TRAIL BLAZERS 115 THUNDER 111 (OT): YOU’LL BE IN THE AIR

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oddz

I’m not going to lie to you guys. I totally, 100% zoned out at the end there, looked up right before Westbrook took the foul shot that put the Thunder up three, thought “Uhh, let’s see, 98 minus 95, that’s three, so this is a one possession game, which is pretty weird, because weren’t the Thunder up ten with like two minutes to go before I started getting distracted by this comic book?” Then, I watched Lillard hit that three which, while not REALLY being like the Houston three, felt as if it was A KIN TO THE SPIRIT of that three. Mike Prada made a Vine where he lined the audio of the Houston three up with tonght’s three. I found it very disassociating, because it wasn’t a buzzer beater or a game winner, and it was a good shot but would anyone really be like OH MY GOD the way Tirico was? One time I watched the CSNNW call of that game, and Rice complained about the ref on the other end. Biggest Blazer shot in like, 20 years at least, and he moaned about the officials!

So I have gone back and looked at the play-by play of the last minute and a half. I will try to assign blame or credit for every step in the comeback, without really knowing much about what was going on. Guys, I did a terrible, terrible job of watching this game. I could only think about my Christmas presents. I hope I get everything my heart craves, and I hope you do too. I hope Santa comes into your house and stocks all of the shelves with Blazer victories, then you eat them until you turn fat and shit out Blazer defeats.

one

I didn’t see this foul, so maybe t was a real bullshit foul. But, c’mon, can’t go getting techs like that for no good reason. Then again, pretty big deficit, you can USUALLY take one just because cussin’ at the refs is fun dare. Gonna call this one 60% Russ’s fault, 20% Lillard’s initiative, 20% referee malfeasance.

one2

100% good idea by Scott Brooks, Kendrick Perkins is very bad, and you should play him as little as possible. This loss was AT LEAST not 100% Scott Brooks’s fault.

one3

Probably a good foul by Blake to stop a Westbrook drive. Heady play. 100% credit to Steve Blake.

One4

Gonna go 65/35 Morrow/Matthews. Did Morrow try to dribble or something? Don’t dribble, Anthony!

one5

That’s a good shot by Lillard. It was unassisted, which means he gets extra credit. I dont know if someone set a screen to free him up. If they did, they can be afforded 5% credit, and the person who got screened can be assigned 10% blame. If not, Lillard gets 100% of the credit.

one6

50/50 Blame/Credit to Westbrook, because he made the shot but a 16-Footer is not really a very good shot.

one7

10% Lillard, for making the drive, then like 30% credit to Ibaka, then 10% Blame to Ibaka for not getting the rebound, but then 20% more blame to his teammates for not getting the rebound, then 55% credit to LMA for getting the rebound and scoring.

one8

Uhh, 45% Blame to Ibaka, 10% Credit to Dorell. The remaining percentage is the Divinity of Randor, the God of Randomness.

one9

100% Scott Brooks’s fault. Don’t play Perkins! He is bad! Scott Brooks lost them this game when he put Perkins in to box out for that rebound! Also his glasses look very silly!

one10

Good foul by Steve Blake, that’s a solid 60% credit for him. Westbrook missed one of the foul shots which kept the game in one possessions territory, I will only assign 5% blame. He is a very good foul shooter, but no one is a 100% foul shooter. This was probably the biggest break the Blazers got.

one11

Lillard said in the postgame that Westbrook was sagging off him, so he altered his approach and managed to outrun him to the spot where he shot from. Still, awesome shot. Gonna go 65% Lillard credit, 30% Westbrook Blame, 5% Steve Blake credit and an unassigned amount of extra blame to other Thunder players for not switching on the play.

 

STRAY NOTES:

-Lillard was great!

-There was a dust up! IBAKA STARTED IT!

-Lillard straight flopped in the first half to stop a fast break. It was amazing. I wish everyone on the Blazers had the sort of commitment that made them into full time floppers. Four flying limbs to victory!

-Feels good to see the Thunder get beat. A sunny day in my own heart.

A PAIR OF PELICANS PREVIEWS!

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(We had two Pelicans preview written. I (Corbin) don’t understand how to use WordPress, so I am posing them both, right here. If anyone knows how to use WordPress, please send me a message about it, I would find it immensely useful. I also don’t know how to turn off the .docx formatting and I am VERY scared of my own shadow and girls and cars. I am actually scared of cars, that one is real. They just move so fast, it’s clearly not natural.)

 

PREVIEW ONE: BY JAMES FILMORE!

With any luck, your God, gods, inner Jiminy Cricket, family, friends, psychics, Life Coaches, fellow

AA members or drunken D&D dice rolls have steered you away from any thoughts of being an NBA

reporter. Oh, sure, there’s the money, the glamour, the fame, the sex, and the opportunity to hang

around pungent locker rooms with people who regard you as a walking toilet stain.

But then there’s also the job, which involves doing Human Interest Profile Stories. About millionaires,

who tend not to be very fascinating. This is a bearable cross, if you have no problem interviewing the

same people and getting the same quotes and finding some way your soul can stomach turning this into

material which doesn’t smell of punching a clock.

Anthony Davis, he of the New Orleans Pelicans, is a budding NBA superstar, and everybody wants

to write Human Interest Profile Stories about him. I don’t know why this is. As an avid reader and

casual sports fan, I like reading sports-related stuff. I particularly enjoy bizarre anecdotes (“he broke

a fingernail trying to steal pistachios from the hotel mini-bar”), the way I enjoy it when co-workers

tell me how their family/friends/pets do stupid things. These stories try to be entertaining, and all

we can do in this vale of tears is make stabs at entertaining one another. I’m bored by sports stories

teaching me how driven and inspiring and destined for glory sports figures are, much the same way I

tune out for co-workers describing their family/friends/pets doing wonderful, heart-warming things.

I have a heart, it’s around here somewhere. I just warm it on my own time, thank you very much.

The contributions of strangers to the ambient temperature of my heart are unasked for and largely

unappreciated.

Two Human Interest Profile Stories I found about Mr. Davis follow exactly the same template. One

does not plagiarize the other. It’s merely that Davis is new blood, and if you want to do a HIPS on him,

you’re going to use the same public-domain material. One, by Sam Amick of “USA Today,” available

here, uses anecdotes about Davis’s youthful indifference to stardom, mentions his childhood in a poor

part of Chicago, and quotes his carpenter father plus his current NBA coach, Monty Williams. The

other, by Lee Jenkins of “Sports Illustrated,” not available for free online, uses different anecdotes

about Davis’s youthful indifference to stardom, mentions the same childhood, has different quotes by

the same people. Both were fed lines by Williams comparing Davis to Williams’s old teammate, Tim

Duncan, and both used the lines.

What else could these writers do? It’s a hard gig. It’s not like you’re going to stumble ass-backwards

into a verifiable source confirming that Davis used to rip the spines from clowns at children’s parties

(not YET.) The Jenkins article contains more quotes & anecdotes, because Jenkins was given more

copy space. What do you learn about Davis from either? Nothing you don’t learn about almost any

athlete in any HIPS, and why does anyone want to learn much more? I dunno. The world don’t move

to the beat of just one drum, and I’m glad anyone out there is reading anything longer than a candy-bar

wrapper nowadays.

The Blazers play the Pelicans tonight, one night after what seems to have been a hugely fun three-

overtime win against San Antonio. I missed that fun game, having opted for food and drink with

amicable associates. Usually a choice I wouldn’t regret, but when I saw clips on the bar TV I wondered.

The Blazers will probably be tired, phone it in, and try to come back in the final quarter. I’ll watch this

game wire-to-wire. Choices have consequences, people!

PREVIEW TWO: BY BOBBY OHMAN!

Before we even discuss any future events, let’s just take a second to talk about what a cold-

blooded assassin of righteousness and poetry Damian Lillard is. He is Mufasa in Lion King. He

is Bruce Willis in Die Hard. He doesn’t use coasters. He is Neil Armstrong. He walks away from

explosions without looking back. He paid your bill at TGI Friday’s one time. On Friday, he did

things against the Spurs that it’s hard to do in video games.

That being said, there is another basketball game to be played. The Blazers now travel east to

New Orleans to play the Jazz or the Hornets or the Pelicans or whatever.

Unfortunately for the Blazers, fresh off a valiant display of war and honor, New Orleans is home

to a young superstar who seems poised to inevitably take the throne from LeBron James and

dominate the league for the next ten to fifteen years. It’s frightening how good he is at such a

young age. He has legitimate guard skills with power forward size, and his ceiling appears to be

unquantifiable. I’m talking of course about the man, the myth, the legend: Luke Babbitt.

YESSIR BABS IS BACK IN OUR LIVES AND DOING WELL. NO LONGER BANISHED

TO THE DEPTHS OF SIBERIA, HE HAS EMERGED AS AN HONEST TO GOD NBA

ROLE PLAYER ON A PRETTY GOOD JAZZ / HORNETS/ PELICANS TEAM.

These are exciting times.

The Pelicans also have a young forward named Anthony “Tony” Davis who several people who

know things about basketball are excited about. The game will be played at a place called the

Smoothie King Center, which really puts the Moda Center thing in perspective. That’s an

unfortunate name, especially when the Superdome is across the street. The Superdome is the

coolest name in the history of stadiums, like no questions asked, whereas the Smoothies King

Center has the word smoothie in its name.

The Pelicans are a weird team befitting of a weird arena name. Once they stumbled into the

number one pick that became Anthony Davis, they tried to accelerate their rebuild by about three

years, which was really stupid of them. Instead of having patience and developing other young

players around Davis (cutting the Luke Babbitt bullshit- it’s scary how fucking good Anthony

Davis already is), they made a series of trades that probably aren’t going to look like good

decisions in retrospect in five years. First, they traded for Jrue Holiday on Draft night two years

ago. Holiday is a nice player, but he most assuredly isn’t worth the two first round picks they

gave up to get him. From there they basically gave away Greivis Vasquez and Robin Lopez for

the right to pay Tyreke Evans 44 million dollars, and then this past summer they gave up another

first rounder for Omer Asik. They also used the 10th overall pick on Austin Rivers in the Davis

draft, who has been super disappointing. He’s an undersized shooting guard who can’t shoot, and

he doesn’t really play defense. And to make matters worse, their uniforms totally suck. They’re

somehow less aesthetically pleasing than the ones that Chris Paul used to wear that looked like

Pop-Tarts.

Regardless, Anthony Davis is already a transcendent player. Despite the fact that he could still be

playing for Kentucky, he would probably win MVP if the season ended tomorrow. They might

have thrown away some picks, and their pieces might not fit together perfectly, but they still

have an undeniable level of talent. If those players can learn to complement Davis, the Pelicans

will be a team to fear for years to come. However, this isn’t years to come. This is right now.

Normally, I’d say that the Blazers would have an overwhelming chance to beat any team starting

Luke Babbitt and Austin Rivers, but this game basically amounts to a toss-up. Due to the heavy

minutes starters had to play in San Antonio, the bench will be called upon to deliver. If they can,

the Blazers will probably win. If they can’t, the Blazers will probably lose. Either way

everybody’s getting a postgame smoothie.

TRAIL BLAZERS 129, SPURS 119 (3OT) – FIREBRAND

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TEN-ISH PARAGRAPHS ABOUT BLAZERS/SPURS

 

ONE: That was the best Blazer game of the year thus far. Three overtimes, a whole handful of comebacks, Amazing performence, incident after incident after incident. The only thing that could have made it better is if some hardcore shit had happened, like Terry gets thrown out by security for calling the refs “Dingleberries.” On a certain level, I am upset that I have to continue watching the Blazers play, because that is as good as it is going to get until the playoffs, at least.

 

TWO: Obviously no basketball game is REALLY a duel, because duels don’t feature ten people. But let’s say that this was a duel, because it can be fun to stick things in boxes, even when they don’t fit. For instance: a car inside a shoebox is a lot of fun for everyone except the cat. Lillard went for a career-high 43 points against Tim Duncan’s 32. In the overtimes, they traded baskets to get their team back in the game. Lillard, a valiant warrior, who needs to behead the old, over the hill Warlord who was running his village into the ground so he could take his place in the Throne of Skulls. They went toe to toe, then, in the final overtime, he drove the sword in his flesh and cut off his head. It was cleaned, and placed in a place on honor on the throne.

 

THREE: This was technically a playoff rematch. I didn’t even think about it because that series barely existed, the Blazers just got waxed over and over. As far as my memory function, Lillard hit that shot, then there was two weeks of darkness, then the offseason started and I was thinking about who they would sign.

 

FOUR: Dorrell played, and he played well! He made some threes! Dorrell not playing drives me crazy. Here is a totally reasonable document I made about it:

IMG_0083

Everything about Wright’s Portland career unnerves me. He was benched after a pretty short shooting slump, when though he fills a position of need, he was a vet free agent who was straight up denied minutes (People remember this shit!), and sometimes he plays very well and then it is, poof! Forgotten forever!

 

FOUR: Lamarcus hit a three. Is it possible that as he ages into his next contract he will become more efficient when some of his long twos become threes? Or is this utopian BlazerThought, am I subcumbing to the virus?

 

FIVE: Look, Lillard’s dunk attempt was admirable. We all want to reach for the tops of mountains, then have sex with the mountain. But, you know, if he had just laid it in, we could have avoided the three overtimes. I suppose the overtimes were a blessing. Maybe it was all for the best.

 

SIX: Steve Blake game tying threes. Do you find them spiritually edifying? Does it makes your feel warm, in your heart? I find my rebel’s heart rejecting every snap of the net. I shun basketball dad and his accomplishments, his work ethic. I reject his 9-5, just trying to put food on the table, glowering at us over tomato soup, angry at our piercings and out casual experiments with sex and drugs. I wish Steve Blake would disappear, back his father’s farm where he came from.

 

SEVEN: Rim defense still hasn’t been a massive problem with Lopez out, but they also still haven’t encountered a super high level penetrator type, what with Tony Parker out. A weary nation eagerly awaits the game that will bring us closer to conclusions about the Blazers’ defense without Lopez!

 

EIGHT: This game was probably more interesting from the Spurs side. This was the SECOND three overtime game they have played IN A ROW, for a team that goes really far out of its way to, like, not play their players all that often. The universe has decided to set their minutes straight after years of openly gaming the system. Tim Duncan played 48 and 42 minutes in two consecutive games. Tim Duncan hadn’t played 48 minutes since 2008.

 

NINE: Robinson went after Duncan on the break, and got baaaaaanged on by a distinguished older man. God Bless the effort, trying to give someone an excuse to keep playing you, but do you have no sense of vanity, man!? Just let it go! There was nothing you could do! Those are the kinds of actions that get you in someone’s Hall of Fame speech. “And in addition to all of those people, I would like to thank Thomas Robinson for jumping. I got you so good, you sucker. Your blood has given me ten extra years of life!”

 

TEN: I am not digging up the tweet, but just believe me when I say: Tim Duncan was showing off a car he built in the stadium tonight. It was a Black, car, with a matted paint job. THe tweet called it a “Punisher Car.” It did not, to my line of sight, have Punisher insignia on it. I know Tim likes the Punisher, which, pedant, but that doesn’t mean that EVERY black thing becomes Punisher branded. “Hey look at these Punisher pants.” “Check out this Punisher sack of charcoal.” “Hey, man, I am a really into these Punisher frying pans. Cast iron!”


ELEVEN: The Blazers are on a back-to-back tomorrow, which is cool, good, great. I am sure they will have tiny little bombs in their legs and they will come out and make quick work of… oh, Jesus, the Pelicans. Davis is going to embarrass them, rip off their shorts and reveal red hearted boxer shorts on every member of the team. They will be run out of all of America, and be forced to become the Vancouver (Canada) Trail Blazers. It was nice knowing you, Trail Blazers.

TRAIL BLAZERS 104 BUCKS 97: CURLY

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I am going to be completely honest with you and with everyone. I have a headache. Riiiiiight in the middle of my head, a slow, sine wave throb, going whoomp whoomp whoomp whoomp. I am not a fan of this headache. It is not a good headache that is making me stronger.  I already took iBproufen and I don’t want to take anymore. At about halftime, I took a shower, which usually gets rid of my headaches, opens up up my veins or tricks me into thinking it was an actual solution or something, but it persists.

 

I think I ate too many cookies after dinner and made it kind of worse. I also spent a bunch of time staring at a screen, watching the Blazers play the Bucks when my normal headache procedure it to set them lights low and lie down until it passes. Drink tea. Listen to New Age music. Stuck a crystal on my forehead. Invite my Reiki bros over.

 

I also watched the end of that Spurs/Grizzlies game for a while. I don’t think it significantly overlapped with anything that happened in the Blazer game that was terribly worth mentioning. It was a pretty cool ending, though. Marc Gasol banked in a one handed three, Tim Duncan sunk a buzzer beater, Manu missed a shot for the win by like three and a half feet. Grizzles won, because they meant Grizzness.

 

The first three quarters of this game were a tit for tat duel between the Bucks and the Blazers, who did NOT mean Grizzness tonight. A lot of players were shooting crappily: Batum, as is his habit lately, and Kaman, who didn’t make a field goal until the second half were both particularly bad.

 

Giannis sprained his ankle. It looked REALLY bad at the time because he fell on the ground pretty hard and stayed down for a while but he got up and walked to the locker room on his own. The Bucks had to foul to stop the game. Aldridge’s shots tied it up.

 

Batum also fell down really hard in basically the same spot. Looked like he hit his head, but he came back into a game that was pretty much out of reach for the Bucks, so either he was okay or the organization is WILDLY irresponsible with players who have concussions. I m going to ASSUME the former. If anyone is a reporter who wants to get to the bottom of the issue, we will publish your findings here on Portland Roundball, no censorship. We even want your findings if it turns out the Blazers are doing  good job with concussion management. We really just want to publish findings of any kind on here. Hell, we will take science findings. What are you guys finding about science? About relationships? About people in your own life? WE WILL PUBLISH WHAT YOU FIND.

 

Lopez was out. He was wearing a black polo and a black cast, because he is a cool guy who wears black, like Zorro.  The defense wasn’t demonstrably worse. But the Bucks aren’t an accomplished offensive team, so let’s not count our chickens before they hatch on that one yet.

 

Thomas Robinson got the star in his place and he was excellent, 15 points and 15 boards. Good for him! Good job, TRobb! He was also the subject of a PROTRACTED hacking effort by the Bucks that was REALLY annoying if, for instance, you had a headache and wanted to not be watching the game anymore, much less the worst possible version of the game of basketball over a span of 15 Minutes.

 

I don’t think hacking works. Once it worked for the Blazers in the playoffs and it drove me completely nuts. I wish the Blazers had lost that game, and that series. It gave me no joy, because they hacked in game one. I am very fickle. It didn’t work for the Bucks tonight, they lost and they didn’t cover major ground while they were using it. But, man, Thomas Robinson missed a LOT of foul shots. At one point the crowd was cheering, to be supportive, and Lillard made the “Hey, calm down, Thomas is fragile and your screams will rattle him to his very core” gesture.

 

Uhh, what else happened. Lamarcus was good? He played center, kind of, since Robinson started. Before the game, I thought Freeland should have started. I still kind of think he should. Robinson was trying his ass off tonight, we’ll see if he can keep that going. Also, is he really going to protect the rim when a good offensive team rides in on their big fat pig motorcycles? How much do you really care about my subjective opinions? Me, me, me, I, I, I, think, think, think, this, this, this, that, that that.

 

Batum had a really, really good bounce pass to Lillard in the second. Tasty stuff. Lillard dunked it, too, with two hands, which is the harder kind of dunk because you need to get your whole body above the rim, not just your shoulder. Basically anyone can dunk with one hand. I dunk literally all the time. What I like to do if get a five year old on the block, then I drop step, and I dunk, then I pick the five year old up and i say “Oh man buddy, you’re next” and they’re all “ noooo noooo don’t dunk me” and I set them down and I say “Haha, just kidding, get back to the petting zoo and give that goat some of these!” Then I hand the kid peanuts, to feed the goat. Goats love peanuts.


Anyway, Spurs next. Hopefully the Grizz wore their asses out.

TRAIL BLAZERS 108- SPURS 95: SUGARCUBE

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The sun rises on a Dojo in the mountains. The Master is sweeping the porch. A wandering challenger approaches from the desert.

 

“I wish to challenge this dojo for their sign.”

 

This challenger is known throughout the country for his strength and cunning. The Master is worried. He brings his students into the hall.

 

“This man is here to challenge us for our sign. Who will accept his challenge?”

 

The dojo’s star pupil rises.

 

“I will take him, and preserve the honor of our school, master.”

 

The challenger gets a screwed up look on his face.

 

“Oh, sorry, did you think you would be fighting me? No, no, you’re going to be fighting Jim. I am very tired, from a fight I was in yesterday. He is a slower hiker than me. He will be here in a second.”

 

Jim enters the Dojo. He is not nearly as strong as the wanderer, but he does have a sort of scrappy charm.

 

“Alright, who am I fightin!?”

 

The dojo’s star pupil looked around at his cohorts, expecting someone else to take up the challenge in his stead.

 

“Uhh, me I guess.”

 

The two martial artists lock in combat. Though he lacked the wander’s raw physical gifts, he was clearly descended from his school. A smart fighter, with a keen sense of strategy. The star pupil was feeling challenged. But when he started to push himself a little bit, it was no contest. He overpowered the challenger and took him down with sweeping kick.

 

“I have won! This is a great victory for our dojo. Let us celebrate.”

 

The wandering challenger, standing with crossed arms, shrug his shoulders.

 

“I mean, you beat him, not me. I am kind of the big guy here. See all these signs I have collects from other dojos? I am a bad man.”

 

“I WOULD have fought you, you know.”

 

“Yeah, but you didn’t.”

 

“Well, I will. Let’s go”

 

“Ohh, owwww” The wandering challenger grabbed his leg. “Sorry, I can’t. Need my rest. I have a lot more dojos to challenge this year, you know.”

 

“Will you be back,then? So I can fight you?”

 

“Uhh, no, I don’t think so. How about this. My dojo is in the desert, How about you come over on Friday and we can fight then. I swear I’ll fight you there, unless I have, like a REAL injury or strain or something. Then, if you beat me, it will be a great honor for your school. Not like when you beat Jim, here. I mean, good fight, I guess, Jim’s pretty good, but, let’s be honest, he’s not,” he pointed to himself with two thumbs, “this guy.”

 

“So, I have to travel, ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY to test my strength against yours, even though you’re standing RIGHT THERE, not inured or anything.”

 

“Uh huh, yeah.”

 

“That’s not how this usually works.”

 

“Yes it is.”

 

“It kind of seems like your forfeited this fight to me.”

 

“I guess that’s what the ‘Official record’ will say but I think everyone knows that I didn’t lose here today, that Jim lost, and Jim is like a completely different guy than me.”

 

The star pupil was befuddled. He looked at the wandering challenger artist to see if he betrayed a trace of irony. He did not.

 

“Well,” said the wandering challenger. “This was fun. We’re going to leave now. Do you guys know where we can get something good to eat or…”

 

“Uhh, there’s a pizza place at the bottom of the mountain?”

 

“Excellent. Jim here loves za. Hey, Jim, want some Za’ for your effort tonight!?”

 

“Oh boy, do I!”

 

“Alright buddy, let’s hit the road!”

 

STRAY THOUGHTS:

 

-Congrats to Kyle Anderson, who had his first good NBA Game, 15 points on 7 shots. Ground Blake into dust in the post. You will probably torture the Blazers forever! Hooray!

 

-Boris had 9 assists, that guy is a real rascal.

 

-Goddamn, Batum REALLY sucked from three tonight! I wish he would get better. Maybe the All-Star break will clear his head, whenever that is.

 

-Robin broke his hand, which stinks. They will either start Kaman or Freeland in his place. Freeland is a better idea, I think, so Kaman can shore up the bench unit. Either Robinson or Leonard will get minutes too, which should be an adventure, at least.


-Becky Hammond deserves more respect than this.

TRAIL BLAZERS 95, PACERS 85- JESUS, ETC.

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(This recap is highly interactive. Just keep reading until you’ve decided that you read a comprehensive enough recap, then you can move on with your day.)

The Blazers won.

The Blazers played the Pacers even until the second, when the Steve Blake/Chris Kaman bench unit took a lead that the team never surrendered.

The Blazers played the Pacers even until the second, when the Steve Blake/Chris Kaman bench unit took a lead that the team never surrendered. The starters built on that lead even more, even flirting with a thirty point lead as halftime approached. The lead shrunk by the end of the game, but the Blazer still won.

The Blazers played the Pacers even until the second, when the Steve Blake/Chris Kaman bench unit took a lead that the team never surrendered. The starters built on that lead even more, even flirting with a thirty point lead as halftime approached. The Blazers weren’t able to maintain and build on the lead and really put the Pacers away at the end of the third. The Pacers came out in the fourth and clawed their way back into the game, but Batum hit a three with three or so minutes left that took the contest out of reasonable contention.

The Blazers, coming off a loss to the Bulls and a weird, schedule fueled loss to the Timberwolves, played the Pacers even until the second, when the Steve Blake/Chris Kaman bench unit took a lead that the team never surrendered. The starters built on that lead even more, even flirting with a thirty point lead as halftime approached. The Blazers weren’t able to maintain and build on the lead and really put the Pacers away at the end of the third, which was annoying, because this was their fourth game in five, and they could have used the rest the Pacers were trying to give them. The Pacers came out in the fourth and clawed their way back into the game, but Batum hit a three with three or so minutes left that took the contest out of reasonable contention, but even after that he fouled Stuckey on a fast break and extended the length of the game for no apparent or good reason.

The Blazers, coming off a loss to the Bulls and a weird, schedule fueled loss to the Timberwolves, played the Pacers even until the second, when the Steve Blake/Chris Kaman bench unit took a lead that the team never surrendered. Blake was SCORCHING, and Chris Kaman did some worn in the post. The starters built on that lead even more, even flirting with a thirty point lead as halftime approached. The Blazers weren’t able to maintain and build on the lead and really put the Pacers away at the end of the third, which was annoying, because this was their fourth game in five, and they could have used the rest the Pacers were trying to give them. The Pacers came out in the fourth and clawed their way back into the game. This Pacers run featured a play where Allen Crabbe was tying his shoes during the inbounds. If the Pacers were halfway competent on offense, the Blazers might have been in trouble. Batum hit a three with three or so minutes left that took the contest out of reasonable contention. But even after that he fouled Stuckey on a fast break and extended the length of the game for no apparent or good reason.

The Blazers, coming off a loss to the Bulls and a weird, schedule fueled loss to the Timberwolves, played the Pacers even until the second. The bench unit, led by Steve Blake and Chris Kaman, came out ON FIRE. Blake was SCORCHING, and Chris Kaman did some work in the post, including a really nice pump fake that got Roy Hibbert out of his shorts. The starters built on that lead even more, even flirting with a thirty point lead as halftime approached. During this run, Robin Lopez ALSO pump faked Hibbert out of his shorts, with a move that looked eerily like Kaman’s.

The Blazers weren’t able to maintain and build on the lead and really put the Pacers away at the end of the third, which was annoying, because this was their fourth game in five, and they could have used the rest the Pacers were trying to give them. Extremely stagnant Blazers offense allowed the Pacers claw their way back into the game in the fourth. This Pacers run featured a play where Allen Crabbe was tying his shoes during the inbounds; the ref didn’t give him the courtesy of not waiting for him to finish, handing the ball to the inbounder, who gave the ball to Crabbe’s cover behind the three point line. Kaman noticed this and aggressively closed out on the open shooter. Somehow, this was the second weirdest play involving a shoe in the NBA on the day. The Pacers shot a ton of airballs. If they were halfway competent on offense, the Blazers might have been in trouble. but Batum hit a three with three or so minutes left that took the contest out of reasonable contention. But even after that he fouled Stuckey on a fast break and extended the length of the game for no apparent or good reason. It was a moment that had America tapping things with their fingers, impatient for this thing to end when, really, they should have been allowed to turn out a quarter ago, when the Blazers should have thrown a manhole over the Pacers. Remember when these games were totally amazing last year? What a difference several months make!

For any more detailed recap, please consult ESPN’s play-by-play chart.

STRAY NOTE:

Because Joe insulted Wilco, one of my favorite bands, during the game, I have taken it upon myself to designate a Wilco song for every player on the Blazers. I don’t like this exercise any more than you do, but a debt must be paid. I command you listen to literally every song, or I will come to your house and make use though the use of TheWilcoMobile, an Unnofical, fanmade semitruck  have wired with massive speakers and an old iPod touch loaded with Wilco FLACs.

LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE: Spiders (Kidsmoke) Maybe not the BEST Wilco song, but clearly the centerpiece of the concert, a sprawling 11 minute beast.

WILL BARTON: I’m a Wheel. Kinetic, short, weird, fun, but also a little slight.

NIC BATUM: Uhh, Outta Mind (Outta Sight). Some other French player is Outta Sight (Outta Mind). Probably Boris. There are no “French-seeming” Wilco songs. This is horrible, I’m sorry, but t had to happen

STEVE BLAKE: What is the most dad rock-y Wilco song? Passenger Side? Nahh, Hate it Here Hate is Here is so dad-rocky that there’s a scene in Boyhood where his dad explains Hate it Here to his son.

VICTOR CLAVER: Dash 7, because I don’t think I’ve even heard Dash 7.

ALLEN CRABBE: Hesitating Beauty because his shot release is a little slow. I am already phoning this in, I am phoning in a phone in, a phone next to a phone, maybe even next to a third phone.

JOEL FREELAND: Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key. Billy Bragg sings this song and Wilco plays the backup parts. Billy Brag is British. This isn’t goddamn rocket science.

CHRIS KAMAN: Kingpin, because it has a pedal steel. Also because Kaman sort of resembles a casino owner. Just stick a 10-Gallon hat on him, boom.

MEYERS LEONARD: Company in my Back, because it’s not very good. Maybe one of the late period Wilco songs I don’t listen to, hardly have any frame of reference for. Look, that band went down the tank when Tweedy decided he was done shuffling his bandmates around. He got old, man, he god old and sentimental and started keeping everyone around like they were family. He also stopped abusing pills, which I guess is good. You don’t care, why are you still reading this?

DAMIAN LILLARD: Shot in the Arm. I don’t seriously have to tell you why, right.

ROBIN LOPEZ: Which (X) is (Y) stuff drives me crazy, why am I doubling down on this? (A voice, far away, maybe in the deepest parts of my mind yells “BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO GO!”) Uhh, Via Chicago, I guess. Who cares. Give me my fucking money, Buzzfeed.

WES MATTHEWS: Poor Places, because it gets better year to year. What a dumb sentence. I hate you, Corbin.

CJ MCCOLLUM: Pot Kettle Black? I saw WIlco play that once, and I have seen CJ play once, I think?

THOMAS ROBINSON: God, just two more and I can be done with this garbage forever. Walken, because he’s a fun novelty with a pretty good solo by Pat, totally without consequence but also sort of charming.

DORRELL WRIGHT: Hell is Chrome, because his stint with the Blazers has been like a weird, clean Hell.

 

There we go, done with that forever. Here is the playlist. Click on it or don’t. Don’t. Spotify is a racket, don’t give them money.

 

BLAZERS AT BULLS PREVIEW: CHATTING!

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(Good afternoon. I spoke, over email, or I emailed over email, with RJ Casey, the proprietor of Yeti Press, a comics publisher based out of Chicago, about tonight’s Bulls/Blazers game. These are the fruits of that labor.)

CORBIN: Hey sorry I took forever I went to buy protein powder. I can’t drive, so I had to walk. We, me and you, are doing an email chain to talk about this Blazers/Bulls game before it happens, no? What are you feelings? Search the deepest part of your soul, RJ, and tell me of your Bulls.

RJ: The Bulls ARE my soul. I look at the Bulls as a mirror to my life’s progression and benchmarks. In elementary school, when I was full of promise and sunniness, I had the ineffable ’90s Bulls. As I entered middle school, the legends bailed and I was left with a cicada shell of Ron Harper. This of course coincides with all the terribleness of junior high and really hits rock bottom with the signing of Ron Mercer overlapping with me getting my shoes peed on in gym class. As I entered high school, the “Baby Bulls” were still in their infancy with Captain Kirk leading the way. Just about junior year in high school I started looking girls in the eyes and gaining confidence. This was about the time Ben Gordon was hitting actual field goals and Andres Nocioni was looking like he bathed in chum. I was in college when the Bulls selected Rose and the push yourself with no regards to the inevitable setbacks mentality has informed my adult life. I might as well have that picture of Luol Deng in the hospital bed dripping spinal fluid framed in my apartment.

But this year – this year we have Pau.
I’m nervous about this game though. The Bulls are coming off looking pretty good against the Nets, but they were looking pretty good against the Nets. Your Blazers are going to be the in bounce back mindset. The “we gotta win this one if we want to look at ourselves as contenders” mentality. That’s always scary for the opposing team.
CORBIN:”My” Blazers? Do I like the Blazers? I can’t tell anymore. I have begun to resent their consistency like the way a rebellious teenager resents a good, caring parent who always wins at home and usually makes quick work of inferior opponents. I suppose they do need to whoop on the “Good” Eastern Conference team to keep pace with the other marauding T-Rexes that are playing in the West, marching up and down human roads, ripping off heads, sipping blood like tea. They did just take a dumb schedule loss to the wolves so I guess they could come out a little more jacked than usual.

Who is on the Bulls again? I don’t watch them because I am still bitter about 91′. “But Corbin, you were three at the time,” say the haters who doubt my deep Blazermania. Mirotic? He’s like a stretch four? Kirk Heinrich isn’t still around, right?I don’t know if my son can handle his horrible visage again.
RJ: Kirk Hinrich IS still around, playing serious minutes, and preparing for his next roll as the United Center’s own Marley’s ghost. He’s even got the rec specs/mouth guard look going which adds to his whole weirdo heel aura. As of a few weeks ago, Mirotic was the only rookie with a few double-doubles on his resume. I’m hoping he turns out as charming as he seems. We rely on the hydra of Rose, Noah, Butler, and Gasol. When you cut off one of it’s heads, Taj Gibson tomahawk dunks out of the open wound. Keep in mind that this hydra is often injured and plays like 46 minutes a game.

We also have Mike DunTHREEvy, Aaron Brooks, Little Dougie McDermott, and some real ugly guys who barely get any minutes coming off the bench. Those are the best type of bench players.
Do you think Noah and Lopez trade hair tips or hitchhike to moe. concerts together?
CORBIN: /shudder “Double-Double.” Hickson flashbacks. I need to drink a sip of tea. That’s a unit, the size of a single sip of tea, I keep in a sip sized container. It’s extremely wasteful.

You know I don’t think a moe. concert is Robin’s scene. More of a power pop guy. Has certainly listened to a They Might be Giants record in his life. I think you get Robin at a moe. show, he enjoys it for a while, then the pipes come out, room is choked in that sweet smoke, he says “Oh, hey, pot, alright, cool. Hey, no thanks, but man you guys do what you have to do!” Then he leaves before the second set. Noah, on the other hand, he probably bring his own bong-os, which is a bong that is also bongos.
Is it safe to say The Bulls haven’t stormed out of the gate? Is there a sense that this is a major thing, they were overprojected, or that they’re just rounding into shape?
Also, what is being investing in an East team like? Less terrifying but ALSO a little less exciting, or what? Do these games mean anything? Does any basketball game mean anything? Does anything mean anything?
RJ: Can I see a blueprint for these “bong-os,” please? You better get a design patent on that before I take it to Shark Tank.

The Bulls have been doing well. I feel like they’ve been overlooked a bit so far this season due to the Hollywood Cavs in the same division and the Bulls never able to play the same lineup in back to back games. I always expected Butler to be a Tony Allen Lite, but he racking up over 20 points a game. Pau’s looking revitalized after grabbing a lifeboat and leaving the sinking shit ship in LA. It all depends on Rose’s crumbly, little ligaments though.
The state of the East notwithstanding, I want to see the Bulls win every single game because Tom Thibodeau wants to win every single game. He’s the anti-Pop because every game is the fiery apocalypse. If Thibodeau was in the fable The Tortoise and the Hare, he’d be the hare, but get to the end of the race, rush back while screaming himself hoarse, pick up the tortoise, and then carry him back to a foot in front of the finish line contracting plantar fasciitis on the way. I’m really not sure if that analogy works at all, but Thibs is out of his mind.
CORBIN:
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Once, a told Thibs that he could have all of the success in the world if she submitted to her curse. The majik lives deep in his blood and drives him to go harder 100% of the time. Here is a picture of the witch:
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RJ: “We should have never, ever let Michael Jordan play for the Wizards.” – Kanye West

TIMBERWOLVES 90, TRAIL BLAZERS 82- DROP OUT OF LIFE

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If you read someone, anyone, making a big deal out of this loss, you should rip their tooth out and show it to them. You should say, “This is your tooth, I have taken it from you. This is a big deal. That loss was not a big deal. That loss was absolutely nothing. It didn’t even happen.” When he rolls on the floor in front of you, blood pouring out of his mouth, he will understand so many things all at once. He will, first off, understand true pain and the nature of true pain. This transcendent experience will take him to other places, giving him a deeper respect for life, a deeper love for his family, an understanding of the interconnection of all people. He will understand what a cruel and impulsive person you are, and if he read this article first, he will understand the persuasive sway I have over people. He will come to respect and fear me. If he sees me walking down the street, he will run into an alley and mute his breath out of fear that I will see him and unleash my fury, or my influence over the people of the internet, on him once more. And understand this, reader, doer of my bidding: I will unleash on him like a nightmare hurricane if given even half a chance. I will make all of Portland metro fear me, respect me. “Fear is the only true respect.” -Ghandi. Not the one you’re thinking off, I am talking about Donald “The Tank” Ghandi, the beloved pro wrestler. Here is his signature move:

Anyway this was the schedule-lossyest schedule loss of all time. The Blazers are one of the best rebounding teams in the league; they gave up 20 offensive rebounds. They sleptwalked through the first half and almost caught up in the second because the Wolves aren’t good at executing. They shot 28% from three, which is either the providence of luck or the product of tired-ass legs, depending on how much you cling to cause and effect relationships in sports. It’s probably both.

My only bone to pick is that the Blazers didn’t lose this game faster. They were down 20-ish in the third, and the Wolves couldn’t put them away. The Blazers play so many minutes, they needed a rest. Why couldn’t those young men do them a favor and gently send them to sleep?

Hey, why were the starters even playing? Back to back in Minnesota, who are terrible let’s see what the bench’s fresh legs can do! Here are the benefits of sitting two or three starters:

  1. Rest! It works!
  2. Bench players get some run! Let’s see what they can do when they’re not living in fear of the hook! Maybe it will help them be better!
  3. It would be more fun to watch than a slog-ass game like the one I just watched!

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES?

  1. Wahh someone paid to see…

I ROUNDLY REJECT THE RIGHTS OF CONSUMERS. MONEY MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Anyway. schedule loss, who cares, if someone was paying me to freak out about it and say it indicated some deep flaw in the Blazers’ mettle or construction or whatever I would do that but they aren’t so I won’t. Onto whatever the next game is. Chicago, I think. God I hope Chicago gets beat something nasty.

(Also, several members of the Blazers wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts in honor of Eric Gardner, who died while being subjected to an illegal chokehold for selling loose cigarettes by a New York Police Department officer in broad daylight on camera. The officer was not even indicted and made to stand trial, which is a travesty of justice. I encourage you to read about the shit-ass way American police officers treat people of color in every part of the country. Thanks.)

TRAIL BLAZERS 98 PISTONS 86- YOUR LADY

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I was about something in my post game bath. The reader of this entry PROBABLY watched the game I am recapping tonight. They AT LEAST watched the end. But since the beginning was on during West Coast work hours, there’s a PRETTY GOOD CHANCE you didn’t watch this game and you are coming to me, a writer you trust, for a snapshop of tonight’s events, a feelings of the emotional texture of the event.

As a mercy for this reader, I will write two (2) recaps tonight. One is the truth and one is a lie, and the reader can pick the one that they prefer to believe.

RECAP ONE: BLAZERS CLIMB MOUNTAIN, SPIRIT IN THE EYES OF THE GODS

It was a cold night in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Snow fell outside the stadium. Cars were trapped. Everyone was stuck, and the Pistons organization knew it. But there was a basketball game to be played, so they kept quiet and tossed the ball. Andre Drummond, “The Beast from Mount Vernon,” ripped the tip out of his hands, flew across the court on wings made from pure leg power and ramma-jammed so hard the whole building shook. THe snow on top of the building avalanched and buried everyone even deeper in the stadium. A miracle would be needed to save everyone. But there was a game to play, so they kept playing. The Blazers fought back. All kinds of lineups, all kinds of shots. At one point, Sotts and Stan Van Gundy were at a strategic stalemate, so they just met in the center of the court and played chess with each other to determine who would be allowed the next open shot. A level of competitive intensity I have never seen in my life.

Then, end of the game. Blazers down, 123-121. Lillard gets the ball at half courts, They pass it to everyone. The Pistons almost gets like 4 steals. It goes back to Lillard. One second left. Three guys draped all over him. He fades. It sinks. All of a sudden, a blast of hot air leaves the stadium. The snow melts. Everyone’s car is freed. They all stand up and applaud, because Lillard has freed them from this icy nightmare prison with his hot, hot shooting. A weary nation is inspired. We get our shit together. We end war. We feel compassions for out fellow man. ll because of one game, that you missed. Thankfully, I recapped it for you.

RECAP TWO: UGH, HORRIBLE.

Let’s talk about the broadcast for a second. It was weird. The cameras were set funny, so the entire court was slightly washed out. Entirely too bright, not even kind of natural. The lavalier microphones in the studio were broken so when they were going to the halftime show, it sounded like they were recording the sound with a  condenser microphone in an airplane hangar. Mike Barrett complimented himself on reading a promo early. Disconcerting setting.

This game was very bad. The Pistons are bad, but the Blazers didn’t take advantage and absolutely rake them, so it was just a bad team and another team kind of ineffectually coasting on through.

Lamarcus had 21 on 23 shots. He was so, so bad in the first half. Thankfully, Chris Kaman stepped up to cover for him because if he didn’t the Blazers might have lost to the Pistons. Don’t they understand that counts for like five losses in the West? Look at this shit:

spacesuit

Slip up once out here, you wind up dead as hell. You think Dallas won’t put a knife in you!? They’ve already forfeited the right to challenge Golden State, that train has LEFT THE STATION forever. If they lose three games against the East this year, they will take the title away and award it to Memphis. Then, the Blazers will have to beat them in a seven game series on top of a mountain to take it back. It’s right there in the CBA, read it. I’ve read it. It’s interesting as hell.

The Blazers comfortably led for most of the game because the Pistons are bad. In the 4th Quarter, Van Gundy rode the bench and they made a good stab at stealing the game. It didn’t work, Batum made a three and Wes made a three and it was out of reach.

There were so many goddamn jump hooks in this game. Kaman, LMA, Monroe, Josh Smith, Drummond. They were all taking these swinging sump hooks in the lane all night. I think Lopez even took one. It is the TWENTY TENS and dudes are out here tossing up jump hooks like it’s just okay. Makes me sick.

Kaman took a one legged fadeaway:

The experience of watching this game can be simulated by playing this video on a giant tv, strapping yourself into a chair, and paying two children to hold your eyelids open for two hours. The Blazers played a totally average game against a shitty opponent who played shittily and won. If they have played better they could have banked some minutes for their fourth game in five nights on Saturday, but they didn’t.

There was a point in this thing where I thought, you thought, we all thought, “Christ, just rest everyone and see what happens, this is boring.” Would you rather see a C- win that looks like every other win, or a crazy Blazers flameout where Joel Freeland punches through the wall of his own ability and comes out the other side a broken and scarred and stronger man? The Pistons could have been the canvas to paint this masterpiece! BUT IT WAS TAKEN FROM US, BY TERRY! Ohhhhh Terry, why do you torment good people like this, Terry!? 

WHICH ONE WAS THE REAL RECAP? It doesn’t matter, reality is what you make of it. That’s what postmodernisim is.You live in it every day. Read Foucault, he explains it. But only in the French versions.

BLAZERS 88 PACERS 82- CHERITH CUTESTORY

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Tonight, in Portland, Oregon, eyes were fixed to televisions everywhere s the Portland Trail Blazers went up against the rival Indiana Pacers. But in A M E R I C A, where Portland is nominally located, on the very edge, closer to Canada than “America Proper,” people afiex their eyes, and their hearts to ANOTHER live event. A television event that brings EVERYONE together. They were watching NBC’s PETER PAN LIVE!

Here is a list of everyone that was watching PETER PAN LIVE:

-”Girls” fans.

-Christopher Walken enthusiasts

-People who love musicals

-People who love pirates and hate children, and root for pirates to kill children

-People who love British children

-People who are taken away into a land of fantasy and wonder by sets that look more than a little like they were repainted flats from a soap opera.

-People who love wire flying

-Camp enthusiasts

-People who are ESPECIALLY into the musical theater person nailing every note they sing while the lead is a littttttttle flat over the court of the entire production

Now, I am ALL OF THESE THINGS*, so I have been looking forward to this night pretty much since the second they said that NBA would be doing live televised musicals every year. I played Leonardo Da Vinci in a musical once. I love musicals. If there was a different live musical on TV every night, I would ditch sports altogether and just watch musicals every night. I would be a fixture on TV Musicals Twitter, and write for all the big TV Musicals blog.

But, HO HUM, I am also a “Basketball Blogger” which mens I have to go through the DREARY AND DEPRESSING AND EMOTIONALLY, PHYSICALLY, SPIRITUALLY AND SEXUALLY DRAINING PROCESS OF RECAPPING GAMES FOR THE “Protlend Rundbells Shotiee” or whatever this thing is called. But I REFUSE TO miss the musical. THERE IS ONLY ONE A YEAR.

SO, for tonight’s recap, I watched the musical and flipped over to the game during commercials. I also red a stats sheet afterwards. But mostly, I watched the musical and recapped that. So, ENJOY!

FIRST QUARTER:

Peter Pan starts at eight and the Blazer game starts at seven, so I can watch the beginning of the game, I guess. Pan doesn’t ever stray far from my mind. Batum is playing well at the beginning of the game, which is good. Chris Copeland, the stretch four of note, posts up on Wes Matthews and it works from a “I am bigger than you” place but not really from a “I can do the thing where you turn around and take a shot” thing, whch looks horrible.

What if Mike Rice called Peter Pan? “Alison Williams doesn’t usually play boys, she mostly likes to play a 20-year old woman living and loving in Brooklyn, but you can see, she’ll put on a tunic and play a magical boy from time to time.” LMA is missing a lot of shots. (He will eventually miss fourteen and make seven and score 18 points.) David West sails a post entry pass out of bounds. Both offenses are totally locked up, 14-16 to end the quarter. At least there haven’t been any fouls. When does Pan start?

The Blimp fell down on everyone.

They drug it through the entrance.

Then, presumably they drug it through the concourse. The blimp was probably excited, because she just floats around the bowl then goes into her little hutch above everything. I watched her float up there once, and I watched a little tiny man pull her into her home. I hope she got some concessions.

SECOND QUARTER
God that first quarter was terrible. There was no scoring, no singing, no dancing. Christopher Walken was no where in sight. Okay, Steve Blake is a LITTLE Walken-y, but he isn’t diffuse enough by a mile. Joel Freeland is a British boy, but he’s not even a little androgynous. I mean, that’s fine for him, I hope he adapts whatever gender role he feel comfortable with, but as far as keeping myself sated while I wait for Pan to start.
Wes makes a good shot to make it 24-20. Joel Freeland runs the floor and gets a layup on the fast break. He jumps a little, but it’s not flight, he wasn’t on wires of anything. What if basketball players played with wires?
That would be pretty cool, if not exactly a “Test of athleticism and skill” that would qualify it as sports. Whatever, maybe it’s time for post-sports, like Stadium Wire Flight. The Portland String Jets.
Alan Crabbe cuts back door and catches a pocket pass from Batum, he throws it down for a dunk. It was a good play. The Blazers are catching up. If they open up a lead vein I can probably REALLY ignore this game and fully invest in PPL like my heart is crying out for me to do. Then the Pacers start to close the gaps. What if basketball WASN’T a game of runs, and team just heaped on lead after lead after lead until the other team was completely submitted and left the building in tears? Batum is playing well, for the first time in a while. He is clearly the Peter Pan of this group, because his eyes are so pretty.
Lillard makes a shot behind a Lopez screen AND IT’S EIGHT OCLOCK, BABY TIME FOR PAN.
The guy who played Von Trapp’s capitulating friend in last year’s Sound of Music production is back as the father guy. He is mad at a dog, who is an INSANELY GOOD DOG, he is big and fluffy dog. He is mad at the dog because it represents a threat to order. Is the dog possibly possessed by the spirit of Pan, a youthful anarchist if there ever was one? Even if it isn’t explicitly revealed, is it the true subtext of the work?
Is Alison’s hair too short? I think a modern Pan need long hair, like a hippie. Twitter begins to indicate that I am missing a fight in the Blazer game. Apparently Robin Lopez looks pretty furious, all stringy rage. Hey, now that I am thinking about it, Robin Lopez, that’s a good Peter Pan haircut. He lives in nature, a wildman cut. I have flipped over during the commercial, which features Sabrina the Teenage Witch shilling for Wal-Mart, which is a bad company that treats people poorly. I see that West has received a technical foul for the altercation. Lillard misses the tech free throw which, and I know this is crazy, but I really FELT like he was going to miss that free throw. It was probably a silly assumption, based on the GIGANTIC SWARTH OF TIME before the shot placing massive hooks on Dame’s shoulders. The Blazers go on a run after the tech, then Peter Pan realizes that he left Tinkerbell in a drawer. Tinkerbell is mad at Wendy because she is trying to get fresh with Peter. It was sort of like Rolo getting mad at David West.

THIRD QUARTER
Then, Peter Pan says “Come to Never-never land, so you can be our mom.” And Wendy, who is clearly into this guy is all “Okay, sure,” which, girl, you need to get your shit in order if you’re looking for a lover who will value you.” Okay so they start flying and you can see the wires, but this is THE POINT OF DOING A FILMED STAGE VERSION, THE WIRES ARE PART OF THE CHARM, and I go back to the Blazer game for a little bit. The Pacers are keeping Pace, and David West shoots a floater in the lane. It seems like the teams are getting hard as hell points, the Blazers aren’t making threes, the whole enterprise is stuck in mud. IF, Peter Pan arrived, he would give them fairy dust and they might fly, except that these are adults and they don’t have enough good thoughts to fly. When you grow up, you seem your mind is invaded by an army of garbage and it weighs on you until you’re dead. Even if you become a PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE, every boy’s dream, the joy is stripped away from the whole enterprise of sport and you see it for the cynical businesses it is as it puts you on the road for  decade and takes away your knees in exchange for mere money.
Back to Pan. Christopher Walken is playing Captain Hook. I wish no one had told me so I could have squealed with delight at the reveal. He is somehow simultaneously turned down to 3 and turned up to 50. Like, in the dancing scenes, he is definitely barely trying but barely trying with AN INSANE AMOUNT OF FLAIR, af if possessed by his own spirit.

FOURTH QUARTER
Is Captain Hook also kind of a lost boy? He’s in this world, too. When did he age? Was he once Peter Pan?  Hearing that Batum made a very improbable shot. I will watch it later. There is a taped live musical on.
Commercial Break, back to game. Portland has opened up a lead. Aldridge and Hibbert share a laugh. Hibbert drills two hooks shots. Aldridge isolates against Hibbert, maneuvers around him which. Wes rolls his ankle underneath Hibbert, who falls on his leg. Hibbert gets t’d up, and Lillard makes it. Lillard is shooting .500 on tech shots that I have watched.
Oh, police are gathering inside the concourse with riot gear on, because protesters have gathered outside the building. You see, a bunch of police officers have been killing black men for no reason for years and years and years, but recent non-indictments in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have stoked people’s anger, so they are taking to the streets to voice their active displeasure with the police in America. This is good, protesting injustice is good. Of course, getting to the Rose Garden from Downtown Portland is really easy, Waterfront Park to the walking bridge up the path across the street. They are not letting people exit outside the main entrance where protesters are gathered. Police are wearing riot gear. Here is a picture of cops getting concessions, probably in the same booth the blimp ate at:

Wendy: “I’ll be your mother, as long as Peter is your father!”
Peter: (Puts on a top hat) “As long as it’s only pretend!”
Wendy needs to get this situation under control, her situation, I mean. This is sad.
Hook gets SO MAD that Wendy has become their mother. Doesn’t he realize that this will clearly defang the the lost boys?
Back to the game. Low scoring, Blazers up six with 23 seconds left. Foul game going on. Police staffing protests against the police is dumb. Maybe not THAT dumb because they are sort of the city’s security guards. But they probably don’t need riot gear to be security guards. Or guns, for that matter. They probably want protests to escalate.
Wendy is trying to educate the Lost Boys. It totally doesn’t work. Sort of like when a well meaning society tries to educate a police officers to be more sensitive and objective, but not really, because this is a cute play and that is real, actual problem.
The Blazers shot 19% from three. I didn’t REALLY watch the game, but that probably accounts for why they were so close with the Pacers. Part of that is that the Pacers LIVE to challenge three pointers. Now that George is out, and their offense is terrible (“I get the feeling you want to be something to me, but it’s not a mother….” “Oh it’s not for a lady to tell!” God, take some initiative, Wendy.) …and that, along with rim protection, is the only they they ARE good at this year. Part of that is also shitty luck.
Anyway, I am going to watch the rest of this musical now.
 
*alright, I only watched “Girls” once.