One of my favorite things to watch whenever a high school team plays in the Rose Garden is not the awe on the kids' faces or players trying to find their correct locker room, but rather the slow and steady realization by three point shooters that they are not in their own gym anymore.
Shot after shot falls short of the rim as they adjust to the extra distance on the NBA three point arc.
You can tell part of the problem is every player wants to come away from the game saying they hit a three-pointer in the Rose Garden but many of them simply don't have the strength to do it. But hey, if they keep up the effort, they may be hitting them for real some day.
• In the previous three appearances by Horizon at the Rose Garden, the Trail Blazers were 0-3. The Blazers must have known this, because they scheduled the Hawks on a night when the Blazers were facing the Sacramento Kings, who came in sporting one of the worst records in the league at 9-32 entering play. The Blazers were also riding a five-game winning streak and had beat the Kings the previous week in Sacramento.
"We all did a Blazers cheer at center court after our game so maybe that will change things," Horizon coach Darrin Lingel said following the Hawks game.
It didn't work. The Blazers fell flat on their faces and lost 96-81.
• Moving quickly in to soccer, locally the Portland Timbers much anticipated MLS debut is still a few months away, but over in Europe Matt Dallman has been keeping busy for the Sportfreunde Siegen of the German Bundeslege.
The team recently returned from its winter break and Dallman has been getting praises in the German press as a player who gives Siegen offensive options with his ability to flex between midfield and forward. According to my rough translating abilities and a bit of help from Google, this is particularly important given that the Sportfreunde have suffered through a rash of injuries in their forwards.
• Finally, for you trivia: LaMarcus Aldridge was named Western Conference player of the week Monday. How many other Blazers have earned player of the week honors?
A: Aldridge became the tenth Blazer to do so after averaging over 28 points a game over a four game stretch that resulted in four Blazer wins.
That is reason No. 21.1 to be glad I am your local sports reporter.