I covered the Trailblazer’s game the other night. They withstood an early barrage of Nets scoring. Kevin Garnett started hot and then got old. Paul Pierce sucked. Andre Blatche continued to play like Rudy Gay instead of say, Zach Randolph, and Deron Williams sat on the bench in a suit like he always does.
But man, Shawn Livingston. He dunked on Robin Lopez. I loved Livingston coming out of high school. He had the handle, the height and the court vision. He never really panned out though and his knee broke in half.
It’s been a long while since then, but it’s great to see him doing things in the NBA again. He’s the best player on his team when Brook Lopez isn’t forgetting how to rebound/playing. His PER is 20.32
The Blazers, on the other hand, won the game by riding Wesley Matthews’ seemingly unsustainable fluke-3FG-percentages. To Matthews’ credit though, this might be some kind of nuclear fusion star thing he has going on. So by all means keep shooting.
I should also clarify. By cover the game, I mean, I went to a bar and drank by myself and watched the game. I wasn’t actually anywhere near the stadium, so I couldn’t read the body language of any of the players.
Paul Pierce and KG could have been tired. Joe Johnson could have been contemplating retirement and/or figuring out if Deron Williams has Samuel L. Jackson’s ankles in the best M. Night Shyamalan script since She’s All That.
Regardless, the Trailblazers do everything the Nets don’t. They seem to generally trust each other and they like to pass. They’re 9-2, the Nets are 3-7. Payroll differences aside, the Trailblazers look like a real team. The Nets don’t. What gives Jason Kidd?
The irony in all of this is why the artists-formerly-known-as-Boston-Celtics wanted to go to Brooklyn in the first place. Williamsburg is even worse than the West Village nowadays and Brooklyn Heights only has one Trader Joe’s.
Me, I would have preferred LA. I’m sure they probably did too and going there was probably as simple as the Clippers NOT DISCUSSING THE TRADE IN PUBLIC. Seriously, you get Doc Rivers and a few weeks later, you happen to trade for KG and Paul. If the NBA can throw games and make sure the Heat beat the Mavericks in 2006, how can you manage to botch that?
Good job Clippers, as always. I was born in Boston, so I don’t want D’Andre Jordan on my team anymore than Blake Griffin and Chris Paul do either. So bravo Celtics for doing the easiest thing ever and outsmarting the Clippers.
That being said, I don’t think the Trailblazers are Western Elite, by any means. It’s not like they had Net-like expectations though. They’re certainly not bad.
Just look at the stats.