13. Moxy: The View from Denver


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

  • An interview with Sophia Brugato of Bust A Bucket
  • Carping about Larry Miller
  • Haiku Game Review
  • A Particularly Bilious Blazers/Nuggets Recap
  • Popcorn Machine 
  • TBJ



No Call, No Shot, No Win: Blazers Top Nuggets 86-83

by Benjamin Hochman, Denver Post

George Karl stood at halfcourt, screaming, while streamers fell from the rafters. Chauncey Billups and Al Harrington barked at the disinterested referees. And Arron Afflalo was sprawled on the floor in disbelief.

The Nuggets' Afflalo attempted what could have been a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer - the shot missed, but it appeared Afflalo was fouled. The replay also suggested Afflalo's foot might have been on the line. But there was never a whistle, except from the whistling Portland fans who were gleeful after an 86-83 win by the Blazers on Thursday night at the Rose Garden.

Asked if he thought it was a foul, Karl said: "Everyone in the building thought it was a foul — I thought the fans even thought it was a foul. That's a tough whistle to get on the road, but I thought it was a foul."  *   *  *

Afflalo said he was hit in the hand, but "there's nothing I can do about it now. We had a couple of opportunities before that situation that we could have taken advantage of. The reality is — it was a foul, but you hate to have to use one play to decide a basketball game."



No Surprise

posted by eathb_au to RealGM Nuggets message board

No surprise to see the refs screw us over and not call the foul on Afflalo there.


You Kidding?

posted by MeloTelfair to RealGM Nuggets message board

You kidding me man? How about Chauncey taking a long pull up 3 that he had no business taking with that much time on the clock? Our own fault there, we didn't deserve to be bailed out.



Karl's Fault

posted by JR15 to Denver Stiffs gameday open thread

Karl ruined this chemistry when he sat JR. Way to go Karl. Kudos to you for ruining whatever mojo this team had.

Forbes is only a rookie, don't expect too much from him. Man I can watch a game until Karl starts playing his best players.



Blow It Up!

posted by Runningdonut to Denver Stiffs gameday open thread

I can live with any result as long as my team makes me proud to cheer for them.

This team is a [obscene emphatic] joke to watch. They have no heart. The coach is weak-willed as [obscene emphatic]. Nobody on this team likes each other.




Time For JR Smith To Grow Up

by Madness, Nugg Love (Fansided)

There is no question that Denver Nuggets coach George Karl is not a fan of JR Smith, and while Nuggets fans are quick to blame the coach for his decision to play undrafted rookie Gary Forbes over the super sub and only giving Smith a minute the last two game, but Smith is also to blame and isn't really giving Karl much to work with. * * *

There is no doubt Smith is one of the most talented players in the NBA, but his mentality is almost mirror images of former NBA stars Rashad McCants and JR Rider who each saw their careers cut short despite how talented they were. Both were just as talented as Smith, but each struggled with their attitude. * * *



J.R. Smith Loses Playing Time to Nuggets Teammate Gary Forbes

by Chris Dempsey, Denver Post

*   *  *
We've arrived at round 12, seemingly, in a season-to-season bout between Nuggets coach George Karl and mercurial guard J.R. Smith. *  *  *

Smith has played just one minute, five seconds in the past two games [He was also a DNP-CD in Portland]. Monday night at Phoenix, Karl benched Smith because he was late to a shootaround. His one minute Tuesday in the Nuggets' victory against the Knicks smacked of further punishment, but was due more to rookie Gary Forbes playing well.

"I think J.R. knows exactly where we're at," Karl said Wednesday. "I think right now, it's J.R. and me, and I think J.R. should understand what's going on. I've got a kid playing better than he is playing. And I don't have minutes to share."  *  *   *



Aldridge Scores 24 as Blazers Top Nuggets 86-83

Associated Press story in the Denver Post

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points, Wesley Matthews added 20 and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied during the second half to beat the Denver Nuggets 86-83 Thursday night.

The Blazers (8-5) trailed by as many as nine points after halftime, but outscored Denver 17-12 during the fourth quarter to pull out the win.

Aldridge hit 9 of 20 shots and grabbed 10 rebounds during a 41-minute performance. Matthews, starting his second consecutive game in place of injured Brandon Roy, hit three consecutive 3-pointers during a second-quarter stretch to highlight his scoring. *  *  *



Nuggets at Blazers Recap: Things Fall Apart

by Nate Timmons, Denver Stiffs (SBN)

*  *  *
Additional nuggets to chew on:

  • The Nuggets are now 1-11 in games that Melo fouls out of. Melo doesn't get much love from the officials and he continues to get called for the same types of fouls on the offensive end. Might be time to make some sort of adjustment.
  • Billups ... 37 minutes (too many), 3-8 shooting for 13 points and 5 assists. Seven of Billups' shot attempts were three-pointers ... when will he realize he needs to start doing some other things to help the team win? Isn't he a veteran?
  • What the hell is going on with Shelden Williams' minutes?!? One night he'll play 30+ minutes (vs. the Knicks he played 33) and then the next he plays just 14 minutes (his minutes tonight vs. the Blazers). I thought Karl liked having defined roles for his players and on a night when Denver was struggling to rebound the ball, it might have been nice to have our best rebounder (currently) on the floor. * * *
  • Wesley Matthews was impressive ... he scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 40 minutes and guarded Melo for a good portion of the game. He's a strong dude and looks to be a nice pickup for Portland. In the two games Roy has sat out, Matthews has scored a combined 50 points.



Taking a Break

posted by Melonugg to Denver Stiffs Game Recap thread

I'm taking a break from this team.

I've been watching them every game for the past 7+ years and right now they are playing heartless. It was foolish of Nuggs FO to think this team could block out all the drama and carry on business as usually. I can't put my finger on it, but they're just off, playing lack luster.

At first I was gonna stop watching the rest of the year, but becasue Nuggs=crack to me, I'm going to take a 10 game break, which will be hard for me, but my wife will love it!

Keep it up stiffs, I'll see you guys on 12/12, hopefully something changes by then.



The Premature End of an Era

by Jeremy, Roundball Mining Co. (TrueHoop)

Just think, somewhere in the world there is a young Denver Nuggets fan who has no idea what is like for his favorite basketball team to miss the playoffs, or to even play a meaningless game. The Nuggets have participated in the postseason seven straight seasons, which means the last time there was any talk of mathematic elimination in Denver there was no such thing as blogs.

The Nuggets have vacillated between big wins such as on opening night against the Jazz, where they looked like a contender in postseason form, and more recently against the Lakers, to the embarrassing blowout against the Pacers, and over the previous two games scattershot performances against Phoenix and then New York. In ten games since the tip off of the 2010-11 season the Nuggets have yet to duplicate the performance they put forth against the Jazz to kick off the season. * * *

The fans certainly sense it. Whether it is comments on this blog, or the relatively small turnout and tepid support for the team during the Kincks game, Nuggets supporters believe Melo will be traded and Denver will find themselves in the lottery.

It is a strange feeling for the fans, but it must be even more so for the players who expected to be a part of a team that was going to be a factor. * * *



The Bottom Line:

1. Last year Coach Karl had cancer; this year our whole team has it...

2. Melo needs to sign or leave, we need The Bird back, and it's time for J.R. Smith to become a professional or get gone.

3. Nice going, Blazers, but don't read too much into this. Our Nuggets are now 6-6 and it feels more and more like this team is circling the drain...





An Interview with Sophia Brugato of Bust A Bucket blog


Let's begin at the beginning... When and where were you born, what do you do for a day job, and how did you manage to become a fan of the Portland Trail Blazers?

I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I'm a college student and as everyone already knows, I'm the single mom of an awesome boy, Q. I don't have a "job" per se, but that doesn't mean I don't work my butt off every day. I was born in 1985 and began going to Blazer games as soon as the doctor approved me to go outside. My dad and grandfather still had season tickets at that point, so even though I don't remember being at the Coliseum as a baby, I KNOW I was there.

My dad jokes that between his two sons and two daughters, I was the only one who actually likes sports even though I am a horrendous athlete. I really became a Blazer fan as an 8 or 9 year old, when I would watch every game possible on this little 10 inch black and white TV I had stashed in my room — we didn't have cable and weren't allowed to watch TV during the school week.

As I got older, the number of girls in my classes in school began to slowly decrease until by middle school I was one of the only girls in my class. That made me even more into sports, if it was possible. I loved the Raiders, WWF wrestling — I had a poster of the Undertaker on my bedroom wall, my mom totally loved that! — and the Blazers.

You're now one of the principal writers over at Bust A Bucket, a Blazer blog that is part of the Bloguin network. Can you give us a little history on the origins of that blog and how you came to be associated with it?

Bust A Bucket started as a cool tribute to the teams us 80's babies grew up loving. You know, Clyde, Cliffy, Adelman. All of them. That was a great time to be a Blazer fan. Sheed, Seth, and CDub, plus a few others, started Bust A Bucket but as things always go, they have each gone on seperate blogging paths and now I am the master blogger — mwahaha, that sounds devious!

I read Bust A Bucket and was a fan of the photoshops especially. One day, I sort of randomly asked Sheed on Twitter if I could guest post and it morphed into a regular thing.

I was a little surprised when I first heard you had gone over to Bust A Bucket, since you were pretty much Queen-of-the-Scene at Blazers Edge... Did you give any thought to doing some sort of sidebar column at the Bedge instead of taking your writing energy elsewhere? What motivated your decision to go to Bust A Bucket rather than starting a new blog or going somewhere else?

Hey, I still am Queen of the Scene at Blazers Edge, don't get it twisted, bro! The move to Bust A Bucket just sort of happened. I wasn't consciously looking for another place to blog regularly about the Blazers at, but after a cool chat with the bloggers over at The No Look Pass about the Blazers, I decided it would be cool to write a bit about my fave team more regularly.

As for doing a column at Blazersedge, you are not the only one to suggest doing that. In fact, making Fanposts have garnered me more readers than any single post I have put up at Bust A Bucket — ever. But the numbers, and the readers, aren't the point. I am a commenter on Blazers Edge, I love Blazers Edge, but I am not beholden to Blazers Edge.

Judging by the numbers on the sitemeter, Bust A Bucket seems stalled at a fairly low readership level. Do you find this frustrating?

Writing and blogging about the Blazers is not about getting big numbers in sitemeter or Google analytics. I am not getting paid, so the numbers are irrelevant, at least in my mind.

When I first started blogging about feminism I was obsessed with formality and getting as many readers as possible. At first when I began blogging at Bust A Bucket, I felt the same way. But I had to recognize the real reason I was writing posts blasting Nate and lauding the skills of Martell: I love the Blazers. I'm not a professional, I'm a college student, and there are so many awesome, highly skilled, and Blazer-knowledgeable writers — Ben Golliver of BE for example — who create content that is so far above anything I could ever create, that it's foolish to think I could compete with that.


Considering the force that Blazer fans are on the internet, I sort of feel like "if you build it, they will come" applies to blogs about the Blazers. I may not have a huge readership, but my work isn't diminished because of it and the people who do read my stuff (hi mom!) seem to appreciate it, and that's enough for me.

Blogging is an act of love, at least it is for me. I don't express a ton of emotion outwardly in real life, besides anger and major attitude, ha ha, so when I write about the Blazers' recent loss I am usually pouring out my wretched Blazer-loving soul for everyone on the internet to see.

I think I am a better fan for it. When Greg Oden broke his knee cap, I was forced to recognize that perhaps the wild expectations I had built up over the years — truly, wanting the Blazers to win a championship gets more intense every year — were not rational and not realistic. I was forced to realize that I had become "that fan" — the Blazer fans national media heads love to hate, that fan who refused to understand that sports aren't all about winning.

Do you have any specific advice from people who want to get started writing for a Blazer blog?

Write from the heart and don't sweat it when people write mean comments about your stuff.

How has your work as a Blazer blogger changed your perception of Blazers Edge?

For a lot of reasons, BE is very close to my heart. Blazers Edge is the best website on the internet. The community cannot be matched, I have made more true friends from BE than any other single place in my entire life.

Even though I don't comment hundreds of times a day anymore doesn't mean I don't read every Fanpost, Fanshot, Main Page post, and most of the comments. Yeah, I'm totally a lurker now.

I notice that you are a great fan of Twitter. Since I am personally on a quest to be the last American without a cell phone I just want to say one thing — I really don't get it... In what ways is Twitter a useful form of communication? What have you learned from the tweets of journalists and athletes that you probably would not have learned from more conventional forms of media?

Twitter is fracking awesome. It is a way to quickly communicate in short messages and has become my favorite place to comment during games and any number of big events. Twitter has also become one of my main promotional tools, in that I am able to put there automatically via twitterfeed the posts from all my blogs, tumblrs, and Facebook. Twitter drives more than half of the traffic.

I have met and networked with almost all of my feminist blogging community, made contacts and friends, and found awesome resources and information via Twitter — usually instantaneously. So, if you are still not convinced, let me put it like this: Twitter is the giant Gameday Open Thread of Life. Don't hate, appreciate... Participate!


The emerging story is that Brandon Roy has chronic inflammation problems with at least one knee due to bone-on-bone contact as a result of removal of his meniscus cartilage. What were your thoughts when you first learned of this condition?

I was not the least bit surprised. I was a little sad, but honestly, that news broke at the same time that Mo Lucas passed away. In that light, it seemed trite to worry about knee inflammation. Is it bad that our $82 Million Man is seemingly unable to play as he once did? Hell yes, but I am feeling oddly at peace about it all. Brandon won't be who he was, ok, next hurdle for Blazer fans to climb, you know? We got this.

For several years Blazer fans have talked about the opening of a so-called "Championship window" in this season. Such a concept now seems far removed from the realities facing the franchise... Do you have any thoughts as to whether there is actually a real possibility of a Portland championship in the "Brandon Roy era" — or has that been a chimera?

I hate that phrase. Sure, I've used it myself before, but nothing like that exists. "Windows" change all the time, ask the 2007 Boston Celtics, you know? Ask Memphis after they gifted Pau to the Lakers. Things change so fast in this league that pinning the championship on a set number of years is not logical, practical, or helpful. It will just lead to dissapointment, as it clealy has in Portland.

In some ways, I blame Kevin Pritchard for that. Pritchard was so damn set on "baking the cake," getting everything on track to fit inside the "window," that he sort of forgot that we needed to add or change several pieces. Maybe he was too emotionally invested with the players to ruthlessly trade them or whatever, but he needed to make several moves in my opinion that didn't happen. He flubbed the Darius Miles issue, he flubbed the summer when we had so much cap room, and he flubbed two of the three  drafts he was directly in charge of, outside of getting Nic Batum.

So because Roy has some issues with his knees, our window is "closed" and we're all upset and the Roy Era is "over"? Even though it's not, but that's beside the point... I question whether or not a "window" ever truly existed or was that something created in our fan minds?

You were notable for your early and emphatic, ummmm, infatuation with Nicolas Batum. Since you've been at Bust A Bucket, it seems to me you've put the Cute Boy topic aside in favor of heartfelt analysis of the team. Is Nic still a cutie pie? And what is your take on him as a player, now that he's not a green 19 year old rookie, but a guy with a couple seasons under his belt who is pretty clearly emerging as a key member of the Blazers' roster? What aspects of Nic's game do you feel are the strongest?

My "crush" on him was mostly just a fictional part of my online, blazerfan1 persona at BE. I think he's a phenomenal player and think he's one of our most important assets on the team — Top 3, at least. I would say that if he were uglier than Tim Duncan.

Obviously, Nic's strongest asset is his defensive prowess and instinct. Per 36 minutes he's statistically the second best defender on the team — only slightly less good than Marcus Camby. Nic Batum is legit, and he's a joy to watch.

What's your take on the Jerryd Bayless trade?

It was necessary and his role on the team was redundant. Wesley Matthews is essentially a combination of Martell Webster and Bayless. Then Armon beat Bayless for the back up PG spot, so he needed to be moved. I was happy it happened, frankly.

I know that feminist issues are dear to you so I'd like to get your take on a couple things... I see that Doris Burke has been returned to duty as an ESPN color analyst after having been dressed up in a skirt and made into a sideline reporter. Do you have any feelings about her treatment by ESPN?


ESPN is notorious for their unfair and sexist treatment of women. From their issues with Erin Andrews, the numerous scandals in which execs manipulated young female interns, the exploitation of pretty women put on a broadcasters not for their love of sports but becuase they look good, and ESPW — The Sports Channel for Women — worst idea ever. All this leads me to despise ESPN and not be particularly surprised by the Doris Burke situation.

Burke's position as a color commentator has been restored because she's good at her job, and because she knows the game and is talented enough to call games. But that isn't the whole story, ESPN received a lot of pressure from a number of outlets to remove her from the sidelines. You can only imagine why they finally relented.

The sad thing is, ESPN knows and capitalizes on the notion that at least within the sports world, pretty women are part of the entertainment package. Breaking that mold, and putting a woman behind the camera, is a good first step in changing that norm. Their move to try and get her into a skirt on the sidelines was an absurdly transparent attempt to appeal to their male audience's baser instincts.

Recently I saw a comment in the BE Gameday Open Thread when Burke was working the preceding game to the effect, "Well, at least the girl isn't working our game!" Similarly, when NBA official Violet Palmer works a Blazer game, there are inevitably one or more negative comments about her existence on the floor made independently of whatever calls she makes as a referee. Do you believe other fans have a responsibility to call out such behavior?

I think fans should notice and comment when this type of behavior is demonstrated; whether it's online or in 'real life'. The problem however, is that most people don't notice or care — for a lot of guys watching the game, they can't relate with sexism or don't think an often humorous yet sexist remark is wrong; a lot of people aren't aware of the sexism or simply don't consider it to bad.

Furthermore, sexism, feminism and the like issues often catch flames on the internet, particularly within a sports environment. Just look at how many of my Blazers Edge comments have been deleted or censored by Dave and the mods!!!  This is in part due to most forms of mainstream media, which perpetuate the notion that 2010 is part of this "post-sexism" or "post-feminism" era — a time in which most women's rights are said to have already beenresolved, when Western culture has transcended the discrimination of prototypical "othered" groups and moved on to more complex global issues.

When these types of comments occur, we have to speak out. If you see or hear something sexist or inappropriate online, on TV, in a book, wherever, speak out. Because it's our responsibility as consumers and as online neighbors to call them out on this stuff.


*   *   *

Life Imitates Art?

The Onion on Greg Oden.


*   *   *


Tilting At Windmills Can Be Costly

"If Greg Oden plays up to his potential he is worth [the $8.8 million qualifying offer].... [A]t this point, I don't see us not giving the offer if Greg is doing the things we need to see him doing to get back on the court. That's how I feel. If he is doing those things, we want to keep Greg around. I don't feel like I'm ready to give up on Greg Oden. I don't think anybody in our organization is ready.'' —Larry Miller, quoted by The OregonianNov. 18, 2010

Greg Oden's Games Played

0 — 61 — 21 — 0

Average: 20.5 games per season.

Career averages: 9.4 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, 

I guess if you've paid a dude $19.3 Million to play 82 games, throwing another $8.8 Million on the burn pile sounds pretty doable, huh?

*   *   *








Hard to get fired up

Attrition of emotion

But heart was regained





This was a TNT game, so Rice got to work on his billiards trick shots.. No quotes tonight...




Game 13.

Nuggets 83 at Blazers 86.

November 18, 2010.

Blazers' record is now 8-5, Nuggets are 6-6.

1. Comcast takes lots and lots and lots of my money but can't provide a watchable picture. Par for the course and somehow fitting for this piece of crap disaster of a game. This one felt like a loss all day long — something ugly brewing, it seemed... The Blazers are frighteningly shallow without Roy and another Big and were utterly outclassed by Denver. I will reiterate that Cho is an idiot for having dealt Rex, and NO, I will NOT get over it until he fixes the mess he made. Rudy is so bad that he's not even tradable at this point. Pryzbilla says he can play, but Jay "I'm Not a Doctor and I've Never Stayed at a Holiday Inn Express" Jensen says he needs to sit another 10 days just because. Blazers gave up a 17-0 run in the last 4 minutes of the quarter to end the period 12 in the hole. No fire, no enthusiasm, no nothing. One of the worst quarters of the season for them, reminiscent of the 1st Quarter against the Lakers. DEN 28, PDX 16.

2. Steve "Sure, I'll Sell You a Draft Pick" Kerr announces that the Blazers are "not a very good 3 point shooting team." Wesley Matthews promptly drops three of them in the can in rapid succession to power a lightning fast 11-0 Portland run to put the Blazers back into this thing. Big Mouth Kerr is suddenly silent. I'd offer him the advice that he shouldn't quit his day job, but seeing that he's already been fired from it, that's a little late... Fortunately, his new employer doesn't require even a modicum of competence, so there is hope he'll be able to stick around through Christmas. Fast rush completed, the two teams played the quarter evenly, with second chance points the story of the period for the Blazers. LMA was smooth Sweet Wesley was 15 points and 8 rebounds at the half and LMA added 14 and 7. Blazers' bench contributed a total of zero points at the half, which might be regarded by some analysts as not very good. At halftime it was DEN 45, PDX 43. 

Halftime: Charles Barkley on Roy's knee: "As long as he's out, it's going to feel good. It's only going to hurt when he plays basketball." Steve Kerr on the Blazers: "It wasn't long ago when Portland had one of the deepest benches in the NBA, with all the young guys that wanted to play like Martell Webster, but now with all the injuries and the trades it's a very thin bench."

3. Blazers forgot how to put the ball in the hole; Denver didn't. The lead quickly became 10. The Blazers soon regained their confidence and started to move the ball a little and once again they erased the visitors' advantage with an 8-0 run. The Blazers' second comeback highlighted by a nifty Andre Miller backdoor move along the baseline and a slick Batum-to-Matthews pass in a 3-on-2 break. Denver was coasting, not getting back in transition. Kudos to Wesley Matthews for consistently and energetically crashing the offensive glass. Nuggets hit a couple big 3s against the zone to keep things more or less tied up. DEN 71, PDX 69 after three.

4. Last quarter. Blazers managed to capture a narrow lead, managing in the process to ring up a 5th personal foul on Carmelo Anthony. Denver turned over the ball four times in the first five minutes of the period which was instrumental in Portland's ability to accumulate its 5 point advantage. Wesley Matthews has been described as Martell 2.0 and that seems appropriate. Portland went over the foul limit with over 4 minutes remaining, which hampered the cause. Denver opened 1-for-9 from the field. Melo fouled out on an out-of-control spin move at the 3:08 mark, trying to post up Nic. 

At the 2 minute mark Nic missed an open trey; Denver rebounded and Lawson drove the length of the floor before kicking out to an open Billups at the arc, who cut the lead to 4. LMA split Free Throws once again. Harrington bricked a longball badly and PDX rebounded. LMA shot a 20 foot jumper from the top of the key and Wesley skied for his career high 10th rebound. Portland was unable to convert, but managed to burn time. Afflalo missed a wide open 3 with 34 seconds, Camby rebounded and was fouled. Camby split a pair, stretching the Blazer lead to 6 points.

Portland switched everything on the perimeter, keeping Denver from getting an open look at a trey. Lawson wisely drove the ball, hitting Nené cutting next to him towards the rim. Nené put the ball in off the glass AND ONE on a Camby foul. With 22.2 seconds remaining, the Blazer lead was just 3. Blazers called time out to move the ball. Ball came in to Wes, who was trapped and forced to call time out to escape a jump ball, 19.2 showing.

In a wild final sequence the ball came in to Andre, who was pinched on the baseline under the rim. Miller got the ball in to LMA in the paint, who put up a shot but couldn't finish. Denver rebounded and ran out. Billups chucked up a 27 footer for the tie. He missed, with Denver coming up with the long rebound. Afflalo dribbled back and forth to get clear, with Wes playing tight D, before firing a last second shot from the corner. There was an uncalled foul which helped cause the miss, but refs aren't gonna make that call more often than not. The horn sounded and the Blazers escaped with their lives. FINAL SCORE: PDX 86, DEN 83. Denver was 3-for-15 in the final quarter, scoring just 12 points.

Number of teams currently touting winning records that Portland has defeated: Still ZERO. True fact.

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. The game turned on three big Portland runs: a 13-1 run to start the 2nd Quarter which got them back into the game, a 15-3 run in the 3rd that again melted a double-digit Denver advantage, and a 13-2 run in the 4th that effectively put the game away for the Blazers.

B. Nate played a tight 8 man rotation. Dante Cunningham had the most minutes off the bench, over 18, but was quite ineffective with just 1 point scored. Rudy played 17 and scored 6, and Armon demonstrated one more time how stupid Rich Cho's Bayless trade was in 7 bad minutes.

C. Carmelo Anthony was -9 in plus/minus. LMA was +10 and Wes +9 for the Blazers in over 40 minutes eac h. Bottom line is that the Blazers' starters outplayed the Nuggets starters and the Blazer bench weren't bad enough to kill Portland's chances.

D. Blazers shot just 11-for-22 from the Free Throw line and lived to tell the tale. I can't wait until Pryz is back to help bring up the average... 



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


In case you missed it, here's Thursday morning's show...

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.

Photo Credits: Sophia Brugato: Courtesy Sophia Brugato, heavily tweaked in Photoshop by Tim Davenport; Sophia Brugato and Dave Deckard: Courtesy Sophia Brugato. Doris Burke: ESPN promotional photo, heavily tweaked in Photoshop by Tim Davenport.

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