Halfway through the season, the Blazers were in a similar situation as the Rockets. Then a combination of a tough schedule, the trade deadline, and the firing of Nate McMillan happened. The last may have come from a long period of mediocrity, but I liked McMillan a lot. But I get it.
The Blazers and Rockets did make a swap at the deadline. Marcus Camby came to the Rockets for Jonny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet, and a second round pick.
Anyway, the up-and-down nature of the Blazers season was evident last week. They destroyed Minnesota, then lost to Utah at home. They handily defeated New Jersey, then headed to Dallas and beat the Mavericks in a hard-fought game in overtime. Then they were outscored 62-31 in the second half against the Bucks.
It is a back-to-back for the Rockets tonight. And a very important game.
Of course, they're all important. But you know how much I hate cliches. So this is a must-not-lose game. Oh I am clever!
Here's something to lift some spirits (warning: the word for male genitalia is stated once, but not harshly I guess):
Dream of the 90s - Portlandia on IFC (via ifc)
Tip is at 9pm CST.
Matchups after the jump.
PG: Goran Dragic vs. Raymond Felton:
It was nice to see Lowry back for a while. I missed him so much.
I'm also glad we have someone who can handle the load while Lowry gets back into game shape.
SG: Courtney Lee vs. Wesley Matthews:
Courtney Lee had Jimmer guarding him in the first quarter last night. He scored 17 in the period.
Wes Matthews is a little better than the Jimmer on defense. Just a little.
SF: Chandler Parsons vs. Nicolas Batum:
When Parsons started coming along, people compared him to Batum a lot.
Now? As an optimistic Rockets fan I'm hoping for more. But having a Nic Batum for the future wouldn't be a terrible thing at all. I've always liked him a lot.
PF: Luis Scola vs. LaMarcus Aldridge:
Hmm, what is there to say about Aldridge? He may not be the superstar you need to lead you to a championship, but he's really good and should have a realistic shot at making the Olympic team.
What do you think, Luis?
So I have a bet with my brothers going. We've had it for three years now. Here are the terms.
If Luis Scola every throws down a dunk that includes a cock-back, I have to buy them each an NBA jersey of the player of their choice. If he doesn't by the time he retires, they have to get me one.
So when he almost threw down that dunk on the fast-break last night, my bank account trembled. Luckily (for my insufficient funds) he was fouled and missed.
C: Marcus Camby vs. Joel Przybilla:
I do not believe Camby was a part of either one of the previous meetings between these teams. I know he missed the first game for sure. And if he played in the second one he wasn't 100% by a long shot.
Of course, now he's with the Rockets, so I love that. I bet he gets a nice welcome at the Rose Garden tonight.
Blazers: Nolan Smith, Jamal Crawford, J.J. Hickson, Jonny Flynn, Luke Babbitt
Rockets: Earl Boykins, Chase Budinger, Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson, Samuel Dalembert
Rockets: K-Mart out
Prediction: Blazers 101-89
Make sure you get in on TCWHRO (we have to figure out another way to say that)'s fantasy basketball game. Details here. Just make your predictions in the comments, and maybe explain how you came to that conclusion so we have something to talk about.
Make sure to head over to Blazer's Edge, one of the best blogs on the net. Great people, great atmosphere, and great discussion.