BLAZERS OFFSEASON PREVIEW: UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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July 4th: LaMarcus Aldridge announces a free-agent signing with his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls. John Canzano of newspaper “The Oregonian” opines, “Aldridge was a traitor all along, every true Portlander with microbrew in their veins knew it.” Dave Deckard of popular website “Blazer’s Edge” posts a reasonable, thoughtful assessment of Aldridge’s decision, while commenters who disagree with Deckard’s analysis are identified by hackers, rounded up and disemboweled.

July 5th: Wesley Matthews signs with the San Antonio Spurs. Matthews: “Jesus H. God, our team went from reasonably incompetent on defense to horrifuckingly abysmal the absolute goddamn second I got injured, and people wrote think pieces about why this is? I’m out.”

July 6th: Robin Lopez announces he really likes “Kindergarten Cop” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3.” Chris Kaman reveals he once shot an anti-logging activist but field-dressed the wounds properly. Steve Blake continues collecting severed tits for his collection of severed human tits.

July 7th: C.J. “Convoy” McCollum reveals he’s actually Nolan Smith; he just wanted to make everyone wait for it.

July 8th: Dave Deckard praises the disemboweling of those who disagreed with his Aldridge post, writing “I’m proud of the community we’ve established here.” Benjamin Percy takes notes for his next novel.

July 9th: Damian Lillard states that he thinks every play should run through “Dame.” Calls on team coach Terry Stotts to make the change, suggests he may approach owner Paul Allen if Stotts refuses. Suggests teammates who disagree aren’t “about winning.”

July 10th: Aside from Lillard, all remaining Trail Blazer players are discovered dead in their beds.

July 11th: Further investigation reveals that the Trail Blazers murdered yesterday had super-advanced toxic nanobots in their bloodstreams. Columnist Canzano writes “How long will we tolerate these hip-hop cyber-terrorists and their devious drug-dealing, low-income, nano-technology ways? That’s not the Portland I know.”

July 12th: Damian Lillard publicly suggests hooligans may have not been responsible for the Trail Blazer nanobot deaths. “I’m not against the changes, but it seems a bit weird.”

July 13th: Damian Lillard is found dead at his desk, veins transformed into metallic crystals, frozen forever with a smartphone in his hand. The phone was accessing TNT’s “Overtime” coverage of the latest Golden State Warriors game.

July 14th: Nothing of interest has ever happened on July 14th.

July 15th: The Trail Blazers announce a trade. Steph Curry will go to the Trail Blazers for a collection of rotting corpses in return. “I’m happy about this,” Curry says in his presser. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity.” Curry then jumps to his feet and rasps “Are you OK? Did they hurt you” before the feed goes dark.

July 16th: Nicolas Batum raises his head from a low-hovering layer of pot smoke and asks, “Did I miss something? MERDE!!”

 

PRS RADIO: THE RIP CITIZENS EP 47 – NOW WHAT?

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Now that the dust has settled we look back on the Memphis series, break down contract situations ahead of the off-season, and discuss the future of LaMarcus Aldridge in a Blazer uniform.

Then we look at the rest of the NBA playoffs, make some predictions, and share a bold prediction about next season.

PRS RADIO: THE RIP CITIZENS EP. 45 – THE RIP CITY RECAP

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In the days before the playoffs start, we look back at the 2014-2015 season. We share our highlights of the season (as well as the lows), discuss if our expectations were met, and hand out regular season awards to the NBA and the Blazers.

We’ll have the second part of the show (our Playoffs preview) tomorrow, so stay tuned!

If you enjoy the show, please subscribe to us in iTunes (or whatever podcast platform you use) and leave us a rating & review if you feel so inclined!

THUNDER 101, BLAZERS 99: SHOWOFF BIRD

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Oh man, the season is still going on!? Everyone sat out of this game. Meyers scored 24, Joel Scored 21. The Thunder won, wire to wire, proving, once and for all, that  team comprised primarily of Meyers, CJ, Fraizer, Kaman, and like 20 Minutes of Lillard would not beat any team with Russell Westbrook on it in a playoff series. Hopefully, we never have to find out for sure, because something would have gone horribly wrong.

TRAIL BLAZERS 116, TIMBERWOLVES 91- FRY HEADED BIRD

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Hello there, reader. I was AT last night’s basketball game with my beloved mother. Here is what I cobbled together, memory wise:

1. This game was pretty much a wire to wire blowout. I think there was a little moment at the beginning when you thought MAYBE it could end up somewhat close, then the moment passed, like summer love, or food.

2. To be honest, whenever I actually go to a game, I don’t pay attention to the score, because I watch the game on the floor, so I don’t have like any concept of what the flow of the game was or anything like that. One time I went to a game with my dad and he said he always watched the screen and I thought, “Why would you pay all this money to watch a screen, homie.” (In fairness, my dad doesn’t like basketball) I don’t know what you do or don’t do, but I encourage you to be present in the moment at sporting events, concerts, and plays, and actually watch the human beings move in front of you. It will be great, you’ll have a mind expanding time.

3. I ate some ice cream. I thought it was good, then at the end it was a liiiiiiitle salty. I wish they had the Olive Oil Flavor, which is my favorite flavor from Popular Artisanal Ice Cream Shop In North Portland And Elsewhere (NO FREE ADS!).

4. The wolves looked pretty tired. I kept hoping LaVine would dunk on a fool, but it never happened. At one point he cocked back, then switched to a more conservative layup motion. If I were the Wolves, at this point, my only goal would be putting dudes into Vines. Wggins played really well, he always does when your boy Corbin is in the building. (I went to BOTH Hoop Summits he was in, nbd.)

5. Kevin Martin dunked, which felt like something the Blazers’ help defense was doing TO ME.

6. That flame outside the stadium is like, obscenely wasteful. I also managed to walk in the fountains without getting wet on my way to the MAX.

7. When I was riding on the Max, a woman was talking on the phone. When we were at the Killingsworth station, she said “Oh my God, this car is gonna blow up!” There was a car at the gas station and the engine was overheated to the point where you could see smoke coming out of it, but I seriously doubt it was going to blow up.

8. Kevin Garnett was at the game in a suit. Some children in TImberwolves gear got dap after the game.

9. I was very disappointed in the intro video. Also they have these things they show on the screen when someone scores that look like grind-house slides and the one for Chris Kaman makes him look like a chainsaw butcher. or human meats. (Okay, I looked at the screen A LITTLE.)

TRAIL BLAZERS 99, PELICANS 90: SEA BIRD

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Boy, it was hard to stay awake through this game. Not because it was a bad game; it was pretty fun. But because one of the the Pelicans announcers, Joel Meyers, has an incredibly sonorous, soothing, mid-range bass voice. It’s a Schonely-type voice, that assures you all will be well. You can drift off into the unknown realm of death listening to such a voice.

Meyers and his co-worker, David Wesley, are also no fools. They know whereof they speak, and what level of enthusiasm in which to speak it. I am reaching the point of exhaustion following the Blazers this season, having taken the emotional drunk-bus-driver ride from “maybe better than last year” to “OMG THE CONFERENCE IS WIDE OPEN ANYONE CAN WIN” to “fuck it, injuries suck” and I am frankly wore out. If the Blazers had Wesley/Meyers, my heart would be calmed. New Orleans is competing for a playoff spot, and Meyers/Wesley don’t pretend that this matters. Anthony Davis is the best young talent in professional basketball, and they don’t scream bloody foul murder when he misses a shot nor engage in sickening sycopanthy when he makes a nice play.

Jesus, Paul Allen has more money than God retains after an all-night casino bender, you’d think he could lure away announcers like this. Nope. Of course, to get Wesley/Meyers, Allen would have to pay more than just their salary; he’d have to pony up extra fees to get them away. EXTRA FEES SUCK YOU COLOSSAL TICKETMASTER ASSHO

Wesley/Myers didn’t get everything right. At one point, early on, when things are lighthearted, they mentioned Lopez’s charming mascot rivalries, and jokingly wondered what psychological defect could cause RoLo to behave in such an uncouth fashion. “Maybe because he doesn’t have a mascot at home, he takes it out on mascots around the league.” No mascot at home? What about Schrunk?

In the third, there was a who-tipped-what out-of-bounds play, which Portland lost (correctly), followed on the other end by an amazing Anthony Davis save from going out-of-bounds play, where Davis scored. Rather than applaud politely, Rose Garden fans booed like 20,000 toddlers screaming “it’s not fair!” Myers/Wesley politely referred to these dingbats as “very passionate fans.” Really, Portlanders. You have one of the highest literacy rates in the country. Do you actually have to behave like idiots when it comes to rooting for the Blazers? Calm the living fuck down, already.

If it was a meaningful call, the refs would review it. With 50.8 seconds left in this game and the Blazers up by 11, the refs reviewed a call, staring forever at the replay screen as if stoned out of their minds. Then, with 30.6 left, and the same score, another replay. Which the refs quickly dismissed as if drunk out of their minds. New Orleans scored, Portland got the ball back, and nobody fouled anybody because the game was over. But They Got The Calls Right.

Call. Call! C.J. “Convoy” McCollum! (See the effortless transition? ‘Cuz his last name has a “call” syllable? Yeah, you see it.) “Convoy” almost killed me in the first half of this one, looking like pure-dee gangbusters, and making me fear I must pay attention to the playoffs. Thankfully, in the second half, New Orleans payed more attention to Convoy, and he forced shots into Large Tall Men the way Lillard, when frustrated, forces shots from Long Distances. Thank Buddha. I don’t want to watch much playoffs.

I do want to watch Anthony Davis in the future. I’m glad I didn’t have to watch him play, tonight, on the court in New Orleans. That court has a sick and wrong wood-staining design apparently meant to evoke the outstretched feathers of a majestic pelican ready for flight. It looks really creepy. As if the graphic designer dropped acid with Hitler.

Davis was off, but that happens. Sometimes guys have off nights. Sometimes guys just don’t match up well with other guys. Tim Duncan rarely matched up well with Rasheed Wallace. Does that mean Wallace was a better player? To Rose Garden fans, perhaps.

I tried showing my SO Davis’s signature unibrow last Sunday, when a Pelicans game was on the bowling-alley TV. “Look,” I’d say. “He has a signature unibrow!” The SO would look, and the camera would cut back from closeup. Apparently Davis and my SO have some kind of quantum-observation dilemma going on.

During this game I saw many closeups of Omar Asik. He resembles the big mean jock bully in every 1980’s teen movie. Chris Kaman had probably his best game as a Blazer, before or since; he resembles the distant family friend who’d show up once every two years bringing deer jerky.

Spooky-ass “Deliverance” Steve Blake can hit exactly three shots on a basketball court, and for the sake of your precious children I will list them here. One is from the left baseline edge. Another is from the right baseline edge. The third is scooping the ball into the hoop after running underneath the basket, along the baseline. Presumably he is allowed to take these shots so that he doesn’t start gnawing into anyone’s living pancreas.

Nicolas Batum has a weird beard attached to his jaw, now, something a KGB spy would glue on. It made me wonder – what would Batum look like with hair? My first instinct is to assume it would grow into a beret, baguette, and cigarette, but that’s probably wrong, it would probably just be regular people hair.

 

TRAIL BLAZERS 107, LAKERS 77: GREY BIRD

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Friday night, I got blue sweats and a blue sweatshirt on, the weather is terrible, the Blazers are playing the busted ass Lakers: there is only one solution to this, and it is one of my patented WordVom recaps, where I watch the game and just write whatever.

 

Can I just say, Friday night, Blazer game, that is horse shit, man. I should be out with a friend or a lover or something tonight. There are some DECENT restaurants in Vancouver, WA, man. Thai Orchid, for instance, they have those good veggie sushi rolls. I could be eating them, but I’m here, with the Blazers, instead.

 

MARK JACKSON! MAAAARRRKKKKK!

 

The Blazer clinched the Division before the game started. Or, I suppose, the Thunder let the air out of their division chances.

 

Aldridge misses and early three pointer. He isn’t making enough three pointers. Are any of us, really? What are our personal standards, and how are we achieving those dreams? Are we, even? Do we deserve to? Is the standard of deserve completely arbtrary? Is the only thing we truly “Deserve” death?

 

Easter is coming up. I think I will try to catch the Pope’s easter mass when I get back from work at around midnight. I am not a catholic, but you know, you should always seek the BEST of any-thing, and you gotta imagine, the Pope on Easter, that’s some real-shit. Lillard hits three three early. God bless him. I hope on easter, the Pop takes a minute to talk about “The young man who wears 0” and thank him for all he has done for the church and for humanity.

 

Ugh, they let Ryan Kelly dunk. The DUKE Ryan Kelly. Disgusting. I have a taste in my mouth, and it’s bad. It’s like toilet water, like Coach K’s favorite evening beverage. YOu read that right, Coach K drinks toilet water at night, after everyone has used the toilet. If he has something to say about it, he should sue me. He will see the fucking evidence I have. THe whole world will, in a civil court. He is a gross man, who drinks toilet water.

 

Alrdidge misses a corner three. The Pope shakes his head. He needs to make those shots, says the pope to his gathered cronies. “Yes, yes, Mr. Pope,” they reply, “absolutely. You know the deepest secrets of ball, Mr. Pope.”

 

Booze-Man misses a midrange shot. I hope the Blazers sign him next year, so we can hang out. He seems like a fun guy, and I think we have a lot in common. For instence: we both have intimate knowledge of Coach K’s “Toilet Proclivvys” Booze-man misses a paint pushy hook.

 

I heard “Clarkson” as “Marxon.” Jordan Clarkson is the people’s player! Once I tried to look and see if there was a blacklisted baseball player. I couldn’t find one, and I was very disappointed. That’s a whole goddamn pitch, right there. I suppose the gentleman who invted the high-five was probably blacklisted for being a homosexual. God, the world was once terrible and is not much better now.

 

Lillard outscored the Lakers in the first quarter. I am not COMPLETELY sure that I should be watching this game.

 

CJ isolates and hits a midrange shot. Cool, I guess? I mean, it’s not a GOOD play, but it is a play and it did go in. The Blazers are beating the Lakers by a lot of points. Hopefull they don’t get comebacked again. They probably won’t the Lakers are extremely bad. The Lakers are not a very good team. Neither am I. I am letting everyone else on my team down every day.

 

Dave Pasch feels like this is the least energetic he has seen the Staples Center. I like it, it’s listless. Every arena should be like this. Getting excited about sports, or anything, is gauche.

 

Instead of grabbing a rebound Meyers shoves it into the floor and it bounces in the air and Lopez grabs it. Is it just trying to turn boards into team rebounds? He doesn’t think ANYONE should get credit for rebounds, DAMNIT!

 

This game is a gutter. I woudn’t be surprised if the lakers sent in a sewer croc or a giant, wet teddy bear or like three hundred rats.

 

Did you guys see that Nancy Sinatra said that Ronan Farrow isn’t Frank’s son? Has she seen that dude!?

 

I mean, COME ON. Even the Pope is like “Uhh yeah, that’s Frank’s seed, clearly. I am the Pope, I ain’t lyin!” I also suspect he could play for the Lakers at this point. A censored version of “BOOM BITCH GET OUT THE WAY” in the Staples Center. C’mon, I brought my kid to this game, and to see the Pope, who is also at the game.

 

What I have eaten today: A banana, and indian buffet. I am like 50/50 on eating dinner. I feel a little like I am going to starve if I keep eating this game, because it is fallow. The lakes are almost certainly not going to crack forty points. Pasch just said “Happy Birthday, Big guy” to Mac Jackson and he has to be like “BIG GUY!? I’m not that tall and I am CERTAINLY Not Fat! Dave, you are taking some liberties! I expect you to apologize on air in the next segment.”

 

The Blazers have shot two free throws in the half. They are infamously bad at drawing fouls, but I am inclined to blame it on the Lakers looking to keep their PERs free of fouljunk.

 

Lead goes from 25 to 16. The Blazers need to uh, oh I don’t care. At this point, I just want what’s best for everyone in the game. Jordan Clarkson should play well, make a career for himself. I hope he does well.

During halftime I watched this Chuck Berry video. I THINK this is him playing with randos, because he was too cheap to hire a real band in those days. One of these randos can kind of shred, but the rhythm section is tremendously slapdash. He plays Johnny B. Goode for like ten minutes, and the game is starting again.

 

Afflalo got fouled. I have decided to make some ravioli. Mark Jackson is singing the praises of Arron, because he is an isolation player and Mark Jackson likes postup mismatches. If I knew when I was going to die, would I live a different life?

 

Robin got dunked on. He sacrificed himself for a shot at glory, and it crumbled in his hands, like sand. Robin collapses to the wood and weeps for what he lost. For what his team lost. For what everyone lost.

 

I don’t like this game because the Blazers aren’t absolutely whooping the Lakers like I wish they would. I wish something extraordinary would happen in one of these games. I suppose the fight was really cool, and there were some buzzer beaters at year’s beginning. But for the last, like, three months, these things have been draaaaaaging their hands down the street and falling asleep for five minutes and waking up and yelling “Oh my god, was there a race going on!?” Then waking up and shuffling to a finish line, win or loss be damned. Lakers pull into 13th street.

 

Jordan Clarkson is killing the Blazers. Majick Clarkson. If he related to Joey? Are all of us? Is Joey Crawford all of our anger, out spite, manifest in the world, congealed together, and formed into an NBA Referee?

 

CJ is having a great game. That’s good. I have long thought that he was juuuust short of being an NBA player, but he has been playing well lately. Maybe he will keep playing well. Maybe he won’t. Maybe I will find love, a person to share warmth with, maybe I won’t. Life is so very hard to predict. All I can hope for is CJ to be sustainably good and a love to come my way and melt my cold outsides and reveal the real person, the fiery soul underneath.

 

Mark Jackson points out that the Lakers are playing a shit ton of music. So do the Blazers, though, and the people in that stadium scream their faces off. I wish the Blazers had an organ. I like organs. They could play Water Music during games.

 

The Blazers have pulled away. Took long enough.

 

TRAIL BLAZERS 109, SUNS 89: YELLOW BIRD

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Your dad beat the Suns today, in a blowout. He had lost to the Suns a lot lately, but the team has been fractured by poor play in close games, internal strife, and madness.

 

“That’s what happens,” you dad says on the way home. “That’s what happens when you can’t keep it together.”

 

You want to tell your dad that those close games have so much to do with luck, that the Suns were a fun and interesting team who were running a fascinating plan before they were too unstable to continue.

 

“You need to have five positions, son.” He says to you. “The guard, the forward, the center, the coach. Anything less and the system will break.”

 

Dad is really feeling himself tonight. He was scoring left and right. The Suns were DOA, toast, Kaputt. He made it to that playoffs You are glad he won, but you wish he could just shut up on these rides home.

 

“And it IS about a system, son. Say that back to me.”

 

“Dad, this is absurd.”

 

A silence. It extends. You feel the chill in his heart, creeping into your own.

 

“…It’s about a system.”

 

“You’re goddamn right. A system. Purge the chaos and all that’s left is order, and you can build a castle on the order, and use the castle to crush your enemies.”

 

You don’t mention the fact that everyone else has a castle, and one of the knights is gone, and there is a sense of building, creeping dread around the castle, a faint whiff of disease in the villages, a feel that the black death is here and we are all just sitting and waiting for it to come. I might be soon and it might be quick, or it might be far away and slow and extracting and doomed.

 

Your dad arrives at the house. Can your family really afford this house?

 

TRAIL BLAZERS 120, NUGGETS 114: THE CUP OF KINGS

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(James FIlmore wrote this recap.)

In this game, in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, the most prolific Denver scorer, Randy Foye, was resting on the bench.Nuggets TV announcers talked about how nice a game Foye was having. Accordingly, TV cameras cut to Foye’s face. Alongside Foye, a Denver player (I think it was Joffrey Lauvergne, I cannot say for certain, white guys look alike to me) yawned hugely. Not a regular yawn. A disjointed-jaw, Orcs-with-anger-issues yawn.

Yeah.
The Blazers won this game. Do Denver players who weren’t traded at the deadline feel kinda unwanted? I would.
Both teams played as if this were a meaningless All-Star game, with alley-oop passes to guys who weren’t expecting alley-oop passes. And, in a sense, it is a meaningless All-Star game; the result means nothing, and the players are skilled. They are crazy good, better at what they do than all but a teensy percentage of human beings. You and I should be so lucky to have such talent, in any field of human endeavor. The players in this game, however, are not quite so good as NBA All-Stars, so those alley-oops went sailing into the photography row.
Which is fine. I hate the All-Star game anyways.
Some Blazers “played” as if this game mattered. I think I’ve figured out what makes Damian Lillard very effective at basketballing. Several times tonight, he corralled rebounds with his fingertips. Like he had suction cups on the end of his digits, like some kind of spooky alien creature. This is not normal. Not for humans. Go to the nice OSU Marine Science aquarium in Newport and see appendages for which this is normal.
So his creepy-alien ballhandling skills give him an edge. He’s not the fastest, or the shiftiest. He can make moves you shouldn’t be able to make while holding onto the ball at the same time. This is why he’s had some crazy rebounding games, despite being dwarf-sized by NBA standards (or behemoth-sized by normal standards.) His ballhandling is just that good.
Another good player is LaMarcus Aldridge, who should be sitting out the rest of this season. He might be the best player Portland has ever had, I dunno. Walton had a short career, Drexler was eclipsed by His Giant Shithead Airness, Sabonis was hurt before he came here. I don’t care about these “who’s best” things, I’m just wondering. Aldridge with one-and-a-half hands is stunning. Even in meaningless games where my soul screams “shut him down, I don’t want him hurt” he can make moves to free himself for a jumper that are pure loveliness, and everyone just wants to watch those moves. Unless you hate the human body and the best it can do; I’m not gonna criticize you if that’s the case, humans are kinda goofy-looking.
Do you remember the Foye/Roy thing? If not, forget I mentioned it. If so, forget I mentioned it.
Will Barton had a nice sneaky inbounds play. You go, Will.
The magical gnomes that deliver entirely-legal streaming of NBA games to my computer were, again, off point tonight, focusing on NCAA games during the first half of this contest. So I listened to even-more-legal radio streaming for two quarters. Brian Wheeler, Blazers play-by-play man, sounded as bored as Joffrey Lauvergne (or whichever white guy), and that’s amazing. Wheeler generally screams bloody murder, as if his head is about to spontaneously explode, and that’s what fans and ownership like about him. He was quite sedate, even reserved, during the first half of tonight’s game.
I suddenly like Brian Wheeler a lot more.