Blazers 97, Hornets 89 Re-Thoughts


What a comeback. What a win.

I’m having trouble trying to find the words to describe this one. I’m having trouble containing my excitement right about now. I guess this is how teenage girls feel after a Justin Timberlake concert. I didn’t think it could get much more fun than that 3rd quarter against Utah the other night….but tonight’s game will be staying on the DVR for a while. Goodbye Lost, Scrubs and 30 Rock you will all say goodbye before I relinquish that 4th quarter. Man.

Now let’s be honest. This was far from a perfect game. We got our cans kicked pretty good for a while and would be singing a much different song. We all know the score…This game turned when Chris Paul went out. Obviously. Now immediately following the game I faceed a dilemna. And I texted this to Coup… do we sit here and feel like we ‘stole’ one because Chris Paul went down? Or do we point to the 70 percent shooting in the 4th quarter and the unbelievable comeback? Let’s face it, as great as Chris Paul he isn’t an entire defensive squad on his lonesome. We both chose the latter. Can’t disrespect or ignore what Chris Paul means to the Hornets. Tonight was probably the game that the Hornets should send to all the voters to show that he’s the MVP based on value alone. Their offense was complete trash when he left. I’m talking about some real horrible trash, the kind that sits in your garage for an extra week during the summer because you forgot to take it out type trash. But at the end of the day Chris Paul doesn’t cost you 17 points, get you busted all over the place in the 4th and outscored 38-15. He helped our defense immensely but that was just the definition of a huge, gutsy, road win.

What’s more impressive (to me at least)? The aggression the Blazers showed when Paul went down. They drew blood and just went for the kill. It was like in a UFC fight when some guy is just dominating and he makes one mistake or gets caught with one punch and goes down. New Orleans was that guy. All the way until the third quarter this had all the makings of a tough-to-swallow, disappointing, almost-taking-a-step-back type loss. We just weren’t going to get over the mountain. But Paul went down and to their credit the Blazers just went out and TOOK the win. Keyword = took. And you know Steve Blake would have loved that UFC analogy so hush your faces. And MMA is so trendy right now, let me get my pop culture on people.

(And while I’m on pop culture…man that comeback was crazier than Santonio Holmes’ catch. I’m good, even though I found it weird that here you are making the game winning catch in the Super Bowl and your celebration is to do the LeBron James powder throw? It was cool and LeBron’s great and all….but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the stage.)

And to think all of this came on a night when Brandon Roy was not THE Brandon Roy at all. 2-for-10, 6 points, at New Orleans and we win? Come on now. How can you not have a big cheesy smile on your face? LaMarcus didn’t disappear although in the 4th he kind of reminded me of Sheed Jr. That’s not necessairly a bad thing (yet) but you know if he gets it, some kind of jumper is going up. You can’t tell me that fadeaway wasn’t right out of the Sheed 2000-2003 playbook. Also is it bad that when LaMarcus was parked on the baseline late in the game I had a feeling he was going to pull that baseline jumper…sure enough he did. And sure enough he missed. I tell you, if he gets a little more “dog” in him he can really be something special. But I’ll save that post for later.

Huge credit to the bench though. Huge. Rudy, Bayless, Joel and Outlaw came up huge tonight. I promise I won’t type the word huge anymore. Big Joel’s defense on David West in the 4th quarter was tremendous. I’ll grant it wasn’t that hard with Chris Paul out since Byron Scott borrowed Nate’s old ‘Throw it to Z-Bo, watch as he jabs and throws up jumpers’ offense. But Joel was great, keeping West in front, keeping him from attacking the basket, keeping a hand in his face and forcing him to shoot fadeaways. Rudy made shots, even though his pass that went through a Hornets legs and into Rasual Butler’s hands in the 4th made me want to scream. One second.


Dear anyone who wants/wanted to trade Travis Outlaw or Jerryd Bayless,

Know your role and shut your mouth.


Seriously though…Without Outlaw and Bayless we don’t win this game. It was Travis that made the huge shots in the 4th. Sure Peja was guarding him but he just kept attacking and attacking and went….to….work. And how could you not love Bayless tonight. He was just pure Baylicious tonight.

Knock on wood but take a second to let this soak in. A mere week and change before the All-Star Break and your Portland Trail Blazers are in 4th place in the Western Conference, one game behind Denver for the division lead.

Feels good don’t it?