GAME 2, SPURS 114 – TRAIL BLAZERS 97: TWANG

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Well, the Blazers lost again. But instead of a total blowout, it was only kind of a blowout! In #fact, let’s half fill up our glasses and look at all of the #positive #basketball #improvements shown tonight (there’s not actually that many so this shouldn’t take that long which is nice because I don’t really want to talk about this game very much anyway). Last game, the Spurs thoroughly destroyed the Blazers from the moment the older gentleman in the NBA-issued v-neck tossed the ball skyward. But tonight, with Wes Matthews instead of Damian Lillard checking Tony Parker from the start, the Blazers hung around, they traded buckets, they grabbed some rebounds, they even got a couple stops, and they ended the first quarter down by just a cool three points.

They started the second half even better! The Blazers won the third quarter by a score of 20-17! 17 points! Defense! Standing in front of people! Good stuff! Even the fourth quarter, when the Blazers technically lost, the Spurs only outscored them 27-26. So yeah guys, the Spurs only edged the Blazers by one point over three quarters! That’s not bad at all! Turn that frown upside down! Actually, wait a sec before you do so. You may want to keep that frown for a moment longer.

 

[Lights dim. A lone spotlight shines down onto Pitbull, sitting on a stool in front of the stage. He raises his head slowly. His gaze is sad and blank. He seems draped in an invisible melancholy hue. A lone tear forms in the corner of one eye. He wills it away. From the back of the stage, in the darkness, Ke$ha begins to sing the dirge, “It’s going down, I’m yelling ‘Timber’…”]

 

Oh yeah, the second quarter………41-25, Spurs. In four and a half minutes, it went from a one-point game to an 18-point game. When the Spurs get going like that, uh—you remember like in Spanish class or French class or whatever when you would be listening to a recording of some native speaker and you would kind of understand at the beginning that they were talking about burritos or croissants or what have you, then you missed a couple words, then a sentence, then all of a sudden it’s just background jibberish while you find yourself mindlessly staring out the window and wondering if different types of birds have any prejudices towards each other or if they all respect each other equally as fellow birds? Robin Lopez knows what I’m talking about.

As ugly as it was to see the Blazers get – more or less – RUN, again, there were some fun moments towards the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth when it almost felt like the kind of weird game that someone would stumble across on League Pass in January when House Hunters transitioned into that lame renovation show but when this fictional person wasn’t quite ready to go to bed yet. The crowd had become disinterested, or at least quietly contented. Each team was emptying their bench – the Spurs because they were in the midst of a blowout, and the Blazers because Terry Stotts had nothing left to do except cry softly. Then all of a sudden, Will Barton started hitting shots, Thomas Robinson was doing that stuff he does, and San Antonio’s Patty Mills was doing everything in his power to keep the Spurs’ healthy advantage. If it wasn’t happening in a depressing playoff loss to the Spurs, I might have uttered a few hearty laughs at the scene on display. As it was though, the Blazers did manage to cut the lead back to single digits during that stretch and tease at making a total comeback, which they did not do. But that does bring me to one last point before we wrap this up and appreciate the rest of life, notably the things that don’t involve basketball, but yeah as I was saying:

Will Barton played exceptionally well – 13 points, 100% shooting from the field. He received some early minutes after a relatively strong Game 1 and even found some extended run with the starters after Mo Williams had to sit with a groin injury. Also, Thomas Robinson was the only player on the Blazers with a positive plus/minus rating, at +10. His line wasn’t great (2 points, 2 rebounds) but the impact of Thomas Robinson is not measured in the box score, it’s measured with Geiger counters by future generations. Now, to get to that point, Will Barton and Thomas Robinson need to get more run! Gregg Popovich knows everything the Blazers do and he’s already a sorcerer and the Spurs have thusly been Michelangelo freeing the angel from the Blazers’ defense (and offense). Terry Stotts needs to do something wild to shake things up, and Barton and Robinson only know how to do wild things and shake things up. Start Robinson over Lopez in Game 3. Yeah, I said it.

Oh btw there was a rattlesnake in Thomas Robinson’s locker before the game and had it bit him, he could have been in some real health trouble. LOL! The NBA! I love this game!

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