Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE
Wow. The Portland Trail Blazers looked like the "We Quit!" team of last season, laying down on the court for an easy Boston Celtics victory, despite the suspension of Rajon Rondo. If you missed it, consider yourself lucky.
It may be time to retire the "leaders" paragraph soon, as the Blazers once again had no leaders on the court. They were led in scoring and rebounds by LaMarcus Aldridge, with 23 and 8. Damian Lillard suffered through a dreadful game, as his double-figure scoring streak ended, but his three-pointer streak continued.
First Quarter: The Blazers continued the Era of Stink. Boston looked organized and prepared, even without Rondo, while Portland looked lost at both ends. In desperation, Blazers Coach Terry Stotts brought in the little-used Nolan Smith off the bench for a spark. There wasn't one. The Blazers were lucky to be within 7 after one.
So... silver lining here. Last time we played in Boston, I’m pretty sure we were way more than 7 down at the end of the 1st.
Second Quarter: In less than two minutes, the Celtics lead jumped from 7 to 14. Bad defense. Bad passing. You name it, Portland did it, then called another timeout. As the Blazers gave another free layup to rookie Jared Sullinger, the lead reached 17 and another timeout arrived.
After 6 minutes, the Blazers had scored 4 points to Boston's 15. The Gameday Thread crew were discussing the likelihood of the Blazers reaching 30 points by halftime. SPOILER: They did. Barely.
Halftime score: Boston 56, Portland 33. And it wasn't that close. The Blazers made 7 field goals in the entire first half while shooting 23% (The Celtics made 21 FG's, shooting 57%).
As "Alex Trebek" said on SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy: "We have reached a new low".
I'm not even sure what Portland's strategy is tonight. A lot of prayer?
They've been beaten worse, but this play is beyond inept. It’s like 'Big' happened to a bunch of ten year olds and they found some Blazers uniforms.
Third Quarter: Same old, same old. The Blazers showed more energy on D, but 3 minutes into the quarter, the Celtics' lead was 27.
It was at this point that I, your fearless author, started growling that the starters are still playing when there's a game tomorrow night.
However, the Celtics wore down a little, and the starters made the store a little more respectable. A few shots finally fell in, and the Blazers cut the lead to 16 after three quarters.
Oh my. I picked the wrong time to get home from work and turn on the TV. Although looking at the score, I’m not sure there was a right time post-tip.
Fourth Quarter: Despite the small run, Coach Stotts finally took out the starters. A Motley Crue of Blazers attempted to complete a crazy comeback against the Celtics starters. It was short-lived, as the Blazers botched a fast-break, and in response, the Celtics hit consecutive three-pointers. But on the bright side, the Blazer bench successfully combined for a double-digit total in scoring. The game ended with the relaxed Celtics fans enjoying a victory, as the Blazers (and their fans) wondered what game could possibly be a W on this road trip.
The next game is tomorrow afternoon, a 4:30 pm game against the Kyrie Irving-less Cleveland Cavaliers. Stay tuned later for Dave's surely-fascinating analysis of tonight's game. -- Tim