11. Insult and Injury: The View from New Orleans


Timlogo-be_mediumSnips and clips from the Hornets camp, plus:

  • How Blazer Fans Differ from Laker Fans (rerun)
  • Haiku Game Review
  • Fried Rice
  • Blazers/Hornets Recap
  • Popcorn Machine + TBJ



Ho Hum

posted by RedHopedul to At The Hive (SBN)

Ho Hum, another win. :)

Tough to gauge too much out of this one. Caught the Blazers playing a ton of games early and thus jumped them early and then their already hobbled leader lost in the 3rd during a comeback.

Best thing for me was the bench keeps gelling and only produced 3 TO's tonight. Nice to see Peja but the Thornton DNP just sort of makes you feel uneasy, you know?



Hornets Defeat Blazers to Move to 8-0

by Michael McNamara, Hornets 247 (TrueHoop)

It wasn't the prettiest game of the season, but the Hornets won again to get their record to an NBA best 8-0. LaMarcus Aldridge was off all night, Brandon Roy only played 20 minutes due to a knee injury, and the Blazers as a whole just seemed fatigued, yet the Hornets just could not find a way to pull away until late in the fourth quarter. A couple of late threes by Belinelli, however, closed the door on any hopes the Blazers had for a comeback as the Hornets won 107-87.

Seven Hornets scored in double figures, including Peja Stojakovic who had not played since the second game of the season. All of Peja's shot attempts came from deep, as he finished with 11 points on 3 for 7 shooting. David West and Marco Belinelli led all scorers with 18 and Emeka Okafor went for 14 and 12 in another impressive showing for the often criticized center. * * *

Yes, Jerryd Bayless can only go right and he turns the ball over too much, but he does do some things well. I am most impressed by his defensive rebounding in the lane. On that second unit, that is huge. *  *  * His 3 rebounds might not look like much on the stat sheet, but they all came in that 2nd quarter when the Hornets were playing small ball. *  *  *


(3) postgame: Hornets 107, Blazers 87

by Jim Eichenhofer, Big Easy Buzz Blog

* * *
Hornets MVP: The transformation of Emeka Okafor continues. An aggressive Okafor finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while also setting the tone for another stellar defensive performance by blocking a pair of first-half Portland shots. After the game, the 6-foot-10 center again credited the Hornets' new coaching staff with laying the groundwork for individual and team improvement.

"We're well-prepared," Okafor said. "The coaching staff has done a great job. Practices are very structured and very organized, very efficient. Our minds are fresh, our legs are fresh and we accomplish a lot there. There is a lot of emphasis placed on defense." * * *



New Orleans Hornets Advance Record Start to 8-0

by John Reid, New Orleans Times-Picayune

Before Saturday night's game, New Orleans Hornets Coach Monty Williams embraced his mentor, Portland Trail Blazers Coach Nate McMillan.

Both admitted they had spoke by phone and texted each other during the past week, rekindling a friendship that was established when McMillan hired Williams as an assistant 5 1/2 years ago.

But once the game started, Williams and his players were all business to not let anything stand in the way of remaining as the league's only unbeaten team.

They met the objective behind another tantalizing defensive effort and a balanced offensive attack to defeat the Trail Blazers 107-87 to improve to 8-0, tying the longest winning streak in franchise history at 10, dating back to the final two games of last season. * * *



New Orleans Hornets improve to 8-0 with victory against Portland Trail Blazers, vlog Saturday Nov.13

New Orleans Times-Picayune VIDEO LINK

Beat writer John Reid and columnist John DeShazier recaps the Hornets' victory against the Trail Blazers



Hornets 107, Blazers 87: Depleted Portland Overrun in New Orleans

by Rohan, At the Hive (SBN)

Monty Williams got his first chance to face his former team. The Hornets' stellar defense and Portland's energy level made sure this one was never really in doubt.

And if you think about it, cruising to a 20 point win against the Blazers is kind of ridiculous. As many injuries as Portland has sustained this year, they came into the game with the league's 3rd most efficient offense. Only the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns had featured better offenses at the start of the day. Tonight, we made the Blazers play offense like the Clippers. Brandon Roy's injury did Portland no favors, but the way our defense executed, it's doubtful an already hobbled Roy could have kept his team in it.

The offense was at times ugly, but ultimately just as effective. New Orleans scored a season high 107 points on a season low 87 possessions. On an off night from Chris Paul (though his 13 assists and 5 steals are nothing to sneeze at), the team did it through balance. * * *



The Bottom Line:

1.  Eight-and-oh the boring way...

2. Our team is clicking — it's nice to see.

3. Welcome back, CP3!!!




Empty calories.

The Shoe Hutch crew chowed down on pizza and beer tonight, which is something we always do on the Saturday of our Anniversary Sale weekend. This means I had more fun than you all did who were stuck watching this mess in real time. Fortunately, as a KGW game this one isn't subject to a League Pass blackout and they gave me the Portland feed so I was able to play a little catchup this evening...

My work schedule has prevented me from writing anything new, but as part of my Give The People What They Don't Want Program, I've decided to rerun some of my stupid crap from last year to fill some space so that you have the opportunity to kill some time... So without further ado, here's three parts in one...


How Blazer Fans Differ from Laker Fans

(November 2009 — slightly revised)



Blazer fans hate the Lakers and pretty much hate their fans. They think Laker fans are superficial and loudmouthed and ignorant.

Laker fans don't give a crap about the Blazers or their fans. When forced to ponder the subject, a topic upon which they do not ordinarily spend time, they are apt to declare that Blazer fans are overwrought and obsessive — if not certifiably crazy.

While the Portland Trail Blazers have found themselves on the losing end of a couple epic confrontations with their colleagues from SoCal, there really isn't any natural reason for these two franchises to see the other as anathema in these days of three Western Conference Divisions.

Blazers v. Clippers? Blazer fans have no fire in the belly there. Blazers v. Suns? Nothing.

I think we all understand the historical origins of the rivalry — but why does it persist in the minds of so many Rip City partisans? Laker fans have moved along, why not supporters of the Blazers?

And why do these two fanbases see their others in such a different light?

My own view, a gander from the sparsely populated ne therworld between the two camps, is that the mentality of typical Portland fan is akin to that of the average Southerner at the end of the American Civil War. The Confederacy may have been vanquished on the field of battle by the inevitable crushing inertia of greater population and superior industrial power, sure, but though defeated many Southerners made a blood oath to never forgive and never forget the wrongs and humiliations they had suffered at the hands of the victors.

Losing the big battles to THAT TEAM has likewise stuck in Blazer fans' craws.

This neo-religious fervor has been passed on through the generations by the Blazerites, to the point where Oregon children will spontaneously boo Los Angelino Andre Miller for admitting that he harbors some affection for his old California home team.

Blazer fans have stewed and brooded and celebrated every partial victory over the Lakers as a manifestation of some sort of divine promise of God to His Chosen People, an indication of the inevitable redemption and salvation to soon be realized through athletic retribution. They long for the Final Triumph over the purple-clad hordes as a ultimate righting of all past wrongs.

By way of contrast, Laker fans — laid back as they are — have been witness to this bubbling cauldron of frothing liquid loathing for year after year after year. The drone has been unceasing, but to them also incidental — the mild annoyance of a dripping faucet. Laker fans have collectively rolled their eyes and dismissed the Blazer Cult as a bunch of sectarian wackydoodles, dressed head to toe in Bhagwan Red and spouting nonsensical prophesies of the holy war against an opponent who frankly couldn't care less.

That's where the two groups of fans are coming from...

But what of this stereotype of Laker fans as superficial and ignorant?  Are they, on average, as self-satisfied and clueless as the Blazer crowd believes them to be?

Yeah, sort of, I suppose... Taken as a group, they couldn't be anything else.




Back to those Laker fans — or "The Clueless Ones," in the eyes of so many Blazer aficionados. Are they really so arrogant, ignorant, and addled as the Portlandians have themselves convinced that they are?

Well, I've already willingly agreed that this typical Pritchardneeshie view of the average Laker fan had some basis in fact. How could the average Laker fan be anything but bandwagon-jumping and Kobe-worshipping?

Read closely and note well: the average Laker fan.

It's like this: human beings act in a common way whether they live in New York, London, Paris, Munich... World championships and their attendant publicity attract the attention of casual fans of every sport. People want to feel like "part" of a winner. They want to turn on a game on television and see "their" team on the screen, they want "their" team to have a better-than-average chance of winning against any and every opponent.

Winning feels nice. Monkeys like to feel nice.

Here is a list of Los Angeles Lakers World Championships since 1970, that is, within the lifetime or collective sports memory of well over half of the NBA's fans:  1971/72, 1979/80, 1984/85, 1986/87, 1987/88, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, and — most importantly — 2008/09. [NOT TO MENTION 2009/10].

Now here is a list of Portland Trail Blazer World Championships during that same interval: 1976/77. Which is another way of saying: if you are younger than [33] years old, the Blazers have never won a championship in your lifetime.

Riddle me this: Which of these teams do YOU think is more apt to have attracted the superficial attention of more casual, basically clueless, fans of basketball?

Human beings also develop attachments to superstar athletes. Again, this is human nature. People, for whatever reason, like to revel in the achievements of the ultimate human specimens, those who perform athletic competitions at a peerless level.

Now, make a mental list of the best 3 players in the NBA...

Did you say: 1. Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), 2. Lebron James [MIAMI HEAT], 3. somebody else?

Or did you say: 1. Lebron James [MIAMI HEAT], 2. Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), 3. somebody else?

Or are you in denial?

Again, this basic fact of sports performance supremacy attracts a certain percentage of the most vapid, the most simple basketball fans to the Lakers over other teams, further diluting the gene pool of that particular fan base.

Now get this right: EVERY team has a broad spectrum of fans, ranging from silly old birds who think that Brandon Roy looks like a nice gentleman, to the casual fans who vaguely like their home team now that it's not the punch line to a national joke, to the fans who watch every game and read whatever they can about their favorite squad, to the supergeeks who spend 3 hours every night attempting to generate a new metric using pace-adjusted plus-or-minus in conjunction with a revolutionary new defensively-oriented permutation of PER...

EVERY team has obnoxious 15 year old ESPN comment-section trolls, trade machine aficionados, and doofi who hold unsophisticated and unsubstantiable views in which they overrate the abilities of the teammates of star players.

On the other hand, EVERY team also has its smart, analytical, more or less well-balanced fans who follow their favorites loyally, come hell or high water.

The Lakers have more of the obnoxious, superficial, clueless, bandwagoneering fans ON AVERAGE because they have won more World Championships — and recently — and because they feature arguably the greatest player in the NBA today. It's completely natural and absolutely unavoidable, given the team's track record of success.

The Lakers also have their fair share of serious, thoughtful, perceptive, analytical fans — just like every other team in the NBA. One just has to look a bit harder to find them because there are so many dodos wearing the same color of shirt.

Now I'll admit that I've sort of skirted the issue of the "entitlement mentality" of many Laker fans. It's a syndrome that is related to the team's success, but not exactly a byproduct of the fact that the mean Basketball IQ of the Laker pack has been inevitably dumbed down by an influx of bandwagoneers. Even the best and the brightest Laker fans often have this tendency. Maybe that will make a good topic for next time.




It's about time to wrap up my little blabber-a-thon about Blazer Fans and Laker Fans and how and why they are different.

There is one tender little topic that I've dodged thus far.  I'll invest a small pile consonants and vowels on that before we put the turkey in the fridge. I speak, of course, of the "entitlement mentality" exhibited by a great number of Laker fans — not just the dumb Laker fans, of which there are inevitably many — but also the perceptive and intelligent and well-balanced Laker fans.

Seriously, how can the fanbase of a Western Conference team see their greatest rivals as the Boston Celtics and the [MIAMI HEAT]?

How arrogant is that?!?!

The answer lies in the team's unparalleled post-season success in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

From 1971 until the current date, the Lakers have been in the NBA Finals a total of [16] times — out of [38] possible appearances.

Just think about that... Over [42] percent of the NBA Finals of the last 3 and a half decades have featured the Lakers against an Eastern Conference foe, head to head, fighting it out for all the marbles.

Long-time fans of that team simply have an expectation at they are gonna be in the money when the smoke clears after an 82 game season. And who is gonna stop them from winning it all? Not the chest puffing Portland Trail Blazers or the road wimp Utah Jazz and so on and so forth... No, Laker fans don't just look at the Big Picture — they look at the BIG Big Picture, the NBA Finals.

The Lakers are the Hendrick Motor Sports of the NBA in that they've got winning it all down to a science. And those who follow the team implicitly understand this, they know it, they feel it in their bones — smart Laker fans, dumb Laker fans, all Laker fans.

It may be infuriating, but that's the way it is.





*   *   *








New GM in town

Rex is flushed to make Cho's mark

Dumb mistake, facepalm.





Here's another dose of wisdom and inanity from the illustrious tongue of Uncle Mike...


Ricey has gotta regurgitate the stats he absorbed this afternoon, no matter how inappropriate... Following a Camby turnover which lead to an easy NOLA score:

"And Marcus Camby, speaking of assists and the guy that just threw it away, he is #2 of all the Centers of the NBA in getting assists. The Blazers put him out there high and he really looks in, especially to Nicolas and LaMarcus."


Rice has his favorites and others not so much when Sean Marks gets whistled for a foul...

Rice: "It was one of those nicky-nacky, please-the-home-crowd kind of fouls — Scott Foster knows better than that!"

MB: "Scott Foster is one of the best in the NBA..."

Rice: "You keep saying that..."


Rice provides a bizarre defense of flopping when Marco Belinelli comically pretends to be bashed in the head to draw a whistle from lazy officials...

MB: "[Batum] is going to get called for the foul — Belinelli is acting like he got shot in the head and Batum didn't even feel it... Did you see Belinelli get hit in the head?"

Rice: "No, not at all. And he walked away like he was really hit with a club. But in the NBA — whatever it takes!"

MB: "No, that's not true. This is not the World Cup. They don't fake injuries."

Rice: "No, he got away with it. If he doesn't get away with it then you don't do it."


Dr. Rice with the medical call...

MB: "Roy.... ooo, Brandon, Brandon did something there.

Rice: "He banged knees..."

MB: (interrupting) "No, he didn't BANG knees, he just tried to make a move and came up sore. Watch that. And he's going to go right to the locker room."

Rice: "Maybe the ankle, huh?"

MB: "I don't think so."

Rice: "It's got to be some part of his leg."

MB: "I think knee — I don't think he banged knees.

Rice: "Oh, oh, you just think something..."

MB: (hedging a bit) "It could have been ankle, but, immediately when he did it he just pulled up and grimaced in pain and there was no one near him."

Rice: "Ooo, ooo, I don't like the sound of that. I like the 'banged the knees' better."



Game 11.

Blazers 87 at Hornets 107.

November 13, 2010.

Blazers' record is now 6-5, New Orleans is 8-0.

Whattaya say? Roy is hurt and Rex is now on the roster of 8-0 New Orleans in exchange for a crap late draft pick. It's now really trendy to slag off on KP, but I tell you this — he would never have done a terrible giveaway deal like that one. Good luck to us all with that extraordinarily sketchy Rudy Fernandez as Starting Shooting Guard project... Or is the Greatly Overpaid Wesley Matthews the guy? I get mixed up...

What's there to review? The Blazers arrived at their hotel at 3 am after playing a game 500 miles away and went to work at 7 pm against a team that has had the better part of a week to rest. This is the NBA at its worst — Portland had absolutely no chance going into this one and they lost. What a frickin' surprise! Crap like this DOES NOT HAPPEN in the NFL and DOES NOT HAPPEN in Major League Baseball. This  was an unequal contest by design. Teams should be allowed one day to travel before playing PERIOD.

LMA picks up 2 fouls in the 1st Quarter and Sean Frickin' Marks came in to cover David West. You still think the Blazers had the slightest chance in this game?

This was a terrible, terrible game. It was so hopeless that even the Hornets were bored. Portland got it to 6 in the 3rd Quarter, but the inevitable folding of the tent was soon to follow.


Hornets 107, Blazers 87.


Let's take at this thang graphically, shall we?


Ya gotta click THIS-HERE LINK to see the swell graphs, that's the way these things work... Ready? Set??? GO!!!

Now here are a few observations about the Popcorn Machine material from me to you:

A. Wire-to-wire for New Orleans in this one...

B.  Every Blazer was in negatives in plus/minus, which tells ya that the starters got beat and the bench got beat.

C. Brandon Roy: 2 points in 22 minutes. Paul Allen: checking terms of that injury insurance policy.

D. Wesley Matthews put up 8 points in the 4th Quarter, making him odds on favorite as the new starting SG if Brandon can't go...


Finally, let's gather round for another installment of THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, eh?


The Basketball Jones is a NBA blog and video/audio podcast, written and recorded five times a week by J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Jason Doyle and Matt Osten. Assume that there will be a couple Not Suitable For Work words used in any given episode.


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