The beginnings of the Trail Blazers’ 133-85 stampede over the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday night can be found back in November of 2020.
That’s when the block-by-block teardown of the Thunder roster began, with the trades of Chris Paul to Phoenix and Dennis Schroder to the Lakers. Later, the likes of Immanuel Quickley, Kelly Oubre, Steven Adams and Danilo Gallinari followed those outstanding guards out the door.
Other players departed, too numerous to mention.
What was left – aside from Shai Glgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort and Darius Bazley, who sat out the game with injuries – were what was left to be led to slaughter in Moda Center Saturday.
And the Trail Blazers accommodated the Thunder with a pounding worthy of a team that may not be the worst NBA team I’ve ever seen take the floor, but one that ranked right up in the top three.
Portland’s 48-point margin of victory was tied for the second-highest in team history and was easily accomplished, with the bench playing the last 15 minutes of game action.
The Trail Blazers took it easy in the first half, but outscored OKC 68-39 in the second half.
You can take this win any way you want, but it was a lot like one of those varsity vs. the JV games they used to have at your high school. The older guys messed around a little in the first half, but when they got serious, the more inexperienced kids had no chance.
Oklahoma City is tanking, pure and simple, and it’s right out there on the floor for all to see. And frankly, it’s not pleasing to the eye and I’m not certain it’s even good for the winning team.
The Trail Blazers hit the road this coming week for games at the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz. This game was possibly a confidence builder (although I’m not sure about that because players know who they were playing), but I’m not sure it did anything to prepare them for the heavyweights to come.
Portland did spread the pleasure around, as eight players reached double figures in scoring and five of them were off the bench.
A good time was certainly had by all the winners.
But all in all, there’s only one thing to say about it:
Tanks for the memories.