Oct 07

Two Losses in Utah

By mikebarrett
It's usually the same in the preseason.  If you win, we go on and on about what it could mean, and how it could be a sign of things to come.  When you lose, you start explaining how the win-loss record in the exhibition season is meaningless, and how it's more about the way you win or lose.

So, with that in mind, even though the Trail Blazers lost to the Utah Jazz on Thursday night in Salt Lake City, there were certainly some positives that need to be addressed.  We'll get to that.  The most important thing that happened in Utah was the Blazers losing another center in the second quarter. 

Jeff Pendergraph hit the deck in the middle of the key grabbing his right knee.  He was carted off in a wheelchair, and of course, we feared the worst.  After all, we've been to this movie before.  Jeff is a Twitter guy, and shortly after the game sent a message that said-  "Thanks for the well wishes everyone. Gonna b heading back to Portland tomorrow to get checked out by doc but so far word is nothing major... Keep praying y'all. We will get through this. God doesn't put you through anything he knows you can't handle." 

Occasionally Jeff will send me a random text message, and it's usually something funny, being he's one of the biggest personalities on the team.  When I heard he went down, and things were looking scary, his tweet was actually promising.  So, late on Thursday night we exchanged about eight or nine text messages.  I was just basically trying to make sure he was keeping his spirits up.  He maintains that he doesn't think it's major, but said it "hurts like hell."  He said he just went up to attempt a block and twisted his knee.  I simply told him I'd seen the photos (like the one I used in this blog), and that it was obvious it wasn't fun.  His response, "is the photo scary looking?"  And, he went on to make light of the situation, which is just the way he is.  He did say that he's headed back to Portland for an MRI, but that again, he doesn't think it's "anything major."  Let's hope he's right.

Obviously, Pendergraph is vital to this team right now.  With Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden doing everything they can to get back on the court, Pendergraph's role is greatly increased.  For him personally, it's a huge opportunity- not only as it relates to the team, but for his own career.  He's a great guy, and I told him we're all praying that it's not major.

As for the game, the Trail Blazers showed some pretty good heart rallying back from an 18-point deficit to take a four-point lead in the second half.  They even had a chance to tie, or take the lead, in the final minute.  But, Wesley Matthews' shot wouldn't stay, and they fell 100-96.

Matthews, returning to Utah, where he officially landed on the NBA landscape, had another very impressive outing.  He finished with 21 points and 5 assists and continues to show everyone why the Blazer coaches are so high on him.  As assistant coach Bill Bayno put it before the game, Matthews simply doesn't have any weaknesses in his game.

Dante Cunningham, another guy who is playing better than his draft position would indicate, had a great game for Portland.  He had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and plays bigger than his size.  That could be very important if Pendergraph is gone for any significant length of time. 

LaMarcus Aldridge was forced to play the center position a lot last season, due to the injuries, and perhaps he's already preparing forthat again.  He had 15 points and 5 rebounds.  And, Rudy Fernandez continues to play well, despite all the drama surrounding his situation.  Rudy had 15 points off the bench, and was 4 of 6 from behind the three-point line.  That makes him 9 of 12 in his two preseason games.

Portland's starting backcourt struggled in this game, as Brandon Roy and Andre Miller were a combined 1 for 8 from the field, but that's not a major concern. 

The team is now in Denver, where they play the second of back-to-back against the Nuggets on Friday night. 

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  1. Praying for JP man. If we only lost against the Jazz by 4 points with our best players struggling, than I'm fairly confident in this "loss". It being only a pre-season game, meaning in the end the loss means nothing, shows that we've grown a lot. I'd rather lose by 4 than lose by 18 in the preseason, especially knowing we had that chance to tie or win, and we were able to come back.

    Denver will be another big test. In fact, a bigger test. Two tough arenas in two nights. Let's hope Roy and Miller step it up. Mathews seems like a very consistent player, and good to see Rudy shooting 9-12 behind the arc. Wish that was there against Phoenix. It could have been Portland seeing the WCF.

    by Herr on 10/7/2010 10:25 PM
  2. Thank you Mike for the fill in.

    Tuesday night the question was asked , was the Clippers that bad or was the Blazers that good. Now we can aske, is the Jass that good or is the Blazers that bad. We did do some great5 things in the game and I will keep praying for Jeff

    I am not worried about the lost.

    by Hg on 10/8/2010 12:16 AM
  3. Thank you Mike for the fill in.

    Tuesday night the question was asked , was the Clippers that bad or was the Blazers that good. Now we can aske, is the Jass that good or is the Blazers that bad. We did do some great5 things in the game and I will keep praying for Jeff

    I am not worried about the lost.

    by Hg on 10/8/2010 12:16 AM
  4. I couldn't believe when I read Jeff went down. Are we cursed at center or what? Hope it's not serious and our thoughts are with him.

    Sounds like a good game. They were without a couple of their centers as well so it was a evenly match game. Bet we get revenge when we play them at the MC.

    by mgb on 10/8/2010 12:18 AM
  5. s

    by thedanman on 10/8/2010 3:51 AM
  6. Great to hear that Jeff is ok. Well it's nothing official yet but it's good to know he's in good spirits and doesn't think it's anything major. I love Jeff and his attitude towards things. Knowing that you (MB) and him send texts to each other is awesome. I almost want to get a Twitter account just so I can follow him.

    As for the game, Matthews is still impressing me. I will admit I didn't think he could continue his play from last season (mostly the post season) but he seems to be picking up right where he left off. Let's hope it stays like that when the games actually matter. I love Dante. Always have. And it's good to see him finally getting some quality minutes and we can see what he can do if given the opportunity. Rudy, well what can I say? He's playing well and that's what matters right now. I hope LA doesn't have to fill in at center long, as I like him at his regular spot a lot more. Roy and Miller will pick it up. Just an off night but when it doesn't matter, that's ok. Thanks Mike for the info.

    by CrazyRusty on 10/8/2010 5:59 AM
  7. OUCH.........PenderBender goes down....definitely we are cursed at the center position.It's official.Are you sure the RG wasn't built on indian burial ground.

    Crazyrusty.....I get a lot of immediate info off of Twiiter,plus I won two tickets to a game because of Twitter.I like it.

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/8/2010 6:28 AM
  8. Maybe it's time to pick up Eric Dampier.

    Ok,Props to Rudy for forgetting he is mad and playing well for two straight games.Salud

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/8/2010 6:42 AM
  9. update on my Eric dampier idea from a JQuick tweet.

    Jason Quick jwquick

    Don't expect Blazers to sign C Erick Dampier ... He wants a full-season roster spot; Blazers probably just want a preseason fill in

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/8/2010 6:45 AM
  10. Ya know,with our second unit in the game,we will always be better than the other teams second unit.Last night was a perfect example.Our second unit got us back into the game.

    As much as I hate to say it,DWill is one of the best point guards in the game.He is just unstoppable.And people wonder why they are my most hated team.Can't wait to root against them on Monday at the Memorial Coliseum.


    by DowntownVinnie on 10/8/2010 6:54 AM
  11. as with all of you, my thoughts and prayers are with Jeff, that it really is nothing major and that it doesn't adversley affect his future career. but you know somehting, i've got to tell you, the guy is quickly rising to the top of my ever-growing list of favorite players. his personality and mental toughness will get him far in the nba. it sounds like he's in the right frame of mind as he goes through this speed bump in the road. i just hope he knows he has hundreds of thousands of fans on his side.

    as for the rest of the game, i was surprised Brandon, Andre and even Nicolas didn't do more when the utah starters were opening a gap. i'm not worried about them by the time the season starts; just a little surprised.

    Wesley looked pretty good, though 40 percent from the floor isn't going to quite get it done. i loved hearing Dante's name being called time and time again, especially in the second half, where i think he had 14 of his 18 points. his 10 rebounds showed that he has the ability to get inside and on the boards, soomething we're going to need from him for a while. Wheels and even Michael Holton kept talking about Rudy having made nine of 12 from three-point land in these two games. it's hard to stay angry or indifferent when a guy does that. additionally, he had four steals and helped us close the gaps in the second and fourth quarters.

    our ft's are what really hurt us last night. we're much better than a 68-percent shooting team from the line. the other things which really hurt us was rebounding and the fact utah took 18 more foul shots than we did.

    our bench is deeeeeeeeeeep, and yes, the extra letter in there are for emphasis. Wesley, Dante, Rudy and Jerryd made some nice plays and really made the game competitive.

    a few additional thoughts:

    1. the Vinster with a twitter account? what is the world coming to?!

    2. Rusty, perhaps we should get twitters so we can communicate with Jeff and the Vinster.

    3. we already have 15 guaranteed contracts, but itsn't it time now to go shopping for a center or a big pf, or at least free up a roster spot so we can sign a free agent or bring a guy up from idaho?

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/8/2010 7:00 AM
  12. Okay, obviously, after 3 performances that were barely solid or straight up non-existant, Roy and Miller are having some issues on the court. I see that no one is worried or concerned.Well, I am, at least a bit. If they DON'T pick it up against Denver, I will be even more so. I know it's only the preseason, but still....I have yet to see/hear the leaders on other teams NOT have a strong presence, even during this preseason (thinking KG, Rondo, Gasol, Lopez, Lebron, Amar'e).

    My heart dropped when I heard Pendy went down. I just couldn't believe it. With Marcus' minor injury, Joel and Greg still out, and now Jeff with who knows what sort of injury, we seem worse off than we were last season. We just barely have a center. Yea, LMA can fill in I suppose, but I am really wondering if Cho is going to go get us another big guy, as Coach Nate said needs to be done now. And if so, who are we dumping to make room? I know Pendy is being optimistic, but his level of pain is very concerning. He's such a great guy, and really needed this opportunity.

    Dante had a great game, and I was very pleased with that. I think he is somewhat underrated by the average fan (not really on this blog though), so it was nice to hear that he was proving his worth. Rudy is driving me nuts! Great play, again, but why now? And for how long?

    And Wesley...well, what do you say about a guy that so far, is the leading scorer of our team? He is so strong, and plays so hard, I just don't know what to think. From the minute I heard we had put an offer in for him, I was excited. I KNEW he was going to be great, and have never felt I need to curb my enthusiasm for him. But he is blowing my mind. I know, it's still early, but this guy is a game-changer. I want to see Nate work him into the rotation with most of the starters somehow. Since I haven't seen either of the games, does anyone know, has he played with both Nico and Roy on the floor? If he can play the 1, has he? It seems he comes in for Roy and for Nico, is that right? Sometimes, it's hard to track all the substitutions and especially the positions over the radio. Utilizing Nico, Roy, Matthews, and Miller to their fullest potentials is going to be a big challenge for Nate. I remain concerned about Nico's minutes and Brandon's confidence. Wesley may be affecting both.

    This is off-topic, but still about basketball. Okay, I know many of you don't watch other teams, so thought I'd give you some of my impressions. First, the T-Wolves looked pretty decent in their two wins. And Martell seems to be fitting in just fine, though he's not starting. Beasley was a good pick-up for them and Love's participation in the FIBA's seems to have impacted his game, all for the good. It will be interesting to see how much translates into the regular season for them. Miami, after Wade's injury, just became the Lebron show, so I quit watching after the 1st quarter. Bosh looked kinda weak though, imo. The Knicks had real chemistry issues, and although Amar'e played okay without Nash, his supporting cast is pretty rough. They lost btw. The Nets lost to Boston, and so far, this was the best game so far, from what I have been able to see. The Nets have some pretty decent pieces, and should be a lot better than they were last season. Brook Lopez continues to look great, Williams put on a show off the bench, and their rookie (3rd pick overall) Favors shows some real promise. Harris had some good moments, and so did our Trout, who started btw. They are still working out their rotation, but it was cool to see Outlaw start. He hit some jumpers and played okay, but I think Martell's showing was better than his. Boston looked really good. You could tell they weren't playing at thier highest level (though Pierce's whining was fully present), but while watching, I realized that the Celtics, whom very few have been talking about, got probably a lot better this off-season. Their starters are solid, great, even with Shaq out there instead of Perkins (they, like us, are going to be scary at the 4 and 5 when he comes back!). But thier bench, with the continued improvement of Nate and the addition of Delone West, seems far superior offensively. Yeah, just one game, but from what I hear, West has dedicated himself to hitting his shot, and that's what he did. I haven't watched the Lakers yet, though I am recording the Barcelona replay right now. I know they lost both of their games, but am curious to see Blake. Anyway, that's that for now :) OKC plays today, against the Heat, so I will probably share those impressions as well. The new-look Suns and Dallas play Sunday I think, as does Orlando/New Orleans and Houston plays tomorrow. If you have NBA-tv, all those games are TELEVISED!!! Even ones with EMPTY arenas....like the Nets game. Honestly, I am glad I finally have some basketball to watch, especially since I can't see the Blazers :(


    by EowynAmarie on 10/8/2010 7:06 AM
  13. Vinnie: I am sure you meant nothing by it, but I would like to point out that your comment about "Indian burial ground" was culturally insensitive, and for the Chinookan peoples who once lived along the Willamette, largely inaccurate.

    by EowynAmarie on 10/8/2010 7:17 AM
  14. Kassandra; Who would you drop?

    Jeff is another warrior going down. Playing out of position against much bigger players. Isn't that a contributing factor?

    Did Andre and Brandon know we had a game?

    Rudy and Wes are playing great, but the starters seem disinterested.

    by Ancientone on 10/8/2010 7:20 AM
  15. Kassandra:

    I think it is Rudy that is rubbing it in our faces. Saying, see what you will be missing. He gives us a thrill today and finds a new love tomorrow. I have had girl friends like him.

    Eowyn Amarie: I am worried about Brandon and Dre. Although the coach said they were just going to play minutes to get in game shape and he was going to give the bench tons of minutes, should have nothing to do with bad performance. Getting in game shape is also sharpening your mind and body to work together. Slacking off is not wise in my book. I watched some of the Boston game, Travis did look good. Did he fill out some more? he looked much stronger and mature than I remember

    If we are going to get some centers back by the start of the season then I am OK with LMA playing center for practice. But, come regular season, I hope we have some bigs back.

    Although it is bad to see Pendy go down if there is a bright side, it was Dante getting more minutes. Antonio Harvey said his defense and shooting was terrific, but his decision making showed his lack of experience.

    Back to like it was last year, which team is going to show up tonight against Denver, I guess that is what we get for being a jump shooting team. If they fall we are great, if they miss we look to be the worst team in the NBA

    by Hg on 10/8/2010 7:39 AM
  16. anybody know if tonight's game will be streamed by denver?

    by B.O.B on 10/8/2010 8:15 AM
  17. Hg,

    I think part of how we played was because of the competition. We kicked the Clippers and with a come back played a tight game against he Jazz. Don't think so much it was us that was different.

    by mgb on 10/8/2010 8:17 AM
  18. EowynAmarie: here's what i do while listening to the game, and it helps me keep better track of who is doing what and who's replacing whom. i go online to nba-dot-com and pull up the live boxscore of the game. they have a bunch of tabs there, and you can choose 'play-by-play.' i don't know if you've done that, but they'll show something like: Roy substitution - replaced by Matthews.' like i said, that helps me!

    ancientone: i honestly don't know who i would trade; obviously it would be a guard. my first inclination would be Rudy since all reports are that we're already looking to trade him. yes, i know that he's done well so far, but that's only two preseason games. there have got to be a couple of teams out there who need a player like Rudy and who could give us that for what we're seeking. keep in mind to, my reaction isn't knee-jerk here; we've been talking about bringing in another big even before Marcus' ding and Jeff's injury last night.

    hg: funny, i've had boyfriends like that too. the only player we really could afford to lose at this point, via trade, is Rudy. and i'm not even worried about him coming back to beat us with another team ... we'll just have Wesley guard him when he's on the floor.

    Vinnie: i remembered after i posted that that i have a twitter account too. i haven't logged on to it since june 29, logged on to it today and sent a message to Jeff. i go by Kassandra227 there if you want to say hey.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/8/2010 8:26 AM
  19. Bring on the Nuggets !!

    Lets go Blazers !!!!

    by Kim~ on 10/8/2010 9:17 AM
  20. Hey Mike and and rest of you fans - man, that is hard to see another one of our guys going down. JP sounds like a quality guy and indeed, will be praying for him for sure, that he recovers and gets back on the court, hoping it is nothing major.

    It's great to see that Wesley is off to a nice start, here in the pre-season, let's hope it continues into the real deal, which I'm sure it will.

    Anyways, lots of love from Prague - please wish me well y'all - final year of medical school for me - just finished the first week, but wanted to leave a comment, as probably won't get a chance later on.


    by Anees on 10/8/2010 10:34 AM
  21. EA...no disrespect meant.It was made in humor,Sorry.

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/8/2010 11:17 AM
  22. 68% from the free throw line? How many shots did we take? That could have been a deciding factor of the game. Got to make those free throws. That night two seasons ago in Charlotte... I think they purposely fouled us since we shot so bad at the line.

    by Herr on 10/8/2010 11:51 AM
  23. Pendergraph out for the season with a torn ACL.

    by 500Dogs on 10/8/2010 11:59 AM
  24. Link...


    by 500Dogs on 10/8/2010 12:00 PM
  25. according to the blazers website, an actual timetable has not been set for Jeff. the story says he'll undergo surgery in the coming days and that the actual timetable will be set after that:


    this is really a huge loss for the team. as of now, we have Camby (who will be taking it easy), Aldridge (who we don't want o have to play center all that much) and Dante (who can play pf, but is out of position as a center). at this point, i'd even welcome a role player like Seraphin, though i'd bet my parents' house on the fact the wizards would never make that trade.

    Herr: that's what i was talking about earlier. we took 28 foul shots (made 19) and utah tool 46. we committed 30 fouls for the game and utah committed 23.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/8/2010 2:02 PM
  26. Wish I was 6'10,with more game.But,alas.....

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/8/2010 2:32 PM
  27. Thanks for a good blog as usual!

    by RedRudy5 on 10/8/2010 2:42 PM
  28. Vinnie: I wish I was in my 20's, but alas.
    Anterior cruciate repair has improved tremendously however Jeff is going to be out for the year.

    by Ancientone on 10/8/2010 2:47 PM
  29. Kassandra,
    The Wiz might go for it because of the situation with Gilbert Arenas, who is giving the spotlight to Wall and has said he's looking past Washington.

    Sounds to me like the Wiz could use another guard...

    by 500Dogs on 10/8/2010 3:07 PM
  30. Brandon is not playing tonight. Does he have a problem? Seems like to me he took last night off.

    by Ancientone on 10/8/2010 3:13 PM
  31. Anybody going to Monday's game?I'm psyched to go to Memorial Coliseum and hear the Shonz.It'll be classic!

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/8/2010 3:52 PM
  32. All: supposedly Cho is in a "wait and see" mode about Joel and Greg and will not be looking to get a big just yet. So....to me, I interpret that as saying it is very possible either one or both of them will be back sooner than expected, and at least of them very soon, which has been my very fallible intution all along (about Joel).

    Kassandra: Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it. I do usually follow the box score, on either the Blazer site, Oregon live, or NBA.com, whichever one seems faster that particular day :) Lately though, I have been listening to the game on my iPhone (cause I have been so busy lately and not home during the games - kids stuff!), and the 95.5 app doesn't let me use any other function w/o dropping the game...I am glad the app is available, but I dislike that piece.

    I feel terrible about Jeff, but I suspected something like this, after reading about his continued pain level. I don't imagine he will be out much less than the season, since this injury is typically very severe. The site didn't give an official timeline, but Jeff said the whole year, and he's probably right. PR is PR for a reason. Anyway, I was concerned, but feel a little better after what Cho reportedly said about waiting on Joel and/or Greg for a bit. I have confidence in LMA's ability to play the 5 and Dante's to play the 4, at least for awhile. I am not expecting too much from Camby at the moment :)

    Why isn't Brandon playing? And where did that info come from?

    by EowynAmarie on 10/8/2010 4:14 PM
  33. Okay, ignore my question above. Apparently, neither Brandon nor Marcus are playing (no specific reason for either) and Coach says he will only play LMA and Miller few minutes. If Jason Quick is to be trusted (I am not sold on that one), it appears that Coach Nate is maybe a tad gunshy, as the injury bug is proving, yes, it can stike us twice, and that maybe, just maybe there really is a center curse here in PDX.

    Also, the stuff I read about Cho earlier was incomplete, so let me correct myself before someone else does, which I hate. Cho is going after a TRAINING CAMP big, but will be in a holding pattern for the regular season based on Joel/Greg's status at that time. So, again, my confidence deflates a bit. I still think Joel will be back soon, but Cho is in quite a position as he has to try to decide how much of the season to put at risk waiting....wow, what a job he has. I do have some faith he will make the best decision, based on the data and options available as can possibly be made.

    Oops, gotta listen to what Coach is about to say!

    by EowynAmarie on 10/8/2010 4:32 PM
  34. no Jeff, no Marcus, no Brandon, no Joel, no Greg; short minutes for LaMarcus ... this might get ugly (not worried about short minutes for Andre since we still have depth at guard). Wheels just said Marcus and Brandon aren't playing because the end of a back-to-back in the pre-season.

    EowynAmarie: i don't think we're going to know what's going to happen with getting another big until it actually happens. we'll speculate as to whom it might be (uh-hum, Eric Williams), but i suppose we'll just have to wait. it is my feeling that we'll definitely find someone. i think we still have to free a roster space for that player though.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/8/2010 5:03 PM
  35. EowynAmarie: okay, this really sucks. i went and told you about my little gametracker trick, and i can't get statracker to work on nba-dot-com, espn-dot-com or yahoo-dot-com. Wheels said something about there not being a statistician there, but i thought that was just for the blazer broadcasting crew.

    it's halftime and we're down by eight. we have mostly our third unit in the game right now. Luke leads us in scoring with 10 points, including two 3-pointers, and by my count, he has about four rebounds.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/8/2010 6:01 PM
  36. Kassandra does NOT respond to tweets.Freakin fickle Stanford fans,anyways.Help the girl out.she only has 3 followers:)

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/8/2010 6:41 PM
  37. omg Vinnie, that was so funny. the truth is, i don't really check my twitter much. i set it up when Martell was traded so i could with him luck and i didn't check it until earlier today because Jeff was keeping people updated through it. besides, i doubt anyone wants to know what i'm doing minute-by-minute!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/8/2010 8:46 PM
  38. Yeah, none of the box scores or play by plays were working today, not even the Blazers site....but Oregon Live's did! Play by play and box....don't know what happened to the others.

    Looks like Orlandon, Detroit, Miami (over OKC btw), Chicago, and GSW are all winners tonight. I didn't follow any games though, and haven't watched the Miami-OKC game yet, so don't know who's playing their starters and who's still just playing with their line-ups and rotations.

    I thought we did alright with mostly rookies and the bench tonight. Good practice for them. I am thinking Nate decided to 1) preserver his starters and 2) get the new guys as much experience as he could, since we may need them more than originally thought. Therefore, I am now far less concerned with our pre-season performance, and glad I gave away my tickets to the GSW game, in favor of Ottawa :)

    Hope things work out for our guys. Know this....we have the best rookies and 2nd year guys in the league :)

    by EowynAmarie on 10/8/2010 8:53 PM
  39. i didn't check o-live. oh well, i had the stream radio broadcast so that was enough.

    Luke had a very nice game tonight. it seemed like he kept his composer pretty well. Dante with his second double-double in a row. Armon poured in 10 points in the fourth which helped make the final score look respectable. gotta hand it to Rudy with those three treys at the start of the game.

    i agree with EowynAmarie on both points about Nate's strategy. preserve the veterans; give the younger guys some experience.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/8/2010 10:05 PM
  40. okay now ... i have to share this from twitter and, trust me, it's good news!

    pdxtrailblazers RT @jwquick: Big news from locker room: Joel Przybilla says he will return to practice Sunday for the first 45 min of full-contact drills

    i wonder what this means to his timeline for returning.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/8/2010 10:40 PM
  41. Kassandra: Sounds like great new. I hope Joel is right behind him

    WOW!!! that is great.

    by Hg on 10/8/2010 10:53 PM
  42. Luke did have a good game. He seems to improve quickly.

    Great news about Joel and I hope Oden is right behind him unlike Hg. :)

    by mgb on 10/9/2010 2:25 AM
  43. I love that Joel is proving my intuition right :) Have I mentioned recently how much I love that guy's work ethic and toughness? What a Man, what a Baller....hope he is inspiring Greg :) Here's to hoping he'll be back by Nov. 6, my first game...that would be very nice.

    So which teams have the toughest guys in the middle for the first month of the season? We're playing the Suns, Clips, Knicks, Bulls, Bucks, Thunder, Raptors, Lakers, Pistons, Hornets, Grizzlies, Nuggies, and Jazz. Obviously, the Lakers (though Bynum is out...again), but who else do you guys see as a challenge in the middle? I am not seeing too many big threats there, so maybe our lack of true Center won't hurt us quite as much as it could, idk.

    by EowynAmarie on 10/9/2010 7:21 AM
  44. I kinda had a feeling that Joel was chomping at the bit.i hope his "Lunchpail" attitude rubs off on Greg.
    Nice to see LB break out with the shooters skillz we know he has.

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/9/2010 8:26 AM
  45. Ancientone..they are probably resting BRoy out of fear:)

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/9/2010 8:30 AM
  46. That is great news that Joel is close to returning. In the meantime, what's the deal with Ikene Ibekwe? He was a beast in SL, could he fill the gap for the next couple weeks?

    by 500Dogs on 10/9/2010 9:22 AM
  47. MGB: I had just put in a 12 hr shift cleaning toilets, I was dead on my feet, but when I read Kassandra's news I got so excited I had to respond. guess thinking of Joel and trying to write Greg wasn't too cool. Oh Well,

    Eowyn Amarie:

    You are right about the opponents that we are playing not having big centers, I had just read on Or-Live saying about the same thing. That is at least one lucky break that is on our side. I would like to keep Camby healthy and win those games to build up our 61 games win that I playfully predicted.

    I feel better about the lost to Denver after I found out what Nate had done. I think that is smart.


    by Hg on 10/9/2010 10:45 AM
  48. I'm glad that we have the preseason to gain time for some of our players, yet , at the same time I wonder where that vaunted defense is. The large number of fouls implies a poor defensive scheme or execution.

    by Ancientone on 10/9/2010 12:56 PM
  49. Hahaha, sorry, Hg I was just giving you a hard time. :)

    As to our D I think part of the fouls are coming from young players. Babbitt had 6 which isn't to surprising considering we don't have a center and he was probably making sure someone didn't get a easy score or something. I think preseason is also the time to find out what you can and can't get away with especially the young players.

    by mgb on 10/9/2010 1:59 PM
  50. EowynAmarie: both of us have been predicting joel's return ... hmm, maybe it's women's intuition! Joel has become one of my favorite players. he just plain gets it. very hard worker and a great guy. i'm looking forward to seeing him battle in the middle and yes, hopefully inspiring Greg!

    as far as the centers we will encounter in our first several games: Robin Lopez (suns), Chris Kaman (clippers), Joakim Noah (bulls) and Andrew Bogut (bucks). Marcus can hold his own against those guys, and hopefully Joel can assist him, provided he can come back by then.

    Vinnie, Ancientone: Wheels said last night that they were resting Brandon because it was the second night of back-to-back games. Nate probably doesn't want to overwork some of these guys in the preseason.

    all: i remember Wheels remarking about a young official who was working the preseason to try and make his mark and be noticed for his officiating. perhaps that's one reason for some tighter calls in the past couple of games. i also agree that some of the younger players are picking up fouls. this is probably due both to a lack of experience, and from guarding bigger opponents.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/9/2010 4:30 PM
  51. Well, this weekend was interesting. Went to Astoria, good god was it rainy! I asked my father and my brother who won last nights game. My father replied first 109-99. I replied "damn". Then my brother replied, same score, but no play from our starters.

    I was surprised at how we stayed so close to the Nuggets in a building we struggle in. These two losses have been very positive in my eyes, and that's what I need (especially since the reason I was in Astoria was for my friend's interment).

    Jeff is out? Bummer, but I honestly didn't see him playing many minutes at the C position. But it's nice to see the two women on here that are very great posters are thinking the same thing, and that makes me excited.

    Anyways, not much I can say, but shout out to my friend Matt, who would have had his 19th birthday on 10-10-10, a day he was looking forward too. Unfortunately, a terrible cancer took us away from him. Happy Birthday Matt.

    I think I speak for Matt and myself when I say "Go Blazers!"

    by Herr on 10/9/2010 10:33 PM
  52. Not trying to be sexist, but I can't believe how right on the ladies are. Their knowledge of the game sweet!

    by civilhold on 10/10/2010 2:56 AM
  53. Not trying to be sexist, but I can't believe how right on the ladies are. Their knowledge of the game is sweet! I think I'm going to brush up so I'm not put to shame! LOL!

    by civilhold on 10/10/2010 3:04 AM
  54. okay guys, the thing about the women posting here was a bit tongue-in-cheek. however, whenever each of us wants to know something, we research it, learn about it, and are able to offer our individual thoughts on it.

    Herr: i thought Jeff would get minutes at the beginning of the season until Joel and/or Greg came back. it's very unfortunate that he's out for the season already.

    i understand that this is a rough day for Matt's family and friends, so happy birthday to Matt.

    also, happy birthday to Joel Pryzbilla! welcome back to practice, Joel!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/10/2010 12:36 PM
  55. hey all, please check out my attempted humorous blazer blog:



    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/10/2010 1:33 PM
  56. Kass.....that's about enuff out o you.first ,you come on here tearin it up,then now you try and take over my role as blog comedian.Now ,hold on JJJUUUSSST a minute.

    No,seriously,that was hilarious shiznit,YOU ROCK.girl!!

    Herr.. Happy birthday MATT,may you be at peace.

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/10/2010 1:41 PM
  57. Blazers to sign Steven Hill. I was impressed when he played for Portland in the summer league in '08. I surprised he's not on any teams roster already. I think he'll be a good pickup at least for the short term.

    by Ancientone on 10/10/2010 4:18 PM
  58. Vinnie: ha ha ha! i'm definitely not the comedian in the family! i'm very glad you enjoyed. that took me a little wile to come up with, and to be honest, my dormmate Julie gave me two of them, including number one!

    Ancientone: i had heard that, but it's still my understanding that we have to clear a roster spot if we want to keep him into the season.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/10/2010 7:17 PM
  59. Wasn't Steven Hill bagging groceries at Whole Foods?

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/11/2010 6:02 AM
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