Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Denver Nuggets. Despite our gloomy weather this game will not be played on ice, as previously suggested, but instead the NBA will implement a hardwood surface that is more forgiving to non-bladed footwear and less likely to crack your skull. Whatever.
Last night, in their 97-89 loss to Denver, the Blazers were not at their best against a short-on-talent Nuggets team, which boxed up Brandon Roy and muted his output to a quiet eight points. Tonight, odds are, Roy will be closer to his 52 points of last week, than his eight points of last night.
Portland plus Denver on this court usually equals a great game; as in last year's heartbreaking win by the Nuggets,105-103 in OT, or the previous contest where Portland escaped 99-96 as 'Melo got his shot blocked as time expired.
Also the Nuggets' first appearance in the PDX gives us a chance to peep the rigoddamndiculous lipstick tattoo on Kenyon Martin's neck. Supposedly it's for his boo, Trina, but it looks like the sort of thing you'd draw on someone when they are passed out on the fraternity's communal couch. That's why no one believes me when I tell them I got my "I Like Ballz" 'tat for my wife. I feel you KMart.
Since my wagon (uh, Honda Civic) was unable to cross the Donner Pass (that would be MLK Blvd.) in Arctic Blast (a few inches of snow), I am without my laptop power cable. So unless tonight's game features a free MacBook Pro power cable giveaway—hey, it could happen—this computer will not make it through the entire game. We'll see. If I don't, I promise all my genius insight will be frantically scribbled on scrapes of paper which I will later turn into a fanzine. Pick it up at the zine symposium.
11:17 - Oden shoots a two foot jumper, from three feet away. How can one man airball the closest shots? I guess, the same way he can miss so many dunks.
9:39 - Steveblakeforthree. No time for the space bar, this is exciting shit. 5-2 Blazers.
6:18 - Roy scrapes up a steal and layup, and then draws the charge on the other end of the court. It's not 52 points, but it'll do for now. 12-9 Denver.
0:59 -The players who speak Spanish—Sergio, Rudy, and no Travis, not you—single-handily save the quarter for Portland with Rudy delivering 7 straight points for Portland and Sergio adding a pair. 25-25 tie.
9:40 - Portland's bench is still out there, which makes sense considering how they have flipped this game for the home team. Bayless sheds a tear as he watches a turnover-free Sergio (who knew such words existed) play a perfect game and Portland pull ahead with a 31-25 lead.
8:48 - Channing Frye misses a dunk from an alley-oop pass from Rudy (shouldn't that be the other way around?), which followed a missed layup by Przybilla. The closer they are, they harder the shots come for Portland. 31-29 Blazers.
6:01 - Rudy is on the receiving end of a pair of bad calls; first there was his continuation basket on a Chris Anderson foul that they called off (replay says otherwise), then he gets mauled, Anderson again, during a three-point attempt (the airball was proof). To his credit, Anderson was just trying to get the spiders off Rudy's skin. That's what methamphetamine—or cocaine, or LSD, or opiates, or heroin, or codeine, or morphine, or PCP—will do to you. Does anyone know what it was exactly he got suspended for? 36-34 Portland.
3:24 - The poorly inked Kenyon Martin stops a Rudy fastbreak by just grabbing him by the jersey until he stopped moving. I sort of admire that move, in a lazy lazy sort of way. Why waste your time with all that running and jumping? Just grab the dude until he can't move anymore. Oh, the Denver offense has scored a measly nine points in the quarter. 46-34 Portland.
0:24 - While it's hard to follow that 52 point Roysplosion from the other night, Brandon Roy has struggled again tonight. Five points so far, and he was just stripped by Chauncey Billups, who he then fouled out of desperation/frustration. 47-42 Blazers.
11:39 - Oden lasts all of 21 seconds before picking up another foul, and thus signaling the entrance of Przybilla, and a toasty spot on the bench for the big kid.
Wow, that was quick and disappointing (that's what she said?). This computer is about to conk out, so unless a small miracle happens, I'm done for the night. My apologies. Like a good Portlander, I'll blame the snow.