Monday, March 20, 2006

Moving On Over.

For the ten people reading this site, I'd like to invite you to come over to the Blazer's Edge, my new, somewhat more professional Blazer-themed blog. It will be the same fairly obvious observations and juvenile pouting that you've come to know and mildly enjoy, only now someone else is responsible for the html and possible lawsuits. So take off your bookmarks and replace it with You might not be glad you did, but you'll at least feel indifferent.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Talk Stories

Paul Allen, most likely against the wishes of his lawyers and yes-men, had a little sit down with Mike Tokito; the better of the two Blazer beat writers for the Oregonian. Paulie didn't exactly tip his hand, but I must admit that after reading the interview, I feel a little better about the future of the franchise. I have to question keeping Lance "Fancy Pants" Conn as the financial front man, as I think he's proved himself incompetent, but ultimately Allen calls the shots. After watching the fourth quarter on Wednesday though, I wouldn't be surprised if Paul was ready to sell to the first drunkard stumbling out of the stadium.

Update: This article by Eggers in the Trib (via Eric Marentette) makes me feel even better. I think Paul kind of knows he's screwed, but he's got to try and apply some pressure to the city.

The Red and Black continue their death tour tonight against King James, the Oregon Rat Boy, and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s really anyone’s guess how this one is going to end up, though Vegas has a pretty good feeling that the Blazers are going to get their ass's handed to them. Right now, my sanity is clinging to moral victories, so scoring more than 75 points will be enough for me. Today is St. Patrick’s day, so hopefully Irish players Darius Miles, Ha Seung-Jin, and Voshon Lenard catch a little of the luck that is synonymous with their country and kin. Cleveland has lost three straight, so you know they’re going to try and get right against the Blazers.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Maroon 5

I don't really have anything to say, I just wanted to continue the streak of using band names to describe the horrible offensive performance this team seems dead set on producing. I'm not sure why Nate didn't have the team shooting half court shots when it became obvious that proximity to the hoop wasn't necessarily resulting in scoring points, but I guess he probably has his reasons. If the current trend of scoring continues, the Blazers are on track to score only 47 points in their final game of the season verses Phoenix, which would be one hell of a way to close out the relationship between the Trail Blazers and the fans. It doesn't get much lower than this.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

66 Mafia

The fourth lowest point total ever, two nights after scoring 111? I’m ashamed. Really, I am. Usually 2000 some-odd miles would be buffer enough to take the sting out of a colossal beat down, but getting held below 70 by a team fighting to get into the playoffs in the East is enough to send feelings of inadequacy and humiliation all the way back to the Pacific Northwest. Other than Zach, no Blazer scored more than eight points, which means guys like Darius Miles and Sebastian Telfair were outscored by non-American born hoops legends like Andres Nocioni and Luke Schenscher. Nothing like letting a guy from Hope Forest, South Australia put up a career high on you.

While the team was eager to hit the town after the game for a post-beat down Chicago-Style pizza eating contest, tight scheduling forced them to hop on a plane to the Garden State for a game against the Nets tonight. I’ve been doing a little math, and if the current trend of scoring big (as in the game against Phoenix) is then followed by scoring little (as in the game against Chicago) then logic would tell up that the Blazers are set to go off tonight. The Blazers scored 45 more points on Sunday than they did on Tuesday, so I figure that this time around, the Blazers should score somewhere around 156 points. I’m not sure if that will be enough to win, but it should at least give them a shot.

Though I recently stated that I didn’t want to discuss the drama that is Paul Allen vs. Portland, Helen Jung has a fascinating article and Q&A with NBA don David Stern. He doesn’t divulge much, but just his involvement signals that this thing is big, and only going to get bigger. When is that damn liberal media going to start reporting some good news?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

When You Mess With the Bull...

I'm sick off the uncertainty surrounding the financial wellbeing of the Red and Black, so if you want to discuss it, check out Henry, Eric, Helen, Dwight, or Kerry. Together they sound like a law firm that specializes in personal injury, but individually they all offer nuanced reporting and commentary on the battle-royale taking place between Paul Allen and Vulcan Inc. in the red corner and the citizens and politicos of Portland (and other far off Salem-type lands) in the blue corner. The winner will surely be the team who first figures out how to drink thunder and crap lighting.

While the suits fight over who gets the revenue from pretzelled bread and cotton candy sales, the guys in the mesh tank tops and shorts still have their own problems to tend to. Portland kicks off a mini-road trip against the Bulls in Chicago tonight with hopes of putting together the oft elusive winning streak. The Bulls have been up and down all year, and are currently fighting to get into the eighth spot, so they certainly don't want to get beat by the Blazers of all teams. But beat they shall get. Dating back to January of '01, the Blazers have beaten the Bulls seven of the past ten times. Unfortunately, I don't think what the Rasheed, Damon, Pippen, and Bonzi did in 2001 is going to have a whole lot of bearing on this game, but I still think the Blazers come out on top. The line is Bulls -9.5, which is a slap in the face to a Blazer team that just beat Phoenix, though maybe the 6-25 road record doesn't instill Vegas with much respect for Mac-10 and the Boys.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Ain't No Sunshine When He's On.

A big welcome to all of you Sebastian Telfair fans, wherever you may be. The screening of Through the Fire on ESPN last night, coupled with Jason Quick’s piece on seems to be responsible for a slight up-tick in traffic, especially from those of you Google searching the phrase “Sabastian Telfair.” Now if I could just find a producer to finance my Viktor Khyrapa/Ha Seung-Jin buddy picture. In it, Ha and Viktor are a highly-trained counter-terrorism team fighting Islamic separatists in Viktor’s native Ukraine, while also combating a growing communist nuclear threat in Ha’s native South Korea. It’s going to be awesome, I swear.

You want to know what else is awesome? Beating the Phoenix Suns at the Rose Garden, especially after the thrashing they put the Blazers through the last time these two teams crossed paths. It seems I was one game early in predicting the Blazers would beat a far superior team at home, but it’s better late than never. Of course, being tardy to the pre-game did keep Zach out of the starting line-up, but it didn’t keep him from scoring 32 points and, even more impressively, grabbing 14 rebounds against an athletic Suns team. Steve Blake also managed to cancel out the reigning league MVP by scoring 18 and dishing out 13 assists, without a single turnover. Take that, you uppity Canadians.

There were a few factors that allowed the Blazers to win this one. First off, the Suns are a little gimpy at the moments. Only eight guys played for Mike D’Antoni last night, so fatigue has to factor in. It was also fortuitous for the Blazers that the officials seemed to have consumed their whistles, as the referee team of Bennett Salvatore, Matt Boland, and Rodney Mott assessed only 27 fouls, which resulted in only 23 fouls shots being taken in total by both teams. Anytime the Blazers can stay out of a foul shooting contest, they stand a chance of winning. Well, maybe not necessarily of “winning” but at least they stand a chance of not getting blow out, which is a win in my book.

In other news, Paul Allen has broken his silence regarding the current argle-bargle over his request for a public/private partnership to keep the Blazers afloat. Call me a curmudgeon, but I’ve already made up my mind, and ain’t no fancy worded internet posting going to change it.

Friday, March 10, 2006

With A Rebel Yell, He Wants More, More, More.

So it turns out that good feeling I had was just a residual reaction from the drugs I was taking for my wisdom teeth. If I were in an unencumbered state, I would have said there was no chance of the Blazers beating one of the best teams in the NBA, regardless of how they performed 2 days earlier. Let that be a lesson to all you kids out there: Never operate heavy machinery or predict a Blazers win while under the influence of narcotics.

While the Blazers continue to skim the bottom of the Western Conference like so many basketball playing catfish, the biggest fish in the Portland pond continues to stack his chips. Though you wouldn't know it from the posturing of his stooges at Vulcan Inc, Paul Allen continues to be somewhat of a wealthy man. According to Forbes (via the kick-ass Helen Jung), he's the sixth biggest baller, shot caller, 20-inch blades on the Impala human-being on the face of the earth, jumping up from the seventh spot he held last year. No word yet on when Forbes will be releasing the list of the world's "Luckiest S.O.B.'s Who Ride Bill Gates' Coattails," but I'm sure Paul is one of the frontrunners on that compellation as well.

I'm sure Allen called his equally hideous friend Steve Forbes and asked him to hold off on publishing the list until he had the chance to squeeze Portland's collective shoes for a little while longer, but business is business. Paulie Walnuts made a cool billion last year, improving his net-worth to 22 billion dollars, which begs the question: How can you cry poverty when, even in the face of numerous poor business decisions, you still manage to make money? My guess is that Allen follows the Wu Tang School of Finance, which goes something to the effect of "Cash, rules, everything, around, me. C.R.E.A.M. get the money. Dollar, dollar bills y'all."