I spent much of my youthful years in Chicago going to Cubs games and listening to announcer Harry Carey. I also spent much of my youthful years worshipping Ghostbusters. So why in the world would I not enjoy this hilarious Toledo Mud Hens commercial featuring Bill Murray doing a fantastic (and weird) impersonation of Harry Carey for the team's "Ghostbusters Night"? WHY WOULD I NOT ENJOY THAT??
As he was trying to apologize on CNN last night, Donald Sterling veered away from contrition and began talking to Anderson Cooper about Magic Johnson:
"Big, Magic Johnson, what has he done?" Sterling asked Cooper. "He's got AIDS."
Cooper clarified that Johnson was diagnosed with HIV, not AIDS. Sterling went on, "What kind of a guy has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV? Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background. What does he do for the black people?"
While Magic Johnson doesn't need me to, I feel compelled on behalf of the NBA family to apologize to him that he continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack... The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible.
As for Johnson himself:
I'd rather be talking about these great NBA Playoffs than Donald Sterling's interview.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 13, 2014
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the San Antonio Spurs in the fourth game of the Western Conference Semifinals.
This could be the end of the line. The Blazers are down 0-3 in this best of seven series, a hole that no team in NBA history has ever been able to dig themselves out of. One more loss and it’s time for a summer full of margaritas and fishing. Hey, Blazers, you guys have an open invitation to hit the seas with me on the SS 90s Emo anytime!
There’s not too much left to say about this series. It’s a massacre. The Spurs are just too damn good. Terry Stotts is going to have such bad PTSD when this is over that he’s going to return next year with a full beard after a summer spent on solo wilderness walkabout. He has to clear his mind of those Tony Parker pick and rolls somehow.
After dropping game three, the Blazers spoke about playing with pride tonight. Stotts claimed his team would play its ass off. Is that enough to avoid the sweep? The Blazers have been playing their asses off thus far. San Antonio has just had an answer at every step of the way.
Don’t count Portland all the way out, though. If I've learned anything from Kevin Garnett—other than how to effectively bang my head into a basketball stanchion—it’s that anything is possible.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the San Antonio Spurs in the third game of the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Blazers have themselves an 0-2 hole to dig out of. Behind a stifling defense and a ridiculously precise offense, San Antonio straight embarrassed Portland in the first two games of this series. Ran them out of Texas. Two games, two blowouts. The Spurs machine is fully armed and operational.
But, much like the Death Star before them, the planet-exploding Spurs can be defeated. It’s going to take a young kid from the middle of nowhere (Damian Lillard, Weber State), a Wookie (Robin Lopez, natch), and a handsome rebel (*cough* yours truly) to get it done. The last time the Blazers were able to come back from an 0-2 series deficit? 1977, and we all know how that ended.
Portland will thankfully have a boost from the home arena’s support tonight. Every playoff game is obviously a must-win, but the Blazers really can’t afford to drop this one. If they go down 0-3 this series is all but over, as no team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit. If they can get a win tonight...they’ll still most likely lose the series, but at least they’ll have a puncher’s chance of advancing to the Western Conference Finals.
Live from an incredibly loud bar as the San Antonio Spurs take on the Portland Trail Blazers in the second game of the Western Conference Semifinals.
With their first half haymaker on Tuesday, San Antonio proved why they are championship contenders. They came out on fire, dismantling Portland with machine-like precision. Pick, roll, mid-range jumper, repeat. When that team is firing on all cylinders, they are unstoppable.
Unstoppable, but not without flaws. This team can be beaten. The sky is not falling yet. A not-so-great Mavericks team just took the Spurs to seven games, one more than it took the Blazers to send the Rockets packing. It’s all going to come down to execution. The margin for error is slim, as Terry Stotts sure as hell isn’t going to out-coach Gregg Popovich.
Let’s just all collectively forget about the first game in this series, okay? Move on, nothing to see here. Round two officially starts tonight.
Live from an incredibly loud bar as the San Antonio Spurs take on the Portland Trail Blazers in the first game of the Western Conference Semifinals.
On to the next one. Started from the bottom now we’re here. Round 2: Electric Turkoglu.
And, oh, this matchup. This freaking matchup. It’s the young upstarts versus the old vets. It’s a man, Tim Duncan, that has played in the same amount of playoff games (218) as the entire Portland franchise. It’s two offensive powerhouses that both play a beautiful brand of basketball. It’s porn for roundball purists that believe in scheme above all.
Which point guard is going to be the biggest defensive liability, Damian Lillard or Tony Parker? Which power forward will be the best on the court, LaMarcus Aldridge or Tim Duncan? Which center will throw up the ugliest looking hook shot, Robin Lopez or Tiago Splitter? Which bench player will infuriate Blazer fans more, Mo Williams or
Patty Mills Mo Williams?
With his epic buzzer beater, Lillard took every ounce of pressure off of the Blazers. They are playing with house money. Whatever ultimately happens in this series, it’s gravy. Of course the goal is for Portland to advance, but getting to round two is already an amazing foundation for a young team on the rise. Win or lose, this season can officially be labeled a success.
Words, words, blah blah blah, let’s just watch the Lillard shot on repeat for the next thirty minutes and call it good.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Houston Rockets in some hot playoff basketball action.
This is it. Game six. Win tonight and it’s onto the next round. Lose and it’s back to Houston for an impossible game seven. (Shoutout to Zaza Pachulia!) Portland technically has two more chances to win once, but tonight is a must win. Nobody wants to travel back to Houston for one more game. The good news is that the Blazers are an undefeated 9-0 in close out home games in a seven game series, the most famous of those coming in 1977.
Also working in Portland’s favor is that LaMarcus Aldridge will not be held to single digit points again. The lofty heights set by his two forty-point plus games earlier in this series are mostly unattainable, but a solid 25/10 game is definitely in play. He won’t be shut down. Someone on the Rockets is going to become lunchmeat.
Oh, and Jeremy Lin? There’s no way dude single-handedly carries the Rockets again. Some of the buzzer-beaters he was hitting on Wednesday were out of control. Linsanity is dead. Long live Linsanity.
Just like every other game so far in this crazy series, tonight is going to be a roller coaster of madness and emotions. But this is the home court. Tonight is where this series ends. We are Rip City.
the Moda Center my living room couch as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Houston Rockets Houston Rockets host the Portland Trail Blazers.
A live blog for an away game?! You’re damn right, it’s all happening. This is a pivotal game five, and the Blazers are one win away from making the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2000. Plus we all could use an additional opportunity to mock Dwight Howard, right?
Four games in and we've already had three overtimes. Portland is leading the series 3-1, but they have only outscored their opponent by a grand total of seven points. This matchup is nuts. Tonight is going to be nuts. Make sure your seatbelt is securely fashioned and your nitroglycerin pills are close by.
The one plus side to live blogging an away game? When I stress drink myself stupid, only my wife will give me shameful looks instead of everyone on press row.
Couple the non-stop tension that has come with every game of this playoff series with the out-of-nowhere heat wave that's settled upon the city, and there's a legitimate chance tonight that Portland could blow open like overcooked macaroni.
Doesn't that sound fuckin' awesome?.
Rob Simonsen will continue his life-shortening duty to live-blog every second of this ongoing madness, and hopefully when the Blazers return to Portland, it won't be to play another basketball game against Houston, but to rest up for the second round. The city could use it too. It's been awhile since Blazermania this acute has struck the city. It's not 1976/1977 levels, of course, but it can get there.
Speaking of 1977, check out this video over at ESPN paying respects to Dr. Jack Ramsay. Also, keep an eye out during the game; the Blazers will be wearing this tribute to one of the best basketball minds that ever lived for the remainder of their playoff run.
Hot Live Blog Action begins at 6:30pm.
Yeah, this may seem like a fratboy stunt, but have you run a 5-minute mile while not drinking beer? Thought not. James Nielsen bust out a 4:57 mile while chugging a can of the stuff before completing each of four laps of the track. Granted, it was Budweiser, but still… It’s a remarkable feat. (I didn't know this before I saw this digg.com post, but Beer Mile is a real thing and Nielsen just broke the record for it.) My best mile time is… yes, 4:57, stone-cold sober, in high school, so a toast to Nielsen—preferably with something higher quality than Bud.
Huffington Post says that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has announced that Donald Sterling has been fined 2.5 million dollars and banned from the NBA.
“Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA,” Silver said during a press conference in New York on Tuesday afternoon. “Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility. He may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions.”
Silver also said he would try to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.
It turns out that Sterling isn't just a racist, a slumlord, a lousy husband, and a terrible boyfriend. He's also a registered Republican.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Houston Rockets in some hot playoff basketball option.
This series has been out of control. Three games in and we’ve already had three unbelievable classics. Three stressful classics. I should probably go get my blood pressure checked to make sure I’m not dead or dying.
The Blazers miraculously stole two games (and home court advantage) from the Rockets, but after Friday night’s win Houston is one win away from stealing it right back. Even though the Portland players have done their best to downplay his comments, James Harden was correct in saying the pressure is now on the home team. Tonight is a must win for Portland.
Hopefully Troy Daniels used up all his supply of wicked sorcery. There’s no way he can hit another game-winning shot, right?
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Houston Rockets in some hot playoff basketball action. Unlike the last game at the Moda Center, this one counts.
So, uh, this LaMarcus Aldridge guy? Yeah, he’s pretty good.
Aldridge has been balling out of his mind. He’s on an otherworldly plane, up there with Bruce Springsteen circa 1975 and Jesus. In game one, he set a Portland franchise record with forty-six points. He followed that up with a forty-two point game, joining a small, elite list of players to ever score forty points back to back in the post-season. Houston so far has been helpless against his crushing attack. The playoffs have their breakout star.
Behind Aldridge’s mid-range game, the Blazers have raced out to a surprising 2-0 series lead. Seriously, did anyone see this coming other than Robin Lopez’s mom? Most pundits had Houston winning this series in either five or six games and yet here we are, Portland coming home with a commanding lead. Nuts.
Aldridge’s play has been garnering some national attention, but the media is still focusing on the fact that Houston is losing. What are they doing wrong? What can they do better? Will Dwight Howard ever lead a team to a championship? Did James Harden die? Keep those narratives coming. It’s that much more fuel for Portland’s “nobody believes in us” fire.
I haven’t mentioned him enough already, so I’m going to drop Aldridge’s name one more time for good measure. Dude deserves it.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Los Angeles Clippers.
This is the way the season ends. Not with a bang but a whimper. Tonight’s game, the final one of the regular season, is completely meaningless.
After toppling the Warriors in the best game of the year, the playoff seedings are all set in stone: Portland will play Houston in the first round, with the Rockets holding home court advantage. Done and done. That series starts on Sunday.
Portland is already looking ahead towards their upcoming matchup, completely ignoring the game at hand. If basketball had a cruise control button, it would be getting pressed violently right about now.
Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, and Robin Lopez have started every game so far this season, so they will get the nod again tonight. Once they get those first few minutes out of the way and earn their starters badge, it's going to be all about the bench unit. Allen Crabbe fans, tonight is your night!
Sorry, ESPN. This is not the dramatic conclusion you were probably hoping for. But hey, once Will Barton drops fifty, I’m sure all will be forgiven?
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Golden State Warriors.
There are just two regular season games left. We made it, y'all! Now all that remains is figuring out the playoff matchups, and thankfully tonight’s game is quite meaningful in that regard.
The Blazers are chasing the Rockets for the fourth seed, and the Warriors are chasing the Blazers for the fifth seed. As long as the Blazers can win one of their next two games, they’ll be locked into that fifth seed. If they win out, and the Rockets lose their final two games, they’ll leapfrog Houston for the fourth seed. If the Blazers lose their next two, and the Warriors win their final three games, the Blazers will fall to the sixth seed. So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
My brain hurts. All that the above is saying is that Portland needs a win tonight to avoid potentially dropping any further in the standings.
Unfortunately, they’ll be going up against one of the most electrifying players in the league, Steph Curry. I still have PTSD from his crossover the last time these two teams met, a Warriors victory that saw them come back from 18 down. Mama, there goes that man.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Sacramento Kings.
The Blazers have clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2011. Could there be somewhat of a mental and emotional letdown after that accomplishment? You bet! Hello, trap game!
On paper it’s a no-brainer: Portland at home, coming off a few night’s rest, against a terrible Kings team on the second night of a back to back. I mean, have you seen the Kings play basketball? This team hasn’t been relevant since Vlade Divac was manning the paint.
But give a bad team confidence—remember the Lakers game last month?—and anything can happen. Without sufficient focus this could very well end up a surprising loss.
Wait, the Kings are going to be without Isaiah Thomas and Rudy Gay? And this is how loose the Blazers are? Never mind. Tonight is going to be a forty-point Portland victory. Not even Boogie Cousins can save us now.
King's Landing the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the New Orleans Pelicans.
Thank the old gods and the new, tonight’s early 6pm tip-off means there just might be enough time to make it home in time to watch Game of Thrones. Because, let’s be honest: everyone will be keeping their eyes on Westeros tonight, not on this late season matchup between the Blazers and the Pelicans.
The Pelicans are out of playoff contention. The Blazers can make the playoffs, but they need a win coupled with a loss from either Phoenix or Memphis. Not quite a meaningless game, but it doesn’t hold the same weight as last Friday’s tilt against the Suns. We’re in the dregs of the NBA season, even if the Blazers still haven’t officially punched their playoff ticket.
Tonight’s saving grace is Anthony Davis. The Brow has emerged as one of the best players in the league and he hasn’t even remotely tapped into his potential yet. The twenty-one year old is averaging twenty points and ten rebounds, leads the league in blocks per game, and is top five in PER. He’ll be a league MVP sooner rather than later, and he is most certainly more entertaining than the Red Viper.
Brace yourself, basketball is coming.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Phoenix Suns.
Confidence, baby. Confidence. With their playoff dance card about to be full, the Blazers are taking a cue from Rolando Blackman and finishing this season out with, well, confidence. Just when they looked left for dead, the Blazers have rattled off four straight wins, including impressive victories against the Bulls and Grizzlies.
Everything is coming up Portland! LaMarcus Aldridge is rounding back into form, the team is playing some of its best basketball of the season, Joel Freeland may be able to return in time for the playoffs, and home court advantage for the first round is in play. With a win tonight the Blazers will be officially playoff-bound.
The only thing standing between the Blazers and a perfect week of basketball is...the Phoenix Suns?! Ah, crap. The Blazers have had all kinds of trouble with the sunny yin to their rainy yang this season, dropping two games on the road and nearly blowing a third at home. Phoenix was supposed to be one of the worst teams in the league, but first-year coach Jeff Hornacek has done an amazing job with his island of misfit basketball players.
Phoenix is battling for one of the last playoff spots in the West, so tonight has huge playoff implications for both teams. Will the Blazers be able to guard Goran Dragic? Will the Morris twins switch jerseys at halftime and not tell anyone? Will Meyers Leonard get kicked out of another game twenty seconds after checking in? Follow along after the jump!
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Memphis Grizzlies.
We’re talking about playoffs? Things were looking dire for the Blazers just a few days ago, having lost three straight to start a five-game road trip. With the Western Conference playoff race so tight—there are five teams battling for the final four slots—the Blazers were dangerously close of dropping out of the race altogether.
But then LaMarcus Aldridge happened. Aldridge returned to action, perhaps prematurely, after Portland lost in embarrassing fashion to the Orlando Magic. His hobbled presence made all the difference, though, and the Blazers were able to rip off wins against the Hawks and Bulls in back to back nights.
Armed with a little breathing room (three games!), and barring some sort of epic collapse, the Blazers appear locked in to the postseason. Sleep easy, Jim Mora. We’re talking playoffs.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Washington
It feels like just yesterday that Gilbert Arenas was pooping in shoes and throwing up finger guns, and yet here are the Wizards, headed for the playoffs for the first time since the ‘07-08 season. The stench of incompetence—which, surprisingly, smells like Andray Blatche—is gone. The Wizards are above .500 for the first time in four years, and life is good for DC’s finest.
The majority of that is due to John Wall. The kid got paid like a superstar this offseason, and he’s been backing it up on the court. Add in sharpshooter Bradley Beal, quality big man Marcin Gortat, and Nene If He Stays Healthy (spoiler: he’s not), and there is reason to be optimistic for the future in Washington.
Optimistic? For the future in Washington? Clearly I’m not all the way caught up on House Of Cards.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Milwaukee Bucks.
Blazers, sucking as of late, close losses piling up, something something, blah blah, Blazers. Forget the home team, tonight is about one thing and one thing alone: Giannis Antetokounmpo! The Greek Freak! The Alphabet! I love him so much, I just spelled his last name correctly without even looking.
Giannis rules everything around me.
The stories are incredible and the highlights are amazing. He’s the youngest player in the league. He’s 6’10” and still growing. His hands belong in a Guillermo del Toro movie. He’s a modern day folk hero and the only salvageable part of this horrendous Bucks season. And after tonight’s gush fest on my end, he’ll probably be able to add “owns a restraining order” to his resume.
Grab a smoothie and let’s basketball.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Golden State Warriors.
Well, that last road trip could have gone better. The Blazers suffered their first four-game losing streak of the season, lost Mo Williams for two weeks to a hip injury, and had to shelve LaMarcus Aldridge for an indefinite amount of time after he hurt his back on a nasty spill. When it rains it pours.
If there is any silver lining to the latest round of woes for the Blazers, it’s that Damian Lillard took on more leadership responsibilities. After dropping their fourth in a row, Dame called a team meeting. Tired of losing, especially after a few late collapses against Dallas and Houston, Lillard apparently put the onus on the players to finish games strongly.
Talk is one thing. With the Blazers down six late against the New Orleans Pelicans, their first game after said meeting, Lillard backed up his words by laying waste to the arena. He willed the Blazers to a win, putting his stamp all over a game that was dangerously close to being Portland’s fifth loss in a row. His late dagger was a fitting exclamation point on an incredibly rough week.
There is no rest for the weary, though. The Blazers return home to face the Warriors, the team breathing down their neck in the playoff race. As if that wasn't enough, Portland is a week away from another five-game road swing. Hey, at least Miami is nice this time of year.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Atlanta Hawks.
The Blazers are covered in stink after their loss to the Lakers on Monday, their five-game winning streak snapped by the island of misfit basketball players. With a brutal road trip on the horizon, dropping one to a bad team at home is just the pits.
Good news, though! Portland has one more chance to atone for their purple and gold sins before hitting the road, this time against the scuffling Atlanta Hawks. There was a time this season when the Hawks were sitting near the top of the Eastern Conference—which, to be fair, is like getting a participation award for trying extra hard—but they have won only once in their last twelve games. Atlanta has slipped all the way to eighth in the East, and unless they can get back on track a trip to the lottery seems likely. A trip to the lottery might even be the end goal, because the Hawks don’t appear too concerned with winning at the moment.
Adding injury to insult, Paul Millsap will be out for tonight’s contest. That means Mike Scott will log a ton of minutes at power forward tonight, and we’ve all seen what happens when Mike Scott plays basketball.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Los Angeles Lakers.
Hating the Lakers is written into Portland law, but at this point the “Beat LA” chants are just cruel. The Lakers are having one of their worst seasons in ages—Kobe Bryant is broken, Steve Nash is old, Pau Gasol has been in and out of the lineup, and Dwight Howard left LA to play for the Rockets. The Lakers are basement dwellers with nothing to look forward to except a top five draft pick next year. Can it still be a rivalry when one team is this bad?
If tanking were art, the Lakers would be Picasso. It’s not every night you get to see Wesley Johnson, Kendall Marshall, Kent Bazemore, and MarShon Brooks play meaningful minutes in an NBA game. I’d guess the majority of the bandwagon Lakers fans in attendance tonight don’t know who half of these guys are. Shoot, I don’t think Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni knows who half of these guys are.
Andrew Wiggins sure will look good in purple and gold, though.
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