Full disclosure: My sphincter didn’t actually unclench until the last languishing second ran off the clock.

And I assume that as the Trail Blazers continue to gut their way through this strange foreign land called "the playoffs," this is the way that it will be. Inch by bloody, excruciating inch. But thanks to Brandon Roy going all Gladiator on the Rockets (42 points) and L.A.’s reemergence as a low post tough guy (not just 21 points, but 12 boards), Portland evened up their series with Houston at 1-1.

It was nice seeing Roy absolutely crush Ron Artest and Shane Battier, but there is a disturbing trend developing in this series: the lack of a third-weapon. Roy and Aldridge are our two best players, there is no disputing that. But throughout the season there has always been a third to step up…Travis Outlaw (the team’s third-leading scorer), Blake, Rudy. One always seemed to step up and carry the load when Roy or Aldridge had to head to the bench. (And that’s not counting random clutch performances from Serge and Oden.) That’s why coming into this series I thought the Blazers big advantage would be in bench play. We were deeper and better than the Rockets.

Or so I thought. When a strange-looking man with a faux hawk named Von Wafer (is he a Keebler elf?) can light us up, or when a garden gnome from Oregon (Aaron Brooks) nails three-pointer after three-pointer, something is horribly, horribly wrong.

As the series heads to Houston for Friday’s Game Three, I hope Nate McMillan is ripping a new orifice into his bench players. All he needs is one person to step up, to say "Hey, these shoulders are broad—hop on board," and this Blazers team will have a chance to pull this thing out. L.A. and Roy can’t do it by themselves.

It’s one thing if Przybilla and Oden get outplayed by a 7-6 behemoth like Yao Ming (who apparently doesn’t ever commit a foul), I can live with that. But if our boys continue to get schooled by the Keebler Elf and the Argentine Frankenmullet, I may have to go on a three-state killing spree.

SATURDAY
"The Wild World of Batwoman"
This theatrical adaptation of a really, really, crummy movie from 1966 is par for the course for those smirking gravediggers at LastRites Productions. In the past they’ve staged productions based on equally bad-good B-movie fare such as "Manos: The Hands of Fate", and "The Brain That Wouldn’t Die." The story this time around revolves around a master criminal named Rat Fink, a mad scientist called Dr. Neon, and the Batgirls, a bunch of crime-fighting babes in goofy costumes. Fans of trash cinema and Mystery Science Theater 3000 should be duly enchanted. [Theater! Theater!/10:30 p.m./$10]

SUNDAY
"Grease"
Former American Idol Taylor Hicks has been dropped from his record label and his tourettes tics and cries of "Soul Patrol!" relegated to the cringe-worthy catchphrase hall of shame. So let’s just say he had time on his hands to sign on for the role of Teen Angel in this production of the famed hot rod and poodle skirts musical. You know the drill: Can a goody-two-shoes girl and a hoodlum find true love despite their glaring social differences? Tell me more, tell me more. Feel free to sing along with chestnuts such as “You’re the One That I Want,” “Grease Lightning,” and “Summer Nights.” [Keller Auditorium/1 and 6:30 p.m./$25.25-76-25]