A huge part of me wants to just leave it at that.
Tonight, the Blazers came in with the right mindset and took care of business like they should have. Tonight, they took care of business. Tonight, they looked like a playoff team. And I’m not saying this because of the fact that they beat the Thunder. I’m saying this because of the way they beat the Thunder. They demolished the Thunder. They truly went to the Ford Center to kick ass and chew bubblegum…but they were all out of bubblegum. Look past the score…look at the rebounding battle. 57-32…advantage Blazers. 21 of those 57 rebounds were on the offensive glass. More impressive were the runs the Blazers went on. It was just nice to see them pull away when they were supposed to pull away, i.e when the Thunder cut the lead to 1 in the second quarter. Portland pulled their playoff-pants on and went on a 13-2 run to end the half. That’s what the really good teams do. They make those back-breaking runs. In my eyes what was even better was that the Blazers kept going on runs and did not let up.
The headliner? Mr. LaMarcus Nurae Aldridge. Normally I call him LMA, but after a performance like that he deserves to have his whole name put out there. Sheesh. Maybe we should have Rick Barnes come to the Houston and San Antonio games of this trip? 35 points, 18 rebounds on 14-for-24 shooting. You all realize we could have Tyrus f’n Thomas instead of this guy? Good lord. I know I’m ranting and raving but that was a performance. I was expecting him to continue his strong play since the Thunder had no one who could dream of guarding him. But….*Martin Lawrence voice* DAMNNNNNN! He’s now averaging 26.4 points and 10.8 boards in his last 5 games. Can we get Charles Barkley to say this man is ballin’ yet?? Cause he is. This is the guy who has had a chip on his shoulder. This is the guy who has been searching for respect. These are the performances we dreamt of when we read all those articles in the pre-season. This is the guy that Blazer fans have been talking about to their friends for the past few years. When LaMarcus plays as well as he has been playing, this Blazer team is stupid-tough. No surprise that over this stretch the Blazers have won 4 of 5 and all 4 have been complete beatdowns.
To the game…it was the opposite of the last Oklahoma City game. OKC could not have bought a bucket to save their life in the first quarter and the Blazers made them pay. Credit the Blazers D: the Thunder weren’t sniffing the paint. Aside from a Jeff Green dunk, the Thunder shot a lot of jumpers. None of the guys on the Thunder who could beat you had a good game. Kevin Durant had 13 points off 13 shot attempts. Westbrook went 1-for-8 and only had 4 assists. The team shot 37%, it just was not meant to be for OKC tonight. Not the way this Blazer team is playing.
The true test come with how this team performs on Sunday in Houston. A lot will be on the line.
Timeout…watching Minesota and Utah in the closing seconds. Mike Miller hit a jumper to put Minny up 3. Deron Williams came right back with a quick layup. He made Kevin Ollie look ancient. Wait…Kevin Ollie is still in the league? 103-102 with 17.3 left in the game. DRAW UP A PLAY KEVIN MCHALE!! I now realize how dumb that sounds. The play was Kevin Ollie dribbling around for 10 seconds and kicking it to Ryan Gomes who missed a three. Crap. Crap. Crap. Utah ball with 2.3 seconds left. Soulja Boy is playing in the Energy Solutions Center. That is the funniest sentence of the week to me. Also it was dead silent in the arena making it even more hilarious. Sidenote, as great as NBA TV’s Gametime has been..Rick Kamla, Antonio Davis and Cheryl Miller should never, ever, ever be put together. Ever. Ever. So many awkward pauses. Deron Williams…step-back….NO SIR!! MINNESOTA WINS!!! MINNESOTA WINS!!! MINNESOTA WINS!! Where is Jim Ross?!?! Yes.
A Blazer beatdown and a Jazz home loss? Oh happy days…