mikebarrett

Nov 15

Familiar Feeling in the Air

By mikebarrett
Just because we've felt this before, doesn't make it any more comfortable now.  And, it's clear, sitting around and feeling like your team deserves a break is a waste of time.  How you deal with individual situations, and how you play the hand that you're dealt, is truly what defines you.  Does that make difficult times easier?  It should, shouldn't it?

Every team faces, at worst, difficult times, and at best, uncertainty.  We're only 11 games into this long NBA season and we've already dealt with a good amount of both. 

Last season, I got so tired of saying "gosh, it wasn't supposed to happen this way..."  No one feels sorry for you in this business, so it's a waste of time to feel sorry for yourself.  You deal, you adjust, and you move on.  That's it.  It certainly helps if you have the ability to use perspective during this process.

I can't help but think how differently we'd all be feeling right now if Rudy's wide-open three would have gone down on Friday night in Oklahoma City, or even if the Blazers would have been able hang on to the lead at home against the Thunder.  Everything comes down to inches in this game, and our present feelings are so determined by those moments.

The positive side is, all things considered, the Trail Blazers have fought through probably their toughest stretch of the schedule, have dealt with more adversity than many teams will face the entire season, and are above .500.  Am I guilty of lowering standards to fit a situation?  Probably.  But, reality is reality.  I don't need to sit here and go through the list of hurdles this team has faced already, from Pendergraph, to Oberto, to Oden, to Elliot Williams, to Brandon, to the emotional blow of losing a beloved friend and mentor to cancer. 

Wow, we're only 11 games in?

So, the familiar feeling that's in the air is simply uncertainty.  I find myself asking the question, at weaker moments, "what in the heck is next?"  But, the question should probably be, "what now?"  As it relates to Brandon Roy, we simply don't know.

Bradon hasn't gone home, he is with us here in Memphis, and has been listed as "questionable" for Tuesday's game against the Grizzlies.  After watching him leave the game in pain on Saturday in New Orleans, I'm a little surprised there's still a chance he plays in Memphis.  I talked to Brandon back at the hotel in New Orleans after the game, and he was walking fine, and was heading out to find some dinner.  He wasn't favoring the knee at all.  He just shrugged, rolled his eyes, and that said enough.  We're not the only ones feeling uncertain.  

Brandon has dealt with this stuff before, and no one knows his knees better than he does.  I get the feeling this is going to be a hit-and-miss situation for a while.  In the short term at least, he'll probably feel fine at times, and in pain at others.  He has said he feels like once the schedule loosens up a bit, the knee will calm down and he'll be fine.  That's what has happened in the past.  

We're also uncertain about Joel Przybilla's status for Tuesday.  He's ready, and wants to return.  Whether or not it happens in Memphis has yet to be decided.  If he does, it'll likely be for a few short stretches in the game.  You can practice all you want, and think you're putting your body to the test, but game shape and game speed is entirely different.  He knows that, and I think he's curious and anxious to test himself.  Even if it's just a brief return to the floor, it'll be a huge lift to this team just having him on the court in uniform.

We haven't seen Joel in a game since December 22nd in Dallas.  That was a game Portland won- despite having lost Oden just a couple of weeks before, and then watched Przybilla crumple to the floor in the first half.  After that, they put aside the disappointment, didn't fret about the unknown, and fought through a difficult time. 

Like I said, we're used to this.






 

47 Comments

  1. Thanks MIke - a comforting post to be honest. Indeed it's been rough season already, but the team has no choice, given all the games still to be played, to try and see things in a positive way. I think last season's experience will help and hopefully, they just go out and do their best and leave it all out there on the court. That is a cliche, I know, but I think that is what we have to do, just take what we've been given and go for it, as you said.

    I will certainly stand by this team, no matter what happens and I know they have Faith in themselves and I think we fans have to and will, feel the same way, win or lose.

    GO BLAZERS!

    by Anees on 11/15/2010 10:31 AM
  2. It's disheartening to go from so much potential to WTF!!! I will say I'm proud to see our guys fighting. We have players that care and play their hearts out. My expectations as far as wins, losses, or playoffs are concerned are out the window.

    I just want to see us play hard. My focus will be on how our unproven guys step up. This is their time.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 11/15/2010 10:34 AM
  3. Thanks Mike, you summed things up beautifully. The Blazers have become the Job of the NBA. But they just keep fighting through it. That shows what kind of men they are, and what kind of coach we have in Nate. No matter what, I LOVE this team and am PROUD to call them mine. GO BLAZERS!!

    by mrsdj on 11/15/2010 10:45 AM
  4. I always love reading your posts. You put such great perspective on things. Some people are way to fast to panic when adversity strikes this team. Way to keep us level-headed :)

    by Cristi on 11/15/2010 10:47 AM
  5. MB you are my hero !!

    by Kim~ on 11/15/2010 11:00 AM
  6. Joel has been my favorite Blazer for several years and I will be so glad to see him step back onto the court. Mike, you're right when you say that moment will be a big emotional lift for the team. While there has been some early disappointments, there is a lot to like, too. I'm liking that Miller is stepping up in a big way just when we'd want him to. I like that Matthews is meshing with his new team. I'm loving the way the rookie Johnson is apparently stepping right into the NBA with nothing but confidence. I'm also very pleased to see that Rudy has decided to be a man and play his roll with this team without any further drama. Most of all, I'm excited about the prospect of Oden coming back this year and finally proving to the world that he was worthy of that #1 pick. Go, Blazers!

    by plucack on 11/15/2010 11:01 AM
  7. nice artcle..go blazers

    by Miller on 11/15/2010 11:22 AM
  8. One concern I have with Roy is once we are in the playoffs he won't get much time to rest unless we sweep some of the series. I guess that's what I'll hope for! :)

    by mgb on 11/15/2010 11:26 AM
  9. Now this is a very good blog MB! Ya know, I know Blazer fans love their team but sometimes they just don't stand behind a "common sence" way of thinking. As soon as someone is injured they want to trade them or point out what a big mistake the organization has made or how the season is now over. Might we all be reminded that just last season we went through this in 3 fold and still turned out a 50 win season, thank you very much Andre Miller. It's early, and now maybe the worst is out of the way? We have good and positive things to now look forward to. We will be getting TWO awesome centers back to go with our already ageless wonder and we now have players that can come off the bench and push the tempo of the game and catch other teams off guard. Like Mike said, if Rudy's 3 goes in or we make one more big play in OT against the Thunder and this team is 8-3. Have no fear my friends, the road ahead doesn't look so bad...Have faith and support your team!

    peace out,
    daddy

    by daddylogan on 11/15/2010 11:33 AM
  10. Thanks for the update Mike. I don't know if I'm more excited about the prospect of Joel coming back as I am concerned about Brandon's knees. Brandon will rally, though. He always does.
    I agree with the fact that lamenting our teams health issues does no good but aren't the odds with us? I mean, shouldn't we have a healthy team ... someday?

    by kaemicha on 11/15/2010 12:19 PM
  11. Mike. Thanks for the positive perspective and for keeping us updated. Next time you speak with Brandon, ask him if he has heard of SynVisc. I am 55 with similar knee issues. My rheumatologist administers Synvisc as an injection to the area behind the patella. It is a synthetic version of something we have in our bodies and is non toxic as it does not enter the bloodstream. It creates a "slickery" feeling and allows the joint to move smoothly. I was good to go for 6 months after my last injection. BRoy has great doctors...they probably already know about this...but....I went to several in my effort to feel better, and had to ASK about it myself. Thanks Mike.

    by 2catkiss on 11/15/2010 12:42 PM
  12. Great to hear from you. Portion of your blog was on BE, before you posted and I have spent the morning commenting on BRoy. My big thing is the only thing that is certain in life is change or very few things are certain, so the best thing to do is deal with the doubtful without being certain of the outcome.

    Or better said, the only thing in life that is guaranteed is change and even change is uncertain.

    I agree with you on Joel. Just being in uniform and if he only gets on the floor for a minute would be a big boost for him and the team.

    I do feel that some point in BRoy's career that a decision will have to be made, but that will be BRoy's call. Until then, it is most likely, like you said, a hit and miss situation. He will definitely have his good days and bad days. Therefore, with Brandon's choice to stay grounded and be a facilitator and pull up jump shooter will help in the long run. We must learn to be patient.

    As a team, I feel we are great, as for doubt in the parts, that can be overcome with our bench stepping up

    by magnumpi on 11/15/2010 1:13 PM
  13. I find that though I'm dispirited by the recent losses, I'm not worried about this team, or the season. The last two games have confirmed my impression that the best predictor of how the game goes is how Lamarcus plays. At OKC he was butterfinged early, though he shot well when not throwing the ball away, and the team stopped looking to him. Instead Roy finally tried some inside drives, after having had success earlier in the Ray Allen role of deadly spot shooter, and the shift didn't work out too well. At New Orleans the whole team seemed groggy in the first quarter and then lacked the energy to sustain a come-back. Lamarcus' outside shot was off, and there wasn't enough effort to get him the ball inside. If Brandon misses time it means more focus on Lamarcus as the center of the offense, more time for Wesley and Rudy to get comfortable in their roles. I think we've got the talent to do well once our bigs are back and our developing stars find their niches.
    I did have a few quibbles, MB, with your choice of words during the broadcasts. I didn't mind the first time you pointed out that on Brandon's key drive to the hoop at OKC that two players were wide open; that's valuable information. But once we saw the replay it was obvious he was concentrating only on the basket and had no idea he was missing a great opportunity. The manner in which you repeated the info that he had missed the open men seemed to hammer him for what he didn't do, when the problem is what he is. I do think we should have the ball in the hands of someone who looks for open shooters and that's the drawback of having a non-point-guard as your penetrator. I guess what I'm saying is that it came off like a rip on Brandon's judgement, when it really reflected his role and training. The ability to see three things at once--ball, defense and teammates-- is a high level skill, and it explains why Steve Nash is a two-time MVP.
    I had a similar twinge when you called the bad passes that led to cheap buckets early at New Orleans "lazy" passes. I understand that the announcer was probably just as hard hit by the insane travel schedule as the players, but the work choice is just a tad inaccurate. They don't make those passes because they're not working hard, but because they lack the concentration to make those fine calculations about target, defense and ball path. It's careless not to be sure where the defender is before delivering the ball, but "lazy" seems perjorative. Guys tired from a late flight have trouble concentrating. Players pass before looking, and announcers say "lazy" instead of "sloppy."
    I also think you beat the horse a bit too hard on those occasions when we are giving up offensive rebounds. The claim is that we're being outworked, and it's certainly true that hard work is almost always imperative for the team that gets an offensive rebound. But the defensive lapse that allows the preventable rebounds is really a failure of concentration. A great defensive rebounder needs to be locked onto the ball and at the same time on blocking out his man. Rice pointed out that the Blazer bigs mostly don't block out, but just jump for the ball. (Can't wait until Joel gets back; HE blocks out) That deficiency hurts us, no doubt, but it's a matter of training and technique, not effort. And you've sounded your refrain when we've been giving up offensive boards for a while "and New Orleans (or whoever) grabs the rebound while four Blazer's stand around" more than once when it was obvious at home that it was really just one of those odd bounces, a graze-of- the-rim deflection that sent the ball to the bad guys too fast for anyone to react. It's frustrating when you get bad luck on top of bad play, but it seems unfair to hammer guys for lack of effort on bounces only The Flash could have reached.
    Having said all this, I'm delighted to have a home team announcer who calls out the team for their mistakes instead of making excuses. I'm a critical guy--hell, I made sort-of-a-living as a critic--and it feels weird to be in the position of the fan who thinks someone else is being too harsh, or at least harsh in the wrong way. I am in awe, actually, of how often you come up with the right word on the spot; as a print guy I always wanted a whole night to think on it before I would set out to describe and evaluate what I had seen. But I think that your tendency to lump different sorts of failures under the heading of "not working hard enough" is something you might want to think about. There are times when it's clearly appropriate--not hustling hard on the break, not closing out on D--but there's a tendency in sports talk to make things be about effort and character when they're more about skill and judgment. I have no doubt at all of your work ethic, and your professional skills are outstanding, but every now and again your choice of emphasis comes across as lazy thinking.

    by Islander on 11/15/2010 1:22 PM
  14. Islander,

    Good comments, and good points. You're right about the travel. We probably tend to focus on things, and maybe are overly quick to point out things that we know the coaches have really worked on- because we're at most practices and shootarounds. As much as I take heat for being a homer, and that's all well and fine too, it's actually kind of refreshing to get your perspective. We never pretend to have this whole thing figured out, and I take every opinion to mind.

    I always appreciate all of you taking the time to comment.

    MB

    by mikebarrett on 11/15/2010 1:37 PM
  15. Howdy folks. About the Blazers... well... what can we say?

    TravisD summed it up nicely on how Portland, realistically, in the rules of basketball, won that game in OKC. Unfortunately, a childrens playground, which is known as the Thunder, is much more interesting than a team maturing. Sucks to be a small market at times, but, whatever is whatever.

    Few things I've come to realize.

    Number one is that this team is NO LONGER under the radar or so to speak. I no longer predict 50 wins, and I'm leaning towards Rice's prediction, just because of how wild this season ALREADY is. I'm not giving up on the team, and I expect 50+ wins, but given the position the Blazers are in, and the expectations they are given, 47 wins seems more realistic than being 2nd seed in the West, especially with the surprises like New Orleans, Utah, and San Antonio. I'm fine with no having home court advantage, because honestly the Blazers played better on the road against the Suns in the playoffs, and against OKC. They seem much more mature on the road, and I feel much more comfortable.

    Mike, I say we rest Brandon Roy now. Next week, we basically play NO games. The Blazers can beat Memphis without Roy. New Orleans comes to town, rest Roy (he scored 2 points in 22 minutes...). I'm not sure what the rest of the schedule is... but you get the picture - rest Roy. Joel coming back, if he does, will be a big enough lift to support this team, much like Brandon did in the playoffs. It basically shows that there is "some hope", and we've got younger players that, honestly, go out there to try to prove themselves more than worry about Roy. It'll also give players like LaMarcus a chance to prove themselves as scorers, and hopefully make Rudy feel happier. He's been playing fantastic lately. I was VERY shocked to see that 3 pointer not go in.

    Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I'd much rather lose these next games and get a lot of positives out of them than win these next three games and get a lot of negatives.

    Anyways, I hate to say it, but I'm realizing the Blazers are overrated. They gave themselves a reasonable goal, but the NBA fans give them a much bigger one. I don't think they're ready to take on that role. People expect us to challenge the Lakers in the WCF and take them to 7. Possible, but not realistic at this point, especially since Roy is questionable for the rest of his career (or so we hear). When healthy, those goals are reasonable. But, right now, I fear teams like Utah and Denver more than the Lakers.

    I know we could sweep OKC in a 7 game series. With another big, Westbrooke can't do jack.

    by Herr on 11/15/2010 2:21 PM
  16. Great blog- nice to hear your perspective- hope Brandon is right. we will hope for the best!

    by RedRudy5 on 11/15/2010 3:01 PM
  17. We should've kept Jerryd.
    Now I know I'm gonna get some Rudy lovin' flak for this, but Jerryd knew the system, and was a good back up plan if Roy was a no go. How many 1-6 nights, with terrible defense attached from Fernandez, does it take for folks to realize that the Blazers traded the wrong dude? There's a big difference in having a chance to win, and actually winning. Jerryd Bayless is a winner, if that's not completely obvious by looking at New Orleans record. "Oh, well, Bayless isn't playing that good anyway." How do you know? We've only seen 1 Hornets game on TV, while the NBA has forced 3 Clippers games down our throats on ESPN. Jerryd has a role behind the scenes that pays off big on winning teams. He's a practice freakazoid, a gym rat. I personally believe that the Blazers traded Jerryd Bayless simply because they were sick of him literally beating up on everybody in practice.
    Sorry for venting some frustrations here MB, I'm just very worried about Brandon's injury, as I'm sure we all are. GO BLAZERS!

    by Tobyus Sanchezo on 11/15/2010 4:39 PM
  18. Tobyus Sanchezo:You missed the mark on all but one point, my burrito smoking hermano. You were destined to get some flak over your comment. If time were measured by an hourglass, then for every thirsty fan out there is a canteen full of sand. Jerryd is not a commodity unknown to the organization or to the fans. He had multiple opportunities to demonstrate his skills, and always seemed to provide more questions than answers. He is unequivocally not another Jermane O'Neil, where we let the sand slip through our fingers, rather he is the dust that finally settled on this grand experiment of a promising first round draft pick which went awry. I agree that his work ethic and competitivism is admirable, in this case, hindsightedness is not 20/20.

    by Phi Slamma on 11/15/2010 5:23 PM
  19. I'd like to take a moment to wind back the clock to the first game of the preseason...

    My dad and I had just had a fantastic meal, a couple beers, and were enjoying the first tequila toast of our 11 game ticket package. I asked how many wins--he said 58 and I said 60... Now can we just keep the clock wound and try this over again?

    I've come to realize that I suffered from inflated expectations. Even with a completely healthy roster, this is not a championship caliber team. What I've also come to realize is that's okay. We had one such team in '77, and another with Clyde and Crew (even though they didn't win, they were still champs). This current generation is a fine group of players and I'm proud to support them, but they just ain't got it.

    I've been in blissful denial for a couple years, and it took all of last year's injuries, a lackluster start, a horrible beating by the champs, and finally watching Roy walk off the court only 11 games into the season for me to come down to earth. We have a very talented team here in Portland, but they can't stay on the court. Without time together, there is no team chemistry. Without that, we can look forward to four or five more seasons of 1st round exits before it's back to the drawing board.

    The thing is, that's okay with me now. I don't need them to be contenders to root for them; they're the home team! I'll always cheer for the Blazers, even if they're half the team these guys are. I love this city, I love this team, and I love this sport. That's all that matters. Sign me up for next season's ticket package. I'm in it for the long haul, I just don't have any expectations anymore. You know what? It feels really good to write that--like a beer after a bike wreck.

    by 500Dogs on 11/15/2010 6:14 PM
  20. We are not even in the top 20 in scoring .So ,what are we gonna do if BRoy is "Day to Day".He's officially out for Tuesday's game against Memphis so,where will the points come from?
    Will Rudy and Wesley pick up the slack ? IMO,I'm not sure that either is consistent enough so far..
    Also,what does the future hold with BRoy' prognosis?.Monty Williams even said he didn't look right.As a loyal fan,It's scary at best!
    .I just want to say firstly, thanx to Broy for all he's done for this team and city, but dare I say...............................BRoy = Allan Houston?
    I'm not tryin to be "Chicken Little" or anything,I just quit honestly think these are realistic questions to be asked.

    by DowntownVinnie on 11/15/2010 6:18 PM
  21. Tobyus Sanchezo....JBay got ran outta town by .....The Armonizer.JBay was never as consistent as Armon is and JBay made more mistakes ,both offensively and defensively.Rudy isn't why we traded JBay.It's all about "The Armonizer"

    by DowntownVinnie on 11/15/2010 6:27 PM
  22. a) brandon is not out yet

    b) if b-roy is out for a while, i wouldn't be surprised is wesley, nic, andre or rudy (or some combination of the four) could get hot game to game.

    c) of the first 11 games, 7 were on the road & the team is over .500

    d) the schedule gets easier soon

    a while ago i had said that the blazers needed to try to break even until joel comes back on the 26th. i'm sticking to that. even if they fall a bit short of that, i think they have big things in store this season. they have a legit team put together. i hope they can get a win against memphis, and then one of two against denver & utah (who come in from san antonio the night before), and then maybe have some good fortune against the hornets with joel back in the mix. i'd gladly take them being 8-6 with pryzbilla getting in the line-up after 5 days off.

    being realistic, denver ain't so hot, but the jazz beat the crap out of some heavy hitters this week.

    in my estimation, even if the blazers are 7-7 at that point, with pryz back, oden coming later, and brandon gliding along on SynVisc we go 50-18 from there on out and make my 57-25 pre-pre-season prediction.

    by reverse on 11/15/2010 7:36 PM
  23. MB: you said it in a nutshell; Brandon knows Brandon. no one in the world knows him better than himself (well, perhaps his mother, but that's a whole other comment!). i'm concerned about Brandon's future and i know his drive to want to be his best on the court -- we've all seen that. i am concerned about the blazers this year, with or without him, but i would be regardless.

    however, i think we have several options, rotation-wise, if he misses some games (most notably tomorrow night). i think we still are deep at the sg position. there are two players who could fill in -- Rudy and Wesley -- and Nicolas could slide down to that position with Dante giving more minutes to sf, especially if Joel returns and Sean keeps giving us a quality eight- to 12-minutes per game. great teams are those who can adapt to their surroundings.

    the report is that Brandon will not play against memphis. that's all right. i don't mind if he's out a game or two beyond that. he has said all along that a lot of this is mental. don't get me wrong; the current issue is physical. but Brandon will know when he can turn it on. like many, i'm more concerned with his presence and effectiveness toward the end of the season and playoffs than i am during the 12th game of the season.

    do we want Brandon to be great? do we want him to be our all-star? do we want a man like him to set the tone for the character of the franchise? yes to all.

    to that end, i don't think it is the time to be critical, but to be supportive. sure, that may be cheerleader-like, but when it comes to this team, aren't we homers basically cheerleaders for this team?

    i made reference a couple of blogs ago to the following regarding Brandon on the court: he is thinking too much. i think when he comes back he needs to go in the moment -- which is what he has always seemed to do -- and stop clouding his thoughts with "if i go left, this will happen" or "if i take the ball this time that will happen." i love his enthusiasm and love for this team and his role, i just don't want him to be consumed with the mentality of it on the court.

    the reports have said that Joel has been ready for quite a while, but that precautions by the team have delayed his return. i don't expect the same old Joel the minute he hits the floor for the first time. what i expect is to see a guy physically ready to battle who can work his way into his old self over a few games. Joel rocks; there's just no ifs, ands or buts about it.

    Joel's return also alleviates a some rotation issues should Brandon need a little extra time to deal with his knee.

    basically what i'm saying is that i'm concerned for Brandon, but not worried, and very excited to see Joel back on the hardwood.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/15/2010 7:50 PM
  24. 500 Dogs: You might enjoy a beer after a bike wreck, but what you probably need is some brain surgery after thwacking your head on the pavement. I found your post refreshing in that it is a rarity most welcome to see a fan acknowledge that their expectations maybe have been a little unrealistic. (especially this early in the season). This team lacks an offensive punch, and a defensive intensity that would draw them from obscurity into a contender. I don't need to be right. In this rare case, I don't even want to be. I recall a season in the not too distant past where a blazer defeat by 20 points or more was as rare as a solid copper penny. Let the reader born before 1982 understand. Now I get the sinking feeling that if we lose within 20 they have done the city proud. I ride my unicycle blindfolded, with a bud in one hand, a blazer program in the other, while twizzling Blaze's scooby snack on my left tootsie. It's a vehicle with no direction. A wobbly concoction of sheer talent mixed with a pinch of cluelessness and a playing card pinned to its spokes to simulate the sound of a real engine. This time the card is the joker, and I'm afraid he very well may get the last laugh.

    by Phi Slamma on 11/15/2010 7:54 PM
  25. Nice blog Mr. Barrett. I think it's too bad the wrong (from the past two blogs) could not be righted in some way. Oh well..Your positive words, when everyone else seems so negative (except Dave on BE, who also seems to have a healthy and balanced perspective), are always welcome. Oh, and I think you are very gracious when responding to your critics and detractors. A true example of professionalism, touche' :)

    So many of you have had such interesting things to say, most of them positive. I am really glad to see that.

    Today, I felt....depressed. Dallas beat the Hornets, something we failed to do. Denver beat the Lakers a few days ago, something we failed to do. And then the Thunder broke Utah's 5-game streak, something I am 100% positive we could NOT have done. We were atop the division for a few days, and now we are almost at the bottom. We are not even in the top 8 in the WCF, while both GSW and New Orleans are.....I know it's only 11 games in, and we have been on the road for 64%, but it just feels......sad.

    I believe Roy can come back from this situation. That he will still be our top scorer most nights, and that he will find a way to adjust his playing style to accomodate his weaknesses. I do believe he has actually been working on that bit by bit ever since his original surgeries. I am in no way writing off Brandon, or this young core. But I am sad for him, he who seems like such a decent guy, who just wanted to win a ring, for himself, for his family, and for Portland.

    Are the Blazers contenders? They certainly don't look like it right now. Does that mean they aren't? No, not at all. Is it time to throw out the baby with the bathwater? That's just silly. We were NEVER going to win the Ring this year anyway, no matter what our record ends up being, and if you really, really thought that at the beginning of the season, then your lowered expectations are certainly more realistic. We still have a great shot at making the 2nd round, and as long as that happens, we are still on track. It is waaayyy tooooo soon for anyone to be making firm judgements about who we are and who we are not as a team. I really don't think it's at all fair to compare this team to the best Blazer squad so far, the Drexler/Porter team, considering they did not find their success and play like champions until what would be a few years from now for our core. I know it is unlikely Brandon will be able to be the caliber of player that Clyde was by that time (shoot, it's not unrealistic to think he could be in medical retirement by then), but this is a different squad, with three other legit offensive forces, so maybe we don't/won't need him to be.

    I am in dread of Saturday's game against Utah. I am not ready to watch us lose in person yet. I will be hoping for an unexpected return (!), but bracing for another disappointment at the hands of the Jazz (I was in the RG last season when we gave up that 15+ lead in the 3rd and ended up losing in OT - heartbreaker!)

    by EowynAmarie on 11/15/2010 10:43 PM
  26. One more thing, if you have not already done so, read the article on Blazersedge by the Orthopeadic Fellow. I don't know if he's legit, but he makes some really, really interesting points about Brandon's knees. I am no expert, but what he had to say was extremely reasonable.

    by EowynAmarie on 11/15/2010 10:54 PM
  27. I guess sometimes your mentality cant seem to handle so much fatigues and brutal out-turns that surrounded us for couple years now. Great draft pick numbers and more greater heartaches and headaches. right now i think its too early to determine something but when we past 41st game of the season we will clearly see where we at and what is our season gonna come to. I wish all injured blazers fast recovery and praying that this team can finally be healed!

    by uri on 11/15/2010 11:41 PM
  28. I guess sometimes your mentality cant seem to handle so much fatigues and brutal out-turns that surrounded us for couple years now. Great draft pick numbers and more greater heartaches and headaches. right now i think its too early to determine something but when we past 41st game of the season we will clearly see where we at and what is our season gonna come to. I wish all injured blazers fast recovery and praying that this team can finally be healed!

    by uri on 11/15/2010 11:50 PM
  29. Well....listen to King5 here in Seattle area, Brandon Roy will miss tommorros game against Memphis. Thats fine. Honestly right now, He can have all the rest he needs. Im pretty sad right now to tell the truth, I feel bad for Brandon and his knee troubles. Ive been hearing "reports" from doctors, that hes bone on bone, and there is no surgery that can be done to fix this, in other words..possibly career ending for Brandon...BUT..well get to that road when and IF it comes. All I know is that when I think of Brandon Roy, I think of one of the best players in the game....now now..this year he hasnt looked the same I know, so lets not judge him on this year...but when he is healthy..oh my!!!..very very good! :)....You could watch a Blazer game, and were down a basket..and you could pretty much turn the tv off and expect Roy to save us, and turn tv back on and 99% of the time you be right. He was that good. In the playoffs against the Rockets, he outplayed Artest, who then said Roy was the best player he defended. Kobe has spoken that in his opinion Brandon was his toughest opponent. Talked about his all around game. So when we talk about a HEALTHY Roy, you ladies&gentlemen are talking about a top tier nba star..done deal..money in the bank..it is what it is. Hes that darn good....This year weve seen a injured Brandon, sure hes scored 20+ points in several games, cause even hurt, he can still play. But we all know its not the same Brandon, and its a shame that a knee prablem keeps him from doing the things he wants. You know..we all sit here and talk about him..whats the future of this team, whats next....But I bet no one is living the nightmare more than Brandon. He has soo much heart for the game of basketball, He wants to play, and he knows what hes capable of, and yet cant because of injury. Its something he has to deal with,everyday. Who knows what the future holds...maybe he just needs some R&R..maybe its not as bad as reports or saying. And well see a typical Brandon Roy later in the season. I hope so...If not then well have to see what the future holds, its wayy to early to five into that, but should be on our minds atleast. Brandon......I really wish you the best, you have been a huge assett to this team and community, and I pray you get better. Go Blazers!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by whitefeather21380 on 11/15/2010 11:55 PM
  30. portland aren't the only ones with bruised bones and surgeries:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=5810979

    don't count any chickens for l.a. or anyone else

    things will balance out

    jazz lose, nuggs lose, 4 teams in the division within 1.5 games

    the season may end that way

    the guys will get things going

    by reverse on 11/15/2010 11:58 PM
  31. As much as I hate to ask, but what teams CAN we beat in a 7 game series, with the way the Blazers have been playing IN THEIR LOSES?

    New Orleans? Nope
    Dallas? Nope
    LA Lakers? Nope
    Phoenix? Nope
    OKC? Yes
    Utah? Nope
    Denver? Nope
    Houston? Maybe
    San Antonio? Nope
    Memphis? We'll find out tomorrow...

    Point being, is this Blazer squad needs to do something. Time for me to just go all out on what my main concerns are...

    First things first, our offense gets shut down TOO EASILY. It's gotten to the point where it's just embarassing and sad to watch at times, and really hurts my head after face palming. The Blazers need a player who can drive. Honestly, I think Armon and Rudy need to try splitting the defense more. As much as I love a Rudy 3 pointer, I'd much rather see him driving to the rim. He's an excellent passer, and excellent driver. It'll only benefit the team. Armon tries to split the defense, and I think he will, with age, get better at that.

    Second, our squad is too contagious. Honestly, it is. If Brandon Roy does bad, normally it means the team is doing bad. The Blazers need to feed off each other, rather than just one person. There hardly is a game where everyone but one person does good. It's mainly everyone gets involved or everyone drops dead. Also on the defensive end. It seems that if someone is lacking on defense, everyone else is. Speaking of defense...

    Our third problem is the perimeter. Whenever I see a Blazer, even Roy, going iso, I lose faith. When I see an opponent do it, I get freaked out, and generally with good reason. We saw this with Durant and Westbrook twice. Our man to man perimeter defense needs to be worked on. Wesley Mathews is overrated. Hate to say it, but he is. I don't think he's a 34million dollar player.

    Our fourth problem is attacking the basket. I really hope this changes SOON when we get Joel and Oden. Camby is a work of art in the paint. I think we should give him at least some looks. He basically averages a double double, and his points come from tip ins or jumpshots.

    Our fifth problem is waiting to grow together. And this comes with injuries. I'd rather have a player go 1-10 on the court, score 10 points, than not play at all.


    Honestly, and I'm not jumping to any conclusions, but these are just thoughts. My first though is that Monty Williams is a FAR better coach than Nate McMillan. I really think we need to start looking for a replacement. Not that Nate is a bad coach, but he's already been outsmarted in nearly everygame, including the playoffs, by the opposing coach. He's also made some stupid mistakes that make us lose a lead, or lose a game. One reason teams like Utah and NOH are doing so well is because of their coaches. Utah isn't a great team, but beat the crap out of the East. New Orleans... you kidding me? On paper this team isn't 8-1. It's Monty who pushes them. This team plays with EFFORT, not just talent. They should have beat Dallas, but lost the same reason Portland lost in OKC. Popularity and missing game winners/tie shots.

    I also think we need to sign Andre AND Oden to an extension. We don't know if Roy is even going to be an All-star coming up. We need all the help we can get. Oden isn't worth much, give him something to keep him in a Portland uniform. He's one thing that keeps Blazer fans hopes up.

    LaMarcus also needs to be in the key more. I'll sacrifice defense 3's if it gets him to play in the post. We need a powerforward, not a jumpshooter.

    by Herr on 11/16/2010 1:57 AM
  32. Eowyn Amarie:

    I read the article and agree with you. everybody should read it. It makes since and clears up a lot of questions. But basically it goes back to what MB said, no one knows Brandon Roy's knees better then Brandon Roy.

    The problem is we still don't know to which degree his injury is, we do know it more then likely not bone on bone.

    It seems like every game I pick us to win we lose, and every game I predict to lose we win. Therefore it is sound judgment to pick all games as losers LOL.

    by magnumpi on 11/16/2010 2:21 AM
  33. here's a nice piese on Dre.
    http://www.portlandroundballsociety.com/home/2010/11/15/andre-miller-the-thankless-mr-glue.html

    by DowntownVinnie on 11/16/2010 7:52 AM
  34. BTW, PDX is one of two teams interested in Andre Iguadala.I'd have to say ......for who?

    by DowntownVinnie on 11/16/2010 8:46 AM
  35. EA,
    That article is a must-read for anybody looking to deepen their understanding of meniscus lesions, but it doesn't really say anything about Roy because the doctor writing it hasn't seen his MRI. What he basically says is that it is not literally bone-on-bone, because if that we the case Roy would in a wheelchair, scheduled for surgery.

    He writes, "physicians like myself..."dumb-down" our explanation so that the patient can understand the concept of arthritis."

    The doctor doesn't refute the fact that Roy's knees are arthritic and the condition is degenerative. So Roy's still on the downside of his career arc, regardless of the exact state of his menisci lesions.

    For me, the concern isn't whether he'll be able to play at all (C3PO plays meniscus-free), it's how effective he can be without an explosive move to the basket. Without that, defenders don't have to back off, and can get chest-to-chest, relying on help defense instead of a strait-up double team. Roy will still score because he is a great shooter, but he's not going to draw as much attention as he used to which was a huge part of our offense. I don't know, maybe that's a good thing.

    by 500Dogs on 11/16/2010 10:08 AM
  36. DTV,
    No need for Iggy when we've got Nikky. Some on BEdge are calling for a Roy/Iggy exchange, but I'm not ready to see that yet (not to mention Iggy's contract is a real burden). Furthermore, he can't hit the 3, which would give us only one legit 3pt threat in the starting lineup (Nico).

    Iggy's good, but he's not worth what we'd have to give.

    by 500Dogs on 11/16/2010 10:28 AM
  37. 500dogs
    I think BRoy can still explode to the rim, well maybe not at the moment, but I think he chooses not to because he is learning to be a facilitator and trying to save energy and more injury to his knee. learning from Dre, maybe, by the time the second half of the season starts his knee will be better, or of course worst. He has taken time off in all four years of his career with Portland to get his body right for the big push. Of course last year it didn't get right.

    But learning to get his shot grounded with solid legs and still be able to explode, but not elevate would be a good thing too.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    hg

    by magnumpi on 11/16/2010 10:58 AM
  38. I think the Blazers are going to have to do what they did last season, and that's make a trade. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone, but something tells me, before the trade deadline the Blazers are making a trade.

    by Herr on 11/16/2010 3:04 PM
  39. i'd still try to make the trade for someone who is 6'9" and 245 pounds

    for the long run they need a 4/5 guy to compliment aldridge's 4/5 style

    i would take varejao over igoudala, or someone like bass or love over cp3

    call me crazy, but i don't think brandon is finished; he may rest and return

    by reverse on 11/16/2010 3:18 PM
  40. and, it is great that the blazers engaged oberto and marks first. the suns and l.a. are looking for help at center.

    the suns took on earl barron, and the lkrs will probably fish from further down the list that we already saw.

    also, when the season started i thought that b-roy would play about 60-65 games in the regular season.

    season by season he went
    57
    74
    78
    65
    for an average of 68.5 games per year

    if he needs a break now, and then again a bit later in the schedule, there's no need to panic.

    they won't have another 5 day gap in the schedule until the all-star break in mid-february.

    if he can miss three games and get 12 days off out of it, i'm all for it even if it hurts now.

    they will figure it out.

    go blazers!

    by reverse on 11/16/2010 3:40 PM
  41. Great Post Mike,
    Your right, we are only 11 games into the season and so much has happened already. I do think that we (Portland) would feel differently if Rudy had dropped that three, but we have a lot to look forward to. Personally I look forward to watching Matthews grow as a major part of this team as well as seeing Przybilla come back. As far as Roy goes, I hope he gets the rest he needs to come back the healthy, talented player we all know he is!
    Thanks!

    by Kraydayz on 11/16/2010 8:27 PM
  42. travisd wrote:

    "i'd still try to make the trade for someone who is 6'9" and 245 pounds for the long run -- they need a 4/5 guy to compliment aldridge's 4/5 style"

    I've been beating that drum for three years now travis. We had a chance when Varejao held out a couple preseasons ago but Cleveland decided they had to pay his $10 million asking price when Ilgauskas got dinged and it's worked out very well for them.

    We finally got Andre Miller after years of watching him beat us so maybe there's still hope for Varejao.

    by dgpdx on 11/16/2010 9:01 PM
  43. 500: The article seemed to be attempting to alleviate some panic that is happening, by providing a basic opinion from a person in the bone profession. Obviously, there are no specific answers in the article. I recommended people read it, so that they might take everything they are hearing with a grain of salt. When an experienced physician cannot make a diagnosis off of heresay, why do any of us think we can?

    Glad we got the win tonight.

    There is an interesting speculation going on that somehow the organization was unaware of the condition of Brandon's left knee when they gave him his max contract. Again, it seems to be alot of wild guessing. Antonio Harvey tonight, after the game, explained to some degree the type of physical and information gathering that is done prior to awarding a contract. I am going to go with what he said: the idea that they signed him without full disclosure is just not possible.

    He also pointed out that Brandon is in a phase of his career that Tone saw several players go through, including the GOAT, MJ. He pointed out that they all reached a point in their careers where they had to trust their teammates with the offense. I think that Brandon learned a lot watching Andre from the bench last year, he has in fact said as much. I think he will learn a lot from watching how differently his team plays when he is not on the floor now. This is an opportunity for the team, and Brandon, to develop. It is true that BRoy may never be the same player, but I find it really surprising that so many Blazer fans are underestimating or completely disregarding Brandon's ability to make adjustments. It is entirely possible that he will become even MORE valuable to the team (provided he is still able to play for any amount of time).

    I will be curious to see if tonight was a fluke for Wesley, or if the secret of his success is in starting. If it is, that will be a significant issue, yes?

    by EowynAmarie on 11/16/2010 10:19 PM
  44. nice to see a win.

    wesley scores 30.

    not bad for a guy that gets paid the same as travis outlaw AND hustles on defense.

    andre with 19 & 9 to go with 5 steals

    camby with 17 rebs

    lamarcus with 23 and 3 blks (i had to laugh, *not in a mean way*, at ben golliver's game recap saying that they need more from aldridge if roy is going to be absent. 42min in a road win is plenty. he freed camby to clean the glass blocking out. LA will need to have a 30 & 15 night for people to stop saying this...)

    solid team effort. there was hustle all around, let's hope it continues.

    by reverse on 11/16/2010 10:57 PM
  45. Eowyn Amarie:

    I have been saying that Brandon is in an adjustment period for quite some time and that takes time. When he said last spring that he learned a lot from the sideline about Dre, everybody assumed he was talking about playing with Dre, not taking lessons on longevity. I am glad someone else sees it like I do. For now, I will take his injury as a sore knee as stated, until further official notice and ignore Jason Quick.

    I agree with you on the article on BE. I was a patient of both bad knees, and was told the same thing BRoy was told. Do what ever your knees will allow because you can't do anymore harm to them.

    If BRoy can make the adjustments that he has been working on that makes everybody is say "He just doesn't look the same and he lost his step", he will, like you said, more valuable to the team in the long run. That all takes time and the fan's wants it NOW LOL.

    I figured out how to help the Blazers win, if I pick them to win they lose, if I pick them to lose they win. From here forward, I will pick them to lose the rest of the games {:>).

    by magnumpi on 11/17/2010 5:53 AM
  46. Eowyn Amarie:

    One more thing, ON Wesley, it may be as it was last year, A different player stepping up each game. This game will definitely give Matthews confidence, but it might also cause him to force his shots. I am hoping that if his 3 point shot is off, which I am sure it will be at times, then Rudy's 3's will be dropping. I still go by the theory of living by the three and dieing by the three. I have taken Kassandra's side of the issue, that I am skeptical of Wesley except for his hussle and his tough D. that is for real, and that is what we need. We do need a consistent scorer to step up that can make the shots that LMA and BRoy sets up. If that is Matthews then like you said, there will have to be some adjustments to the starting five, or light a bigger fire under Nic to score.

    hg

    by magnumpi on 11/17/2010 6:07 AM
  47. Gues that answers my question about Matthews.But Dre was key in finishing.Notice how Dre steps up when Broy is out.IE 50 point game.Luv that guy:)

    by DowntownVinnie on 11/17/2010 8:05 AM
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