I hope you drug yourself out of bed this morning to watch the Trail Blazers take down the Raptors 98-97 at the Air Canada Centre. This one was truly a gutcheck for Portland. And they responded, big time.
Last contest of a long five-game road trip after getting embarrassed on national television by the Celtics, and they still manage to overcome a miserable, turnover-filled first quarter to get a huge win. Some teams would have folded up, but Nate McMillan got his players to fight through and now they finish the trip 4-1. The last time the Blazers went 4-1 on a road trip? The 2002-03 season, which also happened to be the last time Portland made the postseason.
You can point to the 48-31 rebounding advantage, including an 18-4 offensive rebounding disparity. Or the fact that the Blazers shot 50 percent from three. But for as much of a team effort as this one was, you have to give it up for Steve Blake. 19 points, seven rebounds (!), four assists and an enormous go-ahead, game-winning three with 8 seconds to play. That's crazy clutch.
Blazers get Orlando at home on Tuesday (which is going to be an incredibly difficult game) at Utah on Thursday, then back home for the Clippers on Friday. After that, Portland has but one road game (at Denver) for the rest of December. You're going to want to stay close to the Rose Garden for the next three weeks.
After the disappointment of of the Boston game, how are you feeling bow about today's win and the road trip overall? Me, I'm feeling damn good.