For many, the Portland Timbers opening season 3-1 loss to the Rapids was a disappointment. And while it certainly was disheartening to fall short on opening day after such a promising undefeated preseason, the setback wasn’t as horrific as most are making it out to be.
Portland faced off against the defending champions on their home pitch with every single one of their starting players available. The Timbers, on the other hand, were without two sure starters, Sal Zizzo and Troy Perkins -- and a third, if you include Darlington Nagbe as an eventual starter once he fully recovers from his hernia surgery.
But that is not to say that the club was without its faults. The Timbers appeared to be nervous and unprepared for the speed of the MLS. The offense was clumsy and the defense looked overmatched. Throw in the fact that Timbers' owner Merritt Paulson wasn’t even given the customary visiting team suite and you can bet that all followers of the team – players, owners, and fans alike – were not happy with last Saturday’s end result.no comments
Nicolas Batum already has plans for the summer, but right now his travel itinerary is stuck somewhere between stoked and the unknown.
Come July, the Portland Trail Blazers smooth small forward will be in France training with the French National Team to compete in the 2011 European Basketball Championship, simply known as EuroBasket.
From August 31st through September 18th, you can find Batum balling in Lithuania where he hopes France can “become great” in EuroBasket competition.
But when it comes to life after the French National Team and with the pending NBA lockout, Batum is as lost as everyone else in the league right now. Eventually, David Stern and Billy Hunter will inform the players when they can expect business to resume around the NBA, at least when it comes to next season. Until then a work stoppage is “very likely” with the league’s collective bargaining agreement set to expire on June 30, a few days after the NBA Draft.
Talk about throwing a wrench in your summer vacation.
“It’s scary to think about a little bit,” Batum told Beyond the Beat, when asked if the reality of a lockout is setting in.no comments
In December, the Washington Wizards defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 76-74. They scored 76 points again against Portland but this time they fell by 35 points. It was a resounding win the Blazers needed with the 57-win San Antonio Spurs on deck.
Blazers get off to strong start, but Wizards keep pace
The Wizards hung close early in the first quarter behind the play of rookies Kevin Seraphin and John Wall, and were only down six after one high-scoring quarter. Nonetheless, Portland had set the tone and had the looks of a vastly superior team.no comments
In front of a raucous crowd of over 5,000, the Oregon Ducks snuck by the Duquesne Dukes behind terrific guard play, Joevan Catron’s late surge, an aggressive defense, and an untimely missed free-throw by Sean Johnson on Monday night to set a date with the Boise State Broncos in the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational.
It all goes down Wednesday night at Mathew Knight Arena.
The Ducks face yet another team with a superior record.
Duquesne, which remained in contention until the end due to the solid guard-play of Eric Evans and their extraordinary three-point shooting, entered that matchup 19-12 on the season. The Broncos are even better, at 22-12, having won 10 of their last 11 games. But as Oregon showed, having home-court advantage makes a big difference.
Sitting in the waiting room at Terrell Brandon’s Barbershop on an overcast Saturday afternoon, Reverend Robert Kelley paused from watching March Madness on the flat screen television that hung in the corner.
Having been in the neighborhood for 14 years, he thought about the question as he waited to get his hair cut.
“By looking at this, it looks like things in the neighborhood have changed for the better,” said Reverend Kelley, holding up a small black foldout map of Northeast Portland, detailing the rejuvenated Alberta Street district.
“This barbershop was one of the first new businesses on the block. It’s like a beacon of light.”no comments