Posts Tagged ‘Ray Allen’

Heat Trail Blazers BasketballIf there is one thing I’ve learned the most from covering the NBA the past five years, it is this: it’s a constant waiting game. Take the Boston versus Portland game at the Rose Garden this past Tuesday for example.

Driving to the arena I knew I had a looming Celtics story deadline for Wednesday afternoon. I typically arrive with a couple storylines in mind, sometimes more. But it was one of those nights. The two pregame storylines I planned didn’t come to fruition.  It happens.

I went the postgame story angle route instead – obviously storylines develop after two hours of game time.

It paid off, but only after waiting patiently out for Ray Allen in the visitor’s locker room. The guy is a smooth criminal. He was one of the very few left to address the media and had some interesting takes on the Celtics play of late (jump over to HOOPSWORLD for that story – “Physical Play Hurts Celtics”).

Planned on lasting for a good Kevin Garnett – who preferred to dress in the trainer’s room – quote too but the duration exceeded a point of ridiculousness.

As far as I know, he’s still in there.

With that story in the bag, I went for a Portland scoop knowing I can always count on one Blazer to typically be the last man standing in the locker room – Travis Outlaw. Usually, one needs only to wait for Outlaw to finish his postgame ritual in the weight room. But it’s always well worth the wait.

Shy-country boy combined with rare honesty, Outlaw makes for great interview – as long as the topic is about something other than himself. Go there and you get modesty. Give praise and you get awkward silence. Switch gears and it’s on.

But I had to go there. I’ve wondered about it – the trade talks we’ve all heard and read about – including Travis – involving Travis. The end result was “Outlaw Plays Through The Rumors” running today on HOOPSWORLD. It was worth waiting to ask the question, but only once the chitter-chatter had ceased.

I can’t help thinking though – with Nicolas Batum’s stock high and Martell Webster inked to a contract extension back in late October – what Outlaw’s future in Portland really looks like at this juncture.

Guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

pic via: daylife

Read Full Post »

big-three2Sorry to be a voice of objectivity but it is probably best Portland lost to the Boston Celtics on Friday night. They won’t forget that loss. In fact, it will make the Blazers that much stronger as the season grows older – as the team grows older together.

We are, after all, talking about the Boston Celtics. The NBA Champs. Going into their building and beating them on national television is as difficult as trying to beat the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night at the Staples Center under the bright lights.

Wait a minute.

Never mind.

No doubt about it: these were growing pains. This is a level Portland is trying to reach – a peak already reached by Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. But even by standing on their tip-toes thanks to an impressive six-game-win streak, this was a night where Brandon Roy couldn’t save the day. A night when Greg Oden reached and the Celtics teached. A night when Rudy Fernandez couldn’t hit a three. A night where the Blazers seemed allergic to rebounds. A night where a combined 30 points in the second and third quarter didn’t cut it. A night that Portland will eventually look back on knowing they learned a lot from a big loss in Beantown.

The good news – Sunday is another game.

Toronto – after firing their head coach Sam Mitchell on Thursday and being trounced by the Utah Jazz on Friday night – is a team Portland should beat, even on the Raptors floor. It’s not the loss against Boston they have to worry about now. It’s coming out with a hangover in Toronto. If and how they bounce back will speak volumes about the Blazers.

If not….it could be more tough love.

pic via: nba.com

Read Full Post »