It's odd that going into a game against a team with a future as bright as Portland's, I still found myself thinking that this thing can swing either way. I certainly wasn't alone. Judging by the pre-game comments made in the Worst Open Thread I've ever put up, many of us walked into the Arena or flipped on our tubes tonight with the hopes that the Warriors can continue our reign of terror on Portland.
Sure, we had taken the previous 6 meetings with them in the Arena. But in all of our victories last year, we all knew that we were really going up against a fraction of the true beast. With Oden out all year, it was tough to envision how powerful Portland would really be with all their components in place.
Well tonight we saw the real Blazers. And even though Joel "Can I buy a vowel" Przybilla got the start at center, we all sat witness to the incredible power of Oden. I'm not kidding man, this guy is a BEAST. And when you have a player like Roy feeding him down low, you have a dangerous combination. You have years to come of "Roy to Oden" which offer limitless possibilities to build around. You have the Blazers of the future. Who can stop a team like this?
You can tell by those cold steel eyes that he can only be thinking one thing. "Off the rafters, off Grimaces head, over the Arches... Nothing but net."
Apparently the Warriors of the future can. The Blazers aren't the only team discovering themselves in the Western Conference. There's potential a'brewin' in the Roaracle.
Wrote a recap about it. Like to hear it? Here goes.
So it appears as though this Morrow fellow is... how you say... "The Real Deal." For lack of a better term; this cat can ball. At first glance, he almost looks sloppy as he consistently stops and pops on long range jumpers off of the dribble. But then he drains it. Then he does it again. And again.
Before long, (and after a few slow-motion replays) one realizes that they are in fact watching a damn quick release combined with an extremely pure shooting stroke. Until then, the viewer is trapped in the real time dimension, where the naked eye simply can't comprehend Morrow's form. So that naked eye simply sends a signal to the viewer's brain that makes him throw his light domestic beer and yell loudly to young Morrow through his television, only to have yelling turn to cheers as the shot is nailed, but still resulting in the scaring of his roommate before staggering back to the couch.
What's that? No, I'm talking about someone else. You must be confused.
Probably should have waited to see if his shots went in...
In addition to Morrow's excellent showing tonight with 25 points on another efficient night of 8-12 shooting, we were treated to a stellar game by Maggette on both ends of the floor. Tonight, he drew at least 4 charges (that I counted), 2 swats (one nasty one on Przybilla), 2 jacks, and dropped in 20 points. It was excellent to see Maggette in form tonight.
Before we continue, let's all take a second to bow our heads in memory of Biedrins' incredible Double Double streak. Allow me to say a few words.
"Friends. Family. Random guy who I'm pretty sure is just here for the salad bar. We are gathered here today to mourn a loss that is almost beyond words. For after 17 games, we say goodbye to the Biedrins Double Double. On November the 18th of 2008, young Biedrins gave us a stellar game (audience: "yes he did") Looooooord he gave us a stellar game! (audience: "a fine game indeed") And I defy any man to overlook a game of 17 points, 2 blocks, and... 9 rebounds..."
"Yes. I tried to lay the news down gently. He missed it by only one rebound. But we shall all stand strong together knowing that no true talent steps on the court to fill a stat sheet! (audience: "no they don't") They step on the court for the LOVE OF THE GAME! They step on the court to CREATE! They step on the court to EXECUTE!!!"
(audience: *Cheers loudly. A bra flies onto the stage*)
"And the millions of dollars they make doesn't hurt either. Now please help yourself to some salad. Don't take all the croutons. Good night."
So anyways, the point I was trying to make was twofold. Biedrins played well, and don't be a crouton hog. I hope I've illustrated these items for you. Let's continue.
There has to be a shout out for SJax, who made up for an off shooting night with perfect free throw shooting and 8 dishes (including a couple of sweet ones to Biedrins). It really is easy to throw stones at Jackson, as he doesn't always make the smartest decisions with the rock when he's covered. And while it's safe to say that tonight was an off night for him... well let's just say that any player that can walk away from an off night with 20 points, 8 dimes, and 8 boards... or a near triple double is certainly figuring out ways to contribute. So to you, Captain Jack, I tip my pirate hat.
Okay, let's look at our Weapons Inventory, shall we? Let's see, we have Biedrins making huge strides in the post. Not too far behind him we have BWright. Okay.. that looks good. If we get challenged with some muscle we can sprinkle a little Turiaf in the mix. Hey that works... what else?
Well there's SJax and CJ, both doing an acceptable job at the point until Moped Ellis gets back. SJax is also bringing in significant offensive and defensive firepower. Add to the mix the potency of Maggette. No? What about the muscle of Buike? No? Pretend that Morrow isn't a 2 game wonder...
The truth is, we're running out of excuses for why we can't be a better team. Maybe the reason is, we can be. Maybe the future is, we will be.
Just ask the future of Portland.
I gotta give it to Morrow. While it can be argued that others did a little more on the floor, a lot of the Arena crowd came through those doors wondering if Anthony Morrow was a fluke. And he did deliver.
He may not be proven yet; 2 games is hardly enough. But there is raw talent there. And there is no one better than Nellie to help him realize his potential. Let's see what the future holds.