James was at the game last night and was kind enough to send in this eyewitness report.
We spooked the mamba. And the mamba reacted.
Wow. I mean, wow. What a game. I was lucky to be there. Before the game I thought if we held Kobe to 50 we'd still be okay. But he was on a different planet. A planet where there's no such thing as assists. Well, that being said I loved our performance. I watched us lose and lose bad to the Celtics at home in January and this was a whole new team. The major difference: LMA. LaMarvolous, Allright! Simply put, he changes the make up of the team. We are tougher defensively and more aggressive offensively.
Here's my breakdown looking toward the upcoming off-season.
Guys we need to keep:
--IME. Man. He's a glue guy with a jump shot. Scrappy on defense. He could do nothing on Kobe because no one on earth can do anything about kobe when he decides to shoot 50 shots and make 30 of them. He's our Raja bell. We need to sign him up for 3 more years.
--TO. The most infuriating player I've ever seen live. He came in the game and just started jacking up 18 footers he missed two in a row I was like WTF Outlaw? Then he gets two dunks in a row and hits two of those jump shots. and I was like: I LOVE YOU TRAVIS OUTLAW. Then he misses another jump-shot and he sits down. But if he can just learn to take another dribble to the basket...he's so gifted...I feel like we can work with him.
ZACH, ROY, LMA
guys we can lose:
MARTELL WEBSTER: The guy floats like a marshmallow at the top of your cocoa. He catches and shoots, I remember him hitting some 3's and that was nice. But what I noticed his his lack of nose for the ball. i don't think he got any rebounds or came close or even tried to rebound. We need a 3 who will crash the backboards hard. And nose for the ball is like sense of humor: you have it or you don't. Maybe he had it in high school when the ball was always in his hands but I mean, come on. If your just gonna jack up open 3's, DanDikau can do that. I mean, lets face it, if your not going to grab a rebound, your not gonna play for Kevin Pritchard's Trailblazers. Good luck MW.
JAMALL MAGLORIE: Actually had some nice put backs in the first half. I thought he had a good game. But Roy Hibbert would take his place nicely. We need a big guy in this draft. Last night really brought this home. I'm thinking Greg Oden...but Jokim Noah will do.
I felt like we should have gone to a zone with kobe, a box and one, but like what can you do?
Sergio did not have a good game. He needs to play against teams that run. Half court does not fit him.
The sheer showmanship factor of a Lackers game cannot be underestimated. It made the Rose Garden look like a county fair. I know the real entertainment is Basketball being played the right way but we can step it up a little. I mean they're are about 300 Laker girls, spinning like crazy And the announcer does movie trailers I'm pretty sure. The "Kiss me" cam was really effective. We can definitely steal this. At a time out just pan the crowd, look for couples, play the song "kiss me" and watch the magic. Really simple, really cute and fun.
Seeing Kobe in person SINGLE HANDEDLY stop a 7 game losing streak is impressive.
In the first half: He hits two then fires up a wild one.
"Heat check" my buddy Brandon says.
Next time down the floor, he steals a pass to B-Roy. Roy grabs him to stop the dunk. Kobe fires up a half-court shot to try and get the and-one. Money.
"Now that's a heat check" my buddy says.
At least he didn't throw a chicken wing on Roy.
I mean he was nuclear. It was a video game preformence with a cheat-code in. (Sigh.) He does have a bird-nose though.
The scuffle was awesome. Lacker fans were getting really loud with the boos. But I loved that we didn't back down. Contrary to popular belief this rivalry is NOT over. We may not be in the same division anymore, but there is no love lost between these two teams. I was the only blazers fan that I saw the whole night. At one point at half time I was outside and became surrounded by theBYNAM BRIGADE, drunken frat boys in yellow shirts. Truly terrifying. I popped a little collar. And walked away. Quickly. And live to tell the tale.
LMA and ROY had Kobe trapped in the corner in OT and he pushed off ROY who didn't stand his ground and allowed himself to be shoved. Now no one is going to call a offensive foul on Kobe Bryant in OT when he's got 60+. This was a lesson. Its these kind of lessons and experiences that will help us to get over 500. next year. (and maybe in 2 years, when B-ROY is a all-star, he'll get the call when he was bumped going to the basket in OT with less then a minute left. Maybe. But probably not in Staples)
That is all from the land of the lost. We're one peice (and TO maturing) away, and in good position to pick up that peice in this draft. And were so young. Look out NBA 2009-10! GO BLAZERS
Thanks James! Much appreciated! Congrats on being at one of the great games of the decade (at least!).