Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Utah Jazz in completely meaningless pre-season basketball. But good news, kids, this is the final (home) pre-season contest for Portland, and this afternoon's game will be the Blazers' first look at their division rival, the swinging' Jazz cats from Utah.
The shape of pre-season basketball to come...
LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, and Rudy Fernandez are all riding the injury pony and will be sitting out this afternoon's contest. So get ready for a whole lot of Shavlik Randolph. Yes, Blazers fans, don't throw away those Zach Randolph replica jerseys yet, they're still good. We've entered the thrilling era of S-Bo (that doesn't have the same ring as Z-Bo), and I for one am excited. Now if we can just draft players named Bob Telfair, Daryl Miles, and Harry Seung-Jin, my wardrobe is safe.
Meanwhile Utah is starting 4/5 of their starting five.
Ivan Drago Andrei Kirilenko is on the bench to start, and Kyle Korver is in my dreams. I mean, on the bench, but he might get minutes. Yeah, that is what I meant. Anyway, it's pretty much the standard Jazz lineup the Blazers will see all year long.
Oh, look for Oden to get increased minutes tonight, possibly up to 30. Hopefully he'll try the elusive "jump shot," which I believe is some sort of an attempt to score points that does not involve two hand dunking. Well, good luck with that.
11:02 - Sergio passes it wildly out of the court and to Jerry Sloan. Common mistake, Sloan doesn't look a day under 90 years old. So basically what I am saying is that he looks younger than Oden. 3-2 Jazz(ercise).
9:13 - Mehmet Okur manages to both pull the chair out from Oden and strip him of the ball when the big dude tumbled. Follow that up with a lazy pass that was picked off by Deron Williams, and it's a quick timeout for Portland. 7-3 Mormons.
7:49 - Shavlik Randolph goes to the basket and gets pummeled by Boozer, which causes the crowd to go "Booooo", which in turn sounds like they are cheering for him. This is all very confusing stuff. 7-7 tie.
4:42 - Luke Jackson hits a running jumper (not exactly the fastbreak option everyone was looking for with an open Outlaw and Oden, but whatever...) and the scraps from the Blazers bench are up on the starters from Utah, 12-9.
2:51 - Never has a team wanted to shot less than the Blazers starting five, but after 22 seconds of passing drills (that's a lovely chest pass, Luke Jackson), Outlaw drains a three pointer. Just like they drew it up. 15-13 Portland.
2:06 - Jerry D. Bayless shows why Portland drafted him by splitting two defenders (I could do that but I'd leave the ball, and my shorts, on the other side) and hitting a running jumper from about 8 feet out. 17-17 tie.
0:05 - Hey let's end the quarter by blowing a fastbreak! After that telegraphed bounce pass from Luke Jackson, I take back my previous compliment. 19-18 Jazz.
11:11 - Vanilla Gorilla and AK-47 get tied up and the Przybilla gets the "T." Never bring a gorilla to a gun fight. Wait, did I get that right? 20-18 Jazzmatazz
10:08 - Kyle Korver has taken the court! It sounds like a Jonas Brothers concert with everyone screaming like this. And by "everyone" I mean just myself. I'm not a popular guy here on press row. OMFG KYLE KORVER!!!! 21-20 Portland.
8:36 - Paul Millsap posterizes Przybilla with a monster dunk. A poster with Millsap and Przybilla? Whoa, good luck keeping that one in stores, retailers. What little kid wouldn't those two adequate role players on their wall? 25-25 tie.
5:54 - Nicolas Batum with an impressive block. Kosta Koufos, you just got swatted by a Frenchman! That might be the second most embarrassing thing to ever happen to him. The first? His career. 27-27 tie.
5:20 - Oden with his first basket of the night. It was a dunk. Good to know he can get all the way up there. 29-27 PDX.
2:33 - Nicolas Batum nails and three and follows that with another defensive swat. Someone doesn't want Luke Jackson to make the final roster, and it's not just me. 34-31 Portland.
0:02 - The Jazz end the half with an alley-oop from Brevin Knight (he lives!) to AK-47, yet the Blazers bench still leads, 38-35.
9:59 - Not one to lose a game to a bunch of no-namers (sorry Steven Hill, but he has a point) Carlos Boozer comes out of the locker room looking like a man possessed. Then again, he always looks like that. 41-40 Portland.
8:03 - Shavlik Randolph, I admire your moxie, kid. Going head-to-scary-bald-head with Boozer can't be fun, but it can win a spot on the roster. And in my heart. 45-45 tie.
5:57 - Oden is fouled by just about every Jazz player. Ever. I think Stockton and Malone both got a hand in there as well. 48-48 tie.
4:06 - Bayless follows his airball with a long, confused look at his hands. I did the same thing that one time I took mushrooms at that Phish concert. I couldn't hit a jumper that day, but really enjoyed staring at my hands. So many fingers, man. 54-51 Utah.
2:35 - Luke Jackson does the celebratory raised arms thing after his three from the corner. Problem is, he missed the shot. 'Atta boy, Luke! 59-55 Jazzsters.
1:14 - Bayless with another miss (this one missed the rim, but got a sliver of backboard) and then again stares at his hands. Yeah, it's the hands fault. Blame them. 62-57 Utes.
0:32 - Deron Williams pokes the ball away from Rodriguez and scores while getting fouled on the break. He also flashed his gold medal to Sergio on the way up. 69-59 Jazz.
11:33 - The shotclock is clearly still in pre-season since it keeps randomly going off mid-play. This causes the crowd to boo the scorekeepers. Yeah, take that, nerds. 69-61 Utah.
8:37 - Kyle Korver with another dreamy three pointer. That's it, I am taking down that Cory Heim poster in my locker and putting that Korver one up. 78-65 Jazz.
7:15 - Korver for another three and people are now leaving the arena. Is it because Luke Jackson keeps shooting? He's 1-6 right now. 83-67 Utah is running away with it.
3:31 - If anything, today's game proves that the Blazers bench is deep. Deep enough to beat the Utah Jazz? God no. Are you high? The the Blazers scrubs stayed with Utah for three quarters, and then--most likely distracted by the smooth skin and high cheekbones of Kyle Korver--they stumbled and were blown out of the water. But it's not a bad showing, especially considering how 4/5 of the starters sat this one out. 89-75 Utah.
1;15 - You know it's over when Gerry McNamara is scoring against you. 93-77 Utah.
0:00 - And faster than you can say Kyrylo Fesenko, it's over. Utah wins by a score of 93-80. Next time I blog here will be the home opener on October 31st (scary!) against the San Antonio Spurs (scarier!). Until then...