Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Milwaukee Bucks.
Blazers, sucking as of late, close losses piling up, something something, blah blah, Blazers. Forget the home team, tonight is about one thing and one thing alone: Giannis Antetokounmpo! The Greek Freak! The Alphabet! I love him so much, I just spelled his last name correctly without even looking.
Giannis rules everything around me.
The stories are incredible and the highlights are amazing. He’s the youngest player in the league. He’s 6’10” and still growing. His hands belong in a Guillermo del Toro movie. He’s a modern day folk hero and the only salvageable part of this horrendous Bucks season. And after tonight’s gush fest on my end, he’ll probably be able to add “owns a restraining order” to his resume.
Grab a smoothie and let’s basketball.
All of the Giannis love is really just to distract everyone from how terrible this Bucks team actually is. Like, D-League bad. They are in a race to the bottom with the 76ers to try and secure the best shot at the number one pick next year, so if they lose every game from here on out it would not be a shock.
So, yeah, nothing like a visit from the Bucks to alleviate the pain from that defeating loss to the Warriors on Sunday.
The Blazers are still without LaMarcus Aldridge, and will be for at least the next two games. If Portland can tread water while he’s out it would probably be a wise move to keep him on the shelf and get him ready and healthy for the playoffs. Don't rush him back. Portland needs a healthy Aldridge more than they need the fifth seed.
And yes, the Blazers will still make the playoffs. The sky is not falling yet. Remember, the Blazers almost won on Sunday without their best player and with Steph Curry in lightning god mode. Portland is fine. Step away from the ledge, Blazermaniacs.
We're a few minutes from tip and it is empty in here. What, are we in Milwaukee or something?
11:35 - Zaza Pachulia with an early steal on a pick and roll, and it leads to two points on the other end. We're going to game seven, baby! Nothing easy! 2-0 Bucks.
8:46 - The Bucks are leading, and Terry Stotts looks disgusted. Me, too. It should be 56-2 by now, but instead the Blazers have more turnovers (four) than made field goals (three). Timeout Blazers. 8-6 Bucks.
7:27 - Brandon Knight step-back three? Yep. Are the Washington Generals allowed to win a game? 13-9 Bucks.
5:02 - Down by seven, at home, to the Bucks? Unless Glenn Robinson is on the court, I don't want to hear it. 18-11 Bucks.
4:51 - GIANNIS ALERT! GIANNIS ALERT! In non-Greek related news, Nicolas Batum has eleven of Portland's thirteen points thus far. 18-13 Bucks.
3:10 - Well, at least Batum remembered how to score. He has fourteen here early after knocking down his second three of the game. 22-18 Bucks.
1:56 - Giannis with a terrible double dribble. Oof. It's okay, I guess that is bound to happen when you've only been playing basketball for a few years. 24-22 Bucks.
0:00 - Batum has sixteen points. The rest of the Blazers have ten. Take away Nicolas and this game would just be sad face emoticons from here on out. 29-26 Bucks.
11:17 - Two missed free throws for John Henson, but don't worry, Jeff Adrien was there for the put back dunk off of the miss. Leave no missed free throw behind. 31-29 Bucks.
10:14 - Tie game. I can't get excited because the Blazers should be leading by twenty by now. 31-31 Tie.
9:46 - Giannis, don't let Will Barton disrespect you like that. Giannis had good positioning, tried to take the charge, but the refs didn't blow their whistle! For shame! Barton made the open layup after the fall, and picked up the and one in the process. 34-31 Blazers.
8:34 - Blazers two on one fast break, Blazers lost ball out of bounds. That's eight turnovers against the league's worst defense. 37-36 Bucks.
7:05 - Thomas Robinson is having himself a nice little game so far, grabbing offensive boards and living underneath the rim. He's got seven points and five rebounds, and is the only player besides Batum doing much of anything. 39-37 Blazers.
6:26 - Robinson with the emphatic block! Alright, there's a positive! Hopefully that energy rubs off. 39-37 Blazers.
4:14 - Dorell Wright is 0-6, including a whooping 0-5 from deep. There's a reason the Bucks keep leaving him alone in the corner, and I don't think it's bad defense. 42-39 Blazers.
3:59 - Batum for three! That's 19 points on 9 shots. I'm not positive, but I think that's pretty good. 45-40 Blazers.
3:21 - It only took most of the first half, but Damian Lillard is finally on the board. One more basket and he'll more points than turnovers! 47-42 Blazers.
1:22 - Just when the Blazers had built a bit of a lead, they gave it right back. This game might make my eyes bleed before all is said and done. 50-47 Blazers.
0:00 - With seconds left, Dorell Wright missed his eighth shot (and seventh three!) of the night, but Robin Lopez was there for the emphatic put back slam with .02 seconds left on the clock. Still, Portland is only up on Milwaukee by five. Not exactly the biggest vote of confidence for this team still being, you know, good. 52-47 Blazers.
10:46 - The last four possessions: Turnover, loose ball foul, desperation three as the shot clock expired, basket. Bucks and Blazers, catch the fever! 52-49 Blazers.
10:01 - Dorell Wright missed again. But wait, he was fouled that time, so it doesn't go down a missed field goal. Small victories. He could only convert one of the freebies, though, so his terrible night ain't quite over yet. 53-49 Blazers.
9:15 - GIANNIS ALERT! Sorry, I should probably stop talking about the Greek Freak. He has looked beyond awful tonight. 55-52 Blazers.
8:43 - I take it all back! Two points for Antetokounmpo! His last name is so long, it doesn't even fit on the official stat sheet. 55-54 Blazers.
6:45 - Nicolas Batum and Robin Lopez are shredding the Bucks defense. That's three straight successful pick and rolls, and after the last one the Milwaukee players stood around and pointed fingers. 65-60 Blazers.
4:58 - Damian Lillard is just gone tonight. He can't stay in front of anyone, he is turning the ball over like it's poison, and his jumper looks flat. Brandon Knight has nineteen points, Lillard has only two. Did I mention this is the worst defense in the league? 67-66 Blazers.
3:37 - Giannis for the lead! You do you, Greek Freak. Just another flash of his brilliance, as he cut through the lane in about two steps, turned the corner, and threw in a pretty finger roll over two Blazers. 68-67 Bucks.
2:10 - Meyers Leonard just had a lane violation on a made free throw (so the point doesn't count), and Giannis threw him a Mutombo finger wag. I am exploding with all of the happiness. 70-67 Bucks.
1:34 - Giannis just blocked Batum at the rim on a dunk attempt! I ain't even mad, that was something. 70-67 Bucks.
0:48 - The refs just called timeout to reset the clock, adding an extra second to the game. No, please, the one thing this world needs less of is this terrible game. I'll never get that second back. 72-72 Tie.
0:00 - Mo Williams hit as the buzzer expired and the crowd is going nuts, but they aren't going to like the call. That one won't count. 75-72 Blazers.
10:59 - Some folks in the 300 section are trying to get the wave going. The Blazers are clinging to a three-point lead against possibly the worst team in the league. 77-74 Blazers.
9:28 - The Blazers need to find that extra gear and fast. If they lose this game then the sky will officially be falling. This is the worst. 80-79 Bucks.
7:59 - Ramon Sessions has nineteen points. Ramon. Sessions. 84-81 Bucks.
6:49 - Wesley Matthews three, Ramon Sessions offensive foul, Robin Lopez and one. Okay. Extra gear time. 87-84 Blazers.
5:44 - Wright and Lillard are a combined 0-14 from deep. There's your ball game. If a few of those had fallen, tonight would be going much differently. Instead, it's a one point game late. 87-86 Blazers.
3:00 - Portland is in a battle with the Milwaukee Bucks. I don't even. If the Blazers can't put together consecutive stops, they are going to lose this game. A friend's dog had a leg amputated today, and somehow this game is worse than that. 93-92 Blazers.
1:58 - Well, Dame hits 'em when they count. That was his first three of the night. That was all because of Lopez, who not only cleaned the defensive glass on one end, but set a killer pick for Lillard to spring him for that triple. 96-92 Blazers.
0:48 - Brandon Knight had a shot at two free throws and made the first but missed the second, but the Bucks were able to get the offensive rebound. Ersan Ilyasova was able to score off of a Pachulia miss at the rim, and it's all tied up once again. The Bucks are bouncing right now. They smell blood in the water. 96-96 Tie.
0:34 - Dame missed a short jumper, but Lopez was there to put back the miss. The refs called offensive interference on the tip-in, took a look at the replay, and the call stands. No basket, Bucks ball. 96-96 Tie.
0:18 - Foul on Mo Williams. Two free throws for Ramon Sessions, as Portland is over the penalty. The first rattled out, but the second is good. Not the Bucks. Please, not the Bucks. 97-96 Bucks.
0:10 - Dame had a pretty good look at it but missed at the rim. Bucks rebound, Blazers foul, two more free throws for Ramon Sessions. He made the first but missed the second. Blazers ball, ten seconds left, down two. 98-96 Bucks.
0:05 - Same play for Dame but this time he was able to convert at the rim! 98-98 Tie.
0:00 - Ramon Sessions with a chance to be the hero, but he rimmed off the long jumper. Free basketball time!
4:17 - Mo Williams bucket, Bucks turnover, Damian Lillard bucket. This is going to be a fifteen point victory now, isn't it? 102-98 Blazers.
2:52 - Portland just had three great looks at a three, all in a row off of offensive rebounds, but couldn't convert. How did none of those fall? 102-101 Blazers.
2:13 - After converting an and one, Wesley Matthews picked off a duck of a pass from Nate Wolters, drove the distance of the court and dished a behind the back pass to Damian Lillard for a dunk. That might have been the dagger. The Bucks are pointing fingers on the sidelines and look like a defeated team. 107-103 Blazers.
1:37 - Lillard step back! This one feels done. 109-103 Blazers.
1:17 - Matthews for three! Yep, this one is done. 112-105 Blazers.
0:32 - Robin Lopez just sent the ball and Brandon Knight hurtling towards the sideline with that powerful block. I don't know which hit the ground first, the player or the ball, but both are hurting right now. 112-107 Blazers.
0:25 - It's all over but the fouling. 114-107 Blazers.
FINAL: 120-115 Blazers. Well, it took the overtime period, but the Blazers finally found their stride and were able to put together a few decent possessions in a row. That was too close for comfort, though. There should have never been on overtime. It's the Bucks. Matthews led the way with 26 points and Nicolas Batum had a near triple-double with 21 points, 9 rebound, and 9 assists. Portland will face an actual NBA team, the Washington Wizards, on Thursday night. Based off of tonight's performance will lose by about thirty.