Let's get ready to rumble! What is this the WWE? It will always be the World Wrestling Federation to me ... thank you Hulk Hogan!
-Wes Matthews was a game-time decision tonight and we see him up and bouncing around in his warm-ups for the Blazers. And Chris Marlowe let's us know he'll start ... Joel Freeland is an Englishmen, nice! J.J. Hickson was a highly touted high school prospect, a good college player, he washed out of Cleveland and Sacramento and now is thriving with the Blazers - good to see.
-Danilo Gallinari has his serious face on - I hope that's a good thing! George Karl is struggling with his voice as he's battling a little illness, like the team (flu bug). I remember it was a good thing for Willie Beamon to puke during games in Any Given Sunday, maybe Kenneth Faried can make that a thing too!
-Scott Foster is reffing tonight --- I don't think that is good!
-Koufos wins the tip and the Nuggets turn the ball over on a horrible pass from K2 out to Lawson ... very AC like pass into the crowd. Let's hope that doesn't continue. Blazers miss their first shot at the rim, good board by Koufos. Andre Iguodala misses a three and Nicolas Batum nails a three. Gallo brick and Hickson gets an offensive board putback - 5-0 Blazers. Bad energy by Denver thus far ... that will have to change.
-Nuggets first hoop is an Iggy alley-oop to Faried, the Portland crowd gets more time to let the anger sharks swim about their team not drafting the Manimal and it's 7-2 Blazers. Nuggets still struggling to do anything positive on offense ... the oop came just before Faried almost overthrew Iggy on a long outlet pass.
-Matthews is 2-2 from deep - he KILLS the Nuggets and it's 15-8 Portland. Faried prevents the Rose Garden crowd from erupting as he meet Hickson at the rim and rejects the dunk attempt. Wowzah!
-McGee came in just a minute ago or so and now Timofey Mozgov, Corey Brewer, and Andre Miller check in ... hockey line change-esque ... McGee pulled in favor of Moz after a McGee jumper missed ... pulled for that? Maybe something on the defensive end? The Nuggets are getting killed ... 19-8 ... no focus offensively and no energy on defense. The second unit not looking very good either ... how can 9-10 guys all be out of it at once? Yikes. Matthews is now 3-3 on the night and has an assist alley oop to Myers Leonard and it's 21-10 Portland.
-Evan Fournier checks in over Jordan Hamilton. J went HAM two games ago and has been rewarded with a benching against the Spurs and seeing Brewer and Fournier play ahead of him tonight ... remember that song How Bizarre?
-Matthews is now 4-4 with three threes ... 23-10 Blazers. Anthony Randolph checked in with Fournier too ... he bricks a shot from above the foul line - not his spot. This game is a disaster and I wish I was further behind on the DVR (only behind by 12 minutes of real time) so I could FF this one.
-After a timeout Hamilton is in ... we have Miller, Fournier, Hamilton, Randolph and Moz. Timo finishes with a dunk after the inbound from Miller ... 23-12 Blazers. Matthews missed his first shot and it leads to an offensive rebound, but Fours steals the pass back and finds Ham on the run for a nice layup! Miller with a LAZY turnover as he was falling out of bounds under the hoop and just lets go of the ball to three Blazers, Hastings calls out Moz for backing away, but that was a lazy pass from Miller - no excuses for that from the veteran guard.
Quarter recap: 25-14 Blazers. Well, the players and coach are not the only thing that is sick ... Wes Matthews had 10 of the Blazers 25 points and the Nuggets stunk the joint up.
-Fours missed a three, but came back and drove to the rim for a bucket. I like this rookie. It's 30-16 Blazers as they continue to be unconscious shooting the ball. Mozgov with a nice offensive board and lay-in and it's 30-18 Portland. Another three from Luke Babbitt (2-2 now from deep) as Randolph just walks over to him as he gets into his motion, lazy close-out - if AR wants to play he should play when he's on the floor. Babbitt hits another three and he's 3-3 ... are you kidding me? Randolph again with little to no effort on the closeout and it's 36-18.
-Mozgov runs back to help Miller as Portland is on a 3-on-1 ... the alley oop from Batum to Hickson is stuffed by Moz! Now that is some hustle! Leads to Miller finding AR for a dunk - 36-22 Portland. Uphill battle and a big one, but Denver can do it as the Blazers are young and restless. Randolph stuffs Hickson on a dunk attempt and Miller finds Brewer for a fastbreak dunk and it's 36-24 Blazers (7:45 to go until the half). We have a rec-league game on our hands as it's up and down and fast and furious pace.
-Mozgov was playing well, so of course he goes to the bench for Koufos who doesn't get back to his man and allows a Hickson dunk off a pick and roll and it's 38-24 Blazers. Why take Moz out there? Show me something big here K2, mountain big!
-Gallo at the foul line and the Nuggets need a run before the half - get it down to single digits! He goes 2-2 and the Nugget will need another big night from him - consistency. Brewer gets a turnover on Hickson and the Nuggets have it ... Iggy cleans up an ugly pass from Gallo to Koufos and he gets a layup ... 38-28. Batum bricks a three and Brewer gets the board at the foul line and goes coast-to-freaking-coast for the dunk ... 38-30 - I like it ... 4:26 to go! Lawson with a pretty pass to Gallo on a 2-on-1 fastbreak ... behind the back as he's in the air and Gallo jams it ... 38-32 Blazers - that 14 point lead is now just 6 points. Effort and defense getting the Nuggets back into this damn thing.
-Wes Matthews is playing on one leg - I love that guy.
-It's 43-32 as the Nuggets tried to put things in cruise control ... uh ... um ... huh? No please.
-Iguodala injuries his right forearm and the Nuggets refuse to take a timeout as Brewer bricks a three and Gallo gets stuffed at the rim on a layup attempt. Batum nails a three and the lead is back to 13 points at 48-35. This game is junk again. ::smashing head into wood coffee table::
-Hastings tells us the Nuggets are 0-12 outside the paint tonight ... I think that is bad. Is that bad?
Quarter recap: 50-40 Blazers (26-25 Nuggets in the quarter). Well, 10 points isn't too bad. This lead could be 25-30 points for the Blazers ... so at least the Nuggets will give it the old college try in the final two quarters. Denver is 0-8 from deep, I swear they are the only team in the effin' league that goes hot and cold as a team - how is that even possible. Blazers are 7-16 from beyond the arc. Nuggets and Blazers each have 5 turnoves ... not bad. Both teams are shooting 37.5% and each are 18-48 from the field ... the difference is the long ball thus far. Crazy game.
No Nuggets player has double digit points, while Hickson has 12 and Matthews has 10 points.
-Hickson is dominating this game on the glass. He has 11 rebounds and 3 of those are offensive boards ... 56-42 Blazers. Nuggets are not going to win this game as the starters cannot hang tonight.
-I still firmly believe that all the open looks the Nuggets give teams at the beginning of games on the perimeter lead to teams staying hot as they get early makes and get their confidence up. Matthews buried his fourth three of the night (4-8) and it's 61-47 Blazers.
-Gallo is 1-9, Faried 3-10, Lawson 3-9, and Iggy 4-9 shooting ... this is why the Nuggets are losing. They have still to make a single shot outside of the paint. Unreal. Blazers have gone cold too as it's 62-49 with 5:31 left. Denver has to get it down to 7-8 points before the quarter is up ... good luck.
-Karl brings in Brewer for Faried. Let's see if playing fast will happen.
-Iguodala makes a layup without dribbling as he got the ball at half court ... that was awesome. 62-52 now and Denver is up 19-5 on fastbreak points. Pretty pass from Iggy to McGee as two Blazers chased him across the paint, leaving JaVale with a wide open dunk on the backside ... 62-54 Blazers. Portland misses again and Iggy throws a bad outlet to Brewer ... turnover. Leonard with a massive travel, no call and McGee gets a foul on the play ... refs have been letting things get physical, but they blew that call (and many others, both ways) ... Leonard hits the freebie and it's 65-54 ... big turn there. Brewer bricks a three ... just go to the paint!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Lillard tosses a cross-court pass to Babbitt in the corner and it lands 3-4 rows up into the crowd. Rookie of the Year my butt! Kidding ... he is awesome.
-Hamilton and Miller back in with McGee, Iggy and Brewer ... Miller to Brewer for a dunk and it's 65-56. Can Denver just break that damn 8 point hump?
-Miller to Hamilton on a slow move transition bucket and he makes the layup and the foul in traffic, rush hour traffic! Ham misses the free throw to break the 8 point hump and he commits the foul after being shoved into the ball handler ... Babbitt to the foul line ... just the way the night is going ... 67-58 Blazers ... ::smashing face into wall::
Quarter recap: 69-61 Blazers (21-19 Denver in the quarter). Sloppy effort and some of the worst shooting I've ever seen from a Nuggets team, from an NBA team for that matter. Crazy how cold the Nuggets are from outside the paint ... all of Denver's points have come from the paint and the foul line.
-Hamilton bricks a three to start the fourth ... Denver now 0-14 from deep. U-G-L-Y night for the Nuggets. Miller with a layup off the break and it's 69-63 ... how is Portland not up by 45 points? Brewer with a crazy layup and it's 69-65 Portland.
-We have Lawson, Miller, Brewer, Hamilton, and McGee in there for Denver. Lawson bricks a three and Denver is 0-15 ... a two there would have been awesome.
-The Nuggets can't close the gap and the Blazers make Denver pay every time they get it within 3-4 points ... it's 97-87 Blazers and this one is O-V-E-R.
Game Recap: 101-93 Blazers win (32-32 tie)
Well, if you throw out the horrid first quarter by the Nuggets (where they were out-scored 25-14) they would have won the game. Denver out-scored Portland in two of the final three quarters, but their inept shooting doomed them.
Views you can use:
-The Nuggets broke an NBA record by going 0-22 from deep on the night. A record this Blazers team set a week ago or so by going 0-20. The Portland crowd cheered loudly with Iguodala's miss and Lawson bricked another as time expired.
-The Nuggets made only one jump shot on the night outside of the paint with Lawson's jumper mentioned at the top of this post.
-The Nuggets should have lost this one by 20+ points ... no clue how they kept it as close as they did, but it also never felt close.
-Nuggets back in action on Saturday against the Bobcats in Denver. Hopefully they can get the broad side of barn in that game.
|Final - 12.20.2012||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Portland Trail Blazers||25||25||19||32||101|