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Posts Tagged ‘Hedo Turkoglu’

baronIt’s becoming a habit….

I have a tendency when covering games to leave the media area early as games begin to drift into the final minutes and seconds. Helps avoid the mass exodus bum rush at the Rose Garden and makes for a closer feel for the action.

I opt for the alleyway down from the visitors bench.

Watched Brandon Roy hit that improbable three-pointer to beat Houston from there. How can you forget that one? Coming through the alley and towards the locker room, everyone from Rick Adelman down to Ron Artest was expressionless.

Blank. Nothing.

Saw Hedo Turkoglu shock the Blazers with a game winning bank-in-three earlier in the week. Three feet to my left Orlando General Manager Otis Smith must have died and comeback to life at least four times in those final two minutes. He was beside himself. So was Dwight Howard as he took off his jersey and tossed it to a fan.

And last night, it was Baron Davis with his step back three to send the game into overtime and eventually onto a Clippers win (pregame and postgame updates via HOOPSWORLD). Davis walked passed like he’d been there before – no barking, no smiles. Just a couple high fives.

I’ll spare the other view from the alley – Steve Blake going Chris Dudley at the free-throw line. I’ll spare you reliving how Brandon Roy is carrying the load far too much. I’ll spare you remembering when the “white unit” was red hot but have now gone pitch black.

That view from the alley may be the money spot, but right now the Blazers look a little broke.

pic via: the myspace

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magicIt was the tale of two locker rooms after the Orlando versus Portland game. One missed three-pointer could have changed the somber postgame scenery for the Blazers, but it was one of those nights.

The Magic used a little magic and were laughing about it all the way to the chartered bus.

Perhaps the best line after the game came from Stan Van Gundy. I’ll let you be the judge of that one.

No one can blame the guy for not being happy with the outcome. And the same goes for Nate McMillan. No one can blame him for being wrecked. It was a tough loss for Portland and it showed on Nate’s face afterwards.

Brandon Roy took ownership of the loss for the team. Everyone else either hurried, dressed and bolted or lingered in the locker room to avoid whatever media exposure remained fishing for a sound bite.

But down the hall with the Magic, it was as if Christmas had arrived two weeks early.

While much of the team sat chowing down on a postgame meal, all they could talk about was Rudy Fernandez emulating the “Energizer Bunny” coming off screens and pics and stopping only to hit threes. Other than that it was all jokes: a little razzing about some blown assignments and of course much love for Hedo Turkoglu.

It’s like they didn’t want to leave the building.

Good times….not had by all though.

pic via: nba.com

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brandon1But try to understand, try to understand

Try, try, try to understand

He’s a magic man, mama

He’s a magic man….

 

I highly doubt Brandon Roy has “Heart” shuffling on his I-Pod playlist, but after Portland grabbed their first road win of the season against the Orlando Magic, Roy is easily the “Magic Man”. After waving his wand against Houston and Minnesota at home, Roy played his most complete game of the season on Monday night with 27 points – a new season high. Presto.

Hopefully the back-spasms he suffered at the end of the game will be gone come Wednesday in Miami.

As for Monday night, Portland came out aggressive and finished strong. How many times can we say that this season?

While you ponder that one, let’s go inside and outside the box score for the rest of the goods….

– Steve Blake finished with 20 points and went 2-3 from outside the arc. Blake needed this one, perhaps even more than Portland needed a road victory. And it’s not that he scored from all spots on the floor, yet it’s how many of those points came from the charity stripe where Blake went 10-11. That stat line screams one thing – aggressiveness.

Travis Outlaw continued to show his worth by moving to the second unit three games ago. He had 20 points and had it going from outside early and often (3-5). You knew this was coming. Once he found a comfort zone back where he belonged it was only a matter of time before the real Outlaw re-appeared. And that’s a boost about his all-around game, just not his scoring touch.  Thanks to Outlaw and Rudy Fernandez, Portland outscored Orlando’s bench 20-2 to open the game. The Blazers finished with 40 points off the pine.

– I’m in no way advising Jerryd Bayless’ agent Jeff Schwartz to issue an distasteful edict against Nate McMillan and demand a trade, but it’s certainly helped Sergio Rodriguez’s minutes. After averaging 9.2 minutes per game the first five games of the season, Sergio has logged roughly 12 and 16 minutes respectively the past two games since making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Here’s the thing though – for every one of Sergio’s sweet jump-step buckets down the lane, there’s a pass into the third row that tends to void his in-game success. This just in: consistency counts. His play in the fourth quarter proved that.

– Portland only had 5 turnovers  (2 in the first half) versus the Magic’s 14….9 steals versus Orland’s 3….scored a season-high 36 points in the first quarter….and shot an impressive 52.9 % from three-point land for the game.  James Jones is smiling somewhere.

– You knew Dwight Howard was going to get his. Same goes for Hedo Turkoglu. But the fact that Portland played strapping defense – and created fouls – against Rashard Lewis, Mickael Pietrus and Keith Bogans says volumes about Roy and Outlaw – Rudy and Nicolas Batum grasping Nate McMillan’s bigger picture: a defensive mindset.

– Play of the Game: Rudy’s three-pointer at the end of the first quarter was pretty smooth. So was Roy’s bobbled-shot against Boguns down the lane in the fourth quarter. But this one goes to Channing Frye for going toe-to-toe against Turkoglu with seconds remaining before the half. After a hard foul on Howard in the paint, Hedo shoved Roy in the back and Frye wasn’t a having it. Words were exchanged. More shoving commenced. Double-technical fouls were issued. But score one for Frye and Portland for finally muscling-up. It’s about time.

pic via: usatoday

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