Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers meet the Boston Celtics in a
preview of the 2010 NBA Finals moderately competitive basketball game. The last time these two teams met Kevin Garnett got on all-fours and barked like a puppy, Glen "Big Baby" Davis lived up to his name and cried like an infant, and the Blazers got whupped by the current NBA champs.
Will tonight be any different?
Brandon Roy is sitting out the game with a bad hamstring. So prepare yourself for lots of Rudy Fernandez, rookie Jerryd Bayless getting solid minutes, and a rare Shavlik Randolph sighting.
Oh dear god.
Beating the Celtics anytime of the year is a daunting task, but toppling them without your super star player is difficult. Oops, did I see difficult? I meant fucking impossible. Common mistake, my bad.
But, to be fair, crazier things have happened with the Celtics. Len Bias rode the cocaine pony to an early grave, the Celtics didn't win the Oden lottery, and this guy gets a paycheck to play professional basketball.
What does Portland have to do to win? Score more points. Um, other than that, pray. Greg Oden needs to have a monster night and stay out of foul trouble. Stop laughing, I'm serious. Also, it couldn't hurt for the team to conjure some of the same magic that the Golden State Warriors had last week when they shockingly knocked off Boston. That means staying close the entire game and making your move in the final quarter. Oh, and a magical dog that can shoot a jump shot would help as well.
Before we start, I want to give my love to the Blazers fan who shouted "FUCK THE CELTICS" during Storm Large's performance of the national anthem. Not before, or after, but right in the middle. Bless you, sir.
10:07 - Garnett and LaMarcus Aldridge nearly come to blows in the first few seconds, and Nicolas Batum shows off his hops with a might blocked shot, but no points for anyone. 0-0
9:14 - It's only been a few minutes but the Blazers look fantastic on the defensive end, and on offense Oden pushes through Garnett for a jumper (not a dunk!), and Aldridge does the same. 4-0 Blazers.
6:04 - The Celtics have run the same play three straight times. Rajon Rondo drives to his right, then passes to an oden Garnett who knocks back the jumper. Three times. Same result each time. 10-9 Boston.
5:35 - AGAIN! This time the same exact move and Ray Allen hits a three. Christ, I take back what I previous said about Portland's defense. 13-9 Boston.
4:25 - Hello Jerryd Bayless! Hello Jerryd Bayless' first turnover! That was quick. 19-11 Boston.
1:53 - Without Roy, Portland doesn't have a lot of scoring options—hence the whopping 13 points they have so far—and other than some Joel Przybilla vs. Garnett chest-bumping, things are looking grim. 21-13 Boston.
0:06 - The cure for lack of scoring? A lineup of Travis Outlaw, Przybilla, Bayless, Sergio Rodriguez, and Ike Diogu. Wow. That might be the softest Blazers on-court lineup in quite some time. Surprising to no one, they are unable to score. 23-13 Celtics.
10:42 - Przybilla isn't just angry at the opposing teams, the Vanilla Gorilla barks at Bayless and Sergio. He is the last guy I'd want to piss off. I'm pretty sure he can kill a man with just his thoughts. Or his hands. 26-14 Boston.
8:59 - Well it looks like Garnett is going to enjoy a nice evening off. He's been resting comfortably since the end of the first quarter. 30-18 Celtics.
8:23 - Diogu, who earlier hit a jumper, gets the crowd's approval with a little rolling on the floor hustle, and drawing a foul. Meanwhile, Channing Frye is on a ledge somewhere. Frye is might be lower on the depth chart than Raef LaFrentz, Darius Miles, and the ghost of Kevin Duckworth. 32-20 Boston.
6:41 - Blake gets swishy with a three and the lead is down to seven. 32-25 Celtics.
5:38 - Rudy is looks dead inside after bricking another three pointer. 0-4 on the night for Fernandez. Dios Mio! 34-25 Boston.
5:11 - Hell yes, Greg Oden. About time the big lad throws down with his first technical foul of the season. He fouls Ray Allen hard to the upper-body, and sends Jesus Shuttlesworth into the first row. In typical Oden fashion, he offered Allen a fist-bump after the melee, but it was denied. 37-25 Boston.
3:35 - A Blazers comeback? It might be. Ruuuudy takes it to the hoop—which he should do more—and draws a whistle in the process. Portland inches closer, 37-31 Boston.
0:59 - Aldridge with a running hook and following a rare Allen turnover, Portland makes it close a game once more courtesy of a mighty sweet put-back dunk from Outlaw. 44-38 Boston.
0:03 - Weird. Somehow Portland fucked up and had six players on the court, yet the Outlaw dunk they got while being a man up actually counts. I have no idea why. It lead to a technical foul on Portland, but the Blazers got to keep the points they scored with the "power play" advantage. I have never seen that before. I will probably never seen that again. 45-40 Boston.
10:17 - Rudy with a step-back three (about goddamn time) and the lead is now down to a single basket. He celebrates with some weird hand signal. I think he's in the Crips. Maybe the Latin Kings? 47-45 Boston.
8:59 - Aldridge misses an alley-oop dunk that would have tied the game, and ignited the crowd. Ouch.
7:43 - Oden with a put-back, and folks, we are all tied up. God, it's loud in here. 49-49 tie.
4:46 - Garnett with a jumper, and folks, we are so not tied anymore. 56-49 Boston.
1:28 - Vanilla Gorilla with the mighty dunk while getting fouled. The Blazers, and the crowd, are back in this game. Stop toying with my emotions Portland. 62-60 Boston.
Those at home probably missed it, but once again Garnett pulled Glen Davis aside and was berating him. Careful KG, he might snap and bite your leg off.
0:51 - Blazers lead! Oden with a layup while being fouled by Davis. If I were Big Baby, I wouldn't even go back to the Boston bench. KG is waiting there. It's not safe. Run, Baby, run! 64-63 Blazers.
0:00 - Pierce clanks a turnaround jumper, so with a dozen minutes to go, this is a tie game. Good lord. 64 up.
10:21 - Aldridge cans a jumper and follows with a big dunk. Wow. Portland now has an actual lead that the Celtics can't take away with one basket. Or two. 70-64 Portland.
8:07 - ...and then everyone went cold. Over two minutes go by and both teams pile up the bricks. 70-66 Blazers.
5:49 - Tough play for Oden, who gets whistled for his third foul while innocently going for a loose ball. But if you were to tell me that Oden would only have three fouls this late in the game, I would have probably called you a liar. But if you told me that Oden would have three fouls and Portland would be winning, I would have still called you a liar, but also punched you in the mouth as well. 74-70 Portland.
5:01 - On a fastbreak Outlaw gets mauled by Eddie House. Oddly enough there was technical foul called. Press row chatter agrees that if it was anyone but Outlaw, there might have been a fight. Blake hits a three and this place is going nuts. 79-72 Portland.
3:38 - Greg Oden = 13 points, 11 boards, 2 steals. Nice work, kid. 81-76 Blazers.
3:13 - Paul Pierce skillfully removes the ball from Outlaw's mitts as he brought it up court—there's your problem—and that will be two points for the green team from Boston. Wicked sweet steal. 81-80 Boston.
2:08 - Oden gets foul number four—don't panic, yet—and Pierce is on the line for a pair. He'll probably hit both. 83-80 Blazers. (or 83-82 Blazers, after he shoots)
2:08 - He missed one! 83-81 Portland.
1:18 - Rudy with a steal (!!!) as he tumbles to the ground and Aldridge rewards his effort with a short jumper. Good lord, Portland is up 85-81 with less than a minute to go. Brandon Roy is dead weight, cut him.
0:52 - Paul Pierce gets fouled, and quickly too. He hits the first. He hits number two. 85-83 Blazers.
0:29 - Travis Outlaw—somehow, someway, in a direct defiance of God's will or the laws of gravity—elevated over Garnett for a huge dunk on the baseline. Wow. 87-83 Blazers
0:22 - Oden gets foul number five—now you can panic—and Pierce is back on the line. It's not that the Celtics are getting fouled, it's how quick the whistles are coming. OH SHIT! Double technicals. Aldridge punches (open-handed) Garnett and he then returns the favor with a bump to LaMarcus' skull. Win or lose, Portland has at least thrown around some muscle. 87-86 Portland.
0:18 - Sergio (gulp) is fouled and a pair of free-throws await. He hits the first. Hits them both! 89-86 Blazers.
0:10 - Eddie House—what!—misses his ridiculous three-point attempt. It was actually an airball. Not one of the three future hall of fame players, but Eddie House. Yikes. Rudy hits his shots and it looks like the impossible is about to happen.
0:00 - Wow. Nothing is going to top that. Portland, without its best player and team leader, has just beat the world champions. The final score: Portland 91, Boston 86.