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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 24, 2007 11:15 PM. The previous post in this blog was Dismantling a royal scam. The next post in this blog is Queen of SoWhat. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Game report: Blazers 101, Timberwolves 98 (OT)

What was supposed to be a boring mid-season NBA game between two mediocre teams turned into an action-packed barnburner at the Rose Garden tonight, and the Blazers prevailed over the once-proud Minnesota Timberwolves in an overtime game that left most of the sparse crowd hoarse.

The Wolves had just fired their coach and were coming in on a four-game losing streak. Portland had been fizzling out of late, with some early-season successes fading into a distant memory. It promised to be a sleepwalk, following a typical NBA script -- one team building a big lead, the other making it close near the end, but the initial leader holding on for a victory.

Surprise. This thing was in doubt from start to finish, and neither team ever had a chance to get comfortable. Various players went through their ebbs and flows, and it was anybody's game. Eventually the road team's legs got just a tad rubbery, and the home team edged them out.

Just about every Blazer had some great moments. Zach Randolph, the team leader, had a frighteningly slow start, but he warmed up as the evening wore on. Backup point guard Sergio Rodriguez, normally an assist machine, found himself open for shots, which he took, and mostly made, pouring in 18 points. When Sergio's golden touch started to fade, coach Nate McMillan re-inserted Jarrett Jack into the lineup, and he made key plays on offense in the overtime period.

The performance of the Blazer big men was its usual spotty self, but McMillan wisely switched LaMarcus Aldridge and Jamaal Magloire in and out for each other down the stretch -- the former for offense, the latter for defense. It wasn't exactly a vote of confidence for either man, but they took it like the pro's that they are and did their jobs pretty well. Aldridge, who had jocked up a bunch of ugly shots early in the game, redeemed himself with two crucial free throws that saved it in the fourth quarter. Joel Przybilla spent a lot of time banging with T'wolves star Kevin Garnett. At one point, the two squared off and looked as though they might start some extracurricular activity, but they checked themselves in time to avoid that. Joel did get himself in foul trouble, however, and his night ended long before the excitement did.

Martell Webster, who was left standing around throughout much of the first half, wound up making some pretty drives and playing some gritty basketball (including snagging some fine rebounds) toward the end. Nate always has Martell in there when the chips are down, and tonight it really paid off. Ime Udoka did a workmanlike job for the relatively short time he played; his offensive rebounds were a nice contribution.

That leaves Brandon Roy, who wasn't terrible tonight but wasn't very good, either. Given his many talents, he made a difference just by being out there, I guess. And like Webster and Udoka, he worked hard on the boards -- a place where Aldridge pretty much got schooled.

Here's a word you haven't heard in connection with the Blazers in a long time, but after tonight's game, I'll say it:


It's entirely possible. The young Rose City squad isn't great, but they're very good, and coach McMillan is simply excellent. Tonight's game was a real chess match, and Nate showed his mettle. The team to beat for that last playoff slot is Minnesota. A gutsy Blazer squad showed tonight that, at least at the moment, they're actually the better of the two teams. If the Blazers play the way they're capable of, the T'wolves could be watching them on TV, and not vice versa, come the post-season.

O.k., now for the bad news. So logy was I when I left the house for this game -- as I say, I wasn't expecting much -- that I accidentally left my camera behind. Thus, you won't get the usual out-of-focus photos taken from my vantage point. But thanks to one of this blog's many patrons, we were sitting in beautiful seats, near the tunnel over by the Blazer bench, where we sat last year for this game. Yes, Paul Allen was there next to Steve Patterson, and Mo Lucas looks like he's dropped a few pounds, which is good. So now, just picture Garnett and monster guard Ricky Davis (whose great night ended a little early, thank heaven) in their visiting uniforms, and the Blazers in their home whites, and you'll have the picture. If not, there are some professional photos of tonight's game here.

I'm serious about the playoff thing.

Comments (18)

Great post Jack! You pretty much summed up the game as well as or better than any sports journalist out there. Although I'm pretty sure Ricky Davis isn't a rookie...just a new addition to the T-Wolves team. I was laughing about the how Ricky Davis called the Blazers a bunch of "roaches" before they got their butts kicked the last time they came here. I was watching Channel 8 just before the game, and Ricky D sort of backed off that comment by saying THEY were looking like roaches lately, BUT Garnett said on camera words to the effect that "the roaches are getting squashed tonight". He must have been talking about the T-Wolves. Haa...Haa...we kicked their butts....YES!!! I love it!!! Playoffs here we come! P.S. I loved it when Udoka "shoulderd" K.G. while jockeying for position and pretty much knocked him on his shows a "I don't care about your super star status" attitude and the Blazer need that. P.P.S. Sergio was great, but Maglorie needs to go because he pretty much sucks no matter how you slice it. Nights like tonight give Blazer fans lots of hope for the future. Even Zach is teasing us a little with the way he is acting interested in playing defense...o.k. now I'm going overboard...time to quit while I'm ahead.

I'm serious about the playoff thing.

Yeah, but are you serious about your free chalupa?

The Blazers are now a positive story again. In fact, I don't recall ever reading a Dwight Jayne's column that was as upbeat as his piece on Sergio Rodriguez last week. Dwight is usually a little cynical - okay, joyless - but he was absolutely giddy about Sergio, and as a reader that was fun. In that spirit, I'm at peace with the LaMarcus pick, after complaining bitterly that we didn't take Adam Morrison. I think LaMarcus is a good presence here in Portland, and I wish him the best.

As far as making the playoffs, I remember the Oregonian's Canzano bringing that up early last season - a season where we ended up in the Onion being left off the NBA schedule for this year. So, I hope they do, but let's not get crazy. It's a fine line between enthusiasm and reality, but for me the worst emotion is projecting misery onto a situation that is actually a fun story. The Blazers are once again a fun story and Nate McMillan is a great coach.

I'm not sure talk of the playoffs is helpful just yet. Even talk of realistic expectations can drag down a young team. I even wonder if Brandon Roy could be set back a little by all the Rookie of the Year talk. Why not just hope for the best and see how the season goes? The Italian kid playing for the Raptors is quite something, too. There are also nights when Adam Morrison looks excellent. Steve Smith announces for Atlanta and he started out a recent two game stretch against the Bobcats making fun of Adam Morrison's defense, "They say he can't guard his own shadow." Then Morrison started draining some incredible shots and Steve made that "Woo" sound, and started talking about how great his stroke was and how he's a real basketball player.
This is also the time of the year when the rookies have played an entire college season's worth of games and sometimes hit the wall. We have our share of rookies. I will say if one of them made Dwight Jaynes that happy, it has already been an incredible season.
One last note: I was sad to see Steve Blake go, but now that's he's bounced into the situation in Denver you've got to feel good about it.

Yeah, but are you serious about your free chalupa?

Seriously not gonna eat one.

I'm pretty sure Ricky Davis isn't a rookie...just a new addition to the T-Wolves team.

Of course. I think I got that dumb idea out of the program they gave us when we walked in the door. Davis was a Blazer killer, though, until he tired out.


They'll have to go 25-15 down the stretch if they're gonna make the playoffs. That ain't gonna happen.

Next year. Yes. Next year...

I was sitting up in the 200 level last night. I screamed myself hoarse and loved that clip of Belushi from Animal House with about a minute to go in the 4th quarter. "Was it over when the *Germans* bombed Pearl Harbor?" Nope, it sure wasn't. Playoff hopes? Sure, why not?

I was at the first Minnesota game this year, the home opener, a sellout and it reminded me so much of the crowds we used to get it was freaky. People were chanting, getting extremely loud and when Juan Dixon hit the GW 3 with 4.5 seconds on the clock the place went nuts. I'll actually pay to go to a game this year again.

They'll have to go 25-15 down the stretch if they're gonna make the playoffs.

It's possible that 23-16 -- a .500 record for the year -- would do it. Not out of the question.

a .500 record for the year

I was just talking off the top of my head when I said 25-15. I was shooting for .500 myself. But with the grease fire that is the Eastern Conference giving Western teams cheap wins (hello Cleveland!), I'm not sure .500 in the West will do. I'm guessing it'll have to be 45 maybe 46 wins just to get in. Doable? Yes. Probable? No.

The top teams in the West are killing the East, but within the West right now, I believe .500 would be the eighth playoff spot.

Once proud timberwolves? Where in their history have they been proud?

I believe .500 would be the eighth playoff spot.

I stand corrected. The Blazers are only 3 games out of the eighth spot.

Pass the Kool-Aid!

It's a bit of a stretch, sure. There are half a dozen teams hovering around that level. It would take an amazing second half for the Blazers to make it. But if they play like they did last night, it's possible.

snore.........I'm just waiting for baseball season to start.....

Kathe--Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in about two more weeks.

Why is Magloire in for defensive purposes? At one time, in New Orleans, he had a reputation as a defensive specialist, but he can't do it now. Aldridge played Garnett tougher last night and Pryzbilla still had another foul left, but never got back in. I can't believe McMillan is playing Magloire to boost his trade potential, inasmuch as he seems to lower it every minute he's on the court.

As for Brandon Roy, they stuck Trenton Hassell on him after the first quarter and Hassell is one of the best defenders in the league.

Seriously not gonna eat one.

You're a wise man, Jack. I ate one of those "free" chalupas once. Once. Seriously bad idea.

Blazers in the playoffs? I watched a game on TV not long ago, Blazers up when I channel surfed to the game...then, staying, they tanked. "Why" I asked myself, "do I let myself get sucked up into this?" Waste of time and emotional energy.

Gotta be strong. Just say no. Playoffs? Ain't gonna happen.

batter up! and it's not waffles we're talking here!


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
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Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
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Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
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Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
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Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
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Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
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Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
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Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
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