We got the result everyone expected, but played for it.
Everyone knew coming in that OKC would win the game. What they didn't know is that the Blazers would manage to close a gap to 8 points, despite numerous referee mistakes. Oh, sorry. I wasn't going to comment on that until later.
Anyway, a ransacked team, playing a Thunder team tops in the West that is coming off a devastating home loss, is probably not a team you'd expect to compete. Especially since before the Blazers fired the coach and gutted their frontcourt they lost by 42 to the Knicks. All the deadline day acquisitions didn't even road trip at all with the team, they're waiting (patiently I'm sure) in Portland to meet their teammates and interim coach in the next few days before the homestand.
But we managed to stay in it, for the most part. We got down, sometimes deep, but scrapped our way back like we fans are used to seeing. A deficit at halftime is almost old hat, and the fourth quarter comebacks seem to be just "our way". Today, it fell short, but, though we all wanted to believe in another Chi-town miracle, we just don't have the closing force - or, dare I say natural ability - to clutch into a victory.
Nor did we have a fair game, by any stretch of the imagination. The Blazers went more than an entire half of basketball (from 5:21 left in the second quarter, to 5:10 left in the game) without attempting a free throw. In fact, James Harden himself went 11-14 from the line and still made more than the entire Portland roster all game (Portland was 9-14). So the Thunder are superdeeduper favorites, don't just serve the game up for them. THey still have to earn their money, jackhole.
Now, Portland could have been a little better from the stripe. They pride themselves on free throws and were leading the league at one point. But when the referees aren't blowing the whistle at all, you have to capitalize when they breathe out too quick and make a mistake. I know Kaleb is too green to complain about the disparity, but OKC hat 28 attempts to Portland's 14. That's 200%. Something could be said (and was on the Thunder broadcast) about Portland's lack of aggressiveness with regards to going hard to the rack, but I saw multiple lay-ups and dunk attempts, as well as deep rebounds wherein fouling was happening with n'er a toot to be heard. So the commentators can blame it on lack of drive or whatever, but he who hesitates (to evolve) is lost. If you don't adjust your swing to what the ump is calling, you'll strike out looking every time, that's all the Blazers were trying to do. Watch the game, dummy.
Whereas, on the opposite end of the floor, Lames Harden chicken wings a defender's outstretched arm "drawing" a foul. One end Jamal gets hit twice on one attempt, manages to skip a stratospheric lay-up of the tippy top of the glass while falling onto the floor in a pile, nothing until the resulting fast break with numbers gets blown dead because the Thunder player ran into a defensive player's back. And then a 'T' on Crawford for saying, "Wow. He just tackled me. You do know you're ref-ing basketball, right?" There was a stretch of non-call/call sequences, three in a row, that I became livid. If I hadn't be comfortably reclined on my bean bag chair, Molly on lap, I'd have had a Camby-like "homicidal rage" moment resulting in a television not fit for redistribution. Just call it both ways, is all I'm saying. If you're calling ever jersey-shift, every hand check, every drop of sweat or breath on Rip City, call it on your precious Sonics. Thunder, whatever.
[Also, for the blogger writing about MC in that light, um...f*** you, you s***dick. Those were in no way as hard of fouls as you construed them. Granted, Camby is about the calmest human on earth, known to as butterflies to flutter quieter, but still. Knock off the Camby knocks, douche.]
Anyway, Raymond was ESPN's "top performer" for the team today. I can't say that my migraine was caused by this fact alone, but I will honestly say it contributed. When Raymond "Gimme the Ball" Felton is your leader, you have serious issues. He got 19 and 7. First off, he should reverse those numbers as a point guard. If your name does not start with "D-" and end with "-errick Rose," you should be passing to your All-Star scorers. Especially if your season field goal percentage is lower than Kurt Thomas' age. LA only fetched 15, but my ninja Wesley got himself 16, including 3-3 from 3. Look at he and his bad self, hitting longballs like he's 'posed to. Crawesome had 23 but was 3-9 from long range, which the announcers kept referring to as his bread and butter.
Losing by 16 isn't bad all things considered. Played Harden's fieldgoals pretty well, got some sick blocks and managed to ward off Kendrick Perkin's criminal sociopathic sexual appetite. I was scared for Nolan. When Kendrick wants to get his rape on...well, he more often explodes on Twitter, but, you never know.