Not your average Blazers game coverage

By The Beacon | February 6, 2014 3:26am
Beacon reporter Lydia Laythe attends a Portland Trailblazers game with sophomore Ryan Lambert.
Photo by Lydia Laythe

By Lydia Laythe |

The last time I touched a basketball was in eighth grade.  My blonde hair was tied back in two braids.  I was wearing a navy blue jersey tucked into shorts that were a little too big for me.  Our mascot was the “Villa Victors,” but we barely won half the games we played. I was one of the starting five for our team and one of the tallest – which if you know me, reveals how small the rest of the players were.

But while I may not have been the best basketball player in the world, I still know a little bit about the game itself.  So when the Portland Trail Blazers lost 98 to 81 against the Memphis Grizzlies last Tuesday, I had some semi-intelligent thoughts.

First of all, the Grizzlies’ defense was simply better than the Blazers.  In my eighth grade days, I was known for being a “scrappy” defensive player, meaning I would hit balls out of opponents’ hands and leap after balls headed out of bounds.  So watching the Blazers, I knew they could be doing better.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Blazers: La-Marky Mark, Lil-y, and Rolo; but their defense was just sub-par. The Blazers barely got rebounds and didn’t made a three-pointer until the fourth quarter.  From the start, the Grizzlies were leading the Blazers in double digits.

I’ve watched The Blazers before, so I know they’re capable of really exciting games, but they just weren’t on their game like usual.  They stumbled when faced with screens and sometimes only half-heartedly attempted to get around them.  The Grizzlies dominated in shooting.  While Lillard’s shots hit the inside of the rim and bounced out, Grizzlies players sunk nearly every shot they took.

The highlight of the game, for me, was a short video they showed during a time-out of all the Blazers listening to music and trying to guess who the singer was that they were listening to.  At first, almost all the players couldn’t identify an Elvis Presley song.  But nearly all of them could identify Taylor Swift and that made me laugh so hard.

“Oh, Taylor,” Robin Lopez said fondly.

Totally unrelated to basketball, I know, but it was so funny.  And finding a reason to laugh during such a sad game was a victory in and of itself.  But despite the disappointment against the Grizzlies, the Blazers came back and won against the Toronto Raptors last weekend (106-103).  So I believe they can still make this eighth grade MVP proud.