Portland won the game, 106-102.. The Trail Blazers magical run to start the season continues with a win over the NBA’s best team to start the season. They should be excited in the Pacific Northwest, they are building something there that could be very good in a couple of years.
But in that win Indiana’s Paul George almost stole the show (and the game) — he dropped a career high 43 points in the game.
Seventeen of those came in the fourth quarter, including hitting some threes despite great defense from Wes Mathews, who was all but inside his jersey. The Trail Blazers forced him to take a lot of bad shots, he just hit them. George looked like the emerging superstar he has become this season and the go-to scorer some thought Indiana lacked. George just quiets the Portland crowd again and again.
(By the way, note to Trail Blazers fans who based on my twitter timeline have some sort of inferiority complex and feel they didn’t get enough credit for a December win over the Pacers — relax. It’s a great win, your team is off to an amazing start. This was one of the most fun games of the season so far. Also understand you beat a Pacers that played the Clippers the day before in Los Angeles then played the second-toughest back-to-back in the league [yes, Portland had the same back-to-back, but the Clips are the more physical matchup]. Also, when you have the 21st ranked defense in the NBA [points allowed per possession] and the point differential of a 12-6 team, we think you will come back to earth some. Still, this is a very good team with a potentially very bright future. Don’t get too wound up over games this early in the season.)
First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.
Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.
The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.
Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”
“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”
The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.
It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.
I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.
Somebody is in midseason form.
Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.
Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.