mikebarrett

Oct 25

And So it Begins...

By mikebarrett
The hay is in the barn.  At least it better be.  Because this countdown clock is nearing it's end. 

For the second-straight season, the Trail Blazers will open the NBA season at home, against the team that sent them on vacation the previous spring.  Last year, the Blazers exacted some measure of revenge when they beat the Houston Rockets on opening night.  Now, they're hoping for the same kind of result when they host the Phoenix Suns at the Rose Garden.

There will new faces in Blazer uniforms, a new assistant coaching staff, and a new general manager will be sitting next to owner Paul Allen.  But, the goal remains the same.  And, even though there are still many questions to be answered, we start with a fresh set of 82 games.  So, while we'll all be looking to draw all of our conclusions on one night, this is just the beginning of a very long race.

Obviously, the Blazers aren't starting this season at full strength.  But, enough happened on Monday to at least lead us to believe that day is coming sonner than later.  The start of this season may not be totally about Greg Oden (like it was last year), but it'll be tough to establish this team's ceiling until he starts playing again- which could be soon.  He participated in five-on-five work for the first time since fracturing his knee cap, and expressed optimism that the end of this particular long road could be winding down for him.  He also acknowledged that he felt "afraid" and has some serious mental hurdles to get over before he returns to the active roster. 

As for Joel Przybilla, he says he's ready to go right now.  What an emotional lift he'll provide once he takes the floor this season.  We don't know yet when that will be, but clearly, if it were solely up to him, that would be in the season opener.  People rolled their eyes when he set opening night as a target for his return, but it's amazing how close he came to accomplishing just that.

Oden and Przybilla will both make the first road trip of the season, which is a very good sign.  That trip will begin immediately following the game against Phoenix on Tuesday night.  We'll play the Suns, and then head for the airport to start a four-game road trip.  A rare back-to-back set to open the season, and the longest road trip to start a season ever for this franchise.  It's the Clippers on Wednesday at Staples, and then games against the Knicks, Bulls, and Bucks.  In two of those games, at the Clips and at the Knicks, the Trail Blazers will be facing home openers for their opponents.  That's never easy.

But, first things first. 

The Blazers have a new look, but the Suns have an entirely new soul.  Steve Nash is still the engineer, but their number-one scoring threat, and interior heartbeat, Amare Stoudemire is in New York.  That's left Suns fans extremely concerned, and rightfully so.  Add to that the fact that they struggled through an awful preseason, and you see why the expectations are not nearly so high for Phoenix.  They went just 2-6 in the preseason, and took a couple of severe beatings in the process- a 129-78 loss to Toronto, and a 144-106 loss in their exhibition finale to Denver.  Maybe the preseason doesn't mean as much, but it's not meaningless.

The Blazers, of course, didn't exactly tear it up in the preseason themselves.  But, after losing Jeff Pendergraph in the second game, in Utah, the approach seemed to turn to a let's-just-get-through-this kind of preseason.

Monday night, on our Courtside TV/radio program, coach Nate McMillan joined us to talk about the opening of the season, Oden's eventful day, and more.  Click here to listen to that.

Also on the program we started tossing around predictions.  I know, everyone does that.  So, I'm not going to spend much time on our personal predictions, but I'd love to hear yours.  As I've mentioned before, Mike Rice says 47 wins for the Blazers.  Brian Wheeler predicted 52, and Antonio Harvey says 53.  I stuck to what I said about a month ago, and that's 51.  However, I think 51 gets you home-court advantage in the west this year.

I'm tempted to sit here and say that we'll know a lot more following Tuesday night's opener against Phoenix.  But, I'm not even sure that's true.  We still don't know what this team is like totally healthy.  That's what scares the rest of the league.  That's what should excite you. 

What are your predictions?  For the season, for the opening game, for the opening road trip?  And, why?

The next time I post will be from Los Angeles, in the wee small hours, hopefully talking about a Portland win.



Previous Story: Progress in Finale

35 Comments

  1. before the pre-season i predicted 57 wins

    i'll stick with that.

    the upgrades that have been made defensively since the start of last season are the reason. when you have andre, rudy, brandon & lamarcus balanced with wesley, nic, dante and marcus there is no shortage of size, strength, offense or defense. add a splash of armon, and joel, and then greg...

    my surprise prediction is that pryzbilla will play tomorrow night for 10-12 minutes. he started practicing again on Oct. 10th which gives him a solid 2 weeks of practice. the RG will go crazy! i can't wait.

    by reverse on 10/25/2010 10:37 PM
  2. about the suns, i suspect their team will look something like a jazz style of play. small forwards/wing players running all over the place with nash distributing. lopez in the fesenko/ostertag role, and frye in the okur spot.

    the blazers are going to have a balanced attack, and an unexpectedly intense effort. defense is "in style" for this years portland team, and they will bottle up nash by running batum and matthews at him and dragic.

    on offense the surprise will be the second unit in the role of relief pitcher, bringing the heat. after being hammered by the starting unit with andre, brandon and lamarcus, the reserves will speed things up to 45rpm.

    blazers 97 suns 85 in a game that is never in question.

    by reverse on 10/25/2010 10:47 PM
  3. I predict 52 games this year.

    Oden is gonna play full play off series
    Roy will step up and do some really amazing things for this team
    while batums defense gonna make him worth the vote of defensive man of the year. LA gonna lift up his rpg status nd make his 1st trip to an ALL- STAR GAME by being an all star. Rudy will stay here and i espect great things out of this year, he gonna try really hard and bring us a greAT trade all though i wished he stayed here. Wesley will be great with batum they might just dominate some games plus camby pryz nd oden. Thats one good defensive team we got. rookies will have their glimpses j nd babbit but mostly J. he will be our rondo=) lol i cant wait for this season to start nd get rolling nd reaching wc finals by knocking off thunder nd durant=) oden vs durant gonna be a show!!!

    by uri on 10/25/2010 11:00 PM
  4. the road trip will be the official proclamation of lamarcus aldridge for all-star. he'll come out of this trip averaging close to 25 and 10 with a whole gaggle of free throw attempts. lamarcus the barbarian will start early this year in contrast to his younger campaigns.

    a 5-0 start after their opening road trip will put portland on the nba radar and they won't look back until they're riding the #2 seed into the playoffs. the season that everyone was hoping for last year will be delivered in 2010-2011.

    by reverse on 10/25/2010 11:07 PM
  5. Thanks for the Blog Mike:

    courtside wasn't streamed on the Blazers home page. but radio was OK.

    I think we will win the first and second game and lose one on of the road trip. That will be NYC because the Blazers like The Wild One says won't take them serious enough. and with Stoudemire NY could be a great improved team. I don't think the Bulls will be to strong without Boozer, but Portland will have to play tough D. The Bucks may be a problem, but I think we will wear them out.

    I joked with 500dogs that if Greg comes back early with full strength that I would call his drunken prediction of 60 and raise him one. So with Greg play 3/4 of the games 61 wins without him 54 wins.

    by Hg on 10/25/2010 11:57 PM
  6. looking ot start the season with a win!

    by RedRudy5 on 10/26/2010 6:55 AM
  7. * reposted from last blog *

    here are the predictions of this humble girl for the upcoming season. note that the teams' win totals are in parentheses, and that this is assuming Antony is traded.

    eastern conference: heat (61), magic (55), celtics (51), bucks (49), hawks (45), bulls (45), bobcats (42), pacers (41).

    western conference: lakers (56), blazers (55), mavericks (53), jazz (49), thunder (48), spurs (48), rockets (44), clippers (42).

    east finals: heat over magic.
    west finals: lakers over blazers

    * rookie of the year: Blake Griffin (leads clips to the playoffs).
    * coach of the year: Scott Skiles (melds bucks to 4th seed & first round series win.
    * biggest surprise: bucks.
    * biggest disappointment: nuggets.
    * name most mentioned in trade rumors: Chris Paul (Anthony's rumors will involve knicks and nets; Paul's will involve nearly everyone).

    nba champ: heat over lakers (celtics did it first year with the big three; heat will too).

    the blazers will win 55 games this year, just missing the first seed with the lakers since portland will win the season series against l.a., 3-1, and would have been seeded first by virtue of the tiebreaker.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/26/2010 8:12 AM
  8. HG-

    I was able to get streaming, didn't have a problem last night. Do you have the page bookmarked? Was it the Courtside page with a blank video screen, or was it the normal trailblazers.com homepage?

    Sorry you had issues. Just want to fix the problem.

    Dan.

    by Dan Harbison on 10/26/2010 8:36 AM
  9. okay, i'm going to say it again: Joel Pryzbilla is a stud! i've been thinking that he'll make an appearance in the opener. i'm thinking more like six minutes at the start of the second quarter with the second unit. suffice to say, Joel's prediction/goal will come true.

    i think you guys put too much emphasis on Greg coming back. from what i'm hearing, he's about three weeks behind Joel. while it would be great to have both of them -- along with Marcus -- but i would be happy with two of the three, at least in the short term. whether it's Marcus and Joel; Marcus and Greg; or Joel and Greg; we'll be in good shape. all three? well, that should just plain strike some fear into our opponents!

    our first five games: 1. we'll beat the suns (by eight); 2. beat the clippers (we should). 3. steal a tight one from the knicks (lack of complete supporting cast for Stoudamire); 4. lose to the bulls (they're tough, even without Boozer, so i'm going to call this the first loss of the season); 5. beat the bucks (we're not going to lose without them having Bogut). we'll come back from the road trip at 4-1, but Charles Barkely still won't be impressed (yet, who really cares?)!

    hg: i got the video stream last night through blazers.com; it came right up. have you had trouble before?

    Yurly Martinov: i like your prediction of Armon becoming our Rondo; i'd love to see that!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/26/2010 8:38 AM
  10. I'll say 55 wins, and challenging the lakers for the west title..
    I am cautiously encouraged Oden played 5 on 5. Can't wait to see big Joel !
    Go Blazers !!

    by Kim~ on 10/26/2010 9:50 AM
  11. Mr. Barrett: Thank you, thank you for your blog. I am excited to know that we will be hearing from you with greater frequency now :) I am curious, the teams fly private, right? I had the worst experiences flying home two weeks ago and have to say, flying is a tough way to get around, night after night, day after day. The time lags and the recirculated air alone is enough to drive you nuts! So, I admire all of you even more now, especially the players, who turn around and play one of the most grueling sports :)

    Hold on now......the RONDO thing is mine! I swear, I was just saying that on a FV post yesterday afternoon. Jk, but really, I was :)

    Yes, Joel is a super-stud, total definition of a man. Kassandra and I have been saying he would be back early, and it appears we will be correct. I don't know if I am going to hang my hat on tonight, though it wouldn't surprise me, but I fully expect to see him on the floor by Nov 6, my first game at the RG this season.

    And Kassandra read my mind again on the predictions for our road games. I see it the same way (though not the point spread against the Suns....I think we get them by way more than that....statement game).

    Earlier, I predicted we would win 54. I think that might be a tad high, but I feel comfortable saying we are definitely going to make 51. If Greg returns BY December, and is back into the flow by January, I can see us making my prediction and probably higher. Of course, this is BARRING FURTHER MAJOR INJURIES of any kind!! I think we take the 2nd-4th seed in the West and win our division.

    by EowynAmarie on 10/26/2010 9:54 AM
  12. When the schedule first came out I went through it game by game and came up with 58 wins. That was an early prediction, but I am going to stick with it. last year doing the same thing and lossing greg and priz I was only off by 2 games.

    I say 58 wins.

    Go Blazers!

    by Gwave_70 on 10/26/2010 10:33 AM
  13. just looking at the suns roster. their power forward options consist of channing frye, hakim warrick and hedo turkoglu. lamarcus will have 30, or someone else will if they try to double team him. phoenix HAS to be wanting to make a trade for a legit starting 4 as soon as possible. aldridge could match his 31 and 11 from game 4 of the playoffs when he dominated amar'e. statement game? yes, lamarcus aldridge for all-star!

    by reverse on 10/26/2010 11:09 AM
  14. ok, i whispered about the curse of the fab 5 on the old format of the barrett blog last season. looking back at everything that happened last year, there has to be some that think it could be real. so far wade has had hamstring problems & miller broke a finger and needed surgery. i don't think i'm one of those paranoid conspiracy theorists, but, just sayin'.

    also, they brought another bad mojo guy on the roster in the form of jerry stackhouse.

    by reverse on 10/26/2010 11:17 AM
  15. Something tells me Joel Pryzbilla is playing on the road trip. That's my prediction.

    First: YAY! I love that you made a prediction thread! Makes me feel superior even though I probably had nothing to do with it.

    Anyways, my prediction is 2nd seed, 55 wins like Kassandra. However, that is assuming we are healthy.

    I also said on FV 15-5 is how we'll start our season.

    by Herr on 10/26/2010 12:08 PM
  16. I'm going with 58 wins.

    I think this is a better team than the last two years with Wesley and the rookies. I feel we will be healtier that we have in the past two years which with the additions should get us at least four more games than two years ago. Even without Oden I think we are going to do well, but add him in and we might even do better than my prediction.

    Usually I look at a road trip and figure .500 is good, but I think we will do better and win 3 of 4 and I wouldn't be surprise if we swept the road trip because I've felt all along we were going to come out of the gate strong. So when I finally go to my first Blazers game this season against the Thunder(I hope!!!) we'll be 4-1 and maybe 5-0.

    I was watching my Cowboys lose their QB and the game so I missed Courtside, but I did record it so I'll be able to check it out today and then I might have more comments.

    GO BLAZERS!!!

    by mgb on 10/26/2010 2:00 PM
  17. Hey Dan,

    I'm subscribed to Barrett's blog, but I never get a email notification when there is a new blog. What's the point in subscribing?

    Thanks!

    by mgb on 10/26/2010 2:02 PM
  18. okay, forget the idea of Joel playing tonight. according to Jason Quick, Joel Greg and Elliot will be listed as inactive for tonight's game.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/26/2010 3:17 PM
  19. Dan:

    I went to the Trailblazers home page, it has always been there when I go there. I don't know where else to go. give me an address and I will bookmark it.

    Thank You for the reply

    Hg

    by Hg on 10/26/2010 3:23 PM
  20. Kassandra:

    I usually always get it on the Blazers home page, but not last night. I just now thought that I didn't get to get to homecourt until seven--darn woman called me and I couldn't get her to shut up. Maybe that had something to do with it. Anyway I hope Dan will send me a the page for courtside. I could probably find it but I have to my secretarial work and get bowling. The lanes I bowl at has KGW. How do you think I will bowl LOL?

    by Hg on 10/26/2010 3:30 PM
  21. MB,

    When you connect to the internet you are assign a IP address and by that IP address you can tell where that person is connecting from and that's how it tells if you are within the range for free streaming or not. There are sites you can log into and they mask your real IP, but unless the IP they give you is local it wouldn't help in this case.

    by mgb on 10/26/2010 5:30 PM
  22. wow! Nicolas! Brandon! the Armonizer!

    great opening night win! the team effort was exceptional!

    i'm sure we'll be talking about this later, so i'm gonna leave it at that!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/26/2010 9:45 PM
  23. this bit from dave at BE is right on the money:

    "In every victory there's an unsung hero. Tonight that was LaMarcus Aldridge. Not only did he rebound and pressure as mentioned above, he was content to play the decoy on offense. Phoenix was worried about him and sent extra men. Aldridge didn't force it. He simply passed. Some of those passes were bail-outs but most found the mark. It got to be a game in itself: shift the defense then pass and strike. This couldn't have happened had LaMarcus' ego gotten in the way. He sacrificed himself for the team without giving up any effort on the defensive end. How long have we been waiting to see somebody do that? Oh, and he set some picks too. On other nights LMA will score 20. Tonight his 3-9 with 8 points and 9 boards looks just fine."

    Most nights when people call lamarcus soft or are overly critical of him, the above is exactly the case, especially when his numbers look like this in a win. they doubled and tripled him, and nic was so wide open it was at times laughable.

    by reverse on 10/26/2010 10:31 PM
  24. Great win, I'll give the Blazers that. I saw too many growing pains in this game, on the defensive end, but yet again the Suns are use to creating their own shot. I loved Armon and Wesley, being the first times I've really seen them play. The Bayless trade sounded so bitter sweet, but that bitterness went away when it gave this guy and Rudy some minutes.

    Speaking of Rudy, I can't believe he ever wanted to leave. I just love the guy, and he looks happy. He's making better decisions with the ball and is knowing what coach Nate wants. He'll earn his minutes and stay in Portland.

    Brandon Roy, thank you for convincing me that you are the best on the team.

    Batum, if I saw you, I'd do two things. First I would like FREAK OUT because I love my Blazers. Second is I would thank you for the effort you put into this game. Great clutch shooting and great defense on Nash.

    LMA looked a bit sloppy today, and that kind of worries me. I think he has good chances at being an All-Star, but if he can't take Hedo down lower to the basket, he's been lying about being more physical. I'd like to see him closer to the basket. Although I will give him the benefit of having two players CONSTANTLY on him.

    I say we win tomorrow. Good thing it's on ESPN, I can watch it on their network since Comcast sucks and is expensive.

    by Herr on 10/26/2010 10:34 PM
  25. Nice comment travisd, but I'd still like to see him more downlow. A lot of the times when I watched him, I saw him far from the key.

    by Herr on 10/26/2010 10:49 PM
  26. Got a question for you all. Would you pick Durant over Batum, Mathews, and Oden? That's what I thought...

    by Herr on 10/26/2010 11:25 PM
  27. Herr,

    Not sure exactly what you think. Are we talking a healthy Oden? If so I wouldn't trade him for Durrant let alone the rest.

    by mgb on 10/27/2010 1:59 AM
  28. One down ,55. to go

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/27/2010 6:41 AM
  29. It was great to hear M and M back rockin the mike.Even tho KATU was having some major technical difficulties.BTW,MB,the KGW feed now goes 150 miles this year I got it here in Eugene.Last year I couldn't even buy those games.Last night I had Blazers on my laptop and Houston/?LA on other channel.Basketball glutton's dream.

    i liked the energy on D.for the most part.I think that we might be having to work on help rotation,because they got some easy baskets.But,anytime you guard Steve Nash,that is gonna hhappen.


    Nic was the STUD of the game .5 offensive rebounds at half.He is definitely asserting himself.11 total to lead the Blazers He owned The fourth with the tre's and single handedly took over.Quite impressive.maybe somewhat unexpected to a degree.

    I think we do a great job at rebounding from spots other than the 5.Matthews ,Nic,BRoy,Dre all rebound well for their position.We smoked Phoenix on the boards

    What more can I say about the Armonizer?I was on BEdge,and he made that block,I wrote "Armonized".He definitely exceeded even MY expectations.
    He ran the point WAAAYY better than JBAY ever could.He dished he scored and he played D.all things JBay couldn't do on a consistent basis.I love it when he locked arms with Hedo and didn't even back down. But then again,Hedon't is about as soft as a roll of Charmin:) Overall,I was pleased with the performance.
    I just want to say again how cool my wife is during basketball season. I disappear for three hours every couple of days to completely immerse myself in Blazer Basketball.she goes off and reads or whatever and leaves me be.I appreciate it,cause she isn't the biggest sports fan that I know.It does take time from our relationship,so i respect her for sacrificing .

    OH,side note,Fabricio fouls like Juwan........For Keeps.

    Then,oh yeah,Blake is BMOC at LA, now.So now he's their Steve Kerr?

    ancientone,hope that got ya started off on the right foot:)

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/27/2010 7:33 AM
  30. I hate radio pundits. Jaynes actually said he didn't see anything different from out team....that's right, anything. I remember watching the fourth quarter, in a close game mind you, and never once seeing Brandon in ISO. Batum hit shot after shot, Miller put some up, Matthews was in there, Brandon passed and passed and passed again. I seriously can't think of when I have not seen Brandon taking total control at the bottom of the 4th when it looks like we could lose at any moment (other than when he was coming back from injury last season). I really wondered if they watched the same game I did. Our rebounding was pretty good, Nico had 19 points (!), our pace was a tad quicker, LMA played much better defense, and Brandon was not the only legit scoring threat on the floor. I serioulsy don't understand the complaints. If a person wants to change our style of play soooo much....why do they continue to be a Blazer fan? Go watch a team that plays the way you like. Our team is what it is. We have a right to expect them to improve in the areas where they can and to maximize their talent, but not to expect them to be a team they simply are not. I really don't get it.

    LMA looked a little frustrated after awhile, and by the 4th, had reverted to his fade-away jumper. However, prior to that, I thought he handled the double and triple team very well, at the least, much better than last season. He has put in some work and it shows. I too was a little disappointed he didn't take it into Hedo more, but they were trapping him so bad, I think he just chose to pass instead. Which is a great strategy when Roy is hitting half of what he tries and MARCUS CAMBY is hitting his ugly jumper :) Also, I remember one time when LMA went up HARD for a block, that he missed, but I was impressed with his defensive effort. Much, much tougher.

    Wesley....oh sweet Wesley.....Kassandra, see why I like him so much? I know you do, I won't make you say it, lol! My husband, who is not a BB guy, turned to me near the end of the game and said, "I'm done with Brandon, Wesley is going to be our guy." I laughed at him, but I understood what he was saying. He remains unconvinced that the secret is the two of the them together, but I was very, very happy to see Roy, Wesley, and Nico on the floor together at one time. They work well together and could easily be a triple scoring threat at any given time.

    Rudy was exceptional, and yes, seems waaaaayyyy happier. I think the PG spot suits him pretty well, as long as he is hitting his 3, and it's in short spurts. The difference in passing when Miller is in the game is just as remarkable as when Camby is in there defensively. His skills really show up, as does his experience. But it's still only Camby, and occassionally Roy, who finds the wide open or cutting Nico :)And Armon!!! Wow! One of the NBA twitter people said, "this rook can PLAY"! LOVED that. I was so impressed, so impressed. I have been high on him since Summer League and knew he was going to work for us better than JBay. PGOTF!

    GO BLAZERS!!!!

    by EowynAmarie on 10/27/2010 7:42 AM
  31. Armon made me a believer. He removed one of my sins. Thou shalt not covet. I had coveted Arron Brooks. Armon looks like our pg of the future and I no longer covet.

    by Ancientone on 10/27/2010 7:42 AM
  32. Vinnie I did. Sounds like your wife is as cool as mine. She goes to the other end of the house during games and pretends to listen when I rehash it at the end of the game.

    by Ancientone on 10/27/2010 7:57 AM
  33. From Ben at BE: "Tonight was really best case scenario for how the trio can win games in the fourth quarter. Matthews had 5 fourth-quarter points. Roy had 5 fourth-quarter points. Batum had 11 fourth-quarter points, including the three three-pointers already mentioned. Those numbers are almost certainly giving you a headache because they are disorienting. No need to consult a doctor. Just sit down and take a deep breath. This feeling is known as "late-game offensive scoring balance" and it's totally normal, it's just not something you're used to. You'll be fine. The symptoms should go away shortly."

    by EowynAmarie on 10/27/2010 8:04 AM
  34. Ancientone,yeah ,you know what they say,,if the wife is happy,EVERYBODY is happy, so,I try to keep a happy wife:)
    But, she knows how happy the games make me,so she puts up with it.

    by DowntownVinnie on 10/27/2010 8:38 AM
  35. i just have to say WOW! the guys came through and put it together. this looked nothing like the portland team who lost to phoenix in the playoffs last year.

    game ball goes to Nicolas for his defense and those treys. he made the suns pay for their defensive assignment of putting Nash on him by going inside and grabbing those offensive rebounds. Nicolas had just about as complete a game as a guy can have. btw, fourth quarter scoring: Nicolas 11, suns 11.

    Brandon reminded me that pre-season really doesn't matter. he played a complete game last night, first half and second. he's a guy who doesn't need to force things, but can let the game come to him. sure, we could ask him to basically be the team, but that's not his role with us. i'm glad.

    i tend to agree with Dave over at blazersedge in his assessment of LaMarcus' role last night. in fact, Michael Holton said some very similar things on the 5th quarter. while he may have had a size advantage over Turgolu, that's not the game we needed from him. critics can pan him for not going inside, but last night that would have just clogged the middle which we were trying to unclog. LaMarcus as a decoy opened up a lot of opportunities for Nicolas, Brandon, Wesley and Marcus.

    speaking of Marcus, he may just hustle better than any other center his age. not only did he score 13 and grab 10 boards, he dished three assists, blocked a shot and snagged a steal. i particularly liked when he went to the floor after the loose ball.

    Wesley had the type of game i think a lot of you guys expected him to have, and if he continues to do so, i'll be happy with the acquisition (btw, i don't need everyone pointing out to me how great they think he is!). Armon's never-back-down determination can hopefully be addicting. he played some great defense and gave us that spark in the fourth quarter. i must admit that i thought of Vinnie when i realized it was the Armonizer getting some playing time in the fourth!

    Andre, for all his criticisms, distributed the ball very well and also gave us a lift in the fourth when we needed it. Dante had a very serviceable game -- not a knock on him with that word -- just a very nice blue collar effort. Rudy showed some nice hustle, but ouch -- missing those free throws! although it was limited, and barely a day after joining the team, i liked the effort put forth by Fabricio. three minutes of rest he can give Marcus is valuable.

    we outrebounded the suns by 18 and more than doubled their assist total. i'd just like to say in response to critics of the offense: you don't get 31 assists as a team with guys just standing around. great ball movement.

    the game got so good in the fourth, my dormmate was getting excited and yelling for the blazers!

    and finally ... so this means Rice thinks we'll only win 46 more?

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 10/27/2010 8:53 AM
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