Monday, January 31, 2005

Blazing over the Clippers.

Portland Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks was hurt and frustrated after his confrontation with Darius Miles.

His team wanted to win the game for him.

The Blazers did, shrugging off the drama behind Miles' suspension to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 90-86 on Friday night.

Miles was suspended by the team for two games Friday after an argument with Cheeks earlier the day before. Team officials would not comment on the nature of the confrontation, except to say that there was one.

According to The Oregonian newspaper, Miles repeatedly called Cheeks a racial epithet and shouted that he didn't care if the Blazers lost 20 games in a row.

Many of the Blazers said they felt they needed to rally around Cheeks, who was outwardly shaken up by the incident.

``Coach is a great guy and he hates when it comes to something like this with the players, because he's all for the players,'' said Theo Ratliff.

Damon Stoudamire had 18 of his 22 points in the second half for the Blazers, who trailed much of the game, and were down by 12 in the third quarter.

``They had to dig down and find something inside them to win that game,'' said Cheeks, who also admitted, ``I wanted that one more than normal.''

Elton Brand had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost six straight and nine of 10 on the road. The Clippers haven't won in Portland since 1999.

``Disappointing loss for us,'' Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. ``I thought we did a lot of good things, but we missed a ton of open shots.''

The Blazers, who had lost 13 of their last 16, got great defensive performances from big men Joel Przybilla and Ratliff. Przybilla had 10 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, and Ratliff had seven blocks.

The Blazers made just eight of their first 29 shots, and trailed 48-40 at halftime.

The game turned when Stoudamire, 2-of-9 shooting in the first half, got hot in the third quarter, finding his jumper and scoring nine points.

The Blazers fought back to 66-63 and then Stoudamire hit a 21-footer early in the fourth and Portland took a 70-69 lead.

Two Ruben Patterson layups made it 85-77, before Stoudamire hit four free throws in the final 13 seconds to put the game away.

Miles, who signed a six-year, $48 million contract with the Blazers in the offseason, will also sit out Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.

In a statement released by the Blazers, Miles said: ``I would like to apologize to all of our Trail Blazer fans for not being a part of the team these next two games. Things were said in frustration and I am sorry for that.''

He did not apologize to Cheeks in the statement. General manager John Nash would not comment on that, but said, ``Darius will be welcomed back to the team at the conclusion of the suspension.''

Bobby Simmons scored 16 points for the Clippers despite 3-of-14 shooting in the second half. Rookie Quinton Ross had 10.
Lets hope Cheeks isn't too shaken up about the matter between him and Miles. We will need to have our team in good spirits if we are going to beat the Lakers tommorow night. Lets hope Miles and Cheeks can settle their differences in time for the Nuggets game, so we can put our focus back on winning. GO TRAIL BLAZERS!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Big win over San Antonio!

The Portland Trail Blazers stopped a frustrating losing streak with a surprising win.

Damon Stoudamire had 23 points and nine assists, and Joel Przybilla added 17 points and 16 rebounds to lead Portland over the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs 107-99 Monday night.

Beset by injuries, the Trail Blazers snapped a six-game skid and won for only the third time in 17 games. They shot 56 percent and kept the Spurs at bay when San Antonio tried to rally in the second half.

``It was a gutsy game,'' Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said.

Tim Duncan had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, who were coming off a 103-73 win over Sacramento on Sunday night.

Tony Parker added 20 points and seven assists.

``(The Blazers) came in here and played and played and played, got a lead and confidence and kept making shots,'' Duncan said. ``That was the situation we put ourselves in and we couldn't get out of the hole.''

Ruben Patterson, who finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, and Darius Miles, who had 21 points off the bench, made key plays for the Blazers in the fourth quarter.

Stoudamire hit a falling-away 3-pointer with 21 seconds left to give Portland a six-point lead.

``Sometimes you have to step up to the challenge when you are playing the best,'' Stoudamire said. ``San Antonio is a great team; they beat a good Sacramento team by 30 last night. We were just hoping to catch them on a back-to-back.''

Devin Brown had 20 points off the bench for the Spurs (34-10), who had won four straight.

The Blazers won despite playing without leading scorer and rebounder Zach Randolph (bruised knee) and forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim (elbow surgery). In addition, guard Derek Anderson, who lost his starting job earlier this month, sat out with a tooth problem and forward James Thomas didn't play because of a bruised rib cage.

Portland's losing streak was its longest since 2001-02, Cheeks' first season as coach.

``We've been struggling, but the one constant is that we have been playing hard,'' Przybilla said. ``It paid off with a big win tonight.''

Manu Ginobili made a 3-pointer with 2:54 left to pull the Spurs to 95-91, but Miles, who scored 14 in the fourth quarter, hit a jumper and then caught an alley-oop from Stoudamire for a dunk.

The Spurs didn't go away. Parker's driving layup cut the lead to four again, but Stoudamire's 3 sealed it.

Portland maintained a lead throughout much of the third quarter despite the ejection of guard Nick Van Exel at 7:32.

Ginobili made both technical foul shots and Portland lost the lead. But the Blazers, who had 26 assists and only 11 turnovers, went on a 5-0 run.

The Blazers led by seven early in the fourth, but San Antonio went on a 7-2 run that Parker capped with two free throws to get the Spurs to 84-82.

The Spurs, who beat Portland by 34 points on Dec. 30, came out confused and flat early. Duncan hit only three of his first nine shots.

Portland made 13 of its first 16 shots and scored 20 points in the paint in the first quarter to take a 30-20 lead.

The Spurs quickly got back in the game, going on a 14-2 run to open the second quarter and take the lead. Ginobili beat the halftime buzzer with a 3 to give San Antonio a 47-46 lead.
This game will help us get our foot stuck out of the hole. A win over a team of this calibur is just what we needed to get our confidence back. We had gone 1-10 in the last 11 games and we broke a six loss loosing streak. It may be a small thing as far as its impact, but I think it will help us get back on our feet. GO Trail Blazers!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Cavaliers 107, Trail Blazers 101

Portland was finally home after a grueling six-game, 10-day road trip, during which the Blazers managed just one win. But even the comforts of home couldn't boost their depleted lineup.

Forward Zach Randolph missed his fourth game with a sore right knee. Already short Darius Miles (left knee contusion) and Shareef Abdur-Rahim (right elbow surgery), the Blazers started Ruben Patterson and Theo Ratliff at forward.

Ratliff, usually a center, made his first-ever start at forward Tuesday night in the Blazers' 113-107 overtime loss in Sacramento. Although fighting a stomach virus, he started Wednesday's game but left a short time later after getting two quick fouls and did not return.

The Blazers led 32-26 midway through the first half, but the Cavaliers took off on a 23-6 run to go up 51-38 on Sasha Pavlovic's layup. Cleveland led 55-49 at the half.

There was a brief skirmish early in the second half when Cleveland's Ira Newble appeared to shove Przybilla down and the two faced off. The officials quickly stepped in, and technical fouls were called against both players.

Otherwise, it was all James.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Downward Spiral

It is looking pretty grim as Trail Blazers are coming off their fourth straight loss; in midst of losing six of their last seven they have played. Besides their one win against the Golden State Warriors, in this 7 game stretch.

But that last when was on the new years mark. Another odd stat is that also besides that one January 1st win, all off the Blazers opponents have scored a 100+ point’s time for the Blazers to play some defense.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Stoudemire too Much

Not much you can do on days where an individual from the opposing team scores 50 points by himself. Which allocate for about half of the points for the Suns in their win over the Portland Trailblazers 117-98.

It seemed like there wasn't anything the Blazers could do to stop him. That is not including the 7 foul shots he missed...