Gettin' it done

None of the City of Portland's problems got any better over the weekend. But at least the Blazers won the first game of their playoff series in Denver. The Mile-High City dudes, the Nuggets, are missing their second-best player, Jamal Murray, and it shows. The Blazers took over the game in the third quarter and won by more than a dozen.

If Portland avoids the injury bug, this series is looking pretty good for them. It would be great if they could win Game 2 tonight, because the Blazers have seemed like a better team on the road than at home this season. Rip City certainly can't sweep this opponent, but it would be nice if Portland could afford to lose a game or two back in the Moda Center. 

Let's not get ahead of ourselves here, but if Dame Dolla & Co. should advance to the second round, they'll play either Phoenix or the Lakers. The Lakers lost in Phoenix last night, but they have a way of dropping the first game of a playoff series and then storming back to win the next four straight. So the jury's still out on that one.

What else happened? Memphis upset Utah, which cost me a couple of bucks, and Atlanta beat the Knicks in New York, which cost me a couple more. Dallas won the first game against the Clippers. The choking Bucks squeaked out an overtime win over Miami Jimmy (they go again tonight), and the store-bought Nets bested Boston. Philadelphia beat Washington.

Watching the Brooklyn game, I was reminded how little I enjoy watching James Harden play basketball. If the Nets get eliminated, which seems unlikely, then the sooner, the better.

There was some mild fighting in some of the opening games. The players have had an arduous season, with a packed schedule following an unprecedentedly short off-season, and so tempers seem to be running a little short. That could play a role in how things turn out.

But there are so many monstrously talented athletes participating in these games. They really do amaze.

They also confound. Who knows if I will ever place a winning bet on these playoffs? For example, do the Nuggets (at home) and Heat (on the road) bounce back this evening? The Noogies are slight favorites, and the Heat moderate underdogs. I've got the over on Nurkic assists in Game 2.