This was a game I went to conditioning myself for a possible loss. I felt that we had a good chance of winning and it was a game I was determined to lose my voice at because I would be DARNED if the blazers lost because I didn't scream, shout, and cheer loud enough.
Watching the Hornets shoot around I noticed a couple of things. First off the Hornets had a little swagger to their walk. They seemed confident. They were joking around with each other and seemed actively involved and interested in each other while practicing. In short, they were doing what I would like the blazers to do a little more of and I saw what I'd like to see a little more of from the blazers. They were doing this more than I've seen from the blazers. This had me a little concerned.
One thing I liked... the Hornets seemed unable to hit the broad side of a barn that was mooning them in grandma's panties. They missed shot after shot. It took about a minuted before a hornet made an outside shot. This I liked.
Nice school girl outfits. One of the cheerleaders was even so kind as to lose her skirt during the dance! YAY!!!! She never lost her smile or composure and actually seemed to laugh along with the crowd. Seriously, the cheerleaders for our team just seem to be really cool people. Also... holy abdomen batman! I swear their stomach muscles grew over thanksgiving!!! They also tossed in some duck vs beaver outfits.
The timeout entertainment
Okay, I haven't said anything about this for a while, because I've been happy, for the most part relative to last year. The timeouts have been somewhat aligned with the crowd and has helped enhance in past games. sure there have been a couple of crowd momentum killers, but it has been soooo much better than last year. That is until tonight.
First off, I like that the the crowd ignored some of the stupid canned chants. This crowd seems to be about doing real chants that matter and IT seems to be deciding when and how it'll cheer. I love it. The only dumb canned cheer the crowd did was "let's go blazers, let's go" in teh fourth quarter. Frankly it was terrible, but the crowd ignored other stupid chants and I love that. I think they were too busy actually cheering.
The crowd was taken out of it EVERY time-out with poor enhancement or stupid contests that KILLED crowd excitement. The fourth quarter is NOT the time for that crap. Luckily the audience decided to heck with the stupid crowd momentum killer and they'd cheer regardless. You'd here a few people leading it and then everyone would join in. When a play was made the crowd would ERUPT! They were waiting for a reason, ANY reason to cheer.
Seriously though... when the crowd is as vocal and loud as tonight was... DONT FREAKING MESS THAT UP!!! I can not TELL you how upset I get about that. I get that there are sponserships and other activities, but keep it out of the fourth folks. Also, get some people and/or a system that lets the person in control REACT to the crowd instead of trying to control it. Help the crowd get to where they want to go. That was a loud volatile crowd that loved it some blazers!!! Quit buzz killing!!!
Okay, that's out of my system. Now on to the actual important stuff!!! (but if blazer staff read this... PLEASE find a freaking balance. Tonight SUCKED. Miami and San Antonio game was decent. React with the crowd and help the crowd and quit killing the excitement!!!)
The, you know... actual point of the post. The Game
The Blazers looked good. I noticed that they had some break downs on defense, but honestly, good offenses do that and you can't be perfect 100% of the time. We broke the hornets down more often and more completely. Even when the hornets managed to shake free, a lot of shots seemed to be with a hand in the face.
Fouls. The blazers got away with a lot of fouls in the first half. The second half seemed like New Orleans got quite a few of the calls. We booed loudly about it, but in all honesty I could see why the refs would miss some of those calls. We also got away with a lot of fouls in the first so I think it evened out.
A cool moment in the game was when the guy did a soccer slide into Rudy. Rudy was limping around and the entire Rose Garden started Cheering "RUDY! RUDY! RUDY! RUDY!!!" for thirty seconds or so. It was pretty awesome. Why were we cheering him? Who cares, we love the hustle he brings and it's an easy name to chant!
Oden is looking a little faster now. He still seems off balance and he's still taking too long on his shots. It's like he needs to bend down to explode as hard as he can and I'm goign "NO! JUST TAKE IT and put it in!!!" Not worried about it. He just seems a little off with balance, a little slow on speed and I think that'll come. He bobbled down some rebounds and he passed pretty dang well. I'm actually VERY happy with his passing. I don't know that I'm going to go with a shaq comparison anymore. I honestly think he'll be better but in a different way. The guy looks to pass and I love that. I'll take a healthy Walton over shaq any day. I think Oden is going to be a cross between those two guys. LIke I said, I was impressed.
Blake on Paul. Dude, seriously... I'm impressed. I don't know what the TV or stats will tell you because I haven't looked but he was hustling like CRAZY out there. Paul is small and quick but Blake stayed in front of him a LOT! I'm crazy impressed. I mean, you're talking about the best freaking point guard in the league and it looked to me like Blake and the blazers shut that kid down. Again, I don't have stats, but watching live from 12 seats away (finally counted them) I was amazed. Blake looked just as fast as paul at times. I currently don't feel the need for a Bayless because the blake sergio combo are doing so awesome... which brings me to Sergio.
Sergio, I love you man, really I do. But... Frye was in the corner TWICE wide open TWICE and you didn't see him!!! This was when New Orleans was making a push and took the lead by a point. Sergio kept looking left to Rudy and didn't see Frye to the corner in the right. Sergio needs to remember there are other players on the court besides his buddy because it felt like he was looking for Rudy a little too much. I guarantee Frye would have made one of those threes or passed back out and opened up the middle a little. I brushed it off the first time, but the second play in a row that he did it I started yelling at him that Frye was open. Not that he could hear me of course.
I really don't have much more to say. Pryz, Batum, Roy, you guys are freaking studs. Aldridge attacked inside and I loved it! He seemed VERY confident and I loved the attack.
Blazers got away with a lot of fouls, but so did New Orleans in the second half. Some Jersey holding when people weren't looking but not NEARLY as bad as the Miami game. The Blazers look good and are passing and communicating and their team defense is looking incredible right now. It wasn't as good as the miami game but New Orleans is a much better team and good teams will break it down now and then.
I'm so impressed with this team. I'm so proud of how they hustle. I love that they got into New Orleans face when Roy was fouled and I love that I see Joel mouthing off with other Centers during games. Guys, I don't think this team is soft. They walk tough, they look tough, they're taking hard fouls, they're communicating, moving, playhing smart, and hustling. Frankly, I think other teams up their level of play with the blazers because the blazers look like they're leaving it all on the floor.
I've been to two more blazer games and even if we'd lost, I'd have been proud of this team. I'm thankful that I didn't have to fell that pain. They've won both games I've been here and opening night. It feels good.
My next game report will be against the Jazz in Utah.
Good night ya'll!