The Blazers lost at home to a not so good Philly team. The Sixers shot nearly sixty-percent from the field and had 60 points in the paint. The Blazers lead throughout a good chunk of the contest but eventually less of their jump shots went through the hoop and they paid for their weak defense. Portland looked flat throughout most of the game and never managed to give the Rose Garden crowd much to cheer about.
This was the strangest Allen Iverson game I've ever seen. I still remember him as the player that controls the game. Tonight we didn't see an AI that was trying to dominate, we saw him fitting in. He hurt Portland with quiet efficiency.
After a nice spurt of inspired post-Przybilla/Oden/most everyone else basketball this could be the reality check we all felt coming. This team doesn't have a center to keep opponents away from the rim after they blow by the perimeter "defense". They no longer have the talent advantage against most teams.
This game could be the beginning of a rough stretch where the competition has figured out how to exploit all of Portland's injuries. In that scenario all we can do is hope the Blazers get hot enough from the perimeter to keep it close long enough for Roy to take over towards the end. That and count down the days until real help arrives, which could be about 10 months or so.
Well that was depressing. Let's move on to the silver-lining. Jeff Pendergraph, or The Extended Graphite as I prefer to to call him, had the best game of his young career. In the second quarter he dunked in an offensive rebound, took a charge, hit a 15 foot jumper, made some free throws, and subbed out to appreciative applause. This sparked the following conversation with my Dad:
Dad: "I like Pendergraph. He's in there ."
Me: "Like swimwear ?"
Dad: "He's active."