Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Evidently the Timberwolves are an actual basketball team and not just a promotional vehicle for the Twilight: New Moon. I guess that would explain why my fantasy team is doing so poorly, I drafted these four guys. Then again, it is a "fantasy team"....
Tonight will be the second attempt for Portland to break out their shiny and new three guard—Brandon Roy, Steve Blake, Andre Miller—starting lineup, and it should be a good fit against a Minnesota team with a small (in size and talent) roster. No hatin', Oleksiy Pecherov, but it's true. For Portland, the next few weeks include plenty of match-ups against teams with small lineups, which means the three guard rotation on display in Friday's win against San Antonio is not going anywhere.
The T-Wolves are off to their usual disappointing start, armed with a 1-5 record and headed straight to the 2010 John Wall draft lottery. That is, if Wall will even come to Minnesota. The Wolves just wasted their fifth pick in the '09 draft on Ricky Rubio (and his emo bangs), but he refused to leave his gorgeous home country of Spain for the Hoth planet that is Minnesota. I can't blame him. In Spain everyone looks like Penélope Cruz. In Minnesota, everyone looks like Garrison Keillor. Especially the women.
10:39 - Everyone misses! Every shot—from layups by Oden to three-point attempts by Jonny Flynn—fails to fall in this historical double shutout. 0-0
8:18 - After turning down a shot that wasn't his normal wideopen three-pointer in the corner, Blake finds a lumbering Greg Oden for the dunk. Following a Wolves miss, Blake hits his fellow point guard Miller for a layup. Guards everywhere! 11-6 Portland.
5:08 - Oleksiy Pecherov is no Kevin Love. Without Love, the Wolves are hurting below the basket. But much like Love, Pecherov is related to musician Mike Love. Let's just say that the things got pretty wild after the 1985 Beach Boys concert in Donetsk, Ukraine (the city is known as the "Cold War Kokomo"). 16-12 Portland.
3:00 - LaMarcus Aldridge looks sharp (seven points, and a pair of rebounds and assists) tonight. I imagine being guarded by the defensive force that is Pecherov and Ryan Hollins will make anyone look good. 24-17 Blazers.
1:39 - Jerryd Bayless picks up a foul and an elbow to the grill from Ramon Sessions. Not in the face! You don't want him to look like Steve Blake, do you? 26-19 Blazers.
0:01 - Bayless takes the ball coast-to-coast and gets fouled at the rim with less than a second on the clock. Other than the Blazers winning, the best part of the new lineup is a whole lot more Bayless. 33-24 Blazers.
11:01 - Martell Webster to Bayless for a high flying alley-oop dunk. Then, following another Wolves turnover (they are a terrible, terrible basketball team) Webster hits a three. 38-24 Portland.
9:04 - This game is great. The Blazers score at will (Rudy just dunked), the Wolves never score (36% shooting), and the refs swallowed their whistles (only 8 fouls total between both teams). 41-26 Blazers.
5:49 - Al Jefferson is a bit doughier and slower than he was before his ACL surgery—same here—but he's getting zero sympathy from Oden (a man who knows a few things about knee pains and being slower than molasses) tonight. 46-36 Blazers.
4:05 - In a botched alley-oop Aldridge misses a dunk and lands flat on his back. He's fine. Too bad I can't say the same thing about my pants. After watching him fall like that, I'm going to need a new pair. 52-38 Blazers.
2:23 - The Wolves don't play much defense, or bother to run down the court (it's soooo long), so Portland has had plenty of breakaway dunks and layups all night long. They might as well just drag out the trampoline and start dunking off that. 60-41 Blazers.
0:05 - The Blazers have yet to topple any opponent this season by double digits. I have a feeling that streak ends tonight. 62-45 Blazers.
10:51 - The Wolves score the first two baskets of the second half. Panic!! 62-49 Blazers.
7:55 - Again! That is two games in a row where Oden takes a big kid jumpshot. This time his 10-footer clanks off the rim, but I endorse this new "Deep Threat Oden." Speaking of actual jumpers that go in, Dre Miller is on fire. He already has eight points in this quarter and the lead is approaching 20. 72-53 Blazers.
4:34 - Portland should just pull their starters now. I'd hate to see Roy end his season on some freak Sasha Pavlovic-caused injury, plus it will make things more interesting. Bring in Dante Cunningham and Papa Smurf (Juwan Howard)! 78-59 Blazers.
1:31 - Bayless now has a jumpshot. I guess if Oden can do it, anyone can. This game is getting out of hand. The Wolves are a mess. They have three former NBA players—head coach Kurt Rambis, knuckle-dragger Bill Laimbeer, and the most attractive man of 1992, Reggie Theus—on their bench as coaches, and I wager all three could make this game closer than their starting five. If anything, I'd like to watch the carnage of Laimbeer against Przybilla. 92-67 Blazers.
11:26 - Brandon Roy has two points and Portland is winning by 27. That is your stat of the night. 94-67 Portland.
7:59 - Rudy hits a three to make the score even more embarrassing for the Wolves. Rudy has been off all season, which I contribute to his overtly-disheveled looks. He needs to clean up in front of the mirror in order to clean up on the court. Advice like this is why I know nothing about basketball (and everything about Spanish men). 97-72 Blazers.
6:17 - Garbage time! Say hello to Dante Cunningham in his first minutes as a pro. 102-76 Blazers.
5:25 - Here is the greatest stat of the evening: Dante Cunningham has as many points as Brandon Roy. Bench Roy? Cunningham is shooting 100% for his career! 104-76 Blazers.
1:02 - Cunningham again! He has six points. Not bad. Also with him scoring, that means every Blazer who saw minutes tonight (sorry, Juwan) also scored. 114-90 Blazers.
0:00 - Fitting the game ends on a Timberwolves airball shot. That'll do it. Your final score, Portland 116, Minnesota 93. See you Wednesday the 18th.