Game Notes: Blazers at Hornets
Hornets move up the West ladder.
by Toney Blare
– My office is a couple blocks from the arena. I killed a little time before the walk reading this from Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Blazers (by the way, if you haven’t found longreads.com, you aren’t really killing time). Good read, but left me wondering if anyone had ever so passively made a billion.
– In the coming weeks, you can see Lil Wayne and Bob Seger here at the Hive, but not onstage at the same time, which would sell me.
– The new slogan for the NBA-owned Hornets: “I’m In.” Billboards show Governor Bobby Jindal and Mayor Mitch Landrieu. They might be, but I’m a little worried about attendance tonight.
– Are we in the post-DWest Era? Early to say. Either way, what a bitter pill. Dude is relatively underpaid, went through last year sans CP3, put in another All-Star-caliber year and was the team’s leading scorer this year, been a Hornet all his career, about to cash in (relatively, new bargaining agreement, blah, blah), and Pop! Was never much of a leaper anyway, but another rough turn in a weird year for the teal. Now everything’s must win. Chris can cement his own comeback if he carries this team in as a 6 or 7 seed. Shit goes sour this offseason if they can’t keep up sans West.
– Six minutes ’til tip-off and Andre Miller just yawned. Not me. Life has been super-hectic since before Mardi Gras, I ain’t been to a game in forever, we’re baseline tonight, swarm of Honeybees to my immediate right, and Rudy Fernandez just squinted at me like he knows that I know that he tucks his pants into his socks, SON.
– Belinelli long two. I was here as a fan against Celtics, which was held on St. Joseph’s Day, locally celebrated with a traditional Italian feast. Belinelli hit five threes in the first half, they had red, white and green flashing around the arena (as they do tonight), and I really was feeling that 1/4 of my blood.
– Brandon Roy does the Steve Nash sideline lie-in now. Only at the outset of the game. And significantly younger.
– Emeka vs Camby to provide stock reminder of NCAA Tourneys past. Did you know John Calipari and Jim Calhoun — they used to! OHHHH did they ever, oh goodness… Aaron Gray replaces Mek, puts a stop to that bullshit.
– When there’s a TV timeout, Cuddly Paddy Mills runs out for hi-fives.
– Gerald Wallace knife-like as usual. People always talk about who they’d pay to watch. I’d definitely stop on the way to getting paid and watch him through a chain link fence, I’ll say that.
– 31-25, Blazers end of one. They’re getting to the basket whenever they want.
– Knicks could use Camby next year.
– Jack-CP3-Green with Emeka and Landry. Chris must be feeling a lot better if he’s starting second quarters now, or else Monty leaving him in to make up for DWest’s scoring load. West usually kills back-up bigs at the beginning of second quarter. Either of those or Byron’s here in a Monty mask.
– Basket support at the Hornets’ end has a Louisiana seafood ad with a blue crab atop a Crown Royal Black base.
– Paddy Mills getting hot from deep, then blows by Jarrett Jack. I said I’ve been busy, but is Paddy Mills, like, good?
– You ain’t seen awkward until you see a Kool-Aid ad on a jumbotron with David West trying to say he’s into Kool-Aid.
– New Stan Van Gundy nickname: “Pimpin’ ass Orlando.”
– Chris back in with Dre Miller on him. Does his lane dancing, Okafor fouled on the put back. Chris has 7 assists, but it’s gotta be different for him without the mid-range automatic of West. Landry for his part gets very deep in the post.
– During timeout a group of white children does some very respectable jumprope. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
– Aldridge nice jumper, 46-35. Hornets ain’t got the fire right now and this sort is of an important game.
– How does a young, seemingly in-shape policeman get Honeybee duty? Who is his father-in-law? Seriously.
– Couple of stops, some better ball movement, Hornets cut it to 3 on an 8-0 run.
– Timeout PDX: Seafood eating contest. Looked like the older guy had won, but he forgot one of the oysters, younger guy took him. That’s very un-old man like to leave food on his plate like that. I’m telling you, baby boomers screwed everything up.
– Pat Ewing Jr gets his first minute in a regular-season NBA game. Wow, I remember the Ewing lottery. I was like 7. I am old. Old and bald.
– Okafor crushes Wallace on a pick. Wallace stays down. Andre Miller flagrant fouls Okafor to stop the play. Nobody even blinks. I appreciate self-government that way.
– Chris seizes the minor lull, hits in the paint. 50-48. Okafor swats Miller, the Hornets get final possession. CP3 goes at Batum. Miss.
– IN-house TV shows David West sitting next to local color commentator Gil McGregor.
– Big Ron Forman is sitting in the front row. Now, almost none of you know who that is. But he matters. Because as a leading light of old money uptown, a former mayoral candidate and leader of the Audubon Institute (I.e. the zoo, aquarium, insectarium, and park), he’s part of the business class that declared their support for the team after the NBA took control. They helped buy up tickets and make the attendance marks.
– Here’s the thing: That won’t last. And it doesn’t equal people in the seats buying cokes and dogs. All I’m saying is, while it’s nice that these swells rallied and bought up some tickets (and no disrespect to the regular folks who did the same), that ain’t gonna save the day. What’s very much unanswered is the unsubsidized attendance for next year. Like my neck tattoo says, Uptown can’t save us.