What’s the difference between a live Blazers playoff game and a live regular season game? What are people talking about when they use the term "playoff atmosphere"?
For one thing, they give you a free T-shirt just for sitting down in your seat. This is what the shirts looked like:
Everyone also gets free glow sticks which create a fun and trippy scene when the lights go down at the start of the game. You couldn’t hear the names of any of the Clippers players when they introduced them because the crowd was chanting "Beat LA" so loudly. This chant reappeared frequently through the game.
The signs were especially good tonight as everyone brought their "A" game for the playoffs:
"No Pity in Rip City"
"Dame we’re good!"
"Blaze the Clips"
"Trump is a Clippers fan."
"Hail to the Chief"
"Give me Ed ‘til I’m dead."
"Cry me a River, Doc."
"Give me more minutes, Daddy!" (accompanied by a picture of Austin Rivers in a diaper)
The timeouts were longer due to the national TV audience and during one of them the security guards joined the Blazers dancers for a rousing routine:
It seemed like fans brought their "A" game with their outfits as well. Check ‘em out:
This guy here sung the national anthem and did a great job:
And this guy is named Scottie Stats and he drove with his family all the way from Idaho Falls to see this game:
Scottie gave me a card which said "Basketball Aficionado and Sportswriter". Check out @scottiestats on Twitter!
During the second half the crowd went completely nuts when DeAndre Jordan airballed two free throws in a row. The noise level never really died down after that. It’s interesting to note that most of us in the crowd did not know that Chris Paul was injured until the game was nearly over. It spread around the stands like a game of telephone, with people quoting various twitter feeds and texts from friends at home watching on TV.
It’s fair to say there’s an extra electricity in the air at the Moda Center during the payoffs and all of us were very happy at the prospect of at least one more big game back on our home turf. We let out a big cheer at the end of the game when the announcer said "And fans we’re all even!"
No Pity in Rip City, indeed.