1st quarter of the season done!

If the NBA season were a basketball game, then we’ve just come out of the first quarter with the lead and we are getting ready for that second quarter bench play. The first quarter went something like this:

First Quarter Play by Play

Tipoff – The Visitors take the ball and run it right up our throat for an embarrassing highlight dunk and one on the first play of the game.  0 - 1 Visitors (Lakers)

Blazers with the ball come back and use most of the shot clock to get a score off and manage in the last 5 seconds to find the open man for the three ball on the outside, a staple this year. This evens the ballgame. 1 – 1 Tie (San Antonio)

The Visitors employ the old Phoenix offense and push hard on makes. They immediately drive the ball back into the paint and make our bigs endure a Posterization. 1 – 2 Visitors (Phoenix)

Portland gets the ball and puts up a quick shot mid way through the shot clock. It’s rebounded by the Visitors and our defense fails to cover the penetration. Layup at the hoop for the the away team. 1 – 3 Visitors. (Utah)

This time Portland uses all of the shot clock and then some. The ball ends in Roys hands as the time runs out. He hoists a three as the 24 clock expires, swish. 2 – 3 Visitors (Houston)

Buoyed by Roy’s shot the blazers get back on defense and hold the visitors to a bad shot attempt. Joel gets the rebound and the blazers are on the attack again. This time we go inside to the bigs and give it low to Aldridge who has a nice little running hook to 2. 3 – 3 Tie (Minnesota)

Aldridge plays tough D and affects the visitors shooter enough to make him miss. He also gets the rebound by quick jumping and the blazers are off and running again. Not seeing any advantages they wisely pull it back and pass the ball around the horn before it lands in Roy’s hands. He does his thing, penetrates the lane and shoves a beauty up with his left hand for the deuce. 4 – 3 Portland (Orlando)

The Visitors put the ball in their star players hands. Your expecting something big to happen and it does. He passes to another player who bricks a shot. Portland gets the rebound and pushes it up quickly but instead of a fast break dunk, we get a pull up three. In again! 5 – 3 Portland (Miami)

Struggling to score as the shot clock winds down, the Visitors penetrate and get a wide open shot in the corner from their long range gunner at the end of the 24. 5 – 4 Portland (New Orleans)

Attempting to go big, Portland tries to force it down into the paint. Our bigs fail on their first and second attempts, after a couple offensive rebounds to keep the possession alive, they give it to Roy who does his thing settling the teams offense down. Step back 15 footer. 6 – 4 Portland (Minnesota)

Once again the Visitors push the ball and the tempo. Our guards just cannot keep in front of them no matter how much they try and our big men don’t rotate over in time leaving them open for the easy layin. 6 – 5 Portland (Golden State)

This possession the Blazers show off their poise and control. They move the ball inside first then back out. The ball travels around the outside and then back in once again. Every player touches the ball before a wide open shot is made. It’s a thing of beauty. 7 – 5 Portland (Chicago)

With the ball the visitors give it to go inside to their big man but the Blazers center is just too big in the middle and blocks the shot. With the ball back Portland puts the ball in Roy’s hands who penetrates and then kicks it back out to Blake for a WIDE open 3 shot. With his percentage of late it’s almost sure to go in. It does. 8 – 5 Portland (Sacramento)

Showing that the Visitors center is not over the hill and just as big as ever, he muscles his way into the paint and just abuses our big guys for the easy two handed slam that almost feels reminiscent to 17 years ago when Shaq was ripping down backboards around the league. Ouch. 8 – 6 Portland (Phoenix)

Rattled the Blazers offense looks to find it’s way and struggles for most of the 24 shot clock. Blake bails them out at the buzzer with a nice little running floater over the opposing big men. They totally escaped that possession which should have been a violation. 9 – 6 Portland (Sacramento)

The defense sets up and goes right at the opponents’ star player. It’s clear that he wasn’t expecting this and coughs up the ball. Steal! Portland pushes the ball on the 4 on 1 fast break and unselfishly all 4 players touch the ball before the trailer finishes with a stunning tomahawk dunk. 10 – 6 Portland (Miami)

The visitors once again go to their star player who is again defended well. He puts up a wild shot off the glass that rattles around and off. The big man in the middle consumes the rebound and throws it up ahead to the streaking Roy for the cherry pick lay in at the other end. 11 – 6 Portland (New Orleans)

Experience is the name of the game for the visitors on the next possession. A time out is called and they decide to settle things down and go with their veteran players. That’s how you stop a team who’s suddenly breaking out in a game. Unfortunately their diagramed plan of giving it to their Power Forward in the post isn’t executed as smoothly as they would have hoped. Portland gets the ball back after a good team rebound. Turning the tables on them the Blazers run an almost identical play for LaMarcus Aldridge who has a sweet turn around high release shot that goes in. 12 – 6 Portland (Detroit)

It worked earlier in the game, so the visitors attempt a variation of the Phoenix run and gun offense. They push the tempo once again and put Portland back on it’s defensive heels. The Blazers almost don’t recover fortunately the ball bounces around the rim and Pryzbilla sucks down the rebound for the outlet to Roy. He’s deceptive this one and though he move slow you can seem him going to his left and you just cannot stop him. This is what Star players are for in NBA games. He scores easily at the rim. 13 – 6 Portland (New York)

The quarter is almost to a close and Portland has dominated it for the most part. They have a little streak of 5 going and seem to slack off a bit. Their rotations are late. The players are sluggish, almost as if tired from the long haul of the first quarter. For all intensive purposes the Visitors should score, but they come up short. Their little 8 footer in the paint, a gimme really, hits the front of the rim and Portland takes it. It worked last possession so they give it back to Roy who seems to be the only player who doesn’t ever seem to fatigue. He goes to the left again and just dances past the defenders for a lay in at the buzzer. 14 – 6 Portland (Washington)

That’s the end of the first with Portland up 14 – 6 on the visitors. But you look at their bench and can see that they look embarrassed so far. The coach is yelling at them and you know they are going to come out to start the second quarter on fire. The muscle is inserted into the game to try and get back into it. (Boston, Toronto, Orlando and Utah in the next 7 days). Now is the time that Portland typically goes to the bench. Change the tempo and show the opponents a little different look. With any luck we can break this game open with a nice run of our own and put the game out of reach early so we can rest our guys and play the bench the last half of the game in preparation for the next game on the schedule….the Playoffs!

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