Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Charlotte Bobcats. Welcome the hell back, Joel Pryzbilla. It seems like it was only last week—oh wait, it was—that the Vanilla Gorilla was
absolutely dominating barely contributing his 1.7 points a game and four rebounds to the Blazers' cause. Also, welcome back Dante Cunningham, another former Portlander shipped off in the Gerald Wallace deal. I hope your kitties are being well cared for and not slowly clawing the inside of a dumpster somewhere. And most importantly, welcome back Sean Marks.
*checks NBA waiver wire*
NOOOOOOO! May we all shed a single tear for Marks.
There's no crying in live-blogging...
For once the Blazers are about to be the beneficiary of some random luck. The Bobcats' top scorer, Stephen Jackson, will sit out tonight with a strained left hamstring. Even luckier, the news that Dwight Howard has been suspended for Monday's game against Portland in Orlando. Meanwhile, the Brandon Roy has been given the upgrade to 20-25 minutes of court time, despite the fact that the Blazers are 11-16 on the year when Roy plays (23-11 without him). Yay?
Without Jackson (and Wallace), the Bobcats are not a good team. At all. DJ Augustin is their lone offensive option and after him, the talent level drops off dramatically. Not since the 26-point trouncing of the Milwaukee Bucks in late December have the Blazers dominated an opponent on their home court, but not only does tonight look like it'll be Wallace's first win in the Rose Garden, it just might be an absolute blowout as well.
11:42 - Marcus Camby hits a layup and gets the whistle on the opening play. Even more surprising is that the fouled was on Dominic McGuire. Who is starting. At the sport of basketball. Right now. 2-0 Blazers.
10:20 - Cunningham checks into to the game and was given an overly-generous round of applause. Portland is just too kind. 6-2 Blazers.
7:25 - LaMarcus Aldridge flips to Nicolas Batum on a give-and-go, but Batum clanks the dunk. On the other end Gerald Henderson ties up the score. The Bobcats replaced one Gerald with another, hoping their fans wouldn't notice. 8-8 tie.
5:09 - Andre Miller does it again. He slows down the dribble and walks towards the bench, indicating a timeout, but then slices to the rim when Augustin walks away. Kwame Brown ended up goal-tending the shot, so two points for the craftiest old man in the league. 10-10 tie.
2:21 - Joel Pryzbilla checks into the game to the largest ovation I have ever heard for a single player in this arena (it was more impressive than the crowd's reaction to Roy's dramatic return in last season's postseason). 14-12 Bobcats.
1:22 - Pryzbilla fouls Wallace hard under the basket. That was the "you made me move my family to North Carolina" foul. 16-15 Bobcats.
0:00 - Wow, some blowout this turned out to be. Nice 36% shooting and 15 point quarter, Portland. 16-15 Bobcats.
11:41 - Matt Carroll starts off quarter number two with a reverse layup and a foul. So that just happened. Oh look, Edjuardo Najera is on the court too. Charlotte's entire lineup is like a mediocre player from 2004 reunion. 19-15 Bobcats.
9:06 - Oh dear lord this is some ugly basketball. 31% shooting for Portland, a superior 44% for the visiting team. The Blazers have 19 points in 15 minutes. 25-19 Bobcats.
8:14 - After six misses from the team, Patty Mills hits a three pointer. 27-24 Bobcats.
5:58 - Camby to Aldridge for the dunk. Fitting that the pass came from Camby, since Mills is a mess right now. Other than falling down and heaving up threes, he hasn't brought much to this game—although Bobcat fans must love him. 29-26 Bobcats.
4:42 - We are less than five minutes from half time and no team has scored 30 points yet. Due to low scoring the league will be adding a bonus fifth quarter to this game, that way someone can hit the 75 point mark and be proud. We're all winners here. 29-28 Bobcats.
2:41 - I know it's not Wallace, but the Blazers have looked horrible in his first three games at the Rose Garden. His one good game for Portland? The team's victory in Sacramento on Wednesday night, the game where Roy sat out. 34-30 Bobcats.
1:25 - Adridge has been the lone bright spot for the Blazers thus far. He has 14 points and has single-handily turned this game from absolutely unwatchable to only somewhat unwatchable. 35-34 Bobcats.
0:08 - Blazers lead! Blazers lead! Uh, with 37 points, but I guess a lead is a lead. 37-35 Blazers.
0:00 - Matthews for three to cap off this 10-0 run for Portland and put a little lipstick on this pig. 40-35 Blazers.
8:40 - Halftime did nothing. The ugliness from the second quarter continues. Why is God punishing me. It's for that Stryper article, right? 45-42 Bobcats.
8:15 - Miller guns a pass for Batum that ends up four rows into the seats. Whoever caught it should just deflate the ball and end this game for the good of humanity. 45-42 Bobcats.
5:03 - Batum for three. Portland has their biggest lead of the game at eight. It will takes Charlotte months to score eight more points at this rate. 53-45 Blazers.
3:48 - Cunningham back in the game and no one applauds. How soon we forget, just like how Dante forgot about his cats—Whiskers McDunksalot and Kitty Dunky Bottoms. 60-50 Blazers.
2:22 - Oh my apology, this isn't actually the real game. This is the junior recreational league game that proceeds the real game. I imagine the professional players will be on the court any minute now. 65-50 Blazers.
0:00 - I just yelled "NO, WHY DID HE DO THAT?" at Mills' botched final play of the quarter. Watching Mills is maddening at times. Times like now. 65-52 Blazers.
10:11 - Mills for a goggle-less three. R.I.P., Three Goggles. 72-56 Blazers
7:36 - Roy with a pair of back-to-back makes, the latter being from three. Hopefully he won't exceed his limit cap tonight, since this game is mercifully over. 79-61 Blazers.
4:04 - Nice "JOEL PRYZBILLA" chant from Section 314 (the source of the best Blazers fans at any given game). You know it's a bad game when a mid-fourth quarter chant for a bench player on the opposing team is a highlight. 84-64 Blazers.
2:16 - Pryzbilla goes up for a block of a Wallace shot and end up flipping over and falling to his back. He should have just got on his shoulders and maybe a robust game of chicken would have broken out. No splashing! 86-67 Blazers.
1:06 - Standing ovation for Pryzbilla leaving the game (he fouled out, naturally), or maybe it's for Najera entering the game. Really, at this point it doesn't matter. 91-67 Blazers.
0:00 - Oh dear God, it is over. Your final score, Portland 93, Charlotte 69. The Blazers are about to embark on a lengthy road trip and when they return, I'll be at SXSW. Tony Perez will be filling in for me, prepare your Bizzaro Tony Perez avatars now.