Tuesday, November 30

Game Night # 16

Back in my halycon college days, I was the only Sonic fan in a university full of Blazermaniacs. It was the time of Clyde the Glide, Mercy, Mercy Jerome Kersey, and Rip City. It was also the time of the rebirth of the Sonics, with Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton leading the Supes to the brink of greatness. I vividly remember the Sonics knocking off the Blazers to force a Game 5 in either '91 or '92, enabling me to blare Pearl Jam's "I'm Still Alive" at full blast throughout the dorm. The bloom has come off the Rose City, though, with the Blazers mired in scandal (bad) and mediocrity (worse). The team that sold out every game for decades has now become almost persona non grata in the Portland, and I could not be happier. Seattle hasn't won in Portland in two years, but with a 13-2 record that could change tonight.

Good Sign:
The Sonics have only lost once since Opening Night.
Bad Sign: The Blazers are - as always - a weird team. They've also won 3 of 4, including a sweep in Florida of Orlando and Miami.

Questions: How is Theo Ratliff's back? Will Darius Miles' grouchiness about playing time affect his team? How is Rashard's sore left elbow? Who will shut down Zach Randolph?

Notes: Randolph has 7 double-doubles this year ... "Well, it was a win," said Mo Cheeks after Portland's 83-71 triumph over New Jersey recently ... Former Sonics Richie Frahm and Vladimir Stepania are sidelined with "injuries"; I think Ibowho Kutluay has got the same virus ...

Vegas line: Blazers by 1 1/2
Over/Under: 183
Prediction: Sonics 99 - Blazers 92
Record Against the Spread: 6-3


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