Jazz 130 Blazers 93
Wow, I don't even know WHAT to say about this game, folks. It was the oddest game I've seen in a long, long time. We started with only nine players suited, as Brandon Roy has been unofficially pulled for the rest of the season (meaning he was eligible but not dressed). The middle parts of the game were a cacophony of whistles against the Blazers. (The boxscore does not do this justice as the refs made it up substantially once the game was out of hand in the fourth quarter...an old NBA ref trick to make the games look more balanced.) Jamaal Magloire received his second technical about a minute into the second half. Then we were down to eight. Luke Schenscher got his sixth foul before the third quarter ended and we were at seven. At that point Raef LaFrentz also had five fouls along with Freddie Jones. As it turned out because the refs swallowed their whistles in the fourth (and because Raef made like a bump on a log on defense) LaFrentz didn't end up fouling out until late. So we only played the last two minutes with six healthy players...the one on the bench with five fouls. Travis Outlaw ended up as our center and the biggest Blazer left on the team by far. Midway through the fourth Brandon Roy got up and went to the locker room. My guess is he pretty much had to as a contingency. We were three whistles away from having nobody else to put in, and since he was technically eligible he would have been forced into the game. They couldn't very well halt the game for him to get dressed so I bet he waited in the locker room to see what developed in case he needed a quick uniform change.
Suffice it to say I have NEVER seen anything like that.
That's good, I suppose, because the rest of the game was the pits. In fact if it weren't so laughable a situation (and mind you, I don't think Nate is laughing) it would have been infuriating. We just got SPANKED. Check out these stats:
Rebounds: Utah 49, Portland 29
Assists: Utah 33, Portland 10
FG%: Utah 58, Portland 43
Turnovers: Utah 11, Portland 17
It was sick.
There's nothing to take from this as a team other than we did get a little feisty and chippy out there. We obviously weren't enjoying it. Magloire almost got into some stuff early. When Jarron Collins put a hard foul on Travis in the fourth Jarrett Jack got all up in his face. We did show some heart, just not in our defense much.
Oh...and our fast break was once again HORRIBLE. But this led to one of the BEST lines I've heard from a play-by-play guy in years, maybe ever, courtesy of the great Mike Barrett.
Midway through the second quarter the Blazers keyed a break. This was the call, word-for-word:
Think about that for a minute. Is that not the funniest thing you've ever heard? And yet it perfectly describes the Blazers' fast break situation this year. I'm not sure who else could help out the Blazer fast break though. The mascot? Nate? A little old lady with a broom sweeping all the defenders out of the way? Lord knows they need SOMETHING that they're not getting and Barrett nailed it, seemingly subliminally, with that one line. Absolutely classic.
The only significant individual notes are that Travis discovered his drive tonight and as a result shot 20 free throws, hitting 18 of them en route to a career high 26 points...this on a night when he shot 4-12 from the field. 26 points on 4 shots equals 6.5 points per made field goal. Obviously that's excessive but it's a lot closer to what Travis should be doing than what he has shown lately.
Also Martell played 45 minutes and showed some good hustle on defense. But he only grabbed the same 5 rebounds he gets when he plays 20 minutes, and this was on a night when we could have used them. Also he shot 2-7 from both the free throw line and the three point arc, neither of which is acceptable for him.
As for everybody else...well...this season has lasted two weeks too long. There's not much more to say about it than that.