It's games like last night's loss to Utah that make me thankful for back-to-backs. Granted, I prefer if the second night of said back-to-back wasn't against a team that swept us last year, but losers can't be choosers. Am I right?
So we've got McGrady, Yao and Artest, who I'm sure slept comfortably last night in a hotel downtown, coming into the Rose Garden tonight in a game that some would consider a must win. Seems to be a lot of aggravation amongst the fanbase, which I can understand, but we all knew the start of this one wasn't going to be easy. And it hasn't been. So lets all take keep it mellow, shall we?
Onto the links.
• John Hollinger, ESPN.com: Greetings from the Rose City, where I'm guessing they are kind of happy about how the election turned out. Either that or people always set off fireworks on Tuesday nights around here. I'm in town for Thursday night's Rockets-Blazers tilt, as you might have guessed, but in the meantime we have some leftover business to discuss from Wednesday night's Daily Dime item on adjusted game score.
I went over the best results of recent seasons in that piece, but the local basketball club here has a claim on the worst mark. Darius Miles, perhaps the least popular Blazer in recent memory, delivered the worst AGS of the past seven seasons in a game against the Lakers on Feb. 23, 2005. That night, he missed all six shots from the field, had four turnovers and committed five fouls. His only positive contribution was two defensive rebounds; for this he earned a minus-10.7, making him the only player in the period studied to have a negative double-digit AGS."
• ESPN's David Thorpe answering a question about who would win in a fight between Rudy Fernandez and Sasha Vujacic: "Rudy, but Sasha would complain to the ref the whole time."
• Jason Quick, The Oregonian: Outside of the season opener at the Lakers, the Blazers haven't been bad. They beat San Antonio and owned third quarter leads at Phoenix and at Utah. That's some decent stuff.
But Roy and Aldridge are better than decent. And until they show it, the Blazers will still be muttering about playing well, but only coming close.
"Things have changed, you know?" McMillan said. "All this talk about who we are and who we could be, it's just potential, you know? We have to go out here and play. It's a different year. Last year, people didn't really know what to expect. The expectations have changed a little bit, not only for us, but from other teams. They are looking at us a little different. We are not under that radar screen so to speak."
• Kerry Eggers, Portland Tribune: Monday was a big day for Nicolas Batum, and it had nothing to do with the Trail Blazers or the NBA.
His mother, Silvie, and younger sister, Pauline, arrived from their native France to live with him at the West Linn house he is renting.
“It’s very exciting,” Batum says. “I haven’t seen them for three months. We’re very close. Pauline will go to Lake Oswego (High). They will be here for the rest of the season.”