You live in Brandon Roy's city.
Roughly 20 feet from where he did it until we were satisfied against Houston back in November, B. Roy hit a falling down seat-of-his-pants impossible 3 pointer with less than 3 minutes to go to put the Blazers up 6, enough to ensure they didn't choke the game away held on for a 107 to 103 home victory over the Houston Rockets.
The 3 was the crown jewel of Brandon's 42 point, 7 rebound performance, a night that from the beginning had "Brandon will will this team to victory" written all over it. In just his second career playoff game, Brandon entered the pantheon by tying for second most points scored in a playoff game in franchise history. And he did it with Ron Artest and Shane Battier all over him.
And was there a sense that this was what was supposed to happen on Saturday? I would say yes.
This team expects Brandon to play like an elite player, regardless of the defensive schemes he's facing. This team expects Aldridge to show his Swiss Army knife versatility on offense. This team expects Rudy to hit a big 3 at the perfect moment (tonight it was at the beginning of the fourth quarter). This team expects Joel and Blake to play chippy; it expects Oden to flash a little something something.
So when those things didn't happen on Saturday, there was a lot of confusion. Amongst the team and amongst its observers.
But when things started clicking tonight it felt like order had been restored. All the bull--- about who is cheering or jeering too loudly evaporated in the wake of one man's developing greatness.
I'm glad I was there to see it. I'd call myself a witness but I'm pretty sure that phrase is copyrighted.
Random Game Notes
- Important: Are any of you guys planning to travel to Houston to watch Games 3 and/or 4? Do any of you live in Houston and plan on attending the games? If so, please email me. A TV station wants to feature you!
- Was Oden's putback dunk with four minutes remaining his best play of the season? I say yes.
- Loved Brandon on Aaron Brooks. Loved that. Hope we see it again. Brooks killed again tonight but he didn't dominate the game flow as he did in game 1.
- So this guy was sitting courtside. I'm guessing you have feelings about his shirt. Why don't you share them in the comments?
- Remember our Clyde Drexler interview? I had the chance to thank him personally for the first time tonight. It was an honor. Clyde says hi bedgers!!! Here's subpar photographic evidence.
- I realize I write about Kevin Pelton almost as much as Henry Abbott does (which is bordering on unhealthy). But here's a classic KP2 moment for you. Sergio, Rudy, Travis, Joel and Greg are on the court simultaneously. I turn to Pelton and say, "Wow, how many minutes do you suppose this group has played together this season?" Without blinking or saying a word, KP2 straightens his psychedelic tie and cracks open Microsoft Excel. He plugs in a ridiculously complicated formula that included roughly sixty seven brackets. Roughly 2.5 minutes and 1.5 furrowed brows later KP2 replies, via live chat (even though I'm sitting right next to him), that this is, in fact, the first time this group has played together in the 2008-2009 season. Kevin Freaking Pelton, ladies and gentlemen. The man, the myth, the legend.
- Travis's steal and dunk was a top 10 most satisfying moment of the season.
- In the locker room postgame, Jerryd Bayless and Michael Ruffin are standing in front of the bathroom mirror. Bayless is roughly 1/3 of Ruffin's age. Bayless turns to Ruffin and goes, "Ruff, you need some help with that tie? A double windsor?" Ruffin just smiles (Ruffin is always smiling, by the way, so basically he had no reaction). Bayless is too much. Almost 8 months and 2,384 DNP-CDs later, he remains my favorite Blazer.
- The first thought that popped into my head when Dikembe Mutombo went down was "Alonzo Mourning." Brother Wendell reports seeing Deke in tears after the game. TrueHoop writes that Dikembe is done, done. Career done. That is the type of news that will not sink in until tomorrow morning. Thoughts and wishes go out to Mr. WWTSM.
- Before the game was over, talk had already turned to what Mutombo's absence means for the rest of the series. Obviously, it opens things up for Greg and puts more pressure on Yao to avoid foul trouble. I feel dirty for even writing this bullet point. Too soon. I will stop now. My apologies. It's a shame that had to happen.
Download Postgame Audio
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Nate McMillan's Postgame Comments
Rick Adelman's Postgame Comments
Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge Postgame Comments