Norman Powell …Can He Make Portland A Tougher Team?

Norman Powell flexed his big boy game in Game 4 of the Denver-Portland series and as a result we head into Game 5 in Denver knotted at 2-2.

Norman Powell came to Portland as an unrestricted free agent at the deadline. Unlike all of the other Trailblazers…Powell has an NBA championship ring from being a key member of the 2019 Toronto team.

And make this clear…Powell is not only playing to make Portland a more viable two way team, but he’s playing to show the rest of the league what the value of his next contact should be at the conclusion of this season.

We all love watching the Trailblazers because of what Damian and CJ do offensively, but let’s be honest–Portland in reality is kind of a pushover basketball team which seldom goes deep because they don’t have the overall team grit to be a viable defensive team.

Damian Lillard to me is kind of what Ovechkin was in hockey pre-2019. That being a great offensive player who doesn’t backcheck and do all the dirty little blue collar things which your best player has to do if you want to hoist a Cup or an O’Brien Trophy.

Same with Russell Westbrook. He’s not winning anything with all those triple doubles because he now plays like a cupcake on the defensive end of the floor. He didn’t at UCLA, but in the NBA he’s become a dandelion.

I personally think Norman Powell is a better overall player than CJ. So can the second best player on a team change the culture of a team?

Messier did in hockey with Gretzsky. Michael, Kobe, and LeBron never needed someone to play defense for them as all three were bulldogs on the defensive end.

So what I asking myself out loud is can Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum feed off of a Norman Powell and become real legit two way basketball players who can make deep runs in post season play?

Unlike the Miami flameout versus Milwaukee…at least this Denver-Portland series is giving me some reasons to keep watching the games.

Norman Powell somewhat fascinates me.

Damian Lillard…your legacy as of now is your’re a great scorer who never wins anything. You want to take your legacy to the next level…you gotta do the little dirty things or at least have a guy around you who will do them for you.

Damian…you’re not alone in this. Chris Paul hasn’t won anything else either. Legacies are defined in post season, not the regular season. He’s in the same boat as you and I would guess that’s why he’s playing hurt this time around in Phoenix.

After Dark–Memorial Day

Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day week-end. More heavy rain headed for Deer Creek at about 5:00am. We had 2.5 inches on Thursday which puts us at around 6.5″ for the month plus whatever we get today on the last day of May.

Be sure and thank those who have served or are serving our county currently. Freedom is a fragfile, treasured commodity we all take for granted.

The Road to the Stanley Cup is heating up with Tampa, Colorado, and Boston already leading their second round series 1-0.

Nine teams are still in play with Toronto hosting Motreal in a first round Game 7 tonight. Then there will be eight teams left…this is how I would seed the remaining nine at this point:

1 Tampa, 2 Colorado, 3 Boston, 4 Vegas, 5 NY Islanders, 6 Carolina, 7 Toronto, 8 Montreal and 9 Winnipeg.

Toronto…the perennial team which always looks good, but hasn’t won a Cup since 1967. The Texas A&M Aggies of the NHL.

I still have Tampa as my team to beat, but both Colorado and Boston clearly have my attention.

Sixteen wins are needed to win a Cup. Three teams are now in need of eleven more wins. The best tournament in sports. Jim Nance doesn’t know what he’s been missing all these years.

Both Ovechkin and Sid gone in the first round. The hockey world is Nathan McKinnon’s this Stanley Cup tournament. In five games so far…Nate has 8 goals and 5 assists as his team has yet to lose a game.

Nathan McKinnon is the best hockey player in the world at this window of time.

Chris Jackson is conflicted. Now that he lives in Denver he doesn’t know if his hockey heart belongs to Boston or the Avs. I say why not both.

Jayson Tatum Goes For 50 Points In Game 3 Celtic Win, 125-119

Some interesting games in the NBA Playoffs tonight.

The Atlanta Hawks with a former Thunder player in Danilo Gallanari won at home to to take a 2-1 series lead over the NY Knicks who also have a former Thunder in Nerlens Noel. Pretty good series to watch. Trae Young is obviously proving he can be an impact player in this league.

The LA Clippers with three former Thunder players in Paul George, Serge Ibaka, and Patrick Patterson pulled themselves together and beat Luka Doncic to close within 2-1 in that series.

These former Thunder players are everywhere in these NBA Playoffs except Oklahoma it seems.

Then there was Jayson Tatum going off for fifty points as the Brooklyn Nets without Jeff Green in this game looked very vunerable defensively as the Celtics notched a win.

All three of these series now at 2-1.

Worse team by far in these NBA Playoffs so far the Miami Heat without a doubt. I wonder if this would mean Sam Presti could now pry Tyler Herro away from the Heat on the cheap given their implosion.

Best off season under the radar move this past off-season or at the trade deadline which made a team a legit contender?

Harden and Kyrie don’t qualify as under the radar…so neither one of them. Not Chris Paul in Phoenix because they’re not a legit contender.

If the Portland Trailblazers weren’t so horrible defensively maybe Norman Powell could have emerged in this category.

So far I would have to go with Jrue Holiday in Milwaukee. He seems to fill the right gaps for the Bucks.

Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks Easily Handle Miami Heat In Game 3

For the second straight game the Miami Heat were not a watchable basketball team. It was hideous to view, but this time it was at home and it was a game in which you would have expected some passion and desperation by the defending champs of the Eastern Conference.

There was none of that and as a result the Milwaukee Bucks are on the cusp of sweeping the Miami Heat in a series in which most thought would be quality NBA post season viewing.

It wasn’t just one player or one thing for the Heat. They were brutal from the top of the roster to the bottom. They couldn’t defend, they couldn’t rebound, and couldn’t make open shots.

The Miami Heat some are saying were Bubble Frauds last season.

I’m not sure if that’s fair, but the Heat basically have rolled over these last two games and not shown any professional pride in their craft.

But on the flip side…let’s give the Bucks some credit—they made their team better by adding Jrue Holiday, PJ Tucker, and Bobby Portis.

All three of these guys make the Bucks a tougher, smarter, and better basketball team.

It would appear we are headed for a Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks conference semi-final in the East.

It can’t get here soon enough for NBA fans because the Miami Heat are not watchable at the present time for whatever internal reason it may be.

Storm Music At The Deer Springs Weather Station

The dark skies above Deer Creek have opened and copious rainfall in duplicate layers is descending upon us. It is truly amazing. Almost hypnotic.

I now know why Gary England was held captive by his mistress…the Oklahoma weather.

I have a Honda water pump if it ever come to that, but even though we live realtively close to Deer Creek…we’ve never had an issue with the rains in seventeen years.

The Honda pump is amzing though. State of the art. Stunning in its ability to move water in a rapid period of time.

If my neighbor to the north doesn’t get his act together…I may divert some water his way at some point. You wear that MAGA cap around Mike and at some point karma might come in play I’ve tried to tell him in a nuanced manner several times. He knows what that MAGA cap does to me and yet he taunts me with the cap.

This is when you almost wish you were Jim Cantore on the Weather Channel and getting paid for standing in the rain with the wind blowing you over on live cable television.

Pauli doesn’t even go outside in light showers so she’s not moving. She’s clearly not a Weather Dog.

I’m out on the back patio looking into the forest as the rain obliterates the tree line.

These storms are beautiful.

I was just kidding about diverting water on my neighbor with the MAGA ball cap because Miguel had an epiphany at the Wal Mart Auto Center last week and no longer thinks like that. Instead…I’ll pray for him.

Lindsey Graham….Kevin McCarthy… Donald Trump..Proud Boy Karaoke

Storms are rolling this afternoon in Oklahoma. God bless…Gary England—I miss him.

I think I’ll feature the Lakers-Suns tonight and see how Devin Booker and Cam Payne play on the road in Game 3.

It’s relaxing to watch the storms and drink a few Coors Lights and participate in some Trumplican domestic terrorism karaoke.

We escaped the first storm hook in Deer Creek. So far so good.

Be safe and stay off the roads tonight in Oklahoma.

What they could do is have a Trumplican Bachlorette with Trump cash flowing this on Fox with Tucker Carlson hosting. There would be the overnight dates with both Lindsey Graham and Kevin McCarthy doing whatever it took to win.

You would think the Fox viewership would explode off the charts.

Sam Presti’s AAA Affiliate in OKC Shines On Tuesday Night In NBA Playoff Action

It was a great night for the AAA program in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night in NBA Playoff action.

The tenacles of the best G League program in the history of the league were never more apparent than on Tuesday night.

In Brooklyn…Thunder lottery picks Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Jeff Green are now the core of the team most are picking to win in the East and advance. The Nets are now up 2-0 on the biggest underacheiver in the league in the Brad Stevens’ Celtics.

If this is sustainability—then I’m not sure the average season ticket holder in Oklahoma City fully understood this when the team was moved from Seattle to Oklahoma.

Even in Green Bay….the Packers were able to keep Aaron Rodgers until their own head coach was so stupid he kicked a field goal and took the ball out of Aaron’s hands and allowed Tom Brady to run out the clock in what was probably Aaron’s last game as a Packer.

In the West…former Thunder star Sixth Man Dennis Schroder was superb as he fueled the Lakers to a 99-92 win over the upstart Phoenix Suns.

Of course…we all love former Thunder point guard Chris Paul who almost rented the house across the street from me when he played for New Orleans here in Oklahoma. But who would have thought former Thunder lottery pick Cam Payne would have been the best player on the floor with guys like LeBron, AD, CP3, and Devin Booker on the same court.

I mean… who would have dreamed Dennis Schroder and Cameron Payne would have been the brightest youngest stars on the floor with the Lakers taking on the Suns in a critical Game 2.

Well—we know this…not Sam Presti and his basketball people on staff. We also know this won’t be a hot topic discussion point for either Little Nick Gallo or Royce Young on their blogs…because they’re not allowed to write like this. Writing like this isn’t part of that deal.

So..while the 22-50 Thunder sit idle dreaming if they can trade away the rights to Cade Cunningham and land an obscure white Euro to go along with Kid Poku… it was a good night in Oklahoma to watch how far the kids have gone from the greatest G League program to becoming stars in the NBA.

Pike Pass Redemption Epilogue: Mike’s Epiphany

So… on the day I went back to the Pike Pass ofice and somewhat groveled to get my Pike Pass back from the State of Oklahoma…that same day was when I met the man who told me one-hundred million people would die from the Covid vaccinations.

Now as I wrote last week…there’s not a doubt in my mind this gentleman is a regular viewer of Tucker Carlson.

But I didn’t say a word to him in English after he said this.

Instead, I smiled politlely and merely said, “No habla English, amigo.”

What I didn’t write last week on my blog was that immediately after I said this to the man in Spanish with a warm smile on my face was this Peter Gabriel song which I love… came on the sound system in a Wal Mart Auto Center.

I’ve been thinking about this for a week now.

That song coming on the sound system in a place like a Wal-Mart Auto Center in Oklahoma cannot be a coincidence.

This cannot be some happenstance accident. This was not serendipitous.

This was Mike’s epiphany.

I’m almost certain.

Milwaukee Throttles Heat In Game 2, 132-98

This game was basically over in the first period as Miami offered little resistance to the red-hot Milwaukee Bucks. By the time Tyler Herro actually entered the game the Heat were down by twenty points.

Jimmy Butler is really struggling so far in this series. He scored 10 points in thirty-two minutes of play and went -34. In the two games combined…Jimmy Butler is 9-32 from the field.

This was just an awful basketball game. Miami has no chance with Jimmy Butler playing at this level.

Goran Dragic and Dwayne Dedmon were okay, but that’s not enough.

The series now goes back to Miami and the Heat are in a situation where if they don’t win Game 3 you would think their chances are pretty much nil.

Credit to the Bucks though…they got on top of the Heat in this game and buried them.

Unlike last season though in the bubble…there is a home court advantage. So…if you’re a Heat optimist you say they haven’t lost a game at home so far in this series.

On a sadder note for me…I just read a release from Golden State GM Bob Myer and he said there’s no way Klay will be ready when next season begins.

Anfernee Simons… Portland Trailblazers

It should be a great NBA playoff doubleheader tonight with Miami at Milwaukee in the first game, then Portland at Denver in the late game.

I have both Miami and Portland as my darkhorse picks in the East and West despite both being No. 6 seeds.


Because both teams have a talented, deep rotation of guards.

Portland won at Denver in Game 1 somewhat easily, while the Heat lost at Milwaukee on a late shot at the end by Kris Middleton.

I thought all four of Portland’s guards played pretty well. Those being Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, and Anfernee Simons. I love the additions of both Norman Powell and Anfernee Simons to Portland’s team.

Its their frontcourt with Portland which needs to hang tough with Jusuf Nurkic, Carmelo Anthony, Robert Covington, and Enes Kanter. I worry about their interior defense, but not their guard play.

Portland already has the road split, if they can win tonight—they would look to be in pretty good shape in this series. I don’t see how Denver will matchup defensively with Portland.

In the first game…it’s pretty simple for the Heat…Jimmy Butler needs to play better. Your stars have to play like stars at this time of the year.

These should be two very interesting games.