Thursday, February 01, 2007

Friday night basketball

Last Friday night I got to partake in what first-ever and long-time Blazers play-by-play man Bill Schonely used to call “free basketball.” Twice.

When I turned on the Portland-Memphis game, the Blazers were still down by a bit. They had played a terrible first half, and had been struggling to come back throughout the third quarter. This was the game that Zach Randolph set a career high in points and shot attempts. But this is also a game that the Blazers would not give up on. It was so encouraging to watch them work, struggle, and do whatever they could to pull out this victory. I would have been really happy with this in most games, but because this was the second of a back-to-back, and one in which the first game of the two was terrible, I was ecstatic. I don't have much else to say because I've waited so long to write about it. But I was very glad that the Blazers came out during the second half and did what they could. This has been true in the last few games, as they've gone 6-4 in their last ten.

I turned on the DVR to capture the second half of the Oregon-Washington State game as soon as Portland finally won. I watched a bit, but realized that we were down and I was tired. After a half hour or so of reading in the guest room, I heard my mom come up from the garage and turn the TV on to check the score. The Ducks had been down by 13 or so when I had left. When she said that they were down by two, I decided to give the rest of the game a chance.

I have been saying all year that the best thing about this team is how good the top five are. With the 2002 elite eight team there were three great players and two good role players. But this team has five players that I trust with the big shot at any time. In the Cougar game Aaron Brooks and TaJuan Porter both made huge three pointers at the end, but it was Maarty Leunen who made two free throws with .5 of a second left in regulation. And then Brooks caught on fire as the overtime started. I know that we lost tonight in Pauley Pavilion, but this Ducks team is very good, and deserves to stay in the top ten (if we can beat USC on Saturday).

J-Lew asked why Brooks was suspended. Sorry it's taken so long, but this is what I know. The league suspended him for the elbow during the Washington game in the Pac-10 tournament. That suspension was served the during the next game of the tournament. In addition, the team suspended him for the season opener and the first of two against Washington. Those suspensions were not imposed by the league, and were something done completely within house. For more on the background, go here or here.


Lewis said...

Thanks for answering my question. That makes more sense since I didn't see how it would be fair for the league to suspsend him based upon the opponent. But since it was in-house, that makes a lot more sense. Keep up the good work.

I can't believe Joe Johnson wasn't an All-Star. Vince Carter did NOT deserve to be one. Also, Hollinger on ESPN had Vince Carter ranked like 8th in the greatest players never to win a Championship (over my boy the Human Highlight Film). Sometimes I feel like I am taking crazy pills. Clearly this is Vince Carter's world, and I just failed to realize it bc I always thought he was SO overrated.

josh said...

Yeah, that's pretty terrible. I know the situation with Zach isn't the same, but it still bothers me. He's the only player in the league averaging better than 23 and 10, and he still won't make it onto the West team as an injury replacement.