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Media Row Report

12/30/07  vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Did anyone else have a bad feeling about this one?  We started sloppy, Andre Miller was killing us, Rodney Carney was jumping all over the gym and we weren't moving the ball like we were supposed to.  Down 9 at halftime.  

Clearly, Nate is the greatest motivational speaker ever.  Last week he was trying to convince us that he didn't want the team to flip a switch in the second half.  I don't think switches get flipped harder than that.  

When Josh McRoberts is getting burn and I'm at a loss for words, you know it was a shellacking.  With that said, I took some pictures tonight so I'll let them be worth their 1000s of words.  I hope you enjoy them.  If you have picture requests, please let Dave or myself know.

When LaMarcus is hitting his jumpers, the whole world comes into focus.

Postgame, Bill Schonely interviewed Harry Glickman as other Blazers notables look on.  Historic scene for the franchise.  Many fans stayed to watch.

Was there any media interest in Maurice Cheeks' return to Portland? You be the judge.

Brandon Roy, in front of his locker, trying to figure out why he is so awesome.

Post-Game Quotes:

Nate on the first half struggles: "In the first half, I thought we were playing the game cute. They were the aggressors.  Attacking the basket... I thought the first half of this game looked like the second half of the last time we played them."

Nate on the key 2nd half defensive adjustment: "To put Brandon on [Andre] Miller, and get some size on him. Since I've been here, he's always had a big night against us even when he was in Denver, against our guards.  I didn't want to start off that way [with Brandon guarding him], but [the plan was to] get some size on him if he was hurting us.  He hurt us the first half, so in the fourth quarter we put Brandon on him. That forced him to play on the perimeter and he missed some shots."

Nate on the Utah game tomorrow: "I won't be here tomorrow. I will be leaving tonight. My mother-in-law died... Dean Demopoulos will take over tomorrow night. I will join the team in Minnesota. I got all the confidence in my coaching staff. Just as I addressed the team: regardless of who is here, we have been trained, conditioned to play the game one way, and that's to play the game hard for 48 minutes and play together. Coach Demopoulos won't be trying to coach like me. He has to do what he feels is best tomorrow night. I'm confident he'll do a good job."

Nate on Josh McRoberts getting some late-game run: "It's 2 minutes, it's not a lot, but let's put him out there. He got the ball, made a couple of shots, the fans wanted to see him, everybody wants to see him, but it's just so difficult, we haven't had that type of control over a game, I'm not one to mess with the game too much."

Nate on Maurice Cheeks: "I've loved Mo since I was in high school.  Watching him as the guard for the Sixers... the two guys I looked up to was Magic Johnson and Maurice Cheeks. He's a class act. I have nothing but respect for Mo.  He just said, "You've done a great job.  Keep it going."

Jarrett Jack on Travis Outlaw: "An amazing dunk.  I didn't think he was going to be able to get up that high. But I never second-guess Travis."

Jarrett Jack on the streak: "I don't think we're even focused on it anymore."

Brandon on the Sixers: "We sensed them breaking down a little bit...  We were stopping them [and] then they weren't getting back on defense.  And we said `look y'all they're putting their heads down.' So we gotta really just keep hammering this team cuz they came back on us last time."

Random Game Notes:

Thanks to the 3PM weekend tip time, I was able to get there early and watch warm-ups in some detail.  The first guys out there: James Jones and Travis Outlaw.  Jones seemed to be working exclusively on 3 pointers, particularly the corner 3s.  Then Aldridge came out and worked on some pick-and-pops from the left elbow, followed quickly by Blake, Jack and Sergio.  Blake was working on hitting contested jumpers and one-dribble pull-up jumpers.  Jack was shooting threes and was taking some razzing from Maurice Lucas.  Sergio was doing a little bit of everything... Kevin Pritchard's shirt was VERY pink today... Also got to listen to Mike Barrett and Mike Rice go through their pregame machinations.  Rice has Barrett laughing a lot when they are off camera.  Actually he has pretty much everyone laughing all the time... According to his stat sheet, Giricek has been involved in trades for the following players: Leon Smith, Mike Miller, DeShawn Stephenson, and now Kyle Korver... Also from the stat packet: coming into tonight's game, despite our 17-12 record we've been outscored by our opponents on the season. Only by half a point though... Tonight the team honored Harry Glickman as part of its Heritage series. They showed highlights of some of the team's greatest moments, including scoring 156 points in a game, drafting Geoff Petrie with the team's first overall draft choice, the Pioneer Square rally after losing in the 1992 finals, and selecting Maurice Lucas. As part of the tribute for selecting Lucas, they asked current Blazers what they knew about Maurice the player.  Some of the funnier responses came from Jack: "He tries to get in a fight every game" and Joel: "He was a tough S.O.B." Channing Frye also told the crowd that Luke Walton, his best friend, was named after Maurice Lucas... Right before the tip, they had Mr. Glickman come out and say a few words.  He said, in pieces, "I want to thank the Trailblazers for this memorable occasion...2007 will go down in Blazers annals as the year of transformation... a team we can once again be proud to support... thirteen is my lucky number, I was born on the thirteenth, let's tip it off and get number 13 tonight."...  Casey Holdahl has an extended interview with Harry Glickman on if you are interested... Before every tip off, Blake makes a point of touching the ball and taking a few dribbles...  Saw a black Clyde Drexler throwback jersey tonight.  Well done, sir... Best sign of the night: "Welcome Back, Mo... Can you say 13 in a ro'?"...  Honorable mention goes to the clever: "Red Hot and ROYin"... Another one said, simply, "Thanks Santa."... Here is the direct quote from the notepad on McRoberts' late-game appearance:  HOLY [ummm...Macaroni?] IT'S MCROBERTS!!!!!!!!!! THE CROWD IS ON ITS FEET. McRoberts looks a little uncertain on his first touch and it's a turnover. But he gets it the next time down and nails a turnaround, standing ovation!!!! They give it to him again and he does it again!!!!!!! AND THEN A STEAL BY HIM... 97 to 72 Blazers win UNREAL.  The game is over: tons of hugs and high fives for McRoberts...Condolences to the McMillan family for its loss and good luck to Coach Demopoulos tomorrow night... Funniest scene of the weekend: in the locker room post-game, Travis Outlaw was making fun of Channing Frye's blue Chuck Taylors not matching his outfit properly. Frye replied, with some anguish, "I only have so many pairs of Chuck Taylors!"  The best part: Rebecca Haarlow was looking on, in knee-high boots that perfectly matched her outfit, clearly amused by the footwear discussion.

--Ben Golliver