"I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet." --Ancient Proverb, date unknown
"I felt sorry for the guy who had no feet, until I met a team that had no heart." --Portland Trail Blazers Fans, circa March, 2012
Since the main focus over the next 16 hours will be the upcoming trade deadline instead of the game just past, let's make this short and sweet. The Blazers didn't show up in any way, shape, or form against the Knicks. It was the latest in a long line of claims to "Worst Game of the Season". Every time they lose a bad one, they find a way to top themselves.
One of the key quotes from our game preview was, "If nobody on the floor cares the Knicks' offense will beat Portland's and New York will walk away with this game." That's exactly what happened. The score was 55-29 Knicks at the half. 29 points. At the half. Against New York. I don't know how that's possible.
Actually, I do. The Blazers shot outside and against the clock when they shot at all. They missed those shots (37% from the field for the game, 29% from the three-point arc). "When they shot at all" is a necessary caveat because Portland committed 23 turnovers...not exactly the 28 of a couple games ago, but close. The Knicks shot 54% due to an astonishing 30 fast break points. 30. You know you're not getting back on defense when that happens. Not that it mattered. The Blazers weren't playing halfcourt defense either.
Raymond Felton had an incredibly bad first half, improving only marginally in the second. He lost the ball off the dribble unforced. He threw passes that had no business existing. He couldn't hit a shot. He was out of sync and his teammates just stood and watched him wither on the vine.
You know that crick in your neck you get sitting in the front row at the movie theater, looking up at the screen? Gerald Wallace got one of those tonight watching people dunk over him. At least he had 12 rebounds.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored only 15 points. Nicolas Batum barely shot, scoring 9. Wesley Matthews scored 8. Each of those three shot 33% from the field. Marcus Camby had 3 rebounds in 25 minutes. Nolan Smith missed 6 shots, committed 2 turnovers, and registered but 1 assist in 15 minutes of play. At least Luke Babbitt scored 12 with 5 rebounds in 17 minutes but any time the high point of your game involves Luke Babbitt it's time to shut it down.
I don't know what this team is playing, but it barely resembles basketball. It doesn't at all on defense. There was no effort anywhere on the court tonight. 42-point loss. To the Knicks.
Now back to your Jamal Crawford Trade Watch.