Live from the Darius Miles Memorial Coliseum as the Portland Trail Blazers meet the Golden State Warriors. All the chatter around these parts is focused firmly on Miles, the former Blazer, who has single handily derailed Portland's season for the past few days. Tonight the Blazers—who are on the verge of becoming about $18 million lighter in the pocket—hope to wrestle back the spotlight.
Oh, if you were a Warriors player, wouldn't you be tempted to bring back the Miles signature double-fisted head bump tonight? You might end up with Joel Przybilla's elbow in your throat, but it would be worth it.
To clear up any confusion, the following is a list of former players the Blazers franchise is okay with you signing: Chris Dudley, Vladimir Stepania, Slavko Vranes, Ruben Boumtje Boumtje, Stacey Augmon, Geno Carlisle, and most importantly, Ha Seung-Jin.
If you sign any of those guys and the team will not threaten you with legal action.
Oh, there is also a basketball game to be played. Who knew? The Blazers are a little bruised and battered tonight, but their respective injuries—Brandon Roy (hamstring), LaMarcus Aldridge (a hole in his ear drum!), Rudy Fernandez (either a foot injury, or too exhausted from looking so rugged and handsome)—should not play a major role. Roy is expected to play for the first time in four games, although his minutes might be limited.
9:55 - It took forever, but Aldridge finishes off an alley-oop—headband and all—for the game's first two points. 2-0 Portland.
9:13 - Greg Oden with a mighty two-hand dunk for the all-dunk, no shoot, Blazers. 4-3 Portland.
5:40 - Roy is ice cold, and the rest of the Blazers' starters aren't much warmer. Portland is shooting a bricktastic 27%, and is very fortunate that the Warriors aren't running away with the game. 11-6 Golden State.
2:18 - Portland climbs to a respectably shameful 35% shooting, but they still look flat. Like everyone else, I blame Darius Miles. 16-12 Warriors.
2:02 - Jerryd Bayless checks into the game. It would seem that the rookie's fans are also Wikipedia editors, hence this entry: "He has recently been nick-named B-Rex due to his extreme athleticism and fierce demeanor. The nickname is also a reference to his short arms relative to his body, evoking the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus Rex." So true. 21-16 Warriors.
9:57 - Sergio Rodriguez swoops in for a steal, and while his layup missed, Travis Outlaw comes out of nowhere to finish with a one-hand dunk. 27-22 Warriors.
8:43 - Rudy loses the ball and the Warriors keep on pounding a lifeless Blazers defensive. Tonight isn't exactly working out the way Portland thought it would. 32-22 Warriors.
7:31 - Roy regains a bit of that signature spring to his step (and hamstring), with a quick layup, and following a Warriors turnover, his drive leads to a three-pointer from 'lil Stevie Blake. 35-30 Warriors.
5:42 - Oden puts on a
traveling dribbling clinic, and finishes with a layup. Then on the next play he completes an and-one to push Portland within a couple baskets. 39-35 Warriors.
3:52 - Roy on a breakaway dunk, following an Outlaw dunk, and this game is now tied, 41-up.
0:19 - Rudy with a steal and instead of the slam dunk competition contender dunking it himself, he hands off to Outlaw. Sharing is caring. Despite some questionable effort early on, Portland is headed to the locker room with a lead. 55-49 Blazers.
10:35 - Oden gets (very) stuffed by the Latvian Lover, Andris Biedrins. That might not be his real nickname. 60-55 Portland.
7:51 - Golden State's Rob Kurz utilizes the seldom used "fainting goat" strategy (he basically just fell over and laid there) on Nicolas Batum, who was not fooled and dunked over his rigid body. 64-55 Portland
6:31 - In case you are curious, Roy is fine. Better than fine. Damn fine. He just reeled off a couple jumpers and Portland is moving this game towards blowoutville. If you live there, you'd be home by now. 70-55 Portland.
5:12 - Now this is just cruel. Steve Blake is breaking ankles like a baby Allen Iverson, and it's been nothing but steals on defense and dunks on offense. Roy just checks out of the game for what I assume is the final time tonight. 75-57 Portland.
0:28 - It's hard to tell if Outlaw is having a great defensive night—a pair of blocked shots, a steal, and more than a few pestering moves against the Warriors' offense—or Golden State is just that bad. Probably the second one. A dozen minutes to go and Portland is up 83-70 Portland.
10:50 - The Warriors come out to play (sorry, too easy) and have trimmed this once-18 point lead down to eight. 83-75 Portland.
9:30 - Someone's got a cases of the dunks. Wait, that sounds terrible. Anyway, Roy tomahawks one from an out-of-bounds Rudy, then Outlaw delivers following another Golden State turnover. Roy really should be on the bench given the score and his ability to get injured at the drop of a hat. 90-76 Portland.
5:40 - Nate McMillan doesn't have a lot of confidence in the Blazers bench since he is keeping the starters on the court, as the Warriors offense has managed to keep things moderately close. 97-89 Portland.
4:26 - Here comes the comeback pony! The Warriors—playing against the best the Blazers have to offer—have trimmed the lead to five. I thought this game was over? Does this mean I have to get off Facebook and start blogging again? Unbelievable! 99-94 Portland.
2:36 - Sorry for the scare, the lead is safe. Aldridge and Roy, as always, maned-up and now Portland's lead is back to ten. Back to Scrabulous. 108-98 Portland.
1:22 - Why is Roy in the game??? The Warriors are not going to drop 12 points in 60 seconds. 111-100 Portland.
0:00 - And that'll do it. Roy doesn't get injured, Miles doesn't ruin the game, and Portland wins another game at home. Your final score: Portland 113, Golden State 100.