Blazers 91, Boston 86 (Box score)
In the most engrossing ugly game I have ever seen, the Blazers finally beat those
Greg Oden played his most impressive game as a Blazer. This time we did not see him shrink from a daunting challenge. We saw him back it down and shoot a jump hook over it. Then grab some rebounds from it. Then even nail a baby J over the thing. With all the crap Greg takes for his alleged shortcomings, it was especially satisfying to see him succeed against the roughest interior defense in the League. Respect that.
Steve Blake has dedicated this season to making all those Rip City fans that clamor for a sexy pointguard finally shut up. He nailed shot after shot tonight, being that rudder to steer the Blazers enthusiastic youth. While Rondo certainly got Blake at points throughout the game, Blake never let it get out of control. He was a rock, he ran the team, and he hit a ton of shots.
I know a few Blazer fans that scapegoat Travis Outlaw and constantly question McMillan for playing him in critical moments. If you want to know why he is in there, watch the play where he spins baseline past one defender and surprises KG at the hoop with his Mr. Fantastic inspired lay-up. Travis has his shortcomings, we all know exactly what they are. We also know, as was evident tonight, that Travis can make certain plays that no other Blazer can. Deal with it.
This post could go on and on. About how LaMarcus stood up to KG while staying within himself, the result being a steady dose of buckets. About how Rudy, maybe pressing a bit in an attempt to make the most of his first NBA start, found other ways to contribute when his shot wasn't falling.
Not all victories are created equal. For me, and I suspect many others out there, tonight's was the most satisfying in a long time. Watch out World.