We all saw this coming right? The Blazers would hit the Big Apple, face a team that is in disarray–to the point that they are now without a coach–and promptly get beaten so badly that it seems like the rest of the season should be forfeited just to save us from having to watch such terrible play. That’s what we all expected to see following yet another game, in Indiana, that would end with the scrubs on the floor and the regulars staring off into the distance on the bench hoping that somebody will come out of the stands to save the day, right?
Not a team motivated by a week of unbelievably awful play taking advantage of a team on the ropes. Not a team that looks like they remember how care about playing basketball, or winning, or even TRYING. Because if we expected those things then we wouldn’t be Blazer fans. Or at least not fans of this Blazer team.
There’s nothing really to say about this game, except that it was over in the first quarter. That, and maybe the NBA’s biggest market should just schedule Portland every night of the week. That way Linsanity can live forever.
Here’s the good news. Portland has two games left before they come back to the Rose City. Those two games are against the Chicago Bulls and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The team with the best record in the league and the team with the best record in the west. The Blazers played the role of get-well team for the Pacers and now the Knicks, two slumping clubs. Chicago and OKC are have no need for a get-well game, so maybe the opposite will happen in those games. I’m not beyond a little frustration induced insanity.
But in all seriousness, where does Portland go from here? Jamal Crawford has apparently been shipped. If Portland is bringing in a point guard (Steve Blake again for the second time) then maybe they’ve filled a whole. Maybe. I’ll definitely write something about Crawford as soon as I get a minute to digest his Portland career. I’ll just say this to tease my opinion, Jamal Crawford probably should have never come to Portland. I’m not saying that because I don’t like him, on the contrary, I like him a lot. I just think he could have saved himself a serious headache if he’d just skipped the whole Blazer thing.
I really don’t think it’s a roster issue with this team. I personally think Portland is struggling with a crisis of leadership. Nobody on this team is stepping up off the court, and the only guy that is stepping up on the court is Marcus Camby, who has vented some in the last couple of days by picking up a couple of flagrant fouls. Cam’s fouls have showed at least a little bit of fight, something the rest of the team has been without, but it doesn’t really do all that much.
LaMarcus Aldridge needs to make his presence known. As does Nicolas Batum. They’re the guys that are going to be left when the dust settles. For the time being it wouldn’t be awful to see Gerald Wallace get in somebody’s face like he did with Metta World Peace Ron Artest at the end of last season. I think Wallace could stay, he’s a great guy to have around, but he certainly needs to step up his leadership game.
We’ll wait and see what comes of the Jamal Crawford situation, and we’ll wait and see too how Portland responds in the first of what will likely be two beat-downs for the ages. The Blazers have no choice. They’ve played so badly that it’s hard to imagine that it could get worse. But it will get worse. The nice thing is, Portland doesn’t play tomorrow. Not having a game is the only way this team can avoid getting beat by 40.
One thing to take with you:
- Luke Babbitt: 12 points, 2-of-3 from deep, 4-of-7 from the field, and five rebounds. -17 sours it a little bit.
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