–Lamarcus Aldridge starts things off with the first six Portland points: 4 on buttery turnaround fades and 2 on a stickback. The Nets are sloppy at the outset because they dropped a grueling double overtime game to Toronto, in Toronto, last night. Oh, wait—that was Portland. A Steve Blake jumper makes it 8-1.
–Sean Williams, great effort and energy early.
–Brandon Roy is silky smooth. In other news, Ghostface Pryzbilla has been beasting inside, LaMarcus Aldridge has hustle to go with his range, and he might even flow. Those two are out-muscling Jersey’s young bigs, “Seansational” and The Boone-docks. Ah, yes, and RJ is 0-3. 17-8 in favor of the blossoming, upstanding young men from Portland.
–Multiple jumpers from Brandon Roy push the bulge to 24-10. I know I’m reaching into the “duh” bin on this one, but the kid can flat out ball.
–If it weren’t for 2 Malik Allen hustle plays, the Nets would be down 25-8.
–Martell Webster has his hands all over Richard Jefferson. He’s trying to be sly about it. From about 15 feet away, it’s just straight creepy. Even RJ, jockeying for position off the inbounds pass, is like, “Damn.” 25-12 Blazers at the end of the first.
—Boki Nachbar taking it strong baseline and finishing well is always a welcome sight.
–Jarret Jack, hanging in the air, finds Travis Outlaw diving to the rim to salvage a potential turnover. Pretty play, but kids, never jump before you pass.
–As astutely pointed by out by NBA.com’s John Schuhmann, the Blazers scored on 12 of their first 18 possessions with Brandon Roy on the floor. Since he’s been gone—SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE!—the Blazers have converted on just 1 of 7 trips down the floor.
–Darrell Armstrong likes to go flying into crowds and scoreboards.
–Travis Outlaw: nice first step, nice face-up game. Not afraid to shoot it from 17.
–James Jones for 3. That’s been a theme this season. 34-24, Niketown.
–It’s official, Boki Nachbar needs to just go to the rim and stop worrying about whether or not his jumper will start to fall.
–Lacking the appropriate size to combat Ghostface and Aldridge, L-Frank goes to his bench to unearth the artist formerly known as Jamaal Magloire.
–Another James Jones 3 puts the Blazers up 17, 43-26. Nets fans boo their team for the second time tonight. Jones is 2-5 from the floor and 2-5 from 3. Maybe he’s allergic to paint. Not that it matters.
–A Jarret Jack 3 puts the Blazers up 49-34 at the half.
—Martell Webster gets simultaneously rejected by Boone and Sean Williams. Pretty.
–Brandon Roy, sick crossover and jumper. YES network sideline reporter Michelle Beadle wanted me to write about that move, so, there, I did. I might as well have; she’s going to owe me so much money by the time I buy my first house, the first mortgage payment will be paid for by Yankees Ultimate Road Trip.
–The Nets have picked up the defensive intensity in the third. Even Vince Carter *appears* to be getting in on the act. Unfortunately, the Nets can’t put together a string of buckets to get themselves close to near where they need to be. And they can’t catch a break, either. 68-53, Blazers at the end of 3.
–Marcus Williams checks in, joining Darrell Armstrong and Antoine Wright in the Nets makeshift 3 man backcourt. Jarret Jack proceeds to score on a driving layup. 18 point game. Ugh.
–Vince Carter just volleyball tapped out an offensive rebound to Marcus Williams, earning the Nets another possession. Malik Allen, the only Net playing well tonight, is the beneficiary.
–If you want to know why the Nets are currently down 16 (8:44 left in the 4th), look at the combined shooting numbers of the big 3: 7-32.
–After a tough conversion while being fouled—I’m not even sure how he got the shot off, super-strength maybe—Jarret Jack screams, “AND-1” and then briefly beats his chest.
–Jack’s facial expressions are amazing. He kind of looks like he wants to break into an intense crying fit, yet his team is up 21 and he’s playing really well.
–Half a period is remaining and the fans are hitting the exits. There’s nothing quite like Route 17 in inclement weather. For all intents and purposes, it’s OVAH, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the 6 Blazers fans sitting just a few rows off the court that are screaming their hearts out, chanting, “WIN BY 30! WIN BY 30!”
–The evening’s last notable event is Taurean Green checking into the game. You underground hip hop heads might also know him from his day-job: Murs.
Final Score: Portland A Lot, New Jersey A Little.
I tell Brandon Roy that he should consider changing the pronunciation of his last name from the English “Roy” to the French “Wah”, like Patrick “Wah”, the hockey goalie. The logic being he could up his Q rating. At first he says he’d like to stick with “Roy”, but then changes his mind and says he’d be cool with either. “Wha” is a lot silkier than “Roy”, which kind of sounds clumsy. I actually have a buddy named Roy and his neck is too fat for the rest of his body. Nothing silky about that. First SportsCenter anchor to incorporate this new usage of his last name gets ten cool points from the underground.
Brandon “Wah” fur “thrah.” I see you, Steve Berthiaume.