Nov 20

It's Utah in the Fourth Quarter. Again.

By mikebarrett
You could see this coming a mile away.

This is what Utah does.  This is what they've been doing.  Okay, it was uncoventional the way it happened this time.  But, when you develop a specific identity, and build a belief based on recent results, it becomes a habit.

Basically, if you don't completely close out the Utah Jazz before the fourth quarter begins then you've got trouble.  It's not like we haven't been warned. 

Make it six times in their nine wins now that the Jazz have trailed, sometimes significally trailed, in the fourth quarter and have rallied to win.  Their attack can sometimes just wear you down.  Other times, like Saturday night at the Rose Garden, they can drop it like a sledge hammer.  When they outscore you 38-20 in the fourth quarter, that's a sledge hammer. 

What made this particular case unconventional is that it didn't come in the form of Deron Williams, Paul Millsap, or Al Jefferson.  C.J. Miles, who came into the game having hit just 11 of his 40 attempts from behind the three-point line, went 7 for 10.  He gave the Jazz a heartbeat after they trailed by as many as 11 on several instances, and then turned out Portland's lights in the final minutes.

Even for the Jazz, this was an amazing turnaround.  They shot just 27 percent in the third quarter, on 6 for 22 shooting.  Then, behind Miles, went 13 for 18 in the fourth, good for 72 percent.  The Blazers, meanwhile, went 7 for 23 in the fourth, after shooting just 9 for 24 in the third.

Up until the fourth quarter, the Jazz had held a lead in this game for exactly :06 seconds.  The Trail Blazers were able to somewhat control Utah, and keep them at arm's length, but were never able to run away and hide.  They went cold when the couldn't afford to, and started chucking up low-percentage shots.  Then, in desperation time, couldn't hit a thing.

When you outrebound Utah 48-38, and outscore them in the paint 46-34, you're supposed to win.  But, when you get outscored 30 to 12 at the three-point line, by a team that's not exactly known for its three-point shooting, that's a recipe for disaster.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for Portland, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.  Another double-double for Aldridge, and another very solid performance.  Marcus Camby had 14 rebounds, and Nicolas Batum gave the team his usual 14 points.  But, the starting backcourt, Andre Miller and Wesley Matthews were just 12 for 32. 

Matthews, who badly wanted to beat his former team, perhaps was presssing a bit.  His aggressive play earned him two quick fouls in this contest, seemed to knock him off his game, and changed Portland's approach.  They were still able to maintain the lead, but you could feel momentum shifting right before halftime.

From then on everything seemed to be a struggle for the Blazers, and Miles got hot for Utah. 

That was that.

To listen to Nate McMillan's post-game comments, click here.

Finally now, a break in the schedule.  The Trail Blazers don't play again until Friday.  Time to rest, time to practice, and hopefully time to get Brandon Roy ready for a return.  We also should see Joel Przybilla make his return to the lineup.  It'll take that and more, because the red-hot New Orleans Hornets are up next.

Previous Story: All Hands on Deck


  1. I really like the way we are starting to play together. The chemistry is looking good and guys are playing hard. The rebounding was beautiful. We just got cold in the end and CJ Miles went nuts.

    I don't think anyone should hang their heads over this one.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 11/20/2010 11:53 PM
  2. I made my usual statement, that if we played with the same intensity, with the same fight, we would be a winner regardless of the W or L. I felt we did that and I feel we are a winner because of it. If we can continue to play like we have in the last three games there will be more wins then losses.

    I honestly didn't know what to expect in the game, I just wanted to see a hard fought game and I wasn't disappointed.

    Utah has a good team and deserves to win. Portland played with hustle and determination and the deserved to win. Utah without BRoy and or Joel. is a better team and the better team usually wins.

    I am not a judge of a good game, but in my book it was a great game. We just need to keep it up and grow as the season goes.

    A great blog and a great game.


    by Hg on 11/21/2010 12:25 AM
  3. I agree with thedanman. This is one of those loses where you're proud of the Blazers effort and can take a lot more out of this game than a W or L.

    The Blazers have been playing aggressive and with a lot of heart. Earlier in this season, our loses result in us not being aggressive or looking in-passionate. It's good to see them make that turn around.

    I was really hoping the Blazers would be getting Joel this game, but I understand the restrictions. One game before a 5 day break, next game being his return, could be much more harmful than a chance at winning against a team we struggle against. The boost would have won us this game.

    Speaking of the game, I just don't get it. LMA has been playing REALLY good lately, but his shot isn't falling. I'm not concerned about his jumpshot, but he does his finger roll, normally high percentage shot, and it rims out or bounces out. Him and Camby got a lot of good looks and couldn't connect.

    This loss was simply one team getting hot, one team getting cold. It happens, especially to jumpshooters.

    I didn't expect a win, and I'm proud of the Blazers effort. I can take an L and still be very satisfied.

    by Herr on 11/21/2010 12:50 AM
  4. I like what I'm seeing from this team. They're doing everything they can to win. Shots weren't going going down in the fourth quarter, but they never gave up! Great Effert! GUYS

    by civilhold on 11/21/2010 2:05 AM
  5. Seem like they were leading the whole game and playing smart like they usually do. I have a good feeling about this team once Pryzbilla and Roy come back.

    by MichaelJames on 11/21/2010 4:44 AM
  6. I would like to see portland pick up the tempo and take fewer three's , high percentage two's will add up faster than all those three's, ok Batum, Mathews, Fernandez, lets take more mid range shots than three's' please. Watch really good teams and the area of the floor they get there open shots.

    by jivefield on 11/21/2010 4:49 AM
  7. I love how our team is playing; I love the intensity and the fight; I am OK with the loss to Utah without BRoy and the hacking Utah's defense that they are allowed to get away with it more often than not.

    My only worries is the losses in the division games. I think we will have a chance to make some of them up in the second half of the season, but division losses has a tendency to haunt us at the end of the season. Year before last, we tied with Denver for first place in the division, but Denver got the higher seed because of our loss to OKC that year, but we got higher last year because of tie breakers. Therefore division wins are vital.

    It was said by Antonio Harvey that our division had four teams in the play-offs last year so it is probably the hardest division to play in. As it is looking early in this season, we will have the same four unless Denver drops entirely off.

    by Hg on 11/21/2010 5:44 AM
  8. Agree Wesley was pressing a bit but they seemed to recover until the 4th quarter. Too many turnovers- sloppy passes etc glad they have some time off to rest a bit and get in some practice time. Hoping for a sharper more consitent game for 48 minutes on Friday!!

    by RedRudy5 on 11/21/2010 9:25 AM
  9. All the elite teams are losing to these guy in the fourth quarter so we shouldn't feel bad about the loss. I love the intensity the team is playing on defense and (at least the first half) how they are passing the ball more. LMA has truly turned a corner on his inside play and Nick is looking more at being an offensive force. I think Brandon should shut it down till the all-star break, so we'll have him for the playoffs and maybe Cho needs to spend alittle of Allen's and make a trade to make us a little deeper on the bench. We still have a few draft picks to use and I can't think of a better time to use them. Come playoff off time we are going to be too thin on the bench and not able to keep up with teams second unit.

    by Gavinfan on 11/21/2010 9:50 AM
  10. I'm totally with thedanman. I was at the game last night and I thought exciting and - with all the adjustments we've had to make to the roster - a darn good game. I even liked the scramble/fumbling by the Blazers at the end of the game to try to get a jump shot. Gees, at least we're trying, coming together and still have heart and a great team, in spite of all that they've had come their way.

    by kaemicha on 11/21/2010 1:05 PM
  11. It was a weird game in the way we lost-- more WTF turnovers than we've seen in forever, can't defend an inbounds play under the basket, and most of all, C.J. hitting 3s???--but I agree with the general sentiment that I enjoyed watching the game, and have like the way the team has looked since Brandon went out. We're seeing better ball movement, and a better-structured offense when the starters are in. The team understands that the offense will start with Miller and Aldridge, but everyone also knows that if he moves without the ball and get open, a team-mate will find him. The effort directed at offensive rebounding the last couple of games has been terrific; let's hope it continues. We are understandably thin on the bench, and that's showing in some fatigue errors by Andre and LaMarcus, but the return of Joel will let LA sit more, and should improve the productivity of the reserves enough for Armon to stay out there a couple of minutes longer. We've been shooting 3s badly for a while, but we know that the guys who have been missing can just as easily pull a C.J. next time around. I'm more worried about Brandon coming back too soon, than about what will happen while he's gone. I think there's an argument building that the Blazers may be better as a team without him. Whether or not that's really true, I still prefer watching LA snatch another lob at the rim, Andre flim-flamming another defender in the paint, and Wesley driving end-to-end for a lay-up better than I do watching Brandon work one-on-one while his team-mates stand around and watch.

    by Islander on 11/21/2010 1:25 PM
  12. Ben Golliver with a verdict on Oden...


    by 500Dogs on 11/21/2010 1:46 PM
  13. We shot the ball terribly, especially from deep, and got pretty loose with the ball on occassion, but it was a really fun game to watch. If we had been able to hit our shots, we would have had this game and Miles' crazy hot hand would not have mattered in the end. I should also point out that the Jazz were 100% from the line, though that was not a deciding factor in the game, as we hit most of ours too.

    I was impressed with LMA. I find it irritating that his double-doubles (#5 now, right?) keep getting called a "solid effort". This guy, who has clearly taken all the criticism to heart, made deep improvements, and is consistently meeting the challege of getting better, deserves more accolades than "solid". Miller, Camby, Wesley, Batum, and Roy have all had some really great nights, but LMA is the backbone of the team....and it doesn't seem that anyone is really noticing that, and if they are, it's not getting the credit it deserves, imo.

    Once again, we effectively shut down the biggest threats on the opposing team. D-Will and Milsap were almost non-existent. Even Jefferson's scoring was acceptable. We played good defense, pounded the boards, hustled, and stayed out of foul trouble (except for Batum of course). It was puzzling to see it come apart in the fourth, but I tend to agree with those who have said CJ Miles' performance at the end was just near impossible to defend against, especially since it was unexpected. Had Batum been in, perhaps he wouldn't have gotten that last one, the real dagger with just over a minute of play left. Anyway, I am not ashamed of this loss, not at all.

    Hope the break works for them, and not against them. Looking forward to being able to check on some of my other teams this week, lol! Also looking forward to the Hornets game, which I think we can and should win :) I predicted we lose it originally, but I'd be thrilled to be wrong! We are the last game on a four-game road trip in 6 days that sees them in Sacramento, Los Angeles (Clippers), Utah, and then here. I am guessing they win the first two (their only back-to-back in the stretch), and then probably lose in Utah. They have Turkey day off. Since they acquired Jarret Jack, Banks, and Anderson, losing Peja and Bayless, it will be interesting to see how that changes their bench. I am not expecting an easier game, but feel confident we will give them a better run for their money. The potential emotional boost of both Brandon and Joel, even just Joel, could be the deciding factor.

    One thing's for sure...we are going to need both Brandon and Joel for this game if we are to win it. We are too thin, and our bench is not producing consistently for us. We need Wesley to keep his touch off the bench and a continued strong presence in the middle, which Pryz can and will provide. I think part of LMA's missing shots is partly due to his doing double-time and slipping to the 5 again when the second unit comes out. Getting him playing his position only, with a tad more rest, just might allow the guy to find his offensive powers for the 2nd half of the game :)

    About Greg, I don't have an opinion as to what we should do, other than wait to see how his rehab is progressing. There's an arugment that we start trying to rebuild that position now and write him off, and I can see the logic in that. I am guessing though that the organization might like to see a little more of what they actually have with everyone else, and especially Roy, before they make any major moves. Oden is a disappointment at this point, but is in no way integral to the team anymore. Roy's status is far more important, and is hopefully the first concern of the organization right now.


    by EowynAmarie on 11/21/2010 3:40 PM
  14. 500Dogs,

    As to the article, Oden is 22 years old, it'd be stupid to give up on him and then watch him be a star on another team. We'll make the offer and either sign him or match anyone that tries to sign him. Fortunately the Blazers are committed to this.

    by mgb on 11/21/2010 3:53 PM
  15. i'm not into moral victories. i'm not one to find relief in the fact that utah does this to everybody else, so it's ok if they do it to us. i'm not ready calling lamarcus' game a "solid effort" when he turns the ball over a staggering 8 times and all but disappears in the 4th quarter. again. even though he's getting better at trying to play inside, it comes at the price of turnovers.

    no sir. you play the game for 4 quarters and we played it for 3! the play were c.j. miles dove to the floor during a critical time in the 4th quarter summed up the game for me. we just couldn't put a hand in front of miles! the turnaround was astonishing. we just completely disintegrated and started playing one on one and jacking up contested jumpshots. when we had open shots (like the last possesion in which we had 4, yes 4 completely open 3's) we went 0-fer. i think we shot 4-22 on 3's for 18%

    don't like miller's 5 turnovers either. i agree with islander. those turnovers were mind boggling. we are not as good as the jazz or the thunder. that's the reality of the situation. i was into moral victories when nate first came in 5years ago and we started to rebuild, but not anymore. i'll always support this team, but it's not looking good right now.

    by sudelander on 11/21/2010 4:06 PM
  16. well, we didn't shoot all that well for the whole game, but our shooting really stunk in the fourth quarter. couple that with the fact that at one stretch, utah made 12 of 13 shots, including a couple of threes. it was during that time when Miles really hurt us.

    the other issue was turnovers. LaMarcus played well, but just how much better would his numbers have looked had he not had eight turnovers? we actually finished with only 18 for the game, compared to 19. however, that's not how our team wins. we win by protecting the ball and hustling. we didn't do that.

    unlike against denver, we shot well from the line, 20-22, though utah was a perfect 21-21. we won the rebound edge, which is no surprise when you consider the number of boards we got from our front line players.

    like some of you have said; we played three quarters, not four. i saw the interview with Wesley where he made the same comment.

    so what do we do? we regroup, eat some turkey this week, and come out ready to play the complete game on friday. we also look forward to inviting Joel, and hopefully brandon, to the party.

    i'm home for thanksgiving this week, and i'm really looking forward to us beating the hornets!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/21/2010 4:56 PM
  17. LMA almost had a triple double. Along with his double double, he had 8 rebounds. I'll stick with "solid game" for this one EA.

    We need Roy to do the opposite of what he wants, and that's controlling the ball more, especially in the fourth in crunch time. Roy is clutch, but I'd say Andre is too. These two need to be sharing the ball rather than it all going to Roy.

    Roy also needs to stop being the deciding factor.

    If he does return in the Nov 26th game, play him only 10-20 minutes in my opinion. Don't overuse him. Beating NOH will be impressive even if we HAVE Roy and Joel.

    I really think the Jazz got lucky with this one. CJ Miles isn't a good 3 point shooter. Going 7-10 is something only very few in the NBA could do, and right now the only name that comes to me is Ray Allen, even if left wide open. He had a great game, but other than him hitting about 4 of those in the 4th quarter, the Blazers kept one of the leagues best teams close without Roy and without Pryzbilla. I'd say that's pretty impressive, and the effort was there.

    Anyways, if I don't post on this blog again in the next few days, I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with your families. Believe me, you gotta cherish every moment of it.

    by Herr on 11/21/2010 6:42 PM
  18. Blah, wish there was an edit button. I meant LMA had 8 TURNOVERS along with his double double.

    by Herr on 11/21/2010 6:42 PM
  19. Count me among the no-moral-victory folks on this one. Sure, C. J. Miles went crazy in the fourth quarter, but it was our silly mistakes earlier in the game that allowed the game to be that close in the 4th. We dominated early, but, as often happens with this team, we let Utah hang around close enough to have hopes of winning late.

    I do agree the offense flows much better without the iso plays for BRoy. When he returns, I hope we keep the current offensive mindset and not regress to the clearout so much.

    The best thing about basketball in my mind is watching an up-tempo, ballet-like offense by the best athletes in the world. Players moving, ball moving -- the best spectacle in sports.

    That play where Batman ran his man into the ground by switching sides twice then cutting back to the rim for a lob from Andre was sheer poetry.

    by dgpdx on 11/22/2010 1:42 PM
  20. When Roy is out we still run ISO plays, just more to LMA and Miller and once in a while to Batum or where ever there is a mismatch. So the only difference is if players are moving without the ball or not when Roy has it. That is what we have to keep doing. Don't stand around and watch Roy do his magic.

    by mgb on 11/22/2010 2:15 PM
  21. Tough game to watch. Love Aldridge and the way he attacks the basket more often. For whatever reason Utah has our number lately. Maybe I should change my fan statement to: I'm a fan of winning the next 3 in a row against Utah! Oh well. We got New Orleans up next and hopefully the integration of Pryzbilla and Roy will not hinder our ability to win the game. I'm not saying they're not good, in fact I love em', but anytime you put a couple of guys (especially Pryz) into the line up after a lay off, it could spell trouble. I have faith though and we will win the game by 12.

    Good stuff Mike.Reading and bloggin from Olympia. Go Blazers!

    by King_ten_pin on 11/23/2010 1:48 PM
  22. after the break

    the blazers have a legit 10 man rotation despite what has happened with injuries:
    andre, armon
    brandon, rudy
    nicolas, wesley
    lamarcus, dante
    marcus, joel
    add in splashes of sean, patty & luke and you have a very full roster going ahead.

    the next 10 games will show a lot about what this years blazers squad is really capable of.

    the major questions

    can the team find a way to play brandon roy 32 minutes a game while maintaining cohesion and winning games?

    will joel be able to contribute 15 minutes a game and fortify the defense of the second unit?

    once stabilized defensively can the second unit find an offensive rhythm and maintain leads?

    b-roy's game is going to have to change to fit the team and his body better. being a deadly outside shooter and occasional wrecking ball going to hoop will have to be enough. he also will have to use his reduced minutes to give more effort to team defense.

    as the team changes and grows, all of the players will have to eliminate deficiencies from their game. the small things now matter a lot. if this blazer squad is going to be a contender the margin of error is narrow.

    if joel is able to provide a physical presence and toughness to the team, things become very interesting. a second unit with armon, rudy, wesley, dante and joel will give effort and energy. opposing second units may struggle to score with pryzbilla providing a foundation for this group.

    with pryz setting picks for armon and wesley, there will be opportunities to drive to the basket. rudy and dante should be able to space things and have open shots. with another legit 7 footer, you can imagine how things should come into place.

    i firmly believe this team is in place to make a run, even without greg oden as a potential x-factor late in the season. portland with coach nate mcmillan has a system in place, and 2 seasons with 50 wins as proof. friday will be lots of fun at the RG!

    by reverse on 11/23/2010 3:28 PM
  23. What do you guys think of Nate?

    This is what I posted on the message boards. Just being honest here.

    by Herr on 11/23/2010 11:43 PM
  24. TO ALL:

    It is -8^ here in Prineville.






    by Hg on 11/24/2010 7:06 AM
  25. Dave at Blazersedge just concluded a live chat that I participated in, and he was kind enough to answer some questions I had about the team.

    500: Where do you reckon Dante Cunningham’s ceiling is? Are seeing what we’re gonna get, or is he in for a growth spurt?

    Dave: You're seeing what you're going to get. He’ll just get smarter, more compact in his play, and more confident. Therefore you’ll see more of it. I can see him being a killer 6th or 7th guy in the rotation, the kind who makes opponents groan.

    500: Would you ideally play him as a PF or SF?

    Dave: I wish he could play SF, but he’s going to be a PF.

    500: Do you see him developing a three-point shot?

    Dave: I hope it's not more than occasional. I want him active and reasonably far inside. You know how in MMA judo guys start to throw only punches once they train for the stand-up game, even though that’s clearly not the best part of their arsenal? Guys who develop three-point shots tend to do that too. You fall in love with what you practiced last, just to show you can do it.

    500: What are your thoughts on Armon Johnson? How will his experience with the Blazers be different than Jerryd Bayless’?

    Dave: More of a point guard out of the gate. More of a defender out of the gate. More of a shooter out of the gate. Quick and aggressive. I foresee a different experience than Bayless had.

    500: Should we expect the 10 MPG he's been getting, or will the guard crunch squeeze him out?

    Dave: His job is to not let Nate forget about him. So far he’s been pretty good at his job. The thing is, he’s still a selective matchup guy. You can’t throw him out there in every situation yet. When he learns the game better he’ll be more versatile and we’ll see more minutes.

    500: Who is your favorite coach in the NBA?

    Dave: Jack Ramsay

    500: (rec) Current coaches?

    Dave: Rick Adelman

    That's all I could think of to ask, but it was really cool of Dave to devote a couple hours to answering fan questions.

    by 500Dogs on 11/24/2010 7:43 AM
  26. Thank You 500 Dogs. A great questionnaire


    by Hg on 11/24/2010 7:55 AM
  27. Busy as hell right now! Anyways ,3 good quarters then Miles and Miles of trouble in the fourth.
    And people wonder why this is my most hated foe ,because they OWN us. The last five games against them,we have no answer .God forbid we see them in the first round.

    I'm psyched to see Joelzilla on friday. I think it will lift the team , for sure.

    by DowntownVinnie on 11/24/2010 8:38 AM
  28. MB (and the rest, if y'all feel like it!), If you've got the time, it would be cool to get your input on the questions I posed to Dave.

    1) Where do you reckon Dante Cunningham’s ceiling is? Are seeing what we’re gonna get, or is he in for a growth spurt?

    2)Would you ideally play him as a PF or SF?

    3)Do you see him developing a three-point shot?

    4)What are your thoughts on Armon Johnson? How will his experience with the Blazers be different than Jerryd Bayless’?

    5)Should we expect the 10 MPG he's been getting, or will the guard crunch squeeze him out?

    6)Who is your favorite coach in the NBA?

    Thanks, and have a great holiday!

    by 500Dogs on 11/24/2010 9:43 AM
  29. 500dogs:

    As stated, I thought it was a great questionnaire. Mostly I agree with Dave, especially the three point shooting. That may be the problem with Rudy's game, falling in love with the three pointer. It sure made Sheed's different player.

    I don't know if Armon will be a big factor this year, but with BRoy getting less minutes, I don't see BRoy playing PG.

    Dante is doing his job as the junk yard dog and doing the dirty work, that will just get better and better. I don't know about the 3 or the 4. I think Babbit would be a better back up three then Dante, but I really don't know.

    I thought Armon was a better PG then JBay all along. Even with Nate's utility guard system, JBay just didn't have court vision. In fact he reminds me of me, Tunnel vision. But, Armon is going to be a special PG IMO, with his want to learn and his willingness to adapt. Of course I am somewhat taken in by him as a biggest hope at PG for the future that we have had, and that included Steve, which I thought was great.

    Of curse I read BE everyday and have high Value of Dave's opinion, so I can't dispute his take on your questions. In fact, I thought it was great that he answered your questionnaire.


    by Hg on 11/24/2010 10:00 AM
  30. MB, i read the report, but i was wondering about any more in-depth news on Joel. will he still be able to play friday despite the virus which took him to the hospital today?

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/24/2010 6:56 PM
  31. Well 500, though we seem to be of oppositional opinion lately, I must say, I really liked your questions! I am a Dave homer, and so found myself thinking his responses were most excellent :)

    I think we are seeing Dante's ceiling as well, though, as Dave said, I do fully expect him to continue to show improvement with what he does do. I think he is a small PF, but seems to be fine "playing big".

    It would be nice to see a 3-point shot, but share the caution that once they get it, they do seem to fall in love with it. Dante will likely never be valued for his outside shooting, and so I would prefer to see him improve his lovely jumper.

    I love Armon, and think he is the PGOTF. His experience will be entirely different, as he is actually a PG :) I think that as long as he shows hustle, and defends with vigor, he will see his 10 mpg, and maybe a little more as the season wears on, especially if he gets better at protecting the ball, which he will.

    My favorite coach in the league is Jerry Sloan, followed closely by Phil Jackson. I really like Nate, but have far too much respect for the other two to put him as a favorite. Aside from that, I like Doc Rivers and Rick Adelman (
    how could any good Blazer fan not like Adelman after all???) quite a bit too :)

    I don't really buy into Thanksgiving, as I am far too informed about the actual circumstances surrounding colonial America and its relationship with the Native people, but I do think the sentiment of taking a moment to reflect on what we should be grateful for is of high value. I am thankful/grateful for many, many things, but as relates to BB, I am most thankful for the ability to see my team in person a few times a year, and for this blog :) Hope you all have somewhere to go tomorrow, and that your days will be satisfying.

    by EowynAmarie on 11/24/2010 7:03 PM
  32. okay doggies (affectionate term), i'll give it a shot.

    1: Dante has a very high ceiling, depending on the time he gets on the court. Dante is intelligent and, like Dave said, he'll only get smarter as his career progresses. three things strike here: 1. will he get minutes over the next couple of years that will allow him to improve? 2. will those minutes be consistent? 3. will he get those minutes with another team? with Dante, it all comes down to playing time. he and i share something in common -- both of our parents are military. there is a work ethic, a strive and a duty to self which propels. don't count any of those out.

    2. ideally, sf, with backup minutes at pf when we go small. he already has proven he can rebound.

    3. he could develop a 3-point shot, but i doubt he will. there are too many other areas at which he could be effective (i.e. rebounding, defense, extending his mid-range jumper) and i believe he will work on those.

    4. Armon, as our third pick in the draft, just might prove to be our most valuable. don't get me wrong, i wouldn't bet the franchise on that right now, but if he were to become consistent on both ends of the court -- he's shown signs -- and be able to hold his own against other pg's, then he could be running this team from the point in a couple years. the difference is that Jerryd's game is more suited to the combo guard, which Nate never really wanted him to play. i suppose the difference comes down to coaching.

    5. i think the guard crunch already helps Armon. if, what a lot of people are saying is true and Brandon will never be his old self, there probably could be more minutes available for Armon to earn -- mind you -- earn.

    6. Jerry Sloan. a lot of this comes from the ownership and management of the jazz for sticking with a guy who always puts together success for so long, even though they've yet to make it over the top (on a personal note to the jazz: sure, you may have beat us five times in a row ... but at least WE have a trophy!).

    you didn't include the question about the favorite coach of all time, but i don't believe i could answer that one anyway. i've never seen a single game of Jack Ramsay's coaching, but he brought us the championship, so that's my best guess.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/24/2010 7:17 PM
  33. EowynAmarie: Jerry Soan ... what are the odds we both choose him?!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/24/2010 7:20 PM
  34. travisd wrote:

    "the major questions

    can the team find a way to play brandon roy 32 minutes a game while maintaining cohesion and winning games?

    will joel be able to contribute 15 minutes a game and fortify the defense of the second unit?"

    I see Brandon playing fewer minutes than that, 24 to 28 mpg, and Joel playing more, somewhere around 24.

    Brandon will play 32 minutes some nights but he should rest more than that. We'll need him at his best come playoff time if we expect to get past the first round, which is doubtful but possible. If Wesley Mathews keeps playing as he has recently, it should not be a problem resting Brandon a lot.

    Marcus Camby needs rest also, so he and Joel should split the minutes if possible.

    by dgpdx on 11/24/2010 8:47 PM
  35. On Jerry Sloan:

    He's my favorite NBA coach also. I watched him play his whole career for the Bulls and he coaches the same way he played, 100% all-out tough every minute he was on the floor. His teams reflect that attitude.

    He was a all-league defensive guard who could put up decent offensive numbers when he had to, but he lived for defense. His battles with Jerry West were historic and I'll bet West considers Sloan his favorite defender and maybe favorite current coach also.

    by dgpdx on 11/24/2010 8:54 PM
  36. Hi bloggers .have a great day ,everyone.I hope you all have something to be thankful for today.

    by DowntownVinnie on 11/25/2010 8:44 AM
  37. EA: I found your remark about Thanksgiving to be surprising, yet profoundly informed. I was recently accused of dismissing our foster son's Indian heritage by the wonderful folks at DHS. I asked them to pull out a 20 dollar bill, and then proceeded to ask them their opinion of Andrew Jackson. The consensus was that he must have been a pretty decent guy to have found his image on our currency. I then informed them that it was Jackson who was responsible for stealing the Indian's land, for being responsible for thousands of their deaths, including burning women and children alive in their homes. Why it was even sweet Andy himself who made lampshades and bridles for his horses out of the hides of native Americans. Sounds more like Jeffrey Dahmer than a man we should be celebrating. Try looking into the origins of Christmas, Easter and Halloween and you'll find a pattern of history absorbing the pagan beliefs of the past. Just a quick sidenote. The Statue of Liberty is actually modaled after a Babylonian God named "Ishtar". Rome incorporated it into its belief system and it was known as "Libertas". I could go on, but why? Nice post. I appreciate it.

    by Phi Slamma on 11/25/2010 12:06 PM
  38. EA and Phi Slamma -- it's off topic but you can add me to the list of those who don't celebrate US genocide of Native Americans.

    by dgpdx on 11/25/2010 2:41 PM
  39. Yeah, don't want to play Mr jerk here, but just so you guys know everyone doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving for the sake of history. I don't know anyone that was like "On this day we slaughtered Native Americans". Most people celebrate it as a time to get together for family. And just because they know the past of what led up to this holiday, doesn't mean people shouldn't get together and spend time with their families.

    Today I went and saw my nephews, my sister, my brother in law, and my... I don't know what they're called but my brother in laws parents. I haven't seen them in ages, and seeing them really brought me up after being down for so long for so many reasons.

    I appreciate the history lessons, but I hope you guys understand people that celebrate it do it to see family. You're welcome to have your reasons, it's perfectly understandable. But at least here me out that you don't want to waste an opportunity and reason to spend time with your family. I didn't get to see my grandparents, who both recently passed away, much, and I regret that. Thanksgiving was one of the few times I got to spend with them. Now, that side of the family doesn't even celebrate the holiday anymore because they fought over inheritance and don't get along. Had I not "celebrated" thanksgiving, I wouldn't have gotten to know my grandparents well in my teenage years, and it really bugged me when my fathers father died that I didn't get to know him.

    by Herr on 11/25/2010 7:10 PM
  40. So, the Hornets beat the Kings, then lost to the Clips and the Jazz. Not sure if that is good for us or not, but I am thinking they will come out looking to win one. This is their first real road test of the season (with four games), and it will say a lot about whether or not their early jump was a fluke or not (at least, to a lot of fans and analysts who enjoy forming opinions on small samples, aka, most everyone, lol!). Again, I hope Brandon and Joel are present :)

    We go on a four-game road trip ourselves on Sunday that sees us taking on the Nets, the 76ers, the Celtics, and the Wizards, before returning home for a 3-game homestand. Only one of those on the road is a B2B (76ers-Celtics), so I think we have a pretty good chance of going 3 of 4. It would be great to start it off with a win at home. When we return home, we take on the Clips and the Suns for the 2nd time each, then the Magic. Again, we should win 2-3 of these, but we'll see. The next two weeks look okay for us though :)

    I'd like to note that I didn't really say much about T-day, other than to note that I don't really get into it because I understand the true history behind it - meaning, the cute myth they teach us all is a flat out fabrication. I did mention I see the use in taking a day to reflect on what we should be grateful for. I didnt' mention family, but of course, most of us simply use the day as a special gathering. I never meant to spark any controversy or offend anyone. I feel slightly disgusted sometimes at how we are spoon-fed lies via our education system, and on occassion, that spills over. My bad. Again, hope everyone had a decent day, and had loved ones to be with :)

    by EowynAmarie on 11/25/2010 8:24 PM
  41. Eowyn Amaria:

    I understood what you meant. More or less not for the origin of the holiday but the modern day reason's of giving thanks. Like me everybody to their own.

    Giving your opinion and your knowledge isn't bad. You wasn't trying to force anyone else to live up to a NE code.

    It is thankful that we can agree to disagree.

    by Hg on 11/25/2010 8:50 PM
  42. Herr: You get together with family and friends for the holidays for the exact same reasons as most every other American. I did not set out to undo my belief system about American traditions, nor was it my intent to erase every decent thought I grew up with, or my intent to question every tale I was told to be the truth. But the truth is a double edged sword. It can lead you to places you were not prepared to follow. Perhaps if you were more aware of the true origins of what you choose to celebrate, you may just decide to take a stand against what so many others accept without question. Unlike EA, I am not afraid to offend. Infact, I hope to do so. You can whine about your situation, about how you have had bad luck, about how you can't seem to get a break, but until you are ready to stand for the truth in the face of adversity , you will never be able to see the forest through the trees. Stop looking at your circumstances from your mortal point of view, and start trusting your fate to your creator. Go blazers.

    by Phi Slamma on 11/25/2010 11:36 PM
  43. Hey guys, I'm back ^^

    Let's cheer a lot in NOH game, hope we get this W off.

    See ya, I'l try to post here in a regular basis

    by Tiago Torigoe on 11/26/2010 4:34 AM
  44. Phi slamma, i agree with you 100%

    Christmas - corresponds with the winter solstice which is partly characterized by the worship of sun gods and goddesses by many pagan groups in their own solstice celebrations.

    easter - based on the fertility cult who worshipped to the goddess "astare", hence the name easter. that's the reason for the eggs and bunnys.

    Halloween - day of the dead. need i say more?

    the funny thing is, this is common knowledge. if people actually looked into it, they would find the same thing. with that said, i don't think it would change their view of holidays.

    i also think there is a danger in "celebrating" something who's origins one doesn't know, just because everybody else does. people don't bother to research the source of this stuff. they don't know that a lot of these holidays were instituted by the roman empire by letting the pagans keep their customs in order to "incorporate" them into their empire and have more control of their territories.

    Anyway, i could go on and on. i try to be thankful to our creator for everyday that i'm alive. i appreciate any time i can get to spend with family or friends. whether it's weekends or holidays we still get together and spend quality time, even though we don't "celebrate" holidays.

    i'm always thankful for my buddies in here and also when my comments get posted =)

    my family and i don't observe any of these holidays in the religious sense, but if the government gives you a day off, we, by all means take it. any time off os good time off. as far as i'm concerned, the powers that be can come up with whatever excuse for taking time off work and school. the more days the merrier. keep'em coming!

    the next 2 weeks are going to tell us a lot about this team's future and i'm grateful to be able to see it.

    by sudelander on 11/26/2010 10:43 AM
  45. against n.o.

    i'd like to see aldridge defend okafor, and camby defend west. i think crossing the matchups is the most favorable combination.

    against cp3, i'd like to see armon johnson given a decent stretch playing him in the 1st half to help wear him out. they also should let andre post him on the elbow/high post a lot.

    by reverse on 11/26/2010 12:04 PM
  46. To chime in on the holiday,
    Thanksgiving, whatever the American and old world history may be, is the harvest feast. It is a time to sit back, look at the work of the year, and feast on the fruits of that toil.

    The harvest will always be met with this feast, regardless of the culture; we've just turned it into a national holiday. Ideally, folks can take the day off, stuff their faces, have a laugh, and snooze the day away. That's what I did and it was a hoot. As far as national holidays go, it's far and away my favorite.

    I think most folks have a problem with the way Thanksgiving is advertised--hokey cartoons of pilgrims with buckles on their hats, and American Indians with feathers and corn. This feast is older than that crap. It's not about the people, it's about the food!

    by 500Dogs on 11/26/2010 12:31 PM
  47. 500dogs

    That is a great take on this hoiday. and actually every holiday.


    by Hg on 11/26/2010 12:43 PM
  48. i, like most people like to eat and stuff myself and enjoy the fruits of my labor. i like to do it at least once or twice a week. my mom is a stellar cook.

    not all holidays have murky pagan origins. not all are the same.

    i caught 4 touchdown in yesterday's turkeybowl. my friend john who has down syndrome got the game-winning interception and took it to the house. we had champagne after wards. we played were we all grew up. it was awesome!

    by sudelander on 11/26/2010 12:57 PM
  49. I say happy holiday season to all no matter what their particular take is.

    Back in action tonight and here's to the return of the Thrilla! May he play out the rest of his career with us and with no more injuries... please...

    by dgpdx on 11/26/2010 1:05 PM
  50. Where is Billy Ray Bates when we need him?

    by Ancientone on 11/26/2010 3:18 PM
  51. hey all:

    i hope everyone had a nice thanksgiving, whether it be with family, friends, etc. it was wonderful at my house and, if i may say, my stuffing turned out excellent! funny moment, and this has become a bit of a tradition amongst the males in my family: my youngest brother proclaimed he was stuffed as he was serving himself a third slice of pie for dessert!

    new orleans at home tonight; hopefully this rest did some good. i really hope that the guys had a chance to heal up some; not only Brandon, but all the other guys who've had their little dings and bruises through the first stretch of the season. tonight's highlight: Joel's return to the court!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/26/2010 3:52 PM
  52. i'm going to guess that trevor ariza will defend brandon, and marco belinelli will switch to nicolas. both our guys should be able to go for 20 points:)

    i hope joel can make it on the court tonight. being in the hospital wednesday does not necessarily = playing friday. hopefully he'll feel decent enough to get out there for 12-15min or so.

    i'll be at the game with a friend. a month in, the adventure is really just about to begin. interesting how things work out. roll along and readjust, and readjust again...

    by reverse on 11/26/2010 4:55 PM
  53. according to pdxtr4ailblazers on twitter, Joel is going to miss tonight's game with a stomach virus, though there is another tweet from the same source stating that he's on the court practicing and sporting a new buzz cut. not quite sure which it is.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/26/2010 6:44 PM
  54. just something I posted on nba.com when asked if Portland will make the plays.

    "The Blazers are 8-7 with a tough schedule. Only problem with them being 8-7, is their 7 loses have come from playoff contenders. 6 of those are in the West. (Utah, OKC, LAL, and NOH). The other being Chicago. The Blazers are so far 2-4 against teams in the West that made the playoffs last season, however, those two teams aren't expected to make the playoffs or have homecourt (Phoenix and Denver). Only one win came from a team on the uprise, and it's not much of an uprise, against Memphis.

    Health is the major problem, but it seems like Cho isn't the GM we want. I don't disagree with the Bayless trade, but we get nothing this year, and we banked on NOH doing poorly, which isn't happening. We also traded Martell for Luke Babbit who hasn't played a single minute except for trash time (but that was before Cho). Only addition was Wesley Mathews, who took only 4 shots.

    Will the Blazers make the playoffs? Yes they will, and I think Roy's performance erased any real concern for his health (he played aggressively in this game, and played like his old self). However, will we beat a team in the first round? This year, again, I'm saying no, unless things turn around. We're not a young team, but we got young players that we're banking on, and their consistency is the number one thing lacking. Batum scored about 7 points today, no free throws, and ZERO REBOUNDS (hornets dominated the rebound battle, which they shouldn't have done, but Camby was unfairly taken out of the game due to foul trouble).

    The only Blazer to remain consistent is LaMarcus Aldridge, who, in my opinion, deserves to be in the All-Star game (he completely outplayed West in this game, but for some dumb reason the Blazers stopped going to him).

    The number one thing that the Blazers need to work on is offense. We're like a mirror of the Bobcats last season. In about 4 of our 7 loses, we've gone cold and couldn't recover. Today the Blazers had around 33 in the first quarter, and didn't score more than 20 in any other quarters. Credit the Hornets defense, but it wasn't THAT good. There were stretches of 6 minutes in which the Blazers didn't score. Bad shot selection or good shots not falling is to blame there.

    We need a consistent scorer besides Roy and Aldridge, especially off the bench. Rudy is not that person, and neither is Wesley Mathews."

    by Herr on 11/27/2010 1:18 AM
  55. i don't think we'll make the playoffs. last night was embarrasing. i saw it with my own eyes. this team is not very good right now, plain and simple. wesley mathews is definitely NOT effective when he comes of the bench. miller was benched in the 4th.

    mcmillan looked like he was just going through the motions and blamed it om "poor shooting". roys 27 points came at the price of bad defense and allowing the hornets to get those points back. lamarcus was very ineficient and we started shooting jump shots in the 4th again. can't blame this one on the schedule either. you might as well trade miller and mathews who do NOT do very well in supporting roles. either that or start them, but i don't think that's going to happen.

    by sudelander on 11/27/2010 1:27 PM
  56. i don't think it's time to throw in the towel on the season or rush to 15-game judgements. this team is 8-7 and has yet to be at full strength to this point in the season.

    however, there are some serious problems with this team.

    i had looked forward to Joel's return last night but, as we all know, that's going to be a game or two away. personally, i'd rather him come back when he's not fighting the flu as well as any trepidation he may have as he works his way into the playing rotation.

    i'm noticing the same things in the past few losses. lack of energy in the fourth quarter. we're missing seemingly every shot we take (i.e. jumpers and low-percentage shots), while our defense is so flat that it seems as though our opponent can't miss. there's no reason we should sputter out like this late in games. we didn't do that against the nuggets, so why is this happening so frequently as of late? no, i don't have the answer; at least not beyond the lack of energy i mentioned earlier.

    i really don't think this can be attributed to fatique. our most consistent player, LaMarcus (totally agree with Herr on that), has played the most minutes of anyone on our team this year and he's still in there battling right through to the end of games. after last night's game, i don't think we can any longer blame this on the schedule. i understand that the hornets are a very good team, and if we'd played 48 minutes and lost by a couple of points i could probably understand a loss. i'm not thrilled with the coaching. i don't know if Nate's timing is off (i.e. rotation, play calling), or if it's just a matter of the turnover in the assistant coaching.

    what i do know is we're embarking on a four-game road trip-- three of which we should win -- but if we don't play complete 48 minutes in each -- we won't come away with a single victory.

    now, at the risk of being accused of being overly positive, i want to say something about Brandon's performance last night. i know a lot of people who commented that he'd pretty much be a jump shooter, but i didn't see that last night. i saw the same Brandon i've become accustomed to seeing for the past four-plus years. in fact, i would go as far to say that he played more like "himself" for the first time this season. yes, it's one sampling, but he was aggressive and didn't seem afraid to attack the basket when the opportunity presented itself.

    Brandon and Chris Paul are said to have about the same amount of meniscus in their respective knees (which means each has very little in just one knee). Paul seems to be dealing with it well. there's nothing to suggest to me that Brandon can't as well. i think his performance last night can help to serve notice to that.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/27/2010 5:50 PM
  57. off the bench 2nd year 7 footer jason smith played basketball like it was football. this was emblematic of the physical style of play the hornets used after the blazers came out hot. pryz didn't play (in a game where his rebounding and physicality could have been huge), wesley looked like he got knocked out, brandon knocked rudy out of the game, marks injured his knee or ankle trying to fight back, and somewhere along the way marcus appeared to hurt his hand/finger or wrist (again?). smith out rebounded the blazer bench 8-4, and flat out ran over brandon roy at least twice that i counted (apparently it was only a foul once). this provided backdrop and contrast for chris paul who whined to the officials without being whistled (we even heard him yelling at them up in the 300 level once), and once drawing a foul by running himself into dante cunningham and then falling (flailing flopping to the ground) down like he'd been run over by... jason smith.

    this all brings me to a few of my go to points about basketball in general, and this blazer team. i don't love the brute-ish style of play, but it is part of the game. the piece that the blazers have lacked is that guy off the bench who is 6'9" and 250lbs. portland needs a back-up power forward that can bring the wood, and alter the balance of power on the court in a game like this, and on a nightly basis. for this team to win these ugly games, they are going to have to get a bit ugly themselves. a tough loss, but hopefully they can take it out on new jersey and philadelphia.

    by reverse on 11/27/2010 7:46 PM
  58. Got to disagree mildly about BRoy, Kassandra. What we saw last night was most likely the new Brandon but definitely not the old one. Most of his shots were jumpers, only a couple of times did he go to the rim and those were ones he didn't have to fight for.

    He an still be a very effective SG though. No reason he can't still average close to 20 but his rebound numbers will probably go down as will his free throw attempts. And the old BRoy off-tackle play into the lane is definitely a thing of the past.

    Three guys we can't do without didn't play well last night and that was the difference. If Matthews really does have problems playing off the bench, maybe he should start. I doubt that will bother Brandon as his minutes are closely watched anyway and he can still play 24-32 minutes a game, depending on how his knee feels.

    by dgpdx on 11/27/2010 7:52 PM
  59. travisd -- I said here right after last season that a big, banger PF was our biggest need and I haven't seen anything this season that makes think any different. Varejao would be perfect but there are a few others who fit your description.

    We couldn't get Milsap and we let David Lee get away also, but how about going after Ronny Turiaf? He'd do just fine and not cost us nearly as much. It should be apparent to anyone who watches the Blazers that inside muscle and hustle are definitely lacking.

    by dgpdx on 11/27/2010 8:00 PM
  60. Kassandra:

    This is in my opinion only, but in the last 3 years when we play against a tough defensive team that beats you and bangs you, we start settling for jump shots whether then getting beat up and no fouls called. If our jump shot is falling we win, if not we lose. The one thing that I have noticed is, if they make the early entry pass to LMA difficult then we have no one else that plays effectively inside. And if LMA doesn't receive the pass, he can't dish off to cutters. That is when our offense goes out the window and we start jump shooting, our rebounds go out the window, and because a long missed shot can easily moved up the floor and scored on that makes our defense look horrifically yielding. As said this is just IMO.

    I agree with you on BRoy being the old BRoy. His shot was somewhat different but still just as effective.

    Often a team that has too many days off to think comes out too hyped and plays ineffectively. They did ap[pear to be rusty, but I don't know why they should have been.

    by Hg on 11/27/2010 8:42 PM
  61. I'd say 3 of the next 4 is reasonable, and that 5 of the next 6 is also doable.....IF WE ACTUALLY PLAY the ENTIRE game.

    I loved the first quarter last night, it was a lot of fun to watch, and is an example of just how well we can actually play. Everyone hit their shots, everyone defended well, they were all feeling it and then.......????? I am at a loss to explain what happened, but this is what I saw:

    We lost some energy and flow with the second unit. Just as it started to look okay, Wesley got hurt. Later, Rudy got hurt. Some shots were missed, some easy baskets for New Orleans occurred, and we were down at the half. From that point on, I figured we were losing this one. Honestly? I think the injuries are taking a huge toll mentally on this team.

    Think about how many players have been hurt or lost over the last two seasons now. Everyone thought there was no way it could be worse this season.....but it already looks bad. We've lost a rookie, our sophmore banger (big energy and morale guy), his replacement, and our eternally lost Center of the Future....for the second time in a row. On top of that, Rudy has missed games due to his back, Brandon has missed games due to his knee, Camby's missed time, and Joel's return has been cruelly delayed by an ill-timed bug. And our THIRD replacement Center this season just got injured! I know most don't really think we are cursed, but if you were a player, don't you think all these injuries and all this "bad luck" would be piling up in your mind? Weighing heavily upon it? For most of these guys, it just has to be. It just seems like it must be affecting things. I know it's affecting me, and all I do is watch them play.

    So, what can be done? Who knows. There's only so much "Battle" this team has I think. And it's just a shame. We have so much talent, but the injuries and constantly fluctuating rotations are not allowing them time to gel. Sure, Wesley looks like he's gonna be terrible off the bench, but his role keeps changing, so how is he supposed to ever begin to feel comfortable? Nico is terribly inconsistent, but if you've noticed, his role is also ill-defined at times. Brandon has been in and out. The bench guys are subbing in at different times, and sometimes in different roles. There are distinct shortages off the bench, and some of our starters need to watch their minutes. It's just tough all the way around.

    I am not panicking yet. I think we have the ability to be an extremely good playoff-caliber team. Obviously, we are not playing good ball right now. There are issues. But at the end ofthe day, I believe they will be worked out. I can't give into the idea that we are doomed, or that players need to be traded, or that the season is lost. These losses are setbacks, and if we get a few wins under our belt, even against sub-par teams, everyone will feel better. I think those wins are coming.

    If we are still playing like this, after Joel comes back and we have our full squad healthy (or almost healthy), then and only then will I be forced to re-evaluate this team.

    Kassandra: Again, we see mostly eye to eye. I agree with you about Brandon's game. He was a tiny bit slower, a little bit more hesitant (you could tell he really didn't want to dunk), but those things made little difference in his stat line. Also, the offense did not suddenly become the Brandon Roy show, as many had feared it might, even when we were losing. I was happy to see him return to the court, and put up great numbers. His defense is a weakness, that is true, but at least he compensates for it by putting the ball in the basket, as opposed to say, Rudy or Miller. Sure, it'd be great if he played both ends at a superior level, but we have long accepted his deficiencies in that regard, and I am not sure why anyone is making issue of them now.

    by EowynAmarie on 11/27/2010 8:45 PM
  62. Eowyn Amarie:

    I agree with you on all the injuries effecting the team mentally. It has been said that they are even playing cautiously because if they get hurt there is no one else to take their place.

    Like You and Kassandra, I am far from being ready to call us a wash. This is still early and the Blazers are noted for their slow start in the season; as near back as last year; we never really took off until some time in December. If we are still playing sub level BB by the end of December than I may consider us a wash.


    by Hg on 11/27/2010 9:11 PM
  63. dgpdx: Brandon hit two or three treys, and attracked the basket for about 10 of his 27 points. that's pretty much the old Brandon, at least from what i had previously watched. that driving inside will also usually get him to the line several times a game. last night his offense was not in question. i'm not sure that you watched the same Brandon Roy last night that i did, but that's what i saw. also, Brandon is still a better player than Wesley, and he would not be okay with coming off the bench. Wesley hasn't earned a starting role. this is professional basketball, and you don't earn a starting role just because you play like crap when you come off the bench.

    EowynAmarie: Brandon's defense concerns me, and i don't think he has to become a liability. this is the area where he's really going to have to work on his game, especially his lateral movement. i have confidence he can do so.

    hg: it's ironic that Brandon is the one guy who didn't seem all that rusty. maybe it's the professionalism. there's still a lot of basketball left to play this season, so i say we stay tuned.

    all: it's been a great week back home, but i'm headed back to school for the end of fall term; then back here for winter break. i can't wait. leaving sunday morning at 5.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 11/27/2010 10:01 PM
  64. travisd -- I said here right after last season that a big, banger PF was our biggest need and I haven't seen anything this season that makes think any different. Varejao would be perfect but there are a few others who fit your description.

    We couldn't get Milsap and we let David Lee get away also, but how about going after Ronny Turiaf? He'd do just fine and not cost us nearly as much. It should be apparent to anyone who watches the Blazers that inside muscle and hustle are definitely lacking.

    by dgpdx on 11/27/2010 10:56 PM
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