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Portland Trail Blazers Christmas Gifts: Nicer Calls for Kent Bazemore

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Kent Bazemore is the most eager Trail Blazers defender. So why do the refs keep Grinching him up?

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Christmas, Portland Trail Blazers fans! Today Blazer’s Edge is celebrating the holiday in the form of the worst Christmas Song ever written. The staff has compiled a list of gifts suitable for the team, and we’re running them down in 12 posts...with not a partridge or a leaping lord anywhere to be seen. We hope you enjoy the holiday and help us reflect on good wishes for the Blazers!

On the seventh day of Christmas, true fans give to the team...

Better Calls for Bazemore

Kent Bazemore has given his team everything possible this season. At the beginning of the year, when he came off the bench, he became the team’s defensive spark plugs, selling out no matter how many times he touched the ball or how many minutes he got in a row. After Rodney Hood was injured and he was inserted into the first unit, Bazemore hit threes, conformed his defense more to the team’s, and became an amazing, “fitting in but still playing” fifth starter even though he’s probably capable of more.

The only people who haven’t been appreciating Bazemore’s efforts are the referees. They love to touch him up for his aggressive “D”, especially when he’s out on an island on the perimeter. Since he’s a defensive hawk and that’s his specialty, the whistles tend to ring like Christmas chimes.

Come on, refs. At least one guy on the team is going hard at it every single play on defense. If he’s a loose cannon, let him cut loose! We can handle 3.0 personal fouls per 36 minutes like he was getting in Atlanta. 4.2? That’s on you.