Your daily (Mon-Fri) roundup of links from around the blogosphere, typically Trail Blazers related.
In most cases, Texas on Texas violence is a reason to rejoice.
But after Texas alum LaMarcus Aldridge was called for goaltending on what looked to be a game-clinching block against fellow Texas alum Kevin Durant, Rip City is feeling sucker-punched.
And rightfully so after the result was an uninspired overtime period, and a second Blazers loss at home this season.
On to the links:
It should also be noted that the call alone did not lose the game for Portland. Remember, Nicolas Batum had a shot at a game-winning basket but was blocked by Russell Westbrook, a play that seemed as if it might be a foul, but which replays showed was instead a spectacular effort by Westbrook. In overtime, the Blazers bogged down on offense badly, shooting 1 for 9 from the field.
Also, Portland was absolutely killed on the backboards, getting outrebounded 59 to 39 and giving up 22 second-chance points.
- Aldridge is playing like an All-Star, but would the Blazers rather have a closer to finish games? The Oregonian’s Jason Quick, says that while Aldridge certainly is the go-to man in PDX, his lack of a late game heroics is why the Blazers have blown close games. “Never has the retirement of Brandon Roy this season been felt so much as in late-game situations for the Blazers, who find themselves routinely in position to win games, but painfully absent when it comes time to do what made Roy a legend around here: closing,” Quick said.
- The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry chalked up last night’s 111-107 Thunder victory over the Trail Blazers as the toughest win for Oklahoma City yet. Tough win, sure. Tough way to lose a game? Absolutely.
- Truehoop Network sister site Daily Thunder’s Royce Young recaps the Thunder’s triumph over the Blazers. Young’s thoughts on the goaltend:
I think KD’s little grin while he was watching the replay says it all. It appeared to be a block. At least that’s the side I’m going to take after watching it with my face two inches from the screen about 60 times. I think the point is, that’s not a good call to make either way in that situation. Because full speed, it’s nearly impossible to tell. I think if we were being honest here, Thunder fans would be a tad upset if they were on the other end of that.
- J.A. Adande for Truehoop resurrects the trite question of what the Blazers could have blossomed into had they chosen to draft Kevin Durant and managed to stay healthy in the process:
It’s hard to forget the Thunder’s roots when they play a big Northwest Division game within driving distance of Seattle, just as with Kevin Durant in town, it’s hard not to imagine what the alternate course the Blazers could follow if they had picked him over Greg Oden with the first pick in the 2007 draft — or if Oden and Brandon Roy could have functional knees to give Portland a duo to match Oklahoma City’s Durant and Russell Westbrook (with LaMarcus Aldridge in Rip City to boot).
- Bigger news to spring from Harvard this week; Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook filing to be an intial public offering, or Harvard graduate Jeremy Lin starting and leading the Knicks to victory. Lin dropped 28 points last night to lead an Amare-less and Carmelo-less Knicks squad to victory. It’s his second 20+ point performance in as many games.
- Bill Simmons’ journalistic career could be winding up. He finally interviewed Larry Bird on his podcast.
Thoughts, ideas and challenges to 1-on-1 games, are happily accepted in the comments section.