Sunday, December 23, 2007

A birthday blog (a day late)

Stephen and I are driving right now. We left Roseburg this morning a little after 6:00 and have been driving since then. When I say that Stephen and I are driving, I mean that I drove for a while and now he is. I’m not trying to write this post while holding the wheel.

We just finished the last episode of The Basketball Jones podcast for 2007. Again, to the few people who read this, if you haven’t yet subscribed to that podcast on iTunes, you should. They are fantastic.

Yesterday it took me an hour and a half to get caught up on all the online coverage of the Blazers after their win streak reached 10 Friday night at home against the Nuggets. They now have the longest win streak of anyone in the NBA this season, and once again they had to come back from being down by seven at the beginning of the fourth quarter. On top of that, the game was decided in the end by a Brandon Roy block of a Carmelo Anthony jump hook and a Travis Outlaw swat of a Linas Kleiza desperation three. It’s good to see guys stepping up in the fourth quarter, and those two have been doing it consistently throughout this winning streak.

All the coverage and the win really were the best things about my birthday. Not that I didn’t enjoy yesterday, but just that I am so excited about how this team is doing. Stephen and I were talking about it in the car, and it doesn’t make sense that everyone is as surprised as they are. Surprised? Yes. But this surprised? I don’t think we should be. Yeah, we traded away our leading scorer and rebounder. Yes, we have the third youngest team in the history of the association. Sure, we’re without the number one overall pick from last year’s draft and the guy many envisioned as the savior of the franchise. But the hallmark of this team is their chemistry and how much fun they’re having together, with everyone contributing. We couldn’t have expected that when the team started playing together five weeks before training camp? Shouldn’t we have foreseen this type of beyond-their-years-maturity from a bunch of guys who chose to get together, without pay, more than a month before they had to? I think so. And yes, that still makes this really surprising, but not completely surprising.

My battery is about to run out, so I’m shutting the computer down for the rest of the trip. But I wanted to share a little post-birthday thanks to the team for making it a great one, and a little Christmas cheer to anyone who makes sure I have a few readers.

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