Here we go...the last game of Summer League and the hizzouse is PACKED up in here. Seattle and Portland will go at it tonight at 7:00 p.m. Register your pre-game predictions and in-game thoughts right here. We'll update as usual during the game.
Pre-game prediction contest: How many points will Taurean Green score tonight? Chick-magnet Photographer Dave says 11. Can you beat him?
By the way, they are now presenting the Most Outstanding Player award to New York's Nate Robinson.
Early Update: Minnesota's Rashad McCants is ripping Phoenix a new one. He has 30 points at the half. The Vegas SL record is 42 for a game.
Pre-Game Update: It doesn't look like McCants will get the record because he's only scored two more points with 4:00 left in the game. However Luke "Gingerbread Man" Schenscher just put up a shot that was magnificent in its putrescence. He rebounded the ball off of his own team's miss and was down deep with his back to the basket. He flipped up some kind of backwards, over-the-shoulder thang that was a wonder to behold. I've seen guys make that kind of shot this week but this...THIS was special. The ball sailed in the air and hit the backboard about four feet off target, caroming off into oblivion. The crowd actually "OOOOOHed" at it. This may be the single worst shot I've ever seen in competitive play outside of some Photographer Dave has put up in the old high school gym in rec league scrimmages. Blazers start soon...without Schenscher.
Update: Starting Lineups: Sergio, Martell, Mancinelli, Freeland, and Hamilton...same as last night.
Update: Zendon Hamilton is a scoring machine again. The Euros are again playing with confidence. I think that last game picked them up. Sergio and Martell are being aggressive but so is Seattle's Jeff Green.
First Quarter Update: The Blazers are playing unselfish basketball on offense. It's really nice to see guys who can pass and who are looking out for each other. Joel Freeland and Martell Webster have been the scoring stars. Martell is looking for his shot. We've also had really active hands on defense. If there's a quibble to be had it's that our deep interior defense has been somewhat weak. Otherwise a great quarter. Blazers lead 26-17.
Update: Taurean Green got a nice smattering of applause from Blazer fans when he entered the game. Could they be reading?
Halftime Update: Another nice quarter in the second after a shaky start. I'm impressed how well we're running back on transition defense. Obviously that was mentioned last night and the team has adjusted. You routinely see four Blazers back on defense today. Also they are being very, very unselfish on offense. I don't know that I've seen this much passing from a Summer League team this year. And it's effective. We've also been going after the rebounds. Joel Freeland showed you he has some hops...WHOOO! That dunk brought the crowd out of their seats. Martell is still being really aggressive. Everybody's had their moments pretty much. Good team effort. 42-34 Blazers at the half.
Update: BREAKING NEWS This is unconfirmed--there's no unbiased second source--but Photographer Dave is almost certain that Gary Payton is bolstering his legacy by getting steals off the court as well as on. A guy who looks an awful lot like Kevin Durant and who is sitting with Durant's parents (perhaps his brother?) came into the arena holding two cups of ice cream. He handed one to Durant's mom. Then GP motioned him over, smiled at him, and promptly took the second cup. Dave is pretty sure he saw him say, "Rookie mistake" as well. True story.
Third Quarter Update: The Sonics are trying to get some fire going but it's more of the same for us. Decent transition defense, more passing, more aggressive looks on offense especially from Martell. Let's finish it out now!
Update: Rebounding is really starting to become an issue. Our big guys look tired from chasing Seattle all over the court.