Denver 100, Portland 93

For Portland to win they need Webster to come out of his slump, Aldridge to have a monster game, Jack to continue his outstanding run of bench play, and Anthony and Iverson to have poor shooting games. If that happens, they will win. Otherwise, this could be a blow-out the other way. Portland has the talent to win any game on their schedule, the question is whether they have figured that out yet. I would not be surprised to see a Portland win...but I don't expect it.Denver by 8+ points

Webster: 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4-10 shooting.
Aldridge: 15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 - 11 shooting, 5-9 free throws

Portland came out slow...they looked like they were moving at shoot-around speed or running half-speed. There was no energy. Sparked by an offensive explosion by Channing Frye...a season-high tying 8 points...they stayed close for a while and were only down by 5, but anyone could tell that barring a burst of energy they were going nowhere all night.

The Blazers never looked interested and could not buy a bucket. Coming into the night they had the 4th highest field goal percentage in the league. That will drop a bit after their 39% effort.

This is the first time I have seen this Blazers team not compete. Some rumored statements I heard indicated they were awed by Iverson and Anthony. This is unfortunate. They have played, and played well, against better players than either of those. I would rather have Duncan than Anthony, Paul than Iverson...actually, Iverson is another guy like Marbury or Francis. If he were a Blazer I would not be a fan of the team.

Meanwhile, Denver proved to be a pretty classless team. K-mart and Camby both delivered head-shots with their elbows and then yapped about it. Portland got into a complaining mode and even Aldridge went after Camby at one point.

Win or lose, this is a trend I hope ends. Portland has been real good about not complaining and about just having fun playing a great game. On a night where they just were not into it and their shots weren't falling, they momentarily deteriorated into a complaining team looking to the officials to bail them out. Hopefully McMillan jumps all over that and gets them back on track.

Portland showed early on they could play with Denver. Expect them to do much better on their next trip. For now, it is a disappointing game, but just one loss. Expect them to get it together and win out on this road trip.

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