There are two people that benefitted from the Portland Trail Blazers’ 110-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves: Nicolas Batum and Martell Webster’s therapist. While Frenchy 88 was putting up career numbers in nearly every single category (31 points, 7 assists, dunking on Ryan Gomes), Webster saw his future as a Blazers starter disappear into the ether. The writing was on the wall last season, but injuries left things unclear. Now that we have witnessed a healthy Batum versus a healthy Webster, we have our answer. (Spoiler alert: It’s Batum.)
The win was the first for Marcus Camby as a Blazer (since he spent most of the New Jersey game in an MRI machine, that doesn’t count), and marks a dozen consecutive Blazer wins against the T-Wolves, plus their third straight sweep of the season series as well. This streak is the franchise’s longest against any team, dating back to a 15 game run against the 1993-96 Wolves. Basically, the Blazers are the worst thing to happen to Minnesota since Brett Favre in the fourth quarter of a playoff game.
It’s hard to focus on any other individual performance when mild-mannered Batum went all Batumshakalaka in the third quarter, dropping 22 points in that quarter alone. Compare that to the measly 10 points that the Wolves scored the previous quarter, and you can tell what kind of game this was. For Portland, few things make the team go from 98 pound weakling to Charles Atlas (all my references can be traced to ads in the back of comic books) than a meeting with the Wolves. With their self-esteem on the mend, all that remains for Portland on this road trip is a pivotal game in Memphis.
Now that is one sentence I never thought I’d type.