There's an important and exciting new feature just arriving at Blazersedge. We now have full access to home games...media room, locker room, full reporting. Obviously I'm not able to attend and report as I live a state away so Ben Golliver, author of DraftKevinDurant.com is becoming the official Blazersedge correspondent for home games.
What does this mean? At a base level it means in addition to the usual recaps and GameDay Threads you will also get an extremely high quality eyewitness report for home contests. At a broader level it means you, the fans, have greater access to the team and broader control over the type of coverage you see.
If you have a question you want answered, you can e-mail it to Ben or me or post it in one of these eyewitness threads and we can ask it. If you have a player or team official you'd like to know more about we can try to make that happen too. We're probably not going to stick a microphone in Kevin Pritchard's face and ask him about trades or question Nate about Sergio's playing time. There are plenty of other people who do that on a regular basis. We want to go beyond the obvious and fill in the things you don't always see but might have always wondered. We have plenty of coverage ideas ourselves but we are also throwing the doors wide open to you. Consider this like your personal access and avenue to the team. Ask your questions and give topic and/or interview suggestions as you come up with them.
As we're getting our feet wet in the first few weeks we'll probably concentrate on great game coverage and conveying the feeling of being at the arena. But both Ben and I are excited about the future possibilities too. We're overjoyed to help unfold this new aspect of Blazersedge coverage in partnership with all of you. If in the end you feel a little closer to the team, a little more excited about the games, and a little more enthusiastic of a fan then we will have done our jobs well.
Now, without further ado, here is the game report from tonight.
December 17th vs. New Orleans Hornets
It was one of those nights - one of those shot-clock running down, one-too-many passes, time for a heave-ho nights. Usually nothing good comes from that. Yet, watch the replay, third quarter, left baseline: Brandon Roy, channeling Reggie Miller in his prime, finger tip catching, turning, elevating... and... and... swishing.
It was one of those nights where everything was difficult and yet, when it mattered, the win came easy. Tyson Chandler dominated the glass and David West beasted on just about everybody. And yet, through the savvy first-half play of Steve Blake, some determined rebounding and defense from Przybilla and LaFrentz (the latter of whom made a great case for earning more playing time on the floor tonight), and flat-out all star work from Brandon Roy, the Blazers gutted one out against the visiting Hornets in front of a raucous home crowd Monday night.
In a back-and-forth, scrappy and defense-first affair, the Blazers found baskets when it mattered most, focusing their offense squarely on all-star-elect Roy. Time and again down the stretch, Roy gallivanted to the basket, treating the crowd to sweet left finishes. Roy's drives, the aforementioned beat-the-shot-clock 3rd quarter 3 pointer, and another 3 to ice the game with less than a second to play, willed the Rose Garden crowd to their feet for most of crunch time.
Asked about the key to the victory, Roy said simply, "We were a deeper team tonight. On the high pick and rolls, we wore them down. You could see it, they were tired." While the high pick-and-rolls Brandon spoke of were on-and-off all night - there were open jumpers aplenty, but many didn't fall -- Brandon's at-the-rim game was nearly flawless. That was the difference.
How best to sum this one up? Leave it to none other than Paul Allen himself--security team in tow--striding happily through the locker room corridor, his arms aloft, five fingers extended on one hand, three fingers on the other. He was silent. He didn't need to say anything; the crowd's cheer "Eight straight! Eight straight!" rang throughout the concrete jungle above us.
Random Game Notes:
Violet Palmer called a violation on Przybilla for stealing the opening tip. The home crowd was not impressed... Raucous cheers from the Rose Garden faithful as the Public Address Announcer reported Roy had won back-to-back Player of the Week awards...Tyson Chandler should be on your fantasy team... Jack seemed a bit slower defending the pick-and-roll than Blake in the first half, yet Nate stuck with Jack throughout crunch time and he delivered with a huge 3, which received post-game kudos from his coach... During a timeout, the Blazers used their "bubble cam" effect on the injured Peja Stojakovic, which distorted his face to the point he looked something like Tila Tequila (alien status)...Roy shook off an absurd number of handchecks all game... Maurice Peterson was thrown out of the game for over-arguing a non-call on a fourth-quarter jumper. He was correct in stating his case, as he was fouled; his method of discourse could have used some work however... Direct quote from the notepad: "Violet Palmer calls Outlaw for a block and you can see all sorts of inappropriate gestures and groans coming from section 208" ... If you're reading this and you're one of the twenty-odd fans in the last 3 rows of one of the 300 section chanting "Let's Go Blazers" almost the entire game, I heard you from across the stadium, and I salute you! The Soulja Boy dance craze has gotten to the point that Blaze the Mascot is supermanning during the quarter interludes. Maybe not a good look although the fans seemed into it.
Thanks to Ben! Here's to the first of many more!