We're live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Charlotte Bobcats.
I can count the Bobcats' wins on one hand, and still smoke a cigarette; they've beat Milwaukee, New York, and Golden State. I can sympathize. My fantasy team (The Slutty Sacagaweas) sits at the very bottom of the league as well; I too have have unrealistic expectations that Corey Maggette is going to come back soon and post big numbers; both of us are pretty much locked out of playoff contention. It's a sad state of affairs, believe me. But the Bobcats can take solace in the fact that oPortland isn't above dropping a game to the Pistons, or the Suns, or the Warriors. "Why not us?" they might ask.
Well: "You're 27th in the league in Points-For, and 29th in Points-Against. DJ Augustin will be sitting on the sidelines with Maggette, and Gerald Henderson, while suited up tonight, is still nursing a bad back." The game is, more or less, in the hands of Boris Diaw, Kemba Walker, Tyrus Thomas, and D.J. White (who holds the honor of being the second-best player named DJ on the worst team in the NBA). Then again, we've lost three of our last six, and all to very beatable teams. Batum is sitting out with a (go figure) knee injury, and Rhino's got the sniffles. If Gerald Wallace throws on a Bobcats jersey for old times' sake, we might have a game on our hands.
Follow all the hot live-blog action after the jump.
Jamal Crawford got to choose the warm-up music tonight. He went with Meek Mill. Luke Babbitt feels that shit.
No surprises in our starting lineup tonight: Felton, Matthews, Wallace, Aldridge, and Camby. But a BIG addition to the 13th spot in our rotation: With Batum out, and a series of poor workouts from Dan Reed, Armon Johnson got to suit up tonight for the second time this season. We get out ahead of this thing, he just may see some garbage minutes.
The Bobcats are starting Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas, and DeSagana Diop (we'll call him D-Sags, K?). Not quite the threat that Walker's UConn team might have posed, but, you know, five people who are paid to play sports, nonetheless.
11:00: Felton gets the first bucket of the game with a little floater in the key. 2-0, Blazers
10:00: Still looks like warm-ups out there. But Camby's good in warm-ups. Gets nice, relaxed jumper at the top of the key. On the other end, Thomas draws a foul from Camby and makes the shot and the free throw. 5-4, Bobcats
8:30: Camby sets up at the top of the arc (is this our new half-court offense?) and lobs to Aldridge underneath. He tips it in and draws the foul. Free throw good. 9-5, Blazers
6:00: Finally a little hustle. Felton drives hard to the hoop and draws the defense. A quick dish to Aldridge for two. 13-7, Blazers.
DENNY HEMLIN IS IN THE HOUSE!!! (Apparently he's a NASCAR driver.) Based on the tepid applause, nobody gives a shit.
4:44: Matthews brings the ball up court in transition. He dishes to Wallace, who pulls up with such a nice shot fake that Aldridge doesn't see the lob coming. he recovers, and tosses the ball back to a driving Wallace. He goes up strong, gets the bucket and the foul. Free throw is good. 18-7, Blazers.
3:53: Wallace tries to go up strong again, but no avail. Matthews follows with the tip, misses, and follow again. His persistence is rewarded. 20-9, Blazers.
Mike & Mike are selling some caricature t-shirts. I can think of a couple people who would like those...
(I literally can think of two people who would like them. Both are named Mike.)
3:00: New gameplan for the Bobcats: Let Byron Mullens shoot from outside. Clearly. 24-11, Blazers
2:00: Camby again setting up at the top of the key and dishing down low to Aldridge. I say we let him bring the ball up court. The mismatch on Derrick Brown is working. 29-15, Blazers
1:00: Felton's looking sprightly tonight. No one can touch him when he penetrates. He dishes to Rhino underneath for an easy two. 31-18, Blazers
0:00: Kemba Walker sets up in isolation. Not much to say for his clock management. He bricks with six seconds left, and Crawford gets a shot off on the other end. In and out. We're at 35-18, Blazers.
10:30: Off to another exciting start. A couple turnovers. A couple fouls. No baskets. But looks like Wallace is going to practice his outside shooting. Three-pointer is good. 38-18, Blazers.
8:30: HEY...SOMETHING HAPPENED! Matthews gets the steal right around the Bobcats three-point line, and wings it upcourt to a sprinting Elliot Williams. Williams catches, shimmies, and loses the defense. He's got a clear path to the basket and takes advantage with a purty dunk. 42-20, Blazers.
6:00: I keep waiting to type something relevant about the Bobcats, but there's...just...nothing. Boris Diaw a free throw a couple minutes ago. There's that I guess. 44-23, Blazers
OH. FUCK. THIS. Apparently there's a "Lil' Blaze" now. He looks like a mylar balloon and he does something that I guess is supposed to look like break dancing. I want to stab him in his face.
5:40: Wesley Matthews dishes to Jamal Crawford coming off a pick. He spots up for three. Next time down, Matthews to Crawford again. 3! 50-25, Blazers
Is it too early to sit Aldridge? Let him rest those legs?
3:45: This time it's Felton to Crawford. THREE! 53-25 (I use caps and exclamation points to try and make it seem like something is at stake.) 53-27, Blazers
2:45: Hey, a nice little layup from Henderson on the other end. Then a three! 57-31, Blazers
1:45: HAHAHAHAHAHA. Camby just demolishes a fast-break shot from Kemba Walker. The Bobcats get it back, and Camby chases Kemba to the hoop. His layup attempt? Spiked into the crowd from behind. Two of the biggest blocks I've seen this season in the span of 4 seconds.
30: Tyrus Thomas manages to squeak one in from 12 feet, but on the other end, Crawford answers with a beautiful floating runner. 61-35 Blazers...and that's how we'll end the half.
Just a heads up, if I can find a pair of those LaMarcus Aldridge Beats by Dre headphones, I'll probably spend the second half live-blogging something from Netflix Watch Instant. Any suggestions? I still have a season left of The Larry Sanders Show. There's that documentary on the Brazilian Formula 1 driver. Hmmm...
Is it mean to hope one of the little kids unicycling on the court falls down? Oh, like you're perfect.
11:30: Maybe things will be different this time around. Gerald Henderson cleans up the boards, and get a nice little put back for the first points of the half. 61-37, Blazers.
10:00: Clockwork. Felton dribbles in, defense collapses. He kicks out to Camby, defense collapses. Aldridge gets the ball on post in a mismatch. Bucket. 63-39, Blazers.
9:01: Marcus Camby found a new hobby: blocking Kemba Walker.
8:30: Wallace has a new hobby too. Taking his man off the dribble from the corner, then lowering his shoulder into whomever gets in his way. 68-41, Blazers
7:30: Kemba Walker can no longer shoot for shit.
6:45: I get the impression Aldridge can score at will right now. Felton dishes on a pick and pop, easy two points. Henderson draws a foul on the other end, and sinks both. 70-42, Blazers.
6:30: Boris Diaw gets aggressive! Wallace puts up a short jumper and Diaw swats it into the stands. Michael Jordan must have called in with one of those Kwame-Brown pep talks at the half.
4:11: It doesn't count, but Wallace just threw down the dunk of the year. Felton lobs as he's getting fouled, Wallace catches in one hand and tomahawks it. Next time down, he goes hard to the hoop for the bucket and the foul once again. 79-43, Blazers
2:59: Eduardo Najera is still in the league. And he commits fouls.
2:45: Felton tries to remind Kemba how to shoot from outside. I'm not sure Kemba's soaking it in. 83-46, Blazers.
How many Chalupas do we get if we score 100 in three quarters?
2:00: Aldridge takes a seat, and I hope it's for the night. Lets rest those legs.
1:15: Najera shoots from the outside and it hits the top of the backboard. On the other end, he, more or less, shoves Wallace right in front of the official. We're in bonus, and Wallace makes both. 87-48, Blazers.
00:50: Crawford sure knows how to take care of business when it counts. Another long three, then a swinging, flying, flailing layup in traffic. 92-48, Blazers...and that's our third quarter.
The Blazers lead by 44 going into the quarter. According to Jason Quick, the franchise's largest margin of victory is 50 (over Cleveland in '82).
11:11: Elliot Williams is trying to make a case for playing time. Beautiful spin move in transition for the dunk, but it's in and out.
10:20: Felton dribbles the whole court, powering through the lane for the layup. I think everyone expected him to pass at some point. He didn't. 98-50, Blazers.
Luke Babbitt just checked into the game. Secret Weapon.
9:17: It's getting sloppy out there. Kurt Thomas just hucked the pall to the other side of the court. Lets keep it together if we're going to get those Chalupas. The crowd sounds hungry.
7:00: It's still 98-56, and not pretty
6:30: Crawford hits a little 12-footer, and the crowd begins to file out to collect their coupons. You people disgust me.
6:02: Elliott Williams=The Garbage Time Highlight Reel. He flies into the lane for a wide, swinging lay up and a foul. (Missed the free throw though.) 102-59, Blazers
5:30: The crowd is ecstatic to see someone that looks like their cousin hit a three. Luke Babbitt from downtown! 105-59, Blazers
3:20: I'm getting a good idea why our starting lineup isn't Nolan Smith, Chris Johnson, Luke Babbitt, Armon Johnson, and Elliot Williams. 105-61, Blazers
3:04: I spoke too soon. Chris Johnson (AKA Sid from Toy Story...just google image search the two of them) actually has a pretty solid post move. 107-61, Blazers
2:11: Williams again with the drive +1! If Sportscenter's Top-10 plays of the day were all pulled from the last three minutes of blowouts, he'd be a household name by now. 110-63, Blazers.
Final Fucking Score: 112-68. All that tension leads to a satisfying catharsis. Sports!!!