The Trail Blazers beat the Nuggets on Saturday night in the Center of Moda and Robin Lopez did the best of any player in the game, based on the traditional points-centric evaluation of basketball, a game in which the object is to score the most points. But here at the Portland Roundball Society, we pride ourselves in our ability to find those DENVER NUGGETS of insight that lie in the negative space of the box score, and what some people would call the #narrative.
Now I was actually at this game, embedded with the other salt-of-the-Earth folk in the crowd [STILL WAITIN ON THAT PRESS PASS, PAUL ALLEN, YOU HAVE MY ADDRESS] and so therefore I have no insights or narrative plot points to offer. Unlike, say, Walter Cronkite or Rand McNally, I am not as gifted at reducing the endless visual chaos of the world into easily understandable bits, and I imagine that you may not want to read 3,000 words featuring long tangents on the food offerings in the arena concourse or what possible evolutionary purpose would have caused Trail Cats to have such unusually jagged and erect tails.
No, I need the structure of the television broadcast in order to make sense of the chaos and present it to you in the “traditional”(???) recap form.
So instead, let’s give out some grades! But because traditional grading is oppressive and fascist, let’s give out some vague and arbitrary symbols that celebrate each player for his unique special-ness as a basketball player and human! And let’s write the descriptions as if the players were elementary schoolers being evaluated for their contributions to elementary school cuz we’re ZANY! Metaphors are fun! Hooray!
Damian Lillard: 35 minutes, 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals
He didn’t really talk or stand out for most of the day … Until he calmly walked to the board and drew out the solution to Fermat’s Last Theorem … He sat quietly for the rest of the day
Wes Matthews: 32 minutes, 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 fouls
Looked uncomfortable playing outside today for some reason … Maybe he was afraid of the sun … The sun is really big … And bright … And hot … He played much better inside … Very handy with tools … Such as hammers … He took apart a desk and used the pieces to make a bookshelf
Nicolas Batum: 36 minutes, 9 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 smiles (unofficial)
Grade: JOHN LEE HOOKER
What a kind heart … So unselfish … He asks questions that he already knows the answers to because he senses that others do not and yet are afraid to ask such questions themselves … On the playground he pushes all of the kids on the swing set as high as they want to go … He stops immediately if they start to go too high and feel afraid … He never asks to ride the swing himself
LaMarcus Aldridge: 30 minutes, 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 healthy groin
Grade: GENERAL ELECTRIC
He always does his homework on time … During recess he sits inside and works on his spelling
Robin Lopez: 32 minutes, 18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 arms (HE HAS AN EXTRA ARM STAY WOKE SHEEPLE)
Grade: ALL YOU CAN EAT SPAGHETTI
Built a fort under the slide … I think he sleeps there at night … He eats whatever the other kids throw away or whatever he can catch himself … Last week he trapped and ate a squirrel
Mo Williams: 26 minutes, 9 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 life to live (YOLO)
Grade: FROSTY THE SNOWMAN
He is a transfer student and seems to think he is better or more hardened by life than the other children … He commands the lesser section of the play structure like a tyrant … Though maybe tyranny is better than anarchy on the lesser section of the play structure
Meyers Leonard: 16 minutes, 8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 fouls, 2 dunks, 1 missed layup followed by 1 confused face
Grade: WHEN THE SLURPEE MACHINE AT 7-11 ISN’T QUITE AT FREEZING LEVEL
It was nice to see him back from being sick … If he really was sick … He seems like the type who could convince his mom to let him stay home and watch Days of Our Lives out of pity … Normally while other children are doing their lessons he draws flowers and wonders aloud if ants dream in color if they dream at all … He is a simple child … Today he was surprisingly focused and productive … He is very big … Maybe his parents should consider buying the milk that doesn’t have hormones in it
Dorell Wright: 14 minutes, 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 fouls, 1 time that I can remember him running particularly fast
Grade: THE KICKER IN ELECTRIC FOOTBALL
All he does is play tetherball … Tetherball is his life … He used to be better at tetherball … But today his tetherball game was serviceable
Will Barton: 13 minutes, 7 points, HEY CMON DONT GET GREEDY 7 POINTS IN 13 MINUTES IS PRETTY GOOD ON ITS OWN
Grade: THE SOURCE OF THE NILE RIVER
He once spent an entire day finger painting an adaptation of Picasso’s Guernica … Before that he somehow communicated with the birds outside to convince them to carry him up to to the top of the oak tree in the playground … Before that he was caught drag racing the teacher’s Mercury Sable … Today he seemed almost too behaved … Maybe it was a diversion
Victor Claver: 6 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1…uhhh…..wait are we really sure that he played in this game?
Grade: MOON LANDING HOAX
Nah … he didn’t play
Earl Watson: DNP-CD
Grade: CHARLTON HESTON
Why is he here? … How old is he? … The other kids look up to him but he seems rather violent … Today he took the laces out of the shoe-tying lesson and used them to make some kind of Satanic pentagram … He hung it on the board in the front of the class … He sat back down at his desk … He silently looked at the teacher and lit a Marlboro