Live from the
Rose Garden Memorial Coliseum as the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Utah Jazz in sizzling hot preseason basketball. Let us marvel at this old arena that has been dusted off for the sake of nostalgia, the obscure bench players we shall see, and how utterly meaningless it all is. Everyone is welcome. Yes, even you, Moody Fernandez.
The Mercury is clearly your home for in-depth basketball coverage where we examine the innerworkings of this basketball franchise using APBRmetrics statistical analysis and... HOLY SHITBALLS, LaMarcus Aldridge has a beard! He looks Amish. He'll churn the butter early, but when it's time to raise the barn he is nowhere to be found.
The big news around here is that there is no big players. Joel Przybilla: Hurt! Greg Oden: Hurt! Jeff Pendergraoh: Hurt! Marcus Camby: Hurt-ish! Camby will start tonight but his minutes will be limited. The team just signed bearded hippie Steven Hill to a temporary contract. A bearded seven-footer inside Memorial Coliseum brings back good memories.
The Blazers just debuted new shiny new warmup jerseys. They look like satin sheets on a heartshaped bed. I think I was conceived on those warmups.
This starting five—Camby, Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Nicolas Batum, and Andre Miller—will be the one we see on opening night. Unless someone gets injured. Like that will happen.
10:59 - Even Paul Allen argues calls. During a preseason game. One that is scoreless. 0-0.
10:16 - Roy with an airball. I blame the arena. Tear this thing down and build a WalMart. 7-0 Jazz.
8:41 - These Memorial Coliseum throwback games are great since they provide lots of old fans an opportunity to dress up in their old Blazer gear. Lots of old school pinwheel shirts, a few satin jackets, and a couple poorly-fitting replica jerseys. Meanwhile Batum hits the hardwood for a loose ball and the crowd goes nuts. OMG, he's like a French Maurice Lucas. 9-9 tie.
5:08 - Oh no, poor Patty Mills doesn't have a seat on the bench and has to sit on the floor in a spot normally reserved for cheerleaders. That must do wonders for his confidence. 17-14 Jazz.
1:08 - Wesley Matthew buries a jumper and then breaks free on a loose ball and converts the and-one. 23-23 tie.
9:47 - Sorry for the lack of effort. It's the preseaon. I'm phoning it in then will be replaced in the last quarter by someone you have never heard of. 31-25 Jazz.
9:01 - Ah, Jazz basketball, where the majority of players on the quarter are pasty white dudes. It's not a coincidence if it happens for years on end, right? 31-25 Jazz.
6:02 - Can I declare Gordon Hayward to be the worst pick of the last draft. He looks terrible. All the skill of Adam Morrison, but without the ironic mustache. 33-29 Jazz.
5:29 - Camby is still in this game. I'd rather see Pendergraph in a wheelchair under the basket than risk the already hobbled starting center. 35-29 Jazz.
2:55 - Remember this time last year when everyone loved Rudy Fernandez? Yeah, me too. He had a rough 12 months. He ruined his career and pissed off an entire city. Really makes me feel proud for doing absolutely nothing over this past year. 41-36 Jazz.
They are about as exciting as you might expect. Utah is shooting 38%, which is three percentage better than the bricks Portland is laying. Aldridge leads all scorers with 11 on the night, but the Jazz have a dozen more rebounds than Portland. If the "Hustle Board" was here, the Blazers would be ashamed by that stat.
11:14 - Both teams bring out their starters for this game which means nothing to anyone, anywhere, ever. 50-40 Jazz.
9:01 - I'm going to steal Nate McMillan's dry erase board (That's all it takes to be a coach, right?) and put the lineup that really should be in this game: Armon Johnson, Patty Mills (yes, two point guards, I never said I was a going to be a good coach), Luke Babbitt, Steven Hill, and Raymond Sykes (just because I like his dreads). 56-43 Jazz
4:41 - Matthews to Batum for an alley-oop and the comeback has begun. (I swear I was not just watching the Jets/Vikings game instead of this one. Promise.) 63-56 Jazz.
2:54 - Just got in a press row debate over the TrailBreakers: Is there a career in breakdancing? Consensus seems to be that there is not. I guess I won't quit this dayjob after all then. 67-62 Jazz.
1:47 - Rudy hits a three. All is forgiven. Until he misses another shot or demands another trade. But until then, total lovefest. 69-65 Jazz.
0:00 - There is a guy mercilessly heckling Rudy, but he probably hated that play. The Spaniard passes on a three and dishes to Roy for a jumper at the buzzer. 76-71 Jazz.
10:48 - Aldridge with points in the final quarter? Good thing this is not a real game, since that would have never happened during the regular season. 78-75 Jazz.
9:56 - The man heckling Rudy has dreads. Maybe it's a hair thing. 80-77 Jazz.
7:17 - Matthews gets a technical foul. I like that random and meaningless intensity. He should just punch someone. Preseason basketball is like international waters, you can do anything right now and not get in trouble for it. 91-81 Jazz.
5:38 - Where are the bench players? You don't count, Bayless. Nice three-pointer though. 94-85 Jazz.
5:23 - Hello, Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson! Armon, dunk over someone's head. I know you wanna. 94-85 Jazz.
4:31 - Oh god, this Monday Night Football game is great! I might make history and switch live blogs mid-game. 97-87 Jazz.
3:17 - Sykes is in the game. When was the last Blazer to have dreads? Brian Grant? 98-89 Jazz.
1:49 - The dream is dead. There will be no preseason victory tonight. Hang your head in shame, Blazers. 102-93 Jazz.
0:13 - Chalupa point. I was kind of hoping that they'd giveaway a food item as outdated as this building. Perhaps a free Whaler sandwich from Burger King? Your final score, 109-100 Jazz.
See you Saturday night for some reason.