Watch this game from the outside. The up and coming Pelicans, featuring one of the league’s finest rising stars: possibly the third best player in basketball today, come into the Rose Garden, one of the hardest road games in the country, and get the Blazers on the ropes. AD is tearing stuff up. Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans are proving the support they were brought in to give. They’re defending the Blazer attack, one of the best offenses in the game, WITHOUT Omer Asik, their ace defensive center. “This is it!” Cries America, “The Pelicans are emerging! A new force in the West! Oh happy day!”
Then, in the fourth, they just get wrecked. Their offense stagnates. They go away from Davis and towards guardy penetrations. There’s no reliable shooting on the floor, besides Anderson, who can’t create. Anthony is barely touching the ball. Lopez is shutting them down at the rim. The Blazers start to get into their Motion. Is it the coach? Is it the personnel? Maybe they just aren’t ready to take on an UNSTOPPABLE FORCE like the Blazers. Not ready to beat the best of the West!
The Blazers were straight up villains tonight, dogging t all game and then swooping in to steal one when the scrappy upstart Pelicans lost their minds. They’re going back to their fancy camp on Lake Oswego tonight, where they will feast on caviar around an electric campfire. Snobs win. And we’re the snobs, guys! We’re rich! Hahaha! Get out of our way PEASANT PELICANS! You DELTA TRASH aren’t fit to lick the FINE BOOTS of the Portland Trail Blazers! Tell them, Nic, in your tasteful camel colored jacket! “Oui Oui! Zee Pelicans are Nosing com’pared to us! Oh hohohoho!”
WE DID IT, GUYS! We’re the establishment! Eat our guts, upstarts!
But yeah, for a lot of the game, the Blazers looked pretty bad. Aldridge was shook at hell by Davis, who lit him up on offense and put the fear of god into him on defense. Theoretically, Aldridge should be able to take Davis to the block. He’s his and strong, Davis is thinner and wiry But goddamn if Davis isn’t able to compensate for that with sheer athleticism and timing. Hence this thing…
— a pleasant mo-ment (@jacobjbg) November 18, 2014
…which is one of the kookiest basketball plays I have seen in a while. But LMA was able to feast on everyone else they sent at him. Ryan Anderson in particular, who was a pain in the ass cover until he chilled in the fourth, got his ear chewed off pretty good. He eneded with 22 on 18 shots and 9 rebounds, also known as “The LaMarcus Aldridge Special.”
You know who was NOT good in this game? Allen Crabbe! 3 points on 3 shots, two turnover and a WHOPPING -14 rating. He was a central fixture of the Pelicans’ second quarter run that put them in pole position for much of the game. He would get the ball at the wing, seemingly open, seemingly able to make three pointers, and he would make a big ol’ mess of a drive instead. What is the Deal, Crabman? Just take the shot, brother!
On the other side was Steve Blake, sporting a fucking +27 and DOMINATING the YOUNG Pelicans with his VETERAN wiles that ENCHANT the opposition. You guys see that hesitation move in the second? That’s what REAL basketball looks like. I think these “Pelicans” could stand to learn a few lessons from “Professor” Steve Blake, who everyone acknowledges is very good at basketball and is always good at basketball and is never frustrating, ever! 7 assists off the bench, Steve is coming for you, Stockton!
Hey, look at this!
That is a lot of minutes for LMA and Lillard and Matthews! Probably too many! I mean, Jimmy Butler played 45 in a 10+ point win, so it’s not THAT bad, but 35+ every night might take a toll! Oh well! Hey, now that the Blazers are the establishment, I think its time to rest dudes during national TV games, because that is what you do when you’re successful as hell like the Blazers are! I have NOTHING BUT CONTEMPT for paying customers in cities besides Portland!
Your Friend Damian Lillard did that “Struggle in the first half, light it up in the fourth” thing, AGAIN. I am tired of it. I do not find it exciting, I find it a middle finger to logic and reason. Please perform the way averages suggest you should, Dame. This is bullcrap.
Robin Lopez sunk two late free throws. I often meditate, like actually meditate, on mountains, on the particular threat of a rolling big man who can sink free throws, and I have decided that they are dangerous, dangerous men, because you can’t just sag off in high leverage and try to yank their arms off and make them earn it the way you can with Dwight or whomemver.
The Beginning of the Second Quarter Was All About Former Blazer Great Jeff Withey, a novel by The Universe, written on this night. He got wrecked in the post by Kaman, twice, committed three fouls, one on noted post up power player Joel Freeland, he dished out a B-/Kinda Sweet high/low pass. He was the Center of the Universe! Also, always good to see Luke Babbit out there, still ballin’ at the age of 35. Not getting a lot of minutes, but a reliable, veteran presence after his tempestuous career in Portland and Russia.
Wes scored a sill basket while he was falling down and trying to heave a shot at the rim to create an offensive rebound It was silly, but very fun. He also scored the tying basket.
Thank God the Blazers won tonight, because if they hadn’t, they would have been beheaded by The Queens of the Pacific Northwest and America’s Finest Rock and Roll Band, who were COURTSIDE IN THE BUILDING TONIGHT:
— Sleater-Kinney (@Sleater_Kinney) November 18, 2014
When I saw S-K the Gawdesses were present, I totally lost track of the game so I could try to parse out some information about their viewing habits. Janet was clapping the most, clearly has the deepest investment in the team. I heard the fourth quarter surge came from Terry getting everyone in the huddle and playing the chorus of “Get Up.” “You’re right, Terry,” said Dame in the huddle, “We can’t disappoint Sleater-Kinney. They made all of our favorite records that we train to every day!”