The whole Rose Garden smells like a burnt hot dog tonight. I'm not sure if that's a sign, or if there was an accident of some kind or what. But out by the fountain, that's what it smells like. And it's cold.
We start things out with a Greg Oden foul. Literally. We're mere seconds into the game and Oden is called for an offensive shove. Strap in, folks, it's gonna be a long night!
A couple three-pointers and Charlie VIllanueva fouls into the game, and we're off. 6 - 5 Blazers. Jason Maxiell comes into the game (stop me if I've misspelled any names), to join a couple of Jerbleinko and Stoookie on the court. And Bin Gor-Don.
Catching a fast-break bucket in the Rose Garden is like spotting the Loch Ness Monster or Sammy the Samsquantch. But we just saw a good one. The pace is generally a bit higher than usual, which was not on the dry erase board in the locker room tonight. It DID say "control the pace," but I'd imagine that that means slow it down." Instead, Andre Miller is showing off some quick passing and fancy footwork. Elsewhere it's an outside-in game tonight: When they can't get a good three-pointer, they toss the ball to Greg and let him operate. He's missed a couple close hooks already, but the shot selection is quite nice, and he's rebounding well and looking very much in the game. Fun to watch. Brandon Roy, meanwhile, isn't the team's best long-range option (not, at least, when Blake is on), nor is he their biggest threat in the paint. His mid-range expertise and acrobatic drives have not been needed yet tonight.
Who do you think Steve Blake is, Rodney Stuckey? You sag off him on the three-point line and then don't respect his D on the other end? Unwise, very unwise.
A girl has a sign that says "BATUM: COME SIT WITH ME" then lists her section, row and seat number. She must have been about 17. 'Twould be ill-advised for Batum to oblige the young lady.
A Rudy Fernandez three-pointer rims in and out of the basket.A collective sigh jumps out of the crowd. It's a crazy thing, the way people sound when they all do something in unison. The crowd becomes an organism unto itself, like a huge flock of birds that knows just how to twist and turn.
You ever seen a huge flock of Starlings?
Shit is crazy.
Brandon Roy was scoreless in the first. But you know who else had a scoreless first quarter? Rookie point guard Brandon Jennings of the Bucks. Last week. Then he scored 55. So, you know, it's coming.
This is the last video for a bit. Really, you had to be watchin the whole third quarter at least to understand how good this kid was that night...
B-Roy checks back in. And he looks really...calm. He always just looks calm.
I think WIll Bynum should be the starter for this Detroit team. I know they fell in love with Stuckey, and that's part of the reason they dropped ol' Chauncey, but this kid Bynum is something really special, and more of a PG than Stuckey really is.
Brandon Roy is on the board. A possession later, he's arguing with Andre Miller. In fact, it seems like everybody is arguing with Andre Miller.
The Blazers come back from a timeout and dish straight to Roy in the paint. That's 4! He's 1/14th of the way to 55!
B-Roy drops a three-bomb. He had to think about it for a minute, give his defender plenty of time to think about guarding him, then he gave it the heave. 7 points. He's an eighth of the way there!
C'mon, Blazers, you can't let this guy beat you:
Charlie VIllanueva gets an easy two points and things are looking a little ugly here in the second. Is this not your home, Blazers, is this not "our house"? 40 - 34 Portland.
I was trying to find the video for Weezer's "My Name is Jonas," but I dont' think they ever made one. So I got you this monstrosity instead. The director says "it took me 2-3 weeks." Wowza. Not that my internet endeavors are any more impressive than that, I guess.
LaMarcus is going to work in the post. Not everything is falling, but he is doin' work in there. I sure like that guy. Meanwhile, Brandon's on the line. He adds two to his quarter, giving him 11. That's a one-point leg up on Jennings, as he only had 10 points in the first half en route to his 55-point game.
Rudy steals and dashes up court. He looks back, which I don't think you're supposed to do, but still outfoxes his man en route to the easy layup.
HALFTIME (48 - 38 Blazers)
Fuck, I'm supposed to be blogging. Well, Jonas Jerebko is a fun guy to watch. You can almost see the gears moving inside him. Yet he's so boyish and lanky that no one notices him losing his man or running circles in the post to get position. He's yelled at referees a few times now, which seems like a totally hopeless move for him. You're Jonas Jerebko. They're not listening.
Greg Oden's picked up his fourth foul. He mopes over to the bench and has a seat at the end of it. His replacement, Joel Przybilla, is so sturdy on offense that the refs don't notice when he's being shoved in the back. That kind of resiliance is good for a bigman, until you need a foul call.
Right now the Pistons are just more aggressive. That is, until Andre Miller throws himself into Charlie Villanueva. Should be a foul on Charlie, but the refs weren't looking, so they decide to call it on Miller. But Brandon Roy nails a three next time up, then Joel takes a charge. So the 'Zers are up 11 and the Pistons call a timeout. Good times.
One of these Trail Breakers has a broken foot or something, man. Came out on crutches and then did his routine anyway. You gotta love that! If he can do it, so can Travis Outlaw!
I can't for the life of me figure out why Steve Blake just ducked and ran away while guarding Will Bynum. It was very strange.
Brandon Roy is only 39 points from his 55-point game. FAST BREAK! ROY DUNK! Make it 37 points.
A three here and a block there and the Blazers are up 19. But the last couple minutes of sloppy, fast action kept them from making it about 30.
Somehow, Steve Blake is left open to do the only thing he consistently does on offense: Shoot a three-pointer. He drains it, putting the Blazers up 20. But Kwame Brown—who may have just put together the first two consecutive shots of his storied (for all the wrong reasons) career—just strung two baskets together to make it 18.
A lot of these young fellas on the court think they're going to be young forever. 'Tis not so.
Well, it's a 20-point blowout. And to be honest, it's gotten a little boring. Sometimes I like blowouts: You get to see some B-team guys strut their stuff, maybe a few crazy alley-oops when the defense has been thoroughly defeated. But right now it's just two teams missing three pointers and winding up with a lot of loose ball fouls.
Speaking of which, a double foul is called on Kwame and Joel under the Blazers' basket. Stupid call. Someone initiated that contact. Double technicals, sure, but double fouls? Stupid.
Bayless hasn't seen the floor tonight. And unless he's under the weather, I'm not sure I understand why. I guess Juwan Howard and Martell Webster (I was typing fast and wrote "Montell") took his minutes tonight.
Juwan Howard, man. Love that guy.
I just woke up and it's a nine-point game. Courtesy of Rodney Stuckey, who has 8 in the quarter thus far. So Juwan and Rudy sit down, Aldridge and Andre Miller come back in. The Blazers are in the penalty, and Rodney Stuckey is on the line.
Nothing is going in for the Blazers. And with three minutes to go, the Pistons call a timeout to talk about how they should capitalize on this.
Aaaand it's a six point game. The Blazers look bad. They're passing, but it's not "hey, look, you're open!" passing, it's "I don't wanna take it, you take it" passing. Miller clunks a mid-range shot against the backboard.
Andre Miller just missed two free throws, and Villanueva comes back for a three. I'm speechless. This was a 20-point lead just minutes ago.
The stupid fans are leaving. Blazers up 78 - 75 with a whole lot of negative inertia. Nothing is going.
They give it to Roy, who holds at the top of the arc for about 16 seconds, then throws to Blake, who has no clue what to do with it. He passes it to no one. This is awful. Villanueva scores a layup/dunk/thing on the other end. One point game. When Roy brings it back up, he holds again. Dishes to Steve Blake again. And again, Steve has no idea. Some fumbling, an offensive board. Steve Blake shoots a three that can't possibly go in, the way the 'Zers are playing. It does. It gets loud. 81 - 77 Blazers.
Rodney Stuckey drives, and apparently Brandon puts a bit too much body on him once he gets in the air. Foul. Roy is furious.
Andre Miller goes to the line for Portland. He missed two of 'em just minutes ago.
Makes the first.
Makes the second.
Detroit timeout. I think they want to win. I really think so.
The Pistons scramble and take some time off the clock. 10 seconds or so. Villanueva tips it in. The Pistons foul Blake, and he hits two. 85 - 81 Blazers.
I'm not sure what just happened. The Pistons got it to Charlie Villanueva, who attempted a turnaround three pointer (about five feet behind the arc) with 10 seconds left on the clock. Of course he misses, and his teammates won't even look at him as he walks back upcourt.
Andre Miller hits two foul shots and the Pistons can't connect on a final three.