So I’m exaggerating slightly about the final score, which in reality ended with the Portland Trail Blazers murdering the Charlotte Bobcats’ souls, 112-68. You know those nights when you realize you spend more time people-watching at the Rose Garden than game-watching? Yeah, tonight was one of those nights. My son and I sat in the corner of the upper 100 level behind the Blazers’ home basket (you know, Free Throw Guy’s side of the court- *groan*), and enjoyed an excellent evening watching the drunks around us fall so deep into their cups and eventually down the cement stairs as they walked back and forth from the bar. Distracting, but entertaining, in an evil, ugly, judgmental sort of way.
Anyway, while the man sitting next to my son and I spilled his beer on us and then sprayed an apology all over our laps , the Blazers were busy dumping points on the Bobcats from everywhere and anywhere, essentially putting the game away midway through the second quarter. Aldridge was doing anything he wanted, waltzing to and fro as if no one was guarding him-and to be fair, no one really was guarding him-and Jamal Crawford looked like he wasn’t completely insane when he predicted on twitter this morning that he would be very close to an All-Star if he played a lot more minutes. LOLZ aside, Crawford scored 24 points in 21 minutes, that’s efficiency my friends, because even the most broken of clocks is correct two times a day.
Perhaps the most glee-filled moment of the night came when Elliot Williams put down a wide open, one-on-none, fast break dunk. Because the collective inhale of anticipation, “HUHHHH,” from the crowd in anticipation as he raced toward the basket was so palpable, it was clear, I’m not the only one so incredibly excited about the potential oozing from Williams’ pores. Although he ended up slamming it home in a relatively tame two handed dunk, the crowd and the bench still went wild. This was the perfect game for Elliot to get some shine, and I’m so happy he was able to capitalize on the opportunity. Sloppy play down the stretch aside, Williams’ final line, 3 for 6 from the field, 7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 turn overs, and hustle style defense in 17 minutes, should be enough to *earn* him some more playing time against non-sucky teams.
Rage commenced for me when I looked at the score board, noticed the Blazers were up by 46 points, and then looked at the court to see three starters still playing. And Nate was up, on the sideline, yelling like this was the damn Western Conference Finals (as if the Blazers will ever make it that far under Nate, bahahahahaha -_________-). I mean, really, is it necessary, Nate, to run your starters into the ground when Denver and OKC await the team in the next few days? No? Then sit the flipping starters and give the bench dudes some freaking love, my goodness.
Even though Wallace got the Ger-ald Wall-ace chants and Crawford the standing ovation as he checked out, the players of the game were LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby. At one point during the second quarter, Camby blocked three Bobcat shots in a row. The subdued crowd – because the game was getting quite boring to be honest- jumped to their feet and let out the most energetic cheers of the night. Camby cupped his ear and waved to the crowd to “GET THAT SH*% OUT OF HERE,” each time, and all was right in the world.
Aldridge set the tone early, hitting his shots calmly and not wasting any time taking advantage of the Bobcats’ utter lack of any inside presence. I like this sort of leadership from Aldridge, and although we only get flashes of it, I think it is becoming for common for Aldridge to lead by example. At least when the Blazers are in the Rose Garden.
For now, the Blazers can leave the Rose Garden , their adoring fans, and all of their mounting woes behind, because seriously, at least the Blazers aren’t as bad off as the Bobcats. Right?
Sophia Brugato | @Sophiabiabia | firstname.lastname@example.org