Trail Mix: Hair, Superstition And Half-Court Shots
The Blazers had a pretty good finish to their week and it was reflected in Monday’s latest power rankings. We’ll break down some of the other news around the team today in the Trail Mix.
The M&M, the treat at least I enjoy the most in my trail mix, of this week’s mix comes via The Oregonian’s Mike Tokito on Dorell Wright’s pregame superstitions.
Before any of that starts, Wright has already been through his game-day food ritual. He religiously goes to a Pot Belly and orders two grilled chicken sandwiches. The staff has apparently seen it many, many times.
“The people know what I want when I get in there,” he said. “They go, ‘Oh, you want two, right?’”
His preferred beverage? Water. And then there’s this: “I eat it when I’m driving. I’ve got to. I’m a weirdo, man, when it comes to that kind of stuff.”
Wright is a candid and funny dude and it shows through the rest of Tokito’s piece. Since baseball players are superstitious, what a better way to have this piece than on MLB Opening Day (Let’s go Mariners!).
Sean Meagher has the full raw footage over at OregonLive.com.
Jason Quick has some more great quotes from Wright and other players regarding Mo Williams’ haircut. This is also a momentous occasion because I’m fairly certain this was the first time “boosie fade,” named after the haircut made popular by recently-freed rapper Lil’ Boosie, has appeared in Blazers coverage.
Ever since last week in Atlanta, when the veteran point guard cut off his “boosie fade” — long hair at the top that fades into a shaved cut at the bottom — he and the Blazers have resurrected their season with solid, if not impressive, play.
Since his haircut, which now gives him a close-cropped cut all around his head, Williams has had games of 11 assists in Atlanta, a game-high 18 points in Chicago and a sterling 17-point, four-assist game Sunday in the Blazers’ 105-98 win over Memphis.
“The biggest thing with Mo, why he is playing so well, he cut off that horrible haircut he had,’’ teammate Dorell Wright said. “Now he can see the basket. That has a lot to do with it. So I give big ups to his barber for giving him the peanut, John Legend head look.’’
Check the rest out here.
In a story that will be in tomorrow’s Columbian, Damian Lillard feels as though the Blazers are doing a better job of focusing on their scouting reports of other teams.
One of the products of that urgency has been more focus and attention to detail, particularly on the defensive end. The results are the second best defense in terms of points per 100 possessions over the last three games.
“I think the biggest thing (the wins) all had in common is how well we defended,” Damian Lillard said. “I think we’ve done a great job on defense and our rotations and taking care of the things we talk about in film and the scouting report before each game.”
You can read the rest here, touching on the team’s resolve and the guiding hands of veterans who have been in this position before.
In some non-Blazers news that could potentially affect them, Houston’s Patrick Beverley could return to action in a few weeks with his torn right meniscus via Jonathan Feigan of the Houston Chronicle.
Renowned surgeon James Andrews examined Beverley’s torn meniscus and MRI results and determined that Beverley will be able to play again this season without surgery, a person with knowledge of their meeting said on Monday. Beverley is expected to miss at least another week and could be out several weeks, depending on the success of his rehab.
The Blazers are two games ahead of the Warriors for the fifth spot in the West and are 2.5 behind Houston for the fourth spot. Mathematically, Portland starting the playoffs in Houston is the most likely playoff scenario.
And in the short term, the Lakers’ Pau Gasol is finally recovering from a bout with vertigo that he called a “very scary moment.” Dave McMenamin writes that he is probable for tomorrow’s game over at ESPNLosAngeles.com.
“Just really light-headed, dizzy, drowsy state for five to six days at home without really moving much,” Gasol said. “Just laying (down). Let my system kind of readjust. Because it was scary. A scary moment for me and my family and the ones that love me.”
Gasol left the Lakers’ 103-94 win against the Orlando Magic on March 23 at halftime because of dizziness and nausea. The 13-year veteran received immediate medical attention in the locker room and was taken by ambulance from Staples Center to a local hospital for overnight observation.
The experience doesn’t sound very fun and there’s more good stuff from Gasol on what the past week was like. Gasol had 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the Lakers March 3 win over the Blazers.