Game report: Clippers 97, Blazers 83
This evening's Blazer game started at 6:00. The Blazers showed up around quarter to seven, by which time they were around 15 points behind. They played even with the Clippers the rest of the way for a dull, lifeless loss before a small but polite and enthusiastic Rose Garden crowd. It was their eighth defeat in a row.
That Other Team from L.A. had the Portland squad outmatched at every position. Elton Brand is having a monster season, and Old Sam Cassell has yet another team gliding toward the playoffs. Vladimir Radmanovich outhustled every Blazer in his path except Travis Outlaw. Corey Maggette was 13 for 13 from the foul line. Even Vin Baker doddered out onto the floor a few times and contributed. If the Blazers had come to play, it would have been a tough fight. But they obviously hadn't, with their hangdog, defeatist body language signalling doom from the very outset.
The Blazer starters, with the exception of Juan Dixon, stunk the place up. Zach Randolph was particularly pitiful -- it looked like he had some sort of injury or a case of the trots as he headed for the locker room after being pulled in the first quarter. Steve Blake had an off night as well.
Off the Blazer bench, Martell Webster played pretty well for a college freshman, and Outlaw actually scrapped the whole night. We even got to see Ha Seung-Jin get a few minutes in, including a very sketchy slam dunk that his mom, who was sitting near us, enjoyed immensely. You might say he played in garbage time, but that would inappropriately dignify even the first few seconds of this episode. It was solid waste all the way.
While the boys in white faxed another one in, even the Blazer Dancers stayed home. Fittingly, however, the Bankrupt Billionaire crawled out from under the stands to watch a couple more pieces fall off his crumbling empire. Another 800 grand down the drain, and the landlord's still giving him the center digit. Maybe the PDC will make him a good deal -- ha ha! We didn't have the seats right next to his this time, but we were still blessed with some eighth-row beauties that gave us a splendid vantage point on the ever-lengthening royal comb-over:
Our ancient digital camera picked up its usual share of additional blurry shots to go with that one. Here's Randolph where he spent most of the evening -- it probably would have been better if he hadn't even suited up. He reminds me of George Bush in this one:
BTW, check out the size of Ha's head next to Randolph's!
Here's the best I could do for a picture of Brand, who's playing spectacular ball these days:
There was no excuse I could see for Joel Przybilla's lousy night. When you get used up and down the floor by Chris Kaman, it's time to start biting your cuticles:
I wonder how long Mo Lucas wants to keep doing this:
Here's Nate heading into the tunnel at the end. He probably wished he could have left two hours earlier:
And you know what? As bad at the Blazers played, a goodly portion of their their modest hometown crowd stayed to the end. Like us, they had a nice night out, if somebody else was paying for the tickets. And under new ownership, the whole scene could be back to thriving in no time. Let's hope: