So, I always feel a kinship with referees. I was reminded of this a few minutes ago, when one offered a friendly but distant half-hug to Raymond Felton. I know that feeling. I write about music for a living. And you can get close to a band—physically close, until your ears bleed—but you're rarely close to a band. And, of course, if you get too close you've got to stop writing about them. I can't imagine refs are encouraged to get drinks with players after games. And I KNOW that players aren't encouraged to talk to referees in the parking lot after the game. See, that can be construed as threatening.
It's still 0-0.
LaMarcus Aldridge breaks the drought.
Houston really has some three-point shooters. In their world, Chandler Parsons is a guy who CAN'T shoot the three, but I've seen his stroke and it's more impressive than most guys on a lot of rosters. Then there's Dragic and Lee out there, and off the bench you get Chase Budinger. On the injured list you have both Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin. When this team's healthy, they can drain it all day.
So, I thought it was pretty telling that Mike Rice, you is ostensibly a mouthpiece for the organization (and who hasn't taken a sick day in years, it should be noted, despite appearing sick on camera a handful of times), made the comment the other night in Dallas that he noticed Blazer fans talking all kinds of trash when Ray Felton screwed up, but that Twitter went silent when he played well. He was right about that, but it's rare that a voice of the organization will acknowledge that a player is reviled by the fanbase (after all, these guys all ride on the plane together). So it has gotten THAT BAD. We HAVE to talk about it on the Blazer broadcast. Wow. You'd think Ray came to Portland rocking a Laker jersey.
Speaking of guys Portland loves to hate, it looks like all Luke Babbitt needed to show he belongs in the league was a little playing time, huh? I mean, he's not gonna start any time soon, but he has shown some fine shooting and a really surprising amount of defensive hustle and, occasionally, a passion for rebounding. I kinda like the kid.
Nolan Smith and Jonny Flynn on court at the same time, and helping each other out nicely. Jonny scores a three and we're back to "Johnny B Good." All is right in the world. You can sleep soundly tonight.
Houston has hit five threes in about 14 minutes. That's a pretty good clip.
And Jonny Flynn is sure excitable.
Babbitt to Hickson to Nolan Smith to the basket. I've said it before...WHO ARE THESE GUYS!?!?!?
Idunno, Joel, is THAT the hill you want to die on? It was a moving screen. Yeah, Courtney Lee tried to avoid the contact, but you were moving when he stumbled down to his knees going around you. I think you've been around long enough to know that call is gonna go against you.
Ray Felton evens the score.
Two dunks from Joel in one night! He's back in his prime!
Some dudes are trying to get a Luke Babbitt chant going. It almost caught on, too.