But while Portland is an exciting young team, these figures don't reflect current reality. Much of that 20 percent increase was bought during the hype surrounding No. 1 pick Greg Oden. But when Oden had season-ending knee surgery before the season, interest in the Blazers declined. Many seats tickets go unused.
"It's been terrible," a scalper told the Portland Tribune. "I'll give you an example. Opening Night against New Orleans. Sold out, standing-room only. (But) I had 40 tickets in my pocket -- $2,400 worth, including some very good seats. Wind up selling most of them at about half-price. Should have gotten $4,000, easy. It's all related to Greg Oden. It's been a direct hit on us."
DETROIT: Rookie guard Rodney Stuckey's broken left hand isn't healing as expected, X-rays revealed Thursday, so he can't take part in contact drills. He was initially expected to miss the first six weeks of the season. Now, there's no way he'll be back before January.
"This is all about my future," Stuckey, who will be re-evaluated Dec. 20, told the Detroit News. "It's not about right now. I could come back right now and play, but if I reinjure it, I could shatter my whole hand and be out the whole year."
UTAH: During its five-game losing skid, the Jazz allowed an average of 109.2 points per game. That had coach Jerry Sloan, a stickler for defense, boiling mad. "When you look at our team, we don't have one defensive thinker," he told the Salt Lake City Tribune. "... Jeff Hornacek played here with one leg and didn't have a lot of athleticism. But he could stay in front of people."
BOSTON: The Celtics lead the league in field goal percentage defense and points per game allowed. They should, as much as they practice defense.
"We do so many defensive drills in practice that we do them in our sleep,'' forward Kevin Garnett told the Boston Herald. "Man, I come home putting the press on my woman, denying her the ball. ... It's awful. It's just sad. Y'all here laughing, but that's real talk. I go home denying the wing."