Long story short I scored some pretty gorgeous tickets to tonight’s equally gorgeous victory over the Miami Heat of Florida. Here is an artist’s representation of where I was seated. The really super cool thing about sitting that close is that you see every little thing. The not so cool part about sitting that close is that the dudes sitting next to you spend most of the game talking business and then when they do pay attention they give you uncomfortably angled high fives. Because of the former I thought I should take some notes during the game of interesting things I noticed and then tell you cool people about it later. Because of the latter I stopped high fiving during the second half of the game because my high five’ing confidence was shot. I’m a little insecure about my high five’ing.
I haven’t done a write up like this in a while. Instead I’ve been spending copious amounts of time doing accounting stuff that would probably bore your pants off (and not in a good way). You could say I’m rusty at writing. You could also say my name is Harrison, which would be accurate. You could also say this Blazers team is the greatest team in the history of civilization based solely off tonight’s win, which would be significantly less accurate. You could say a lot of things, like “boobies” for instance. Anyways, my point is that I don’t exactly feel like I could weave a magical story about this game that would live up to what you probably experienced watching it, or will experience watching another one of B. Mitch’s scrumtrulescent recaps. So I’m not going to try and do that. Instead I’m just going to go through some things I noted during the game that maybe you didn’t see at home, and talk about some of the performances from this game. If you’re still on board at this point cool, neat, and thanks for listening.
Nicolas Batum: Here are two stat lines from tonight, and clearly one of them is Nic or else why would I be doing this?
Player Q: 28 (9/11 from the line)/7 rbs/5 assists/2 steals/1 block/2 turnovers
Player 9: 15 (2/5 from the line)/10 rbs/9 assists/2 steals/1 block/4 turnovers
One of these players is the best basketball player in the world (that we know of). The other is obviously Nic Batum. Unless you think extremely highly of Nic then I guess the other player would just be LeBron James. Obviously this is just one game and SSS and they weren’t directly matched up on each other all night and other variables and OMG SERIOUSLY SSS, but Nic outplayed the best player in the world tonight. Maybe his numbers aren’t that much better, I mean dear god LeBron almost had a triple double when he seemed to sleepwalk through half the game, but Nic was the better player tonight. Possibly most importantly too is that he clearly wanted to be. Something happened about midway through the second quarter, and really sunk in during the third, where you could see that Nic wanted to prove tonight that he could be every bit as good as LeBron. You could see it on his face that he wanted to prove something. I wish he wanted to prove something every night. I suppose he does it just doesn’t always have to do with basketball.
Damian Lillard: I don’t want to talk about Damian because every time I watch him play he isn’t at his best. Damian is best when I’m not paying attention to him so I’m going to mostly ignore him; except for one little thing. Before the game he was awarded the rookie of the month award. When the camera was on him he put on a big grin, but before and after he looked almost annoyed about the whole ordeal of him getting an award. He then went back to his teammates and seemed all happy again. I have two theories on this. One is that Neil Olshey (who was standing next to him during the award ceremony) stinks and he really wanted to get away from him. The other is that he doesn’t really care about the awards but only about his teammates and playing basketball. Either is a possible solution.
Wesley Matthews: Wes did some awesome things tonight but instead I want to focus on this cute little story:
Wes was on the right, or possibly your left depending on where you are right now, oblique shooting threes during warm ups. At one point a little girl walked up to him and said “hi” or a ball got past him and she caught it or something adorable like that. I’m not really sure how this exchange began as I only caught the second and third acts of it. He talked to her and her family for a little bit. Then a shot or two later he passed her the ball and she passed it back to him to set him up for a shot. He missed the shot. The next one he passed it to her again and this time made it. He then turned to her and said something I imagine went something like “you’re good luck.” Later during the introductions, and after getting daps and back bumping his teammates, he walked over to that girl again and got daps from her/said something to her. It was all really adorable as he clearly made that little girl’s night.
I know we talk a lot about wanting to trade Wes because he has his flaws as a player and those amazing shots he hit late tonight don’t usually fall, but in that moment all I could think of was how proud I was that he is a Blazer. Now if we could just find some way to make him more of a role player and less of a focal point on this team.
LaMarcus Aldridge: He got some rebounds tonight and that was cool. I don’t really have anything else to say about him. He doesn’t seem to do anything interesting during games besides being good at basketball. I guess there are worse things in this world. Like mold in your house.
JJ Hickson: He got destroyed by Bosh all night, but you already knew that. His teammates do seem to really like him though as he is the leader of the introduction shenanigans. Seeing him jump around all playfully seemed to counter the image I have of him after how poorly things went for him in Sacramento. Nothing seems to go right in Sacramento these days.
During the 3rd Stotts pulled JJ for the rangier, and actually capable of playing any semblance of defense in basketball, Jared Jeffries to try a different look on Bosh. It wasn’t a game changer but it was a nice little move since JJ was doing nothing on offense to counter his defensive sieve presence.
Joel Freeland: Joel was trying really hard to shut down Bosh but it didn’t work at all. This is no secret but I really like Joel Freeland and want him to be good. I have no idea why though and he seems to have some struggles. On a somewhat related note: Meyers Leonard’s legs look crazy thin even in pants.
Ronnie Price: I hate watching him play basketball. I think it has something to do with him being terrible at it. I guess he was sort of a spark tonight but ugh at what cost?
Luke Babbitt: He partook in the introduction shenanigans where everyone was chest bumping JJ. Everyone else seemed to have a special bump that was done enthusiastically while jumping. Babbs just walked up and gave him a full frontal bump that barely left the ground. It looked super uncomfortable for everyone involved. Everything Luke Babbitt does is interesting.
Notes on Heat things:
- Ray Allen’s head is like crazy shiny. I mean I always kind of thought that but you really have to experience his shiny head in person to appreciate it.
- During halftime seemingly everyone and the people they brought with them to the game filled up the isles to take pictures of LeBron warming up. His life must be so weird.
- LeBron also talked with some kids during halftime warm ups and their dads seemed way more excited about it than they did.
- At one point during a dead ball Dwayne Wade was waiting in the corner playing with his jersey. He inadvertently made nipples with his fingers. Then some guy with large gauges and a girlfriend who looks like Portland’s answer to Lena Dunham who happened to be sitting in the front row said something to Wade that he acknowledged. Wade then proceeded to make nipples with his fingers advertently and then pulled back his jersey to show his actual nipples. Nipples.
- Chris Bosh makes really funny faces. He seems like a fun guy.
- Jarvis Vanardo has a very Travis-esque “awe shucks” way that he carries himself.
- Eric Spoelstra was looking quite dapper in his suite tonight. He seems like a good dresser. Terry Stotts on the other hand dresses more like your dads recently divorced friend who is also actually an ostrich. Some of this may be from him being so tall and suits not fitting right on him though.
Rose Garden Notes:
- When things happen that are bad for the Blazers the guy who runs the screens that run around the middle of the arena shows a graphic that has this picture and says “frown cat.” Anyone who knows anything about the internet knows that that is grumpy cat and not “frown cat.” For shame whoever made that graphic.
- They have a new to me blow up Blaze on rollerblades and angry birds-esque thing that looks like a bloated Blaze that they rolled out during the game to play slingshot bowling with. Almost everything about it screamed “90’s rad to the max!” They both got strikes but the bloated one popped something and deflated then walked off sadly down the tunnel. Anyways, it reminded me of this.
Okay so that’s all I’ve got. Sorry it’s so long but I only usually end up going to one or two games a year and so I like to purge my thoughts when I do. I hope you found something interesting my three pages of jumbled thoughts!