Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers meet the Minnesota Timberwolves. Last night the Blazers went to Golden State (that's the NBA's nice way of saying "Oakland") and got their dignity handed to them by a Warriors team that nearly forfeited due to not having enough players. The Warriors used the NBA's "hardship rule" to recruit an eighth warm body for their bench, then dismantled the Blazers by 14 points. Tonight, Portland meets an even worse team—the 1-11 Timberwolves—so this means they'll probably lose by 28 points.
Let's take a look at that Timberwolves starting lineup:
Ugh, Brian Cardinal looks like the worst player on that court.
Wolves aside, Minnesota is a mess. They are young and directionless, and the only clear path for this team is a trip to next year's draft lottery and a chance to draft John Wall. Knowing Minnesota, they'll probably pass on Wall and draft Ricky Rubio again.
This is the third meeting between this two mismatched teams, thanks to the cruel NBA scheduling gods. Thankfully for the Wolves (but not for Portland's winning percentage) tonight is their last meeting until late February. At that time the Wolves will be fitting Wall for a jersey, while Portland will hopefully find some consistency on the court.
So much for the three guard lineup. Martell Webster gets the start in the place of Andre Miller. That could be a sign of Miller's ankle troubles—he keeps rolling them—or that McMillan is done with the triple guard setup.
11:46 - If you had 14 seconds in the Blake Turnover contest, congratulations you just won a steak dinner. It was either that or an Oden foul. 0-0.
8:52 - After the 23 turnover night in Golden State, the Blazers are again careless with their passing, but it doesn't really matter against this T'Wolves team. Roy with a corner three and Blazers up five. 9-4 Portland.
6:31 - Following a blown layup by Webster, the Wolves lose a fastbreak when Oden swats away the layup. But the tables are turned when Roy gets stuffed at the rim by Corey Brewer. Bummers. 11-6 Blazers.
4:23 - Ladies and gentlemen, Steve Blake leads all scorers. Ah, Minnesota Timberwolves basketball. You make everyone a winner! 17-8 Blazers.
1:11 - The Wolves managed to tip a pair of passes into the Blazers backcourt, but Portland recovers and Roy is forced to shoot a 60+ shot before the shotclock buzzer. He nearly made it, Portland rebounds, but then fails to convert. All that for nothing, but had Roy made that, he would have been the winner of a new truck 23-14 Blazers.
12:00 - Steve Blake is still the game's leading scorer. The Wolves are the "easy" level of NBA teams. 23-15 Blazers.
9:35 - Oh, the Wolves reel off a bunch of points and only trail by three. And, yes, Blake is still the top scorer. Everything is wrong with this game. Everything. 23-20 Blazers.
7:35 - Blake domination! He is the first player to double digits. Could triple digits be next? Watch out Wilt Chamberlain, Blakey is dropping 100 tonight. 30-25 Blazers
4:52 - Oden swats a shot from Oleksly Pecherov into the seats. Everything about that was impressive, except the Oleksly Pecherov part. 37-27 Blazers.
0:07 - Steve Blake as the leading scorer, missed free-throws, airballs, and the winning team shooting 40%—this is a terrible basketball games. Young impressionable children should not be watching this. Shield their tender eyes. 40-37 Blazers.
12:00 - Since the first half was so dismal, here is a rundown of the worst of the worst: Roy is 3 for 10 shooting. Bad. LaMarcus Aldridge, two points and three fouls. Worse. Martell and Rudy are a combined 0 for 7. Worser.
9:51 - Two points and now four fouls for Aldridge. Plus the Wolves just took the lead. I need a drink. 45-44 Wolves.
8:35 - Everyone on press row is watching the Ducks game. I blame Blake for this as well. 49-49 tie.
(I'm definitely not watching the Ducks game on the press TV. Brandon Roy just dribbled the ball or something. See?)
5:58 - In non-football news, Webster has heated up and dropped a trio of three-pointers, plus a thunderous dunk. He's scored more than the entire team this quarter. 60-57 Blazers.
1:25 - Picking up where Martell left off, Rudy hits a three. It took half the game, but finally the SF position produces for Portland. 74-65 Portland.
0:26 - Roy turns it over. Rudy steals. Rudy tips to Roy. Roy passes to Przybilla at the rim for a white man's alley-oop (a layup). 76-65 Blazers.
12:00 - The Blazers score 40 in the first half and nearly matched that with 36 in the third quarter.
10:56 - Where has this been all year? Martell for another three. Way to save it for a game against Minnesota. 81-63 Portland.
9:08 - The Blazers have opened up a 21 point lead. That said, can a man get a little Bayless in this game right about now? Dante Cunningham has played more minutes than him tonight. 86-65 Blazers.
6:20 - Go Minnesota! Halfway through the quarter and you have scored two points. Yay! Participation trophies for everyone! 94-67 Portland.
3:43 - Starters pulled. Bayless time has begun. 98-69 Blazers.
2:48 - Jesus! Webster with an acrobatic put-back dunk, that also puts Chalupas in the mouths of tonight's crowd. Impressive, but I'd much rather see that in a game with a closer score. 100-73 Portland.
0:00 - And that will do it. Martell gets a double-double (21 points, 13 rebounds) and Portland gets a win over a terrible team. Your final score Portland 106, Minnesota 78. See you Monday night.
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