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Portland Trailblazers vs. Washington Wizards: Regular Season Game 40 Open Thread

The Essentials:

Trail Blazers (25-16) vs. Wizards (13-26)
1 p.m.
Verizon Center
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Notable Blazers numbers this season

8th in expected winning percentage (.626)
30th in pace (87.5 possessions per game)
5th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (110.8)
16th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (106.8)

Pre-game links

Blazers Edge, SB Nation's Blazers Blog
Rip City Project, a Blazers Blog
Bust A Bucket, a Blazers Blog
Blaze of Love, a Blazers blog
Portland Roundball Society
Gameday Blazers

Tonight's Projected Starters
Blazers vs. Wizards
Andre Miller PG Randy Foye
Jerryd Bayless SG DeShawn Stevenson
Martell Webster SF Caron Butler
LaMarcus Aldridge PF Antawn Jamison
Juwan Howard C

Brendan Haywood

Couple notes before we go on:

  • Mike Miller is active tonight and expects to play, saying "we'll see if they let me play." Flip Saunders said they took a little fluid out of his calf last week and that improved things. "We won't start him either way," Saunders said. "We'll bring him off the bench and see how he does."
  • Brandon Roy will not play today. At the very least, he's not in the starting lineup.
  • You've probably noticed DeShawn Stevenson have a two-game hot streak shooting the ball. Saunders joked (joked? Hard to tell): "I told him that he needs to knock down shots, because by playing him as many minutes as we did at times, we've forced him to get in better shape. He seems to be a bit lighter on his feet."
  • Funny exchange before the game: Andray Blatche was working with Gene Banks, as he always does before games. Banks was dummy-guarding Blatche in the post. Wizards spokesman Scott Hall walked up to the them, at which point, Blatche told Hall, "Scott, watch. This is how you bust old men down." He then proceeded to go baseline and reverse jam as Banks stood there and let him go. Blatche was laughing, while Banks was too. "I haven't warmed up yet!" Banks said. Good to know Blatche has his sense of humor.

And finally, let's talk about MLK Day below the jump.

To commemorate MLK Day, Nike handed out specially-made shoes to the players. Several, including Mike James and Randy Foye, were wearing them. They have a gray base, red stripes and green on the tongue. Here's a picture.


This is a nice gesture, of course. The only problem? If you know your African American history, you know the red and green are significant because red, green and black are the colors of the Pan-African flag. Obviously, the Pan-African flag is a landmark symbol in African-American history, but it doesn't really have anything to do with Martin Luther King (correct me if I'm wrong, people who know this better). I don't recall King being a Pan-Africanist.

So yeah, a nice gesture, Nike, but probably a bit misguided. You'd think someone in Nike headquarters would have pointed this out.

Here's some more pictures of the shoes.


Mike James with the shoes


Mike James wearing the shoes


Randy Foye wearing the shoes