop steps, and drives for two dribbles and tries to lay it in with an extended arm. It bounces on the backrim twice and falls off. I can’t believe that he can dribble now. It is among basketball’s greatest understated achievements, considering where he once was.

 

“Part of his weakness was he would get fouled all the time and never make them.” DMC’s worst free throw shooting season was his rookie season, when he shot 68%, which is below average, but not bad or even problematic.

 

Lillard has been fouled two or three times in this quarter, which is good because he is missing a lot of shots. He drives and makes a spin move in the lane and gets fouled. He misses the first shot. What if Lillard wore a cape? A black cape, I think, befitting an underdog or a vampire. It twirls in the lane, it drops when he shoots, it’s beautiful, it’s silk, it’s a Black cape. LMA is getting X-Rays. The world is concerned.

 

END OF SECOND

 

Eating carrots, bleu cheese dressing with nutritional yeast, and hot sauce. It’s pretty good. Armadillo Sauce, which is very hot, too hot and I used too much. There is a burning in my mouth and throat. Hopefully the Blazers burn with a competitive spirit.

 

Rudy Gay has Lillard. He dribbles into the lane and manages to shoot over the help defender, Chris Kaman. The Blazers were managing to cover for their rim protection problems without Freeland or Lopez, but they have fallen in recent weeks.

 

Victor Claver, his face always illuminated with the depth and horror of his predicament, his three year imprisonment in the golden cage of the Blazers’ bench, appears. The money is good, but the art is terrible. I wish for him to return to Europe and learn to love once more. Or maybe he is an assassin, who will play or sit or stand for whoever pays? I can never see what is in his heart.

 

Batum fumbles through an isolation possession against Derrick Williams. He needs a break to get better. The Blazers need his body, because they don’t have wings, but he needs to sit and heal and meditate if he is going to be better. The All-Star game is closer than we think, I hope.

 

A POEM:

Two coloured women’s hoodie

 

BOLD Graphics and Colours

 

Good for any fan!

 

Claver misses a three. He is still playing. The Blazers are so low on players they are opting to play a ghost extended minutes. He will possess a teen girl, soon, and she will play power forward.

 

Batum has slid into two point range in the corner. This is not proper or polite or effective. He is in a struggle with his body, himself, looking to change, looking for something to force, looking to dig a hole so big it will get him out of his hole. He needs a break, man.

 

Cousins fouls Kaman. He is incensed. He crouches on the ground. You can see the conspiracy against the man play out in front of you. The gears turn, but for what purpose? Is our very society built on these calls? Is order but a thin veneer?

 

The Blazers are down by quite a lot of points. You can feel the whole Western conference starting and licking their chops, ready to rip off a haunch of BlazerMeat and use the energy it endows to their body to climb ever further up the ladder, closer and closer to the promised land. The west is a wolf on fire, with a fire in its stomach, that craves more fire so it can burn and power the FireWolf up the ladder where it can set more and more fires, it does not stop until the sky is on fire.

 

A POEM:

It’s out of bounds to Portland

no

Foul caaaaaaaalled

 

A three man weave ends with a Barton fadeaway. The Blazers are a cactus losing its needles as a snow falls on the desert. The Christchild was born in these sorts of conditions. Will a new Christ be born from the ruins of the Blazers season? What will we bring her in tribute, the Queen of Queens?

 

Evans tips the ball right to Thomas Robinson. So much hustle, so little control.

 

Power is Hustle + Control.

 

END OF THIRD

 

I am sitting on my exercise disc. I balance with my crossed legs in the air. I feel my whole core engage, and shred. Writing has become exercise to me. I will be a sculpted God with fingers made of pencils soon.

 

Derrick Williams shoots a jump shot from the top of the key. This is the official shot of a bad team with a fourth quarter lead. It pains me to say the Kings are bad – they were once inspiring, before they were gutted for reasons absolutely no one in the world could begin to understand.

 

The announcers talk about doubling Rudy Gay. I am not sure I disagree. Players who never play should be traded for players who play wing defense. Who is left, who are the wing defenders of the present and the future? If all players were Star Wars ships Point Guards would be TIE Fighters, Wings X-Wings, Power Forwards Star Destroyers, Centers Death Stars.

 

Wes’ stepback from midrange is off target The Blazers are not making things happen in a way that makes it seem like they have a plan. They are depleted and flailing. As I write this, an inbounds play results in a three point play for Will Barton, an oop at the rim. I still do not feel I am wrong, but it is as if fate is trying to make me believe the Blazers will win. What fate doesn’t understand is that I am not convinced one way or the other, I am an observer, watching the river and wondering what will happen. Will a Big Mouthed bass roll on down this lazy river? I hope, but I do not believe.

 

Wes hits a three pointer in transition and does the bow and arrow motion. The Blazers are trying to make a run, but Boogie is coming back and it is not coming easy. A player who looks like Shane Larkin scores.

 

Reggie Evans gets the ball under the rim, totally open. He rises to take a shot and some bodies descend on him. His shot rolls and falls.  Reggie Evans is not good at basketball, but he was willful for entirely too long.

 

A POEM:

 

ALSO:

 

Are the Patriots deflating the footballs?

 

Cousins blocks Wes at the rim. Not his shot, his whole body, through the shot. He falls on the floor while Cousins dribbles up the floor and scores in transition. Boogie is a wildly charismatic player, more charismatic than any Blazer by a factor of twenty.

 

Batum dribbles, and takes a three for the lead. A nation of Bros with Options About Batum shifts in their chairs, their biases exposed in the full light of day.

 

“Cousins has his own weather system.” Why is Barrett making 3rd grade fat slams against Demarcus Cousins? What did Boogie do to him, except make him not exist in his presence, such is the gap of charisma between them.

 

TWO REFS are wearing the same number. How will the players call fouls on them? It must be confusing. If players could call fouls on fouls, and a ref fouls out if he gets too many fouls call on him, a balance of power would be restored to the NBA. This is the finest innovation in ideas I have had since I started writing about basketball on that cold, rainy night two Novembers ago.

 

Lillard misses an open three to go ahead. It was a good shot. The universe is random within confines, it is the lesson sport has to teach us, but we never listen.

 

POEM:

 

The Blazers fans have always been like the 12th man

 

the one up in Seattle.

 

Barton has the ball in transition, Collison takes it away from him, but it sails out of bounds.

 

Demarcus fouls out for bumping a cutter. Ticky taki. Who benefits? There are gears underneath the world, and this is their metal exposed for all to see, if you can look them with the proper light projected from your mind. A conspiracy seen by those with eyes unclouded by hate.

 

That is a line from Princess Mononoke. At the end of that movie, Ashitaka says he will visit the Princess in the woods. Do they eventually settle down together, bad ass sword dude and Wolf Princess together in matrimony, murdering anyone who dares to fuck with the woods? That is the future I prefer, the fan fiction I subscribe to.

 

A long replay. You have read my thoughts on replay in previous editions of this blog.  “The officials are very good at this.” If they were this would take significantly less time.

 

Lillard boards a Wes miss and sends it back in and oh fantastic, another review, a clear path this time, I cannot wait for this review, this is what sports are all about, is facts and the truth and determining the truth. BASEBALL WAS RIGHT, ALL ALONG! The Mets no hitter was a lie, but it was a beautiful, acceptable lie that everyone loved! We should learn to love the lies sports tells us!

 

Barton fouls McLemore on a three down four. This is Barton, unfortunately. Our dreams cannot spring like morning glory from the ground and choke the plants of our doubt and anxiety.

 

The lady from Grimm is in the crowd. Mike Barrett promotes Grimm. Mike Barrett lives for Grimm

 

Lillard gets extra coverage above the three point line. He exploits and knifes and drives and dunks. Without Cousins, the Kings also have no big men. Derrick Williams is branded a coward by all the world.

 

The end of this game is an interminable grind. Reviews and foul shots and practically nothing else. I wish it would end. I wish for freedom from the task of watching Basketball. Another foul for Lillard. Trudge trudge trudge. Lillard misses a foul shot to make the game seem interesting. Rudy Gay misses his shot. Lillard misses another shot. He is doing everything he can do make this game interesting at the end. He is Michael Bay, raising the stakes.

 

Another review! Basketball

 

is

 

Interminable.

 

Blazers win. But was it worth it?

 

GRIZZLIES 103, TRAIL BLAZERS 98: SMUG ASS

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(Hi there. This is Corbin. I had dinner with my family tonight, so James Fillmore recapped the game in my stead. I still haven’t figured out how to use the admin account. There is a WordPress class at my local library every week, maybe  should take it. Anyway, here is his recap, precluded with some other thoughts.)

You know that Paul McCartney song, “Yesterday”? (It’s accredited a Lennon/McCartney song but it’s all Paul. They didn’t really write everything together.) Yeah, you know it. It’s only the most widely-covered song in music industry history. I’ll bet you thought that song was cheesy, didn’t you? (The strings in the Beatles version are cheesy.) Go ahead and put it on now, any version will do. NOT SO CHEESY NOW, EH YOU SMUG ASS.

Now relax. Let it all out, then gather yourself, wipe your eyes, blow your nose, and relax. Parents tell their kids after losses in school sports “having fun is the most important thing” and “you’ll get ‘em next time.” One of these bromides is verifiably true! (Some adults lie and condescend to their children constantly, so saying true stuff 50% of the time gets a passing grade from me.)

Sports are just long-running TV shows with unscripted plot twists. (Radio shows, if you enjoy exercising your visual imaginative acuity, or live concerts, if you have huge wads of cash to pointlessly waste.) They are entertainment. Who wins and who loses, who gets into the All-Star Hall Of Stuff, is as meaningful and relevant to life as the number of Oscars given out to whatever. Humphrey Bogart never won an Oscar, told the Communist witch-trial assholes to go fuck themselves, and had a lifelong relationship with the smart/beautiful Lauren Bacall. One of these things is verifiably unimportant.

You hear tales about people putting earbuds in their earholes and listening to games during weddings or church services, ostensibly proving how much these listeners are devoted to sports fandom, yet that’s really a testament to the fierce boredom which is an average wedding or church service. If you’ve been waiting in a hospital for the primary physician to come out and tell you how the cancer surgery on your loved one went, you aren’t going to ignore this and follow the Blazer game.

What would you do if the Blazers got another championship? Stop having sex? Never wash the hand that controlled that TV remote again? Imagine anything you enjoy in your life and ask yourself if you would give up that thing forever making a devil’s bargain for the Blazers to win it all. I want a Blazers title quite a bit and I’m hard-pressed to say there are pizza toppings or beer styles I’d swear off eternally in trade. Maybe hefeweizen. Fruit-flavored hefeweizen in particular. If Satan is reading this, His Dark Self should e-mail me, we can talk.

At some point in my past I felt as though the wins or losses of sports teams were omens for how my future was going to pan out. OMG, we got the #1 pick, the tea leaves foretell endless joy! Something changed for me when the Oden/Roy promise all went wrong. I was mad for a long time and realized I shouldn’t be. It’s not worth getting upset about if your favorite TV show dies off in a final shitty season. Did you enjoy it before it got lame? That’s the important thing. Much in life is too dismal to bear, and this has been true since modern humans became modern humans. It’s nice and necessary to occasionally stare at the mesmerizing flickering brightness emanating from a cavemouth fire or a sporting event broadcast on TV and go, “shiny lights good. Shiny lights make bad things less prominent in thinky brain.”

I won’t say don’t care about how the Blazers performed this week. Caring makes sporting events fun, and if they aren’t fun, then what’s the point? I will say, don’t fret over it. The Blazers are more fun these last two seasons than they have been since 2000. It’s an amusing hypothalamus tickle, roll with it, and get a new one if it stresses you out too much. I will also say, make sure your life involves more than entertainment every now and then. Learn new and relevant things always. Don’t embrace the stupid.

Recap stuff!

The Blazers really stank through most of this game, relying on Super Shots that weren’t good open shots and didn’t go in, many of them from Lillard. I worried about this after everyone started praising his ClutchMan powers. ClutchMan is nice, Assist Man who takes Super Shots only when nothing else is available is better. I’d worry more except that Lillard is very young. If he’s still doing the ClutchMan thing in two years, then that’s bad.

The fourth quarter was fun. At one point Wes was just going to take a three to reduce the once-20 deficit to two, you could see it shining from his forehead, there was a guy on him, he pump-faked and shed the guy, hit the now-open three, and I actually started clapping. Unfortunately with the deficit at four and 30 seconds left Matthews took a terrible ClutchMan off-balance contested three and missed, because ClutchMan is an infectious contagion.

By comparison, when Memphis needed key late baskets, they passed the ball to their stars, who were covered, who passed it to an open Beno Udrih, who hit the open shots. The Memphis announcers shouted with glee, “he has ice water in his veins!” This is not true as if it were Udrih would die very painfully. (Ever sell blood? They take your blood, spin it in a centrifuge to suck out the good stuff, then pump the worthless plasma back into your arm. You can feel it coursing through your body, it is cold.) No, Beno Udrih does not have ice water, he played for Gregg Popovich, a man so smart he was briefly a spy before he realized that spying is stupid, and players who learn under Popovich take smart open shots, not ClutchMan shots.

Blazers bench. Meyers, doing well recently, was more his Minister Of Silly Walks old self tonight, going 1-4 in 18 minutes with four rebounds (not too shabby) and five fouls (poor form, that, capital poor.) C.J. “Convoy” McCollum had the dreaded Million line; 6 minutes played, 0-0 FG, 0-0 FT, 0 REB, 0 AST. Allen Crabbe did not play as he told coach Stotts “you look fat.” Thomas Robinson played four minutes as he said “Coach you look fine as ever to me.” Apparently none of these people will be traded.

The best announcer bit I heard didn’t come from the Memphis announcers. It came the night before when I played this game on a game machine. These games have announcer comments loaded into the game machine’s hard drive and an algorithm tells the machine how often to play the audio of various comments. Some you will hear every time you play the game, like “Lillard is a clutch performer.” Other comments you will hear very rarely so that the game feels fresh. Last night my virtual Blazers also fell behind, also came back at the end, and the game machine cued up Kenny Smith saying “this comeback is due to the defense, tight as me in an airport lavatory!” As someone who has a hard time pooping before/during plane flights, I appreciated this comment. Also, Kenny “The Jet” Smith.

 

SPURS 110 TRAIL BLAZERS 96: BE A BODY

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The Blazers played the Spurs tonight. That is not true. They were played by the Spurs. The Spurs came in, and the Blazers were a game on top of the basketball game, and the Spurs played the game and won the game, and they also won the basketball game was contain inside . Here is a drawing, where I diagram what happened:

IMG_0271

As you can see, the Spurs are a very smart baby who set the Blazers in order while sinking a three point shot. They absolutely crushed. They took 20 more field goal attempts from the Blazers. 15-2 Offensive rebounds, 12-6 steals. The Blazers DID shoot a higher base field goal percentage, so congrats to them, I guess. They should get a trophy for it, then the Blazers should retire the trophy’s number. This is a joke about the Blazers retiring a lot of numbers. They have retired two numbers twice. If the Blazers won the title this year, the entire starting lineup would probably get their numbers retired. The would also probably retire Steve Blake’s number. They probably will retire Steve Blake’s number. Steve Blake will probably coach the Blazers, too. Then he will become their color commentator when Rice retires.

The Blazers have been getting away with shitdirt rim protection since Freeland went out. They got tagged in the paint, with paint, the Spurs spray painted “SPURZ WERE HERE” on their faces, tonight. No particular Spur went off so you can’t assign blame to the team as a whole.

Aldridge and Lillard were both totally in line with their standard performance model. Aldridge had 24 and eight on 18 shots, which is one of those lines LMA got every night in what I will term “The thin years.” Lillard had 23 on 17 shots.  while Matthews, Batum and Kaman all kind of stunk. Wes looked like he got hurt in the first, but he walked it off in game.

Meyers was good again. He didn’t miss a shot. He scored on three possessions in a row, a post up on Tim Duncan, a three pointer, and a midrange jumper. My mind is completely rejecting this development. He just keeps draining these shots. One after the other with that too-slow shot release. Sooner or later, an opposing team will decide to cover him, and he will  get blocked or something, and everything will turn back to normal. He is still very bad at catching interior passes or grabbing rebounds with two hands or protecting the rim, but, in fairness, that last thing is hard and extraordinarily valuable, so holding him to that standard is probably unreasonable.

CJ was also good. He had a lot of points and made more than one three point shot. He also got blocked by Boris at the rim. It was beautiful, and truthful. The Blazers should have signed Boris this summer, COST BE DAMNED.

The Blowout Crew was a +9 across the board. They did some amazing things for the Blazers’ point differential tonight and they should be regarded as heroes. WIll Barton did a 360-Dunk on the fast break. It felt hallower than it should have because the Blazers got absolutely gutted.

The Spurs have been pretty uninspiring lately. Kawhai has been injured, they went under .500 in December, their first sub .500 year in like a decade and a half and have started to look, old or something. Kawhai was back tonight, and they raked, and might just spend the next month absolutely raking, until the rodeo trip, when they will rake some more, until they are the two seed and they beat the Blazers in the second round again. You don’t come here for comfort, you come here for truth. Talk to your lover for comfort, deep in the sheets, in each other’s arms, two bodies become one, you can lie to each other about how the Blazers are going to win the title this year, but I won’t lie to you, man, I will give you the hardest truths in the goddamn universe.

Batum had a chasedown block. I have been using the Roundball twitter account during games lately, and I have noticed that people are REALLY on Batum lately. Here is my opinion on the matter: he was great this summer, he probably didn’t get worse overnight for no reason, he is clearly playing hurt, and I hope/think he will get better after the All-Star break.

There are so many games in a season and I just can’t juice up a good lather over this loss. What do you want to read when you read a recap of a game like this. Do you want to know exactly why the got their shit kicked in? Do you want some vague moralizing about how the Blazers lost to the Spurs, and them “not showing up” for this game was SYMPTOMATIC of a DEEP APATHY that would KEEP THEM FROM THE BRASS RING!? Do you want a sentence that will take you back to the game, make you feel the feelings you felt while it was on? Do you want something that will set it all in order, or your life in order, a piece of wisdom about the game that you can recontextualize for your own life? What do you demand? What can I give you that you will desire?

CLIPPERS 100 BLAZERS 94: YOUR MIND IS A SPINNING RIFLE

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WHY DID THE BLAZERS LOSE?

Man it has been a while, huh? The Blazers lost to the Clippers, who are pretty good, by not a lot of points, after losing a tiny little fourth quarter lead. Why did it happen!? Who can we blame!? Where is the smoking gun?

ONE: THEY CAN’T DO IT EVERY TIME!

You can’t win every close game! I know, for a while it was starting to get eerie, a cold witchfinger poking out of the TV every time Lillard would drill late shots, a feeling that destiny and majik were aligning, signs in the stars, the Blazers were fueled by destiny, nothing could stop them late, but C’MON, that shit ain’t real! Okay, it might be a little real, but it’s not like 100% real, it’s a fallible kind of real that is also maybe not real. It’s alchemy.

ONE AND A HALF: ANOTHER THING ABOUT THE CLOSE GAME THING

They DID look tight and apprehensive in the 4th, so it wasn’t just bad luck. Clippers were on a swarm that was tightening things up

TWO: KAMAN COULDN’T KEEP UP WITH JORDAN IN THE FIRST HALF

Kaman was good in the second half, but Jordan beat him down the floor, avoided box outs and ran circles around him in the first. Lopez probably would have prevented that.

THREE: LILLARD STUNK FOR THREE QUARTERS

Look, this fourth quarter stuff is amazing, and Lillard was great in tonight’s fourth quarter but sometimes he is not, like, pressing very hard in the first part of a game and sometimes it’s not good. Paul played him really well tonight, the Clippers used traps and really zeroed in on him, daring Aldridge to win on his own. Also…

FOUR: THE GAME WAS PHYSICALLY CALLED, AND THAT WAS BETTER FOR THE CLIPPERS

I hate complaining about refs. HATE IT. I think it sounds silly and Portland’s media complex, top down, does it non-stop. Unless there is some high grade, Inherent Vice conspiracy shit, where the Lakers are involved and mysterious sixth players start appearing, it just reads as whining. The Refs are TRYING THEIR BEST!

So, instead of talking about calls that could have gone to the Blazers, I will say that at one notable play that was instructive for how the game was called both ways was Paul obviously getting fouled on the break in the third, and the no call was befuddling. The CLippers did a better job of exploiting this environment than the Blazers, especially regarding how tight Paul was able to call Lillard.

You could say “OH JEEZUS WHY DID REFGOD STINK US DOWN” or you could say “The Blazers need to learn how to roll with a more physical game, or the Grizzlies will annihilate them.” Or do both! Expeirence everything!

FIVE: WES WAS TERRIBLE!

3-13, eight points, Wes sucked, it happens, who cares. This was probably the most abnormal bad thing that happened to the Blazers tonight. Wes is normally the team’s efficiency linchpin, and he couldn’t buy one tonight. Batum was also not very good, but there have been a lot of games where that has happened this year.

Here is my opinion about Batum being bad this year: he was really good this summer, and he is probably not actually terrible now, and an All-Star week off could do him some real good.

SIX: THEY DID NOT LOSe BECAUSE OF ALDRIDGE

He scored 37 points on 28 shots and boarded a bunch. He was REALLY good in the post. A particularly impressive spin move against Jordan in the first.

SEVEN: JAMAL!!!!!!

Since he stunk on the Blazers and left for the Clippers, Jamal has lived to light the Blazers’ nuthair on fire. He scored 25 (On 23 shots which is “not horrible”) tonight and lifted the Clippers’ terrible-ass bench (He was their only bench player who scored) into a mediocre enough place they they were able to keep afloat when Paul was off the floor.

That is every reason I can conjure. Some players had terrible shooting nights, the game was a slog that favored the Clippers, you can’t win them all, who cares, next game. (thoughts on meyers tomorrow.)