First, the two trivia bits, both regarding the announcers:
1) When Blake stuck yet ANOTHER jumper in the 4th, all I could think was: Do it, Steve. Do it 'til you're satisfied.
2) After LaMardridge's post-game on-court Haarlow talk, the Mikes were commenting on how (overly?) tactful he was in his comments, especially towards Cagey, and Rice alluded to LMA not wanting to rile the Celtics up for a future game, saying something along the lines of, "We won't see them again this season, but of course, we will next season." Well, pardon me, but WE MIGHT SEE THEM AGAIN THIS SEASON. Might wanna amend that to "we probably won't see them again this season." Come on, Rice - one of these teams is expected to be in the finals, and the other team is YOUR TEAM. At least don't go ruling it out so casually. Could happen.THIS season.
Now on to the more serious stuff:
1) There's a lot of talk here about this win being bigger than the Houston and Phoenix wins. Of greater note is the way this Roy-less win is the perfect complement to those Roy-driven wins. He can carry this team to big wins on his own, AND this team can get big wins without him. This game was the Yin to the Rockets-Suns Yang.
And I'm sure both Roy and the guys on the floor last night feel that; they had to be looking at him with a regard of, "That's what YOU did for US. Now we've returned the favor." And Roy had that satisfied, admiring look of a man repaid in full, carried as he himself has done the carrying.
2) Our season introduction to 6 good teams (L[xxx]rs, Suns, Jazz, Hornets, Celtics, Denver) was a road loss. (Also, one not-so-good team, Golden State.) Now, four of those teams have then made their season Rose Garden debut just to see us return the favor. And this is purely about getting them back when they get to OUR place, rather than winning the second game against a team that beat us the first time (as shown by the follow-up road losses to Phoenix and Utah). I noticed this for the Hornets game going into the Suns game, and I was thinking, yeah, cool, do it again, get the home win against the team whose building you lost in, but I didn't wanna jinx it, so I didn't say nuthin'. And then we took care of that bit of business, then the Denver pair, and now this.
So there's that: We avenge our road losses when those teams come into our house. Golden State is the next shot at this, and you gotta think the boys in red and black will be up for that bit of revenge. And on top of that, consider how a team that engages in this sort of home-payback-for-road-losses is gonna function in the playoffs!
Better, broader point? At this point in the season, here's how the 29 other, lesser NBA teams break down:
- 9 teams we haven't seen yet (mostly BAD TEAMS - Cavs are great, Hawks are good, Nets are an inconsistent enigma,Sixers have the talent to be good, and then it's OKC/Grizz/ChaCha/Pacers/Bucks)
- 5 teams we've got a split going against, 4 of which are what i just mentioned: Teams that had our number in their house, and then we got one back at home. (The other team is Orlando, where the road team won both games.) We're done with two of these teams (Celts and Magic) for the season, and won't see again, finals notwithstanding.
- 7 teams we've beaten and haven't beaten us, but we'll see again - we might sweep, we might split, but we won't get swept.
- 3 teams we're done with for the season, and we swept them. Miami, Toronto, and Sacramento, take a bow. We're done witchoo now.
- 5 teams that have beaten us and we haven't beaten, but we'll see again - we have the chance to avoid being swept, but so far, we're winless against them. That's road losses to Utah, the L[xxx]rs, and Pyrite State, and single home losses to the Mavs and Clips.
- ZERO teams that have completed the season sweep of the Blazers. The Celtics were the first team to get a shot at that last night. DENIED!
So there ya go: Of the 20 teams we've faced, 10 of them are winless against us, and the other 10 are evenly split (5 and 5) between teams we've beaten but have also beaten us, and teams we're pulling an ofer against, but still have the opportunity to change (like we've done against the 4 teams we opened with losses to, and avenged those losses). Can we keep it up? 4 avenged, 5 needing vengeance. L[xxx]rs, Jazz, Mavs, Clips, and Warriors.
Small side note: For all 14 teams we haven't beaten (5 we've seen and lost to, 9 we haven't seen), we'll not just see them again; we'll see them multiple times. So it'll be a long time before a team gets another chance to sweep the season series against Portland, like Boston could've done last night. The first two teams to get a chance at it (if they beat us TWICE) are Charlotte (last game against us on January 28) and Golden State (last game against us on February 12) - not likely. Realistically, the first team to get a crack at sweeping us is Dallas, who we visit February 4 and come back to Portland on March 11. It'll be TWO AND A HALF MONTHS before anyone gets a realistic chance at sweeping us; meanwhile, we've already swept 3, are 1 home win away from sweeping 4 eastern teams (the upcoming Pistons game, plus the VERY beatable Knicks, Bulls and Wizards - all ready for the Miami/Toronto treatment) before March 11, and have our final two games apiece against the very sweepable Charlotte and Minnesota: That's a realistic shot at having swept 9 teams before anyone even has the OPPORTUNITY to sweep US.
I guess this calls for a POLL . . .