Sunday, November 06, 2005

You Say ZaZa, I Say Zsa Zsa

What can you say about a suspect call at the end of regulation that gives the Blazers a 93-94 victory over the Hawks in the home opener at the Rose Garden? If you're a Hawks fan (assuming that they actually exist) you would probably complain that ZaZa Pachulia got hit with a touch foul at the end of regulation that no self-respecting referee would call. It was pretty obvious that ZaZa (who is from Georgia, the European version) gave Randolph a decent little jab to the back fat, but to have it decide a game? All I can say to that if you're leading the league in technicals like Pachulia is you can't expect to have the calls go your way. Personally, I commend Kenny Mauer for having the stones to call a foul in that situation. First class job there Kenny.

Other than proof positive that the Blazers won't go winless this season, it's hard to take away much from a one point win against the worst team in the NBA. One thing that was surprising was the addition of Sergei "Pneu" Monia ("he'll make ya sick!") into the starting lineup. Sergei is bigger than I thought, and looked pretty good, even if it was against the Hawks. 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists ain't nothing to shake a hammer and sickle at, especially on a squad as thin at SG as the Blazers are. Sergei's metamorphosis from inactive list suit-wearer to first home game starter is more proof that Nate McMillian is still seeing how this team shakes out. If Charles Smith remains Charles Smith and "A Million to" Juan Dixon keeps chucking up ill-advised 3-pointers, I'd expect to see Monia get a lot more starts.

A few random notes:

  • Telfair looked a lot better last night, but he's got to get to the line more often than once a game. A guy that can penetrate like Telfair should make a concerted effort to get to the line.
  • Zach seems to really be coming along. The 5 turnovers are unacceptable, but 21 points and 13 rebounds, including 7 on the offensive end, and a clutch free-throw make up for any shortcomings.
  • Can Nate please put in Viktor "Wholly" Khryapa on the active roster sometime soon? He might be a drop-off defensively from Patterson, but certainly not by much. It's not exactly like Ruben fits into the long-term plans of this squad, so let Vik get some PT. If management wants to expand the fan base, they should consider the appeal that Vik and Sergei have to the ever expanding Russian population here in Portland and the surrounding areas. Free the Russian Mafia!
  • Esteban Batista is Uruguay's answer to Manu Ginobolli, only taller, fatter, and not as good.
  • Finally, I hope all of you fans that have been bitching and moaning about character are happy. I had to sit through what seemed like an endless string of Blazer PR video before the game thanks to the endless commiserating by fair-weather fans and "values voters." Not only that, but now that The Snapper is gone, there's no one to keep Mike Barrett's homer tendencies in check. Mike Rice is too busy wiping the drool off of his lip and telling stories about catching crawdads at the ol' fishin' hole, so the load falls on Barrett to remind everyone at home about "how great this sell-out Portland crowd is." I know one thing for sure; there was more than one sell-out at that game last night.

7 Comments:

At 7:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darlin', if you are gonna hate on a Charrua (not a wise idea, but everyone is entitled to their mistakes), at least get the name right. Spell it with me now, E-S-T-E-B-A-N. Alright? Not that hard.

 
At 7:28 AM, Blogger Lance Uppercut said...

My apologies. The correction has been made.

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gracias!

 
At 11:36 AM, Anonymous red skies at night said...

great stuff.
I look forward to reading alot more.

 
At 3:54 PM, Blogger BLAZER PROPHET said...

You're welcome about the video. And YES, character does matter.

I also agree about Viktor.

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger Lance Uppercut said...

I agree that character does matter, I'd just like to not have my nose rubbed in it.

 
At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lance,
I like the style. Pretty funny. I'm surprised FSN didn't switch to women's championship bass fishing during the Denver game-maybe it is not the season. On a happier note the Lakers should be sharing our conference basement. How is Kobe already the face of the nba again?

 

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