mikebarrett

Dec 20

LaMarcus 2.0

By mikebarrett
Strange things happen during times of adversity.  You adjust, you grow, you mature, and at times you reinvent.  The Trail Blazers know this well. They've faced plenty of adversity.  I've said this before, but without the bitter the sweet 'aint as sweet. 

Nothing this season has gone like we expected, or hoped, it would go.  But, here the team sits, just 29 games into the year, just two games back of where it was a year ago.  Sounds a little crazy, I realize.  It hasn't felt the same.  Actually, nothing close to the same.  But, perhaps a rediscovery has taken place.  

It happens so often it's amazing it always catches us off guard, but this league has always been about opportunity.  Right place, right time.  It's huge.  Or, in this case, right place, unfortunate circumstance for some, blast off for another.  Yes, LaMarcus Aldridge has hit a new layer.

What Aldridge has now done is sustain success.  I know it's not like it's been months here, but it's clearly been enough that we can rule out "good matchup," or "just a fortunate night where things were going his way."  This has been a four-game stretch like no other in his career.  

Yes, winning is the ultimate cure-all.  I get that.  I also get that we're not talking about wins over the elites of the NBA.  But, whenever the Trail Blazers lose I always try to give credit to the winning team.  So, when the schedule starts to balance out, and you get some opportune matchups, I'm not apologizing for the high that comes with winning- no matter who it happens to be against.  Aldridge shouldn't either.

After Monday night's 106-80 blowout of the Milwaukee Bucks, Aldridge stood before his locker and tried to explain what's going on with his game.  He said he hit one jumper at the top of the key, late in the third quarter in the game at Dallas, and things have just felt differently since then.  I guess it can truly be that simple.  

He went for 35 against the Mavericks, against a good defense.  He went for 36 and 10 against Kevin Love and Minnesota.  He scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a win over Golden State.  And, Monday he went for 29 and 19 against Andrew Bogut and the Bucks.  Those are all-star numbers.

Most importantly, the Blazers have played well, and have won three of those four games.  He's recognized the opportunity to assert himself, put the team on his shoulders, and live up to his lofty expectations.  We've seen him turn from an outside-in player, to an inside-out player.  That's probably the best news that's come out of this.  He's delivered contact, he's scored in a variety of ways, and he's produced when he's been the focal point of opposing defenses.  

Am I ready to declare this his team?  Too early for that probably, but this is something that only could have been born out of this very situation the team finds itself in right now.  He's had to do this.

I also realize the 500-pound gorilla that's sitting across the room- what happens when Brandon Roy comes back?  Here's what gives me confidence.  Aldridge is out of the box now, and he's not going back in.  He's not the same player he was a week ago.  Do you think that's possible, or is that overstated?

Along with heaping praise on LaMarcus, we've got to call attention to the other guy who's been born again- Rudy Fernandez.  This is who Rudy says he has been all along.  We've never seen it.  Again, maybe it took this exact situation for us to find out, and for him to believe it. 

He's always said he can be more than a spot-up three-point shooter.  In the last several games, which came on the heels of an awful shooting slump, Rudy has taken off.  His confidence has skyrocketed, his game has looked complete, and he's playing with a swagger and freedom that we had only seen during his time with the Spanish National team.  In his last three games, he's scored 26 points, 15 points, and 17 points.  He's racked up 18 assists and only 2 turnovers during that time.  He's played great defense, and at times, has run the Portland offense.

The biggest challenge for these two players?  Do it again.  I said it after the Minnesota game, after the Golden State game, and I say it again now.  There's no going back.  You've been exposed.  Show me again.

Yes, all the Blazers have done is beat three teams they were supposed to beat.  But, this has had a different feel to it.  Maybe we were just starving and someone tossed us a cracker.  That's entirely possible.  

Now, things get tougher.  It's games at Golden State, at Utah, and at Denver.  Then, it's back home for a game against Utah.

If the past three games were a pop quiz, the next four are a mid-term exam. 

To listen to Nate McMillan's post-game comments, following the win over Milwaukee, click here.



76 Comments

  1. Great piece once again, Mike. Not only has Aldridge been spectacular this past week, it's his energy on both ends of the court. He has certainly learned a lot from Marcus Camby and how he plays the game. Another interesting point you bring up on the team's record compared to last year. Interestingly, it was at this point that they started to take off and pile up wins in bunches and I see no reason why they won't do the same this year.

    by blazerdarren77 on 12/20/2010 11:46 PM
  2. Mike:

    I had to go to work right after the game. But the picture of LaMarcus mean determined aggressive look was stamped on my brain.

    LMA's 29 points was great, his 19 rebounds was awesome, but the look on his face as he tried to imitate somebody mean or what ever was priceless.

    Kassandra convinced me this summer that LMA was going to have a break out year and we defended him against many LMA bashers, we told them to have patience and wait. It feels good that we were right.

    hg

    by Hg on 12/21/2010 12:17 AM
  3. Tell me one player besides Dork Noringzki (see what I did there?) that has been playing better than Aldridge at the PF position? The guys been the difference this season. He's played every game (Dante, Wesley, and Him are the only ones to do this) and is our leading scorer. He's the leading scorer on a playoff contender at his position which is the deepest in the West. He scored 35 against a team that held the Miami Heat to such a low score and gave the best player in the league foul trouble (LeBron James). He out hustled one of the best defensive big men in the East at the PF position in Bogut and just DOMINATED him in this game.

    If LMA and Camby are not All-Stars in their respective position, this league is obviously too biased (and it already is. Let's start Yao Ming and Andrew Bynum in the All-Star game shall we?). It's theirs to lose at this point. Also, Aldridge is much more entertaining to watch than Dork, Gasol, West, Randolph, Kaman, Griffin, and Love. The NBA is at a loss if they don't have LMA in the ASG.

    About the win - it was JUST what this team needed. I mean, give Milwaukee credit, they looked pathetic, but the Blazers played a perfect game. The turnovers were limited, and they were having fun. They played to win, and not to lose, and they had every ounce of energy they need.

    But... we have a 4 game losing streak coming up. ANY of those games being wins are gifts. I don't expect the Blazers to lose, but I don't expect them to win. Utah has our number. Denver never loses at home, and we leaned on Brandon Roy last time we beat GS in GS. Can't do that this time. We need to keep our heads in the game and play our style basketball.

    by Herr on 12/21/2010 12:58 AM
  4. LaMarcus is a BEAST - PERIOD.

    by Tiago Torigoe on 12/21/2010 4:49 AM
  5. Hey Mike,

    First time posting on any of your blogs. I am so motivated to say what I have to say that I will take 10 minutes to register to this website. I'll get to the point quickly.

    First of all, Aldridge was played too much in this blowout win. Nate needs to have a little more faith in this team and not be afraid of giving up 20 point leads. Playing Aldridge for so long and so hard risks late season fatigue and possible injury.

    Cho either needs to make a move for another PF/SF or decide that Batum/Matthews can fill in at PF THIS YEAR! The fact that our two main centers (Oden and Pryz), are injured forces that. Camby is a temporary solution. It remains to be seen whether their problems will ever be fixed. As you say, Joel is a warrior, but Oden is the real franchise player. It's time to make some impactful decisions like Orlando and Phoenix.

    Although Miller is a better PG than Blake used to be, it is interesting to see the impact of the lack of Millers outside shooting on our offense. Roy cannot kick it out to Miller as he did to Blake when things broke down. Blake is having his best year of shooting 3's at 46%. Although it is due to playing with the best team in the league (although I hate to say that), his presence is missed immensely.

    Nate is not the problem with these struggles. It's as if he didn't renew his coaching contract to avoid this plague of injuries. Nate will be coaching a different team next year, that I am certain of. Cho has a lot of work in front of him.

    Tried to keep this short. I enjoy you and Mike Rice calling the TV games. Sadly, I haven't been able to watch many of the games on CSN, but I've listened to Wheels during work.

    by FarSide on 12/21/2010 6:41 AM
  6. Herr:

    I don't know if you are cautiously optimistic or pessimistic LOL.

    Kassandra hits the All-Star game participants on the nose. It is a popularity contest not the best at the position contest. Do you think Portland can compete against Los Angeles in voting? Yao has the whole county of China; look at the way Rudy was snubbed doing the dunking contest, Spain voted him in not the NBA and the NBA didn't like a taste of its own medicine. The NBA is already crying about Yoa being ahead in the voting.

    As far as the next 4 games go, you said it yourself. This is a very exciting team to watch; As Mike said LMA is here to stay now there is no turning him back. Success feeds success.

    As I said in Mike's last blog on perspectives, I am looking forward to the games with anticipation to see if we can continue to play offense like we did in the last three games and continue to improve upon our mistakes; I am not predicting the outcome, I am just going to enjoy and hope we win all four, but mainly hoping we continue to play this type of ball and hope that BRoy's return will be a positive.

    I'm also in Mike’s camp of LMA is here to stay, and that alone might make the difference in how the games are played. I won't go as far as Mike did, by saying this is LMA's team, but with Andre and Patty at the controls it has a good chance because LMA needs to be fed with good timely passes at the time he can score, not just throw him the ball and let him work. No, I am not forgetting the LMA/Rudy connection, just haven't got my faith built up in Rudy yet. Also, don't forget that Wesley in continuing to grow and improving on his chemistry with the team.

    So throw away last years stats, they mean nothing now, be optimistic about the play of our Blazers and don't expect to much then you won't be too disappointed.

    End of summon LOL. Happy holidays to all

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/21/2010 7:09 AM
  7. FarSide:

    You make some very good points, but (there is always a but in my comeback) you forgot that Dante also got hurt in last nights game; that was another big that hit the pines with injury and I think in your assessment of another backup PF, Dante will be great. As far as Nate playing LMA to much, I think he actually tried to replace him, but LMA was one point away and one rebound away from a 20-30 game and Nate was trying to give him a chance. As far as Nate being afraid to blow a 20 point lead, if you noticed that happened a lot lately.

    I disagree with you on blowing up the team. I am not saying we don’t need to tweak the team with the impact player mentality, but this team is not used to playing together and they need time to gel; they need time to adjust to BRoy’s injury problem, BRoy needs time to adjust to his new limitations; no, I don’t think BRoy is washed up. Maybe he won’t ever be what he used to be but I believe he has a lot to offer this team yet. I do believe his career is shortened though.

    I hope you are wrong about Nate being somewhere else next year, but that is not my call and this team will play on regardless of coaches and management because other then adversities and mistakes, this is a pretty darn good team IMO. Of course I am a relentless homer.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/21/2010 7:38 AM
  8. Great points Mike, Rudy has finally had a chance to play the type of minutes to keep him happy as well as the minutes to gel and get that in game confidence. I have been waiting for LA to come out of his shell and it looks like he finally has. As far as this Blazer team being his team? I think we give him that chance. He has been the only consistent player we have had. Even when he has a bad game here and there, he still plays his heart out! With Brandon's new/current situation it seems that LA has thought it out and excepted that role over the last week and most likely the rest of the season. To see where this team is at after the next four games will be the ice breaker for me. If we continue to play this well and keep pushing the ball the way we are doing, as well as Rudy, LA, and Matthews contributing the way they have been, it will say a lot about where our current team is heading. A ton about who's going to step up and carry this team. We need that player, it seems like LA has assumed that position, only time will tell.

    by Kraydayz on 12/21/2010 8:20 AM
  9. I <3 LA !!
    See you in Cali Mikes. Merry Christmas Blazer fans !!

    by Kim~ on 12/21/2010 9:06 AM
  10. Great game from LA yesterday. Loved seeing him getting those jams and the and 1's for sure. I do hope that this new LA can keep it up, regardless of when Roy comes back. This is what I have and I'm sure what other fan s have wanted to see out of him the last couple years. He has the build and body to get in the paint and do some damage, as he has shown these last few games. I don't know if it was a confidence issue or what, but I love it and I hope it continues the rest of the way, Yes, he's bound to have off nights and we have other talent on the team, so we other guys who can step up on those nights.

    On Rudy, just so great to see him back in the grove and seeing him happy on the court. we all love his 3's, but I especially get excited when he goes to the hoop or makes those great passes, like that one underneath to Nic from the baseline, that was sweeeetness!

    Let's keep it up against GS and hopefully not as much of a nail biter this time. I'll be at the Utah game on the 30th, that should be a good one for sure.

    Thanks Mike.

    -Anees, back home in Portland!!!

    by Anees on 12/21/2010 9:58 AM
  11. HOLY lamarcus aldridge you did it again. All i have to say about this is i think lamarcus is a better player than roy. I have sat here and read all the lamarcus haters post on this blog and other for the past 3 years. Fact of the matter is we have never played this style of basketball. Its faster more up to tempo. I am not saying brandon is a bad player he isnt. i just think having the ball go through him stops the team from being at its full potential. I also think lamarcus has been our most consistent player over the past 3 years somethin he hasnt gotten credit for. I meen come on he has got hurt but just little scratches. Other than that he is a iron man for this team playing 40 plus a night and hardly looks tired.

    Rudy needs more of a role on this team. Sorry hg i put trust in rudy when brandon is not on the floor. When brandon plays rudy is just a spot up shooter. because that is what brandon needs. All of this is hard for me to say brandon is one of my fave players. But rudy has shown that given the time he will only get better at this point. he connects with every one and sees the floor realy well. At the game last night i asked my father inlaw if he thought rudy was trying to take millers spot when we trade him. I am not against this.
    being lamarcus team in my mind this has been his team for the last 2 years. He plays more games than brandon we can rely on him to play ball night in night out. he doenst complain and he know when he has to put things on his shoulders and run with it. I know alot of you will disagree with me Because brandon was brandon the natrual. But he wasnt a iron man and its hard to lead a team when you only play 3/4 of the year.
    By the Wes was not over paid he was a steal i cant belive he went undraffted. I think he is better than brandon jennings. and maybe even tyrek evens at this point. but like you HG i am a big homer

    by Avgjoe28 on 12/21/2010 10:08 AM
  12. Oops i ment to say I think lamarcus is a better player with out roy. not a better player than roy

    by Avgjoe28 on 12/21/2010 10:10 AM
  13. Avgjoe28:

    Thanks for reading my post. Don't be sorry for having faith in Rudy, I am all for him staying great and staying in Portland, but he is a very emotional player and really gets down on himself; that follows by taking his good confident play out of the game. That is the part that I don't have faith in.

    I love me some Rudy when he is playing like this, and it could very well be that he plays better when BRoy is out. But, in the play-offs last year when he was on the starting five without BRoy, he was full of anger, disbelief, and lacking in confidence. Therefore, I can't go entirely on the play without BRoy. My theory is that Patty and him becoming friends and Patty getting to play the same time Rudy does, gives him the same feeling that Sergio gave him as to always looking for his cuts and good at the lob connection. That started it and then now it is snow balling as I said before, success feeds success. At the most whatever it is I am glad it is happening and I love the LMA/Rudy connection. I love the ball movement and Rudy movement toward the basket. I am still just a little sceptical of it lasting. Maybe it is just too good to be true.

    Your post is very delightful and I welcome other homers.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/21/2010 11:33 AM
  14. Great Blog! So Happy to see both LA and Rudy play consistently well! Hoping we can do as well on the mid terms exams that are coming up!

    by RedRudy5 on 12/21/2010 12:11 PM
  15. LaMarcus arrived this year bigger and stronger, having worked hard on his baseline spins and other inside moves. The signs were clear in the first few outings that he had plugged the biggest hole in his game, a shyness about going hard inside. But it took the Blazers way too many games to realize what this meant. They were looking for him more with lobs on the spin-to-the-rim plays, but otherwise it was the same pattern of feeding him early and then forgetting he was there, except for outside shots or feeds on the break. It took the removal of the default Brandon option for the team to realize what it had. Now that everyone finally understands, we can move forward. By the way, has anyone noticed how many fouls he has been drawing on his first move with the ball? It happens more often early in quarters, so he doesn't usually shoot free throws, but you can see that once LA starts his move in the low post almost every defender finds himself without any real option except to foul or scream for help

    by Islander on 12/21/2010 1:31 PM
  16. Well.........Its nice to see Aldridge play the stylre of basketball hes been "capable" for last couple years consistently!!!

    Yes he has been capable, and blazer fan who watches this team alot knows that he has had a inside-outside game, its just matter of mentaly saying "hey im gonna post you up, take you to the rim, and your not gonna stop me" attitude that were finaly seeing. I do believe the NBA prematurly announced players of the week. In the last 5 games, L.A's #s of 26 ppg and 11 boards is pretty dam good lol. Yes there is 1 pf besides Dirk thats playing as good as Aldridge, that would be Lamare in NY. And umm hes in the MVP talks, so I think L.A is in very good company right now.

    As for all star game, I have not seen the ballot, I assume hes on there. If I remember correctly, Yao is out for the season, though China will still vote..listen..we know the deal, so lets get out and vote and get the word out, thats best we can do as Blazer fans, PLUS..if L.A keeps playing this way, he will prabaly be a coaches pick.

    Last but not least...What Roy will return?...good or bad?..This team cannot watch Roy with the ball. We need to get everyone involved like we have been doing when Roy does come back. Were going to learn Alot about this team in the next couple weeks.

    by whitefeather21380 on 12/21/2010 2:01 PM
  17. Lots of good comments above so I won't repeat them except to say it's great to see LA doing what the coaching staff has been after him to do for a couple seasons now, and it's great to see Rudy at last playing up to his potential. Huge props to them both!

    What I will add is that it's just too bad it took a career-threatening injury to BRoy for Rudy to get this chance. In my opinion, he could have been doing this for all his tenure with the team had he been given the chance to handle the ball more rather than being seen by the staff as only a spot-up shooter.

    From what I've seen lately, Rudy is as good at penetrating and dishing as any PG we have. And he finishes well too when the opportunity is there. Give him the ball more often, please!

    Oh, and he's no slouch on the defensive end either...

    by dgpdx on 12/21/2010 3:44 PM
  18. Forgot one thing about Rudy: he also could be the best pick and roll point man we've got, especially when teamed with LaMarcus.

    by dgpdx on 12/21/2010 3:48 PM
  19. I would say that LaMarcus, Wes, and Rudy are three players that we can build around as we continue to try and play a more uptempo style of basketball. Each of these players have surprised me in one way or another this season. LaMarcus is playing with much more intensity and aggression around the basket. When we signed Wes, I was skeptical about his offensive ability, but he shows the same fearlessness on offense that he displays on defense. If Roy does not return to form, we may have found our go-to-guy at the end of games. LaMarcus is obviously another go-to option, but his free-throw shooting is still shaky in the fourth quarter. Keeping Rudy may have been the best decision we've made so far this season. His focus on defense has been a huge surprise, and like he previously stated, he is much more than a spot-up shooter when the reigns are removed. The future for Portland is suddenly looking bright again if we can add a couple of solid pieces around these three guys.

    by C. Larry on 12/21/2010 4:03 PM
  20. I would say that LaMarcus, Wes, and Rudy are three players that we can build around as we continue to try and play a more uptempo style of basketball. Each of these players have surprised me in one way or another this season. LaMarcus is playing with much more intensity and aggression around the basket. When we signed Wes, I was skeptical about his offensive ability, but he shows the same fearlessness on offense that he displays on defense. If Roy does not return to form, we may have found our go-to-guy at the end of games. LaMarcus is obviously another go-to option, but his free-throw shooting is still shaky in the fourth quarter. Keeping Rudy may have been the best decision we've made so far this season. His focus on defense has been a huge surprise, and like he previously stated, he is much more than a spot-up shooter when the reigns are removed. The future for Portland is suddenly looking bright again if we can add a couple of solid pieces around these three guys.

    by C. Larry on 12/21/2010 4:40 PM
  21. First Mr. Barrett, please let me say that your blog from earlier this morning was so on point, and I was absolutely content when I read it, suddenly feeling reassured that I am not alone in my thinking. I don't know if you follow Canzano on twitter, but he said this, "I would hate to ever be in position where you had to spout company line and rhetoric to keep your job. I'd last one day. Maybe." It's probably also a good thing his job doesn't require actual accountability. He might last half a day. I know you don't mind when people insult you, but I was bothered by his comment, for your sake :) To me, your blog seemed like an honest and passionate response to all the negativity, mis-information, and drama the media has been stirring up. Rhetoric it was not.

    Okay, now for this blog, can I just say: IT'S ABOUT TIME LAMARCUS IS GETTING HIS RESPECT!! That's not directed at you Mr. Barrett, but rather to Blazer fans in general who have beaten LMA down in public for years now. I, like several of the posters above, have always believed Lamarcus would eventually find the key. I have mentioned several times that he has been our most consistent guy for well over a year, and have been impressed with his effort to play bigger and tougher ever since Greg went down last year. Anyway, LMA's explanation sounds right. Sometimes, something just clicks and there you go!

    I completely agree that LMA cannot and will not go "back in the box" and that he is NOT the same player he was a week ago. He appears to have changed, permenantly. Everything happens for a reason, or so some believe. In this situation, you can certainly see how certain elements of injury have provided the opportunity and the impetus for LMA to break out. Perhaps we would never have seen this had Oden not gone out again, or BRoy's knees had not deflated. Speaking of that.....

    I don't think there will be a gorilla. I think BRoy must be thrilled his friend, who has always hoped to play at an All-Star level, is finally doing so. Roy is not really the diva and selfish guy everyone has been making him out to be of late (at least, that's my sense). I agree with Quick, who said today that Brandon was probably sitting on the bench in the last game, analyzing how he can come back in and contribute to what is happening without disrupting it. Brandon wants to win, and his team is winning. Of course, he wants to be a part of that, and believes he can be. I also have belief in BRoy's ability to figure it out, and if he can't, to recognize he is affecting things in a negative way. Maybe I am being naive, but Brandon is my favorite player because of my perceived strength of his character. So, I will continue to believe in that until I see clear evidence he is not the good guy I think he is :)

    I am still reserving judgment on Rudy. It is great to see him playing this way, but I need more time seeing him this way. As for Wesley, I have never needed convincing he was going to be excellent for us.

    I'd like to point out that yes, we beat three teams we were supposed to, but how many of those did we lose previously this season? No, these wins count and they mean something. Yes, the upcoming 4-game stretch is brutal. I, like Herr, don't see us winning them (although Denver DID just lose at home!), but I fully expect to see the same level of play from LMA and the rest of the team. If they do that, I will still be pleased with them.

    Now THAT is more dissertation-like, lol! Does it surprise anyone around here that I will be actually doing one of those someday? Oh yeah, gotta finish the Master's first :) I am thankfully one step closer to that today, having completed my final paper for Fall semester finally. Two more courses to go this Spring, then nothing but researching and writing!

    Go BLAZERS!

    by EowynAmarie on 12/21/2010 5:16 PM
  22. I would say that LaMarcus, Wes, and Rudy are three players that we can build around as we continue to try and play a more uptempo style of basketball. Each of these players have surprised me in one way or another this season. LaMarcus is playing with much more intensity and aggression around the basket. When we signed Wes, I was skeptical about his offensive ability, but he shows the same fearlessness on offense that he displays on defense. If Roy does not return to form, we may have found our go-to-guy at the end of games. LaMarcus is obviously another go-to option, but his free-throw shooting is still shaky in the fourth quarter. Keeping Rudy may have been the best decision we've made so far this season. His focus on defense has been a huge surprise, and like he previously stated, he is much more than a spot-up shooter when the reigns are removed. The future for Portland is suddenly looking bright again if we can add a couple of solid pieces around these three guys.

    by C. Larry on 12/21/2010 5:34 PM
  23. i had a family emergency yesterday and was unable to watch/listen to the game.

    this is pretty much going to be an echo of what's already been said, but i'm glad to see this surge from LaMarcus. it's not unexpected as far as i'm concerned, and i believe i've made that point here on the blog (thank you, hg, for pointing that out). i think LaMarcus has identified that he is the go-to guy for this team, and he's responded magnificently. he's averaging 29.3 points and 12.8 rebounds per game over the past four games -- definitely all-star numbers.

    unfortunately, because of market size, he won't be voted by fans to the nba popularity contest. my prediction is that Nowitzki will be the fan choice. what concerns me is that the coaches might just choose Love and Griffin over LaMarcus for the game at the pf position. of course, because of injuries to the likes of Yao, he could get the coaches' nod at center. whichever position, there's absolutely no reason to keep LaMarcus out of that game.

    i know there are naysayers out there who says he still shoots too much from outside. however, a few outside shots will open up the inside game for him and it's working. the only question is, will Brandon adapt his game around LaMarcus? i certainly hope so.

    on Rudy, this looks a lot like the Rudy we saw during his rookie year. Brandon's absence opened up the minutes for Rudy, and thanks to Andre and Patrick, he's gotten the ball and used an inside game to set up his outside shot. i think Rudy's continued success also hinges on Brandon's role when he returns. i think what we've seen these past few games is that when given the minutes, Rudy can produce.

    personal note: my family is going through some rough times the past couple of days. we had a scare with my dad, but things seem to be leveling out and i'm optimistic things can return to normalcy soon.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/21/2010 6:30 PM
  24. Kassandra: I will keep you, your family, and especially your dad in my thoughts. I hope all will be okay....fathers are precious, something easy to take for granted until they are no longer with us.

    by EowynAmarie on 12/21/2010 6:51 PM
  25. EowynAmarie: thanks. i sent you a message explaining more of what happened.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/21/2010 9:45 PM
  26. Kassandra:

    I hope that everything turns out for the best.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/21/2010 11:09 PM
  27. Praying for you Dad and your whole family, Kassandra.

    Just caught the score of the Bucks v Lakers game. WOWEE! Was it really the same Bucks that passed the a** whoopin we gave them last night on to the Lakers tonight?

    by Pamela Porter on 12/21/2010 11:50 PM
  28. Have a nice holiday, folks...

    Merry Xmas, direct from Brazil ^^

    (Where's Summer, and hot as hell in December ¬¬ lol)

    by Tiago Torigoe on 12/22/2010 3:15 AM
  29. farside,

    I didn't notice anyone else mention it, but our next game isn't until Saturday so that was the reason Nate didn't mind playing LA so many mins. He'll have plenty of rest between games it wasn't like it was a back to back or a day in between games.

    I've seen a lot of PFs move from inside out, like Sheed for one, but it's not near as common for a player to move from outside to inside like LA has done. Very impressed!

    by mgb on 12/22/2010 3:29 AM
  30. Hey, a little off-topic but I signed up for twitter.

    @BlazeHerr is me if anyone would like to follow me or have me follow them.


    Mike you should make one and update us during the game if we're busy lol.

    by Herr on 12/22/2010 6:33 AM
  31. I know we've had a tough schedule up to this point, but a poster on ripcitytwo.com posted about the Clippers schedule in Feb and it's brutal!

    http://www.nba.com/clippers/schedule/

    11 straight road games? I know the last one is kind of a home game, but still that's pretty bad.

    by mgb on 12/22/2010 7:00 AM
  32. The synergistic play of LMA, Wes and Rudy is a great Christmas present.
    EA: With your ability to sift through the chaff your paper should bring forth a great harvest. Keep it coming.
    Kassandra: Very sorry to hear of your stress. With your permission may The Lord bless.

    by Ancientone on 12/22/2010 9:59 AM
  33. I took my friend to his first two blazers games last weekend(wolves/warriors). We had a blast at both games but beasley getting dunked on had to be one of the high points of the weekend.
    Ltrain is coming into his own and has developed his game into an all star caliber talent. LA needs to keep it up with dominate play through the year and into the playoffs.
    His dunks have stood out to me as easy buckets for him giving him high shooting % and more points. Camby\Miller can have some credit but LA's post play has improved since the start of the season along with the whole off season. Some of the pump fakes and spin moves he has been pulling along with the up & under absorb contact and 1 plays, makes Ltain a full load. go blazers

    by Miller on 12/22/2010 12:44 PM
  34. I hear what you're saying 500 about remarks being flagged here as "inappropriate". I'll tell you what's inappropriate. Going to Palm Springs on vacation in order to get out of the rain, and entering a sunami, the likes of which haven't been seen in southern California in a decade! And having a TSA agent tell me that he is going to fondle my crotch with the back of his hand as opposed to the front, as if that makes it all ok. I see while I was away that the blazers are riding the pony called Lamarcus, like my wife rides me after a night of budweiser and truth-sharing. As for you HG, what you call rudeness is me actually flicking an olive branch under your oh- so sensitive nose. If you could get past your insecurities we might actually be able to have a dialogue here some day.

    by Phi Slamma on 12/22/2010 2:06 PM
  35. the upcoming road trip is going to be very tough. i think we can beat the warriors in their house. in addition to the slim victory we had over them last week, we have Nicolas back now and that only enhances our lineup. we've beaten the nuggets before, though beating them at home is no easy task. if we're close and have a chance to pull it out, i'm hoping we can. we all know utah is our achilles heel. can they stop our new triple threat? can we stop them? i think the LaMarcus-Milsap matchup will be interesting to watch, but i have confidence in LaMarcus can get the better of him.

    thanks, Ancietone, and the others who have expressed concern, best wishes and prayers. on monday my father was rushed to the hospital with chest pains which occurred while he was at work. doctors thought originally that it was a mild heart attack. the called it a grade-5, but downgraded it from that. after an angioplasty which seems to have went very well, he should be coming home tomorrow. so again, thank you for all your thoughts.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/22/2010 2:24 PM
  36. HG: You seem grateful for advice I gave you on a matter of life and death. Yet you critique my delivery on secondary matters.
    I like to deal in logic. Think of me as a bastard child of Kirk and Spock if you will, "Kock". (Sorry fans, I stole that line out of the William Shatner Roast). If Farrah Fawcett wasn't delirious on mushrooms then I'm an Irish, piano playing Leprechaun. Yes, you heard that right, a 10-inch pianist!
    Sudelander and D-Vinn; To thee I tip my hat,
    A Roman soldier;
    an Aristocrat?
    no, so much bolder,
    You broke the mold, yer;
    a tit, no, tat,
    your flame a smolder:
    you ain't all that.

    by Phi Slamma on 12/22/2010 3:45 PM
  37. Phi Slamma:

    I love the United States of America; that doesn't mean I love everything that exist inside the stucture.

    I don't get involved in a no win slam contest. Mostly because I don't have the skills to participate and I feel like the fight between good and bad there is no winners. Or you can win all the battles, but you will never win the war.

    Peace to you my friend, I am thankful for your advise, but don't want to participate in your little wars.

    I Surrender.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/22/2010 4:42 PM
  38. 3 meaningful wins at home. But before I get carried away too far I have to point out that they are just 3 games. As a fan I tend to get too high on the Blazers when things click and they look great. The basketball they played recently and the fire behind it with all the injuries has been inspiring, 'reinventing' as Mike said, and some what of a revival. I will try not to beat around the bush here. The last 3 years as a Blazer fan have been trying. They are the kind of years that play with one's emotions at best with all the changes and adjustments the organization has made. Everyone wants a scapegoat, that's just how the Portland media works. But really set backs be placed on one or two individuals? Not in my book. And here they are, showing that some of the stock they have left on that bench can play the game. Rudy, Wes Matthews, Patty, Marks and Cunningham are showing there is no quit in them. Seeing Rudy handle the ball more and get into the flow and rhythm displays more of what he can do for this team to help them. He is not Roy and sorry, they are too different to compare, but Fernandez is showing what can to to help the team win. He is an emotional player, and he feels good he can help the time, as is seen with his interaction with LA, Matthews and what not.

    Speaking of Roy, I think it's time people stop shoveling the blame on him. It's clear he is frustrated and he wants no part in losing. He far from a 'cancer' or dark cloud hovering over the team so I think we should all accept that he may be out for a while and hope and pray he comes back full strength whenever that may be. Dwayne Wade did it, as did numerous other stars. Playing him on one leg is not a good business decision. He is one of the leagues top players, I mean I love him, I just hope he gets well both mentally and physically.

    I did like Jason Quick's little piece on Aldridge before the GS game. I agree for the most part that LA is the captain and leader of the team. I didn't really appreciate the negative portrayal or Roy in the piece, but I have give to LaMarcus all the credit in the world. As agreed with Quick, Aldridge embodies all of the things character wise and talent wise that the Blazers and NBA need to sustain their integrity. How about this guy? Not trying to be biased, if Portland stays in the playoff picture, and continues to play ball like this, I think he should make the team. Keep it up LA! You are doing everything right for the Blazer organization and fans. Build off of this and find your consistency. From a mental aspect he is the MVP of the team right, not to discount the leadership of Camby, Przybilla or Miller.

    The Andre Miller 632 thing was great and well deserved. He is a lot of fun to watch and in some ways I feel he is still fitting in. But I have seen him adjust to Blazer ball here as of late. Just in the little things. The way he cuts and passes. He is not quite the same player he was with Philly or Denver. It's still a work in progress but I like what I see.

    My girlfriend wants a Patty Mills basketball card for Christmas. I want a Red or White Matthews jersey. That is one way we will show our appreciation for the Blazers play.

    Happy Holidays to Mike and the Blogger family. And to the Blazer family. It's been a rough road but somehow I still see some good worthwhile things to talk about. And I am glad to be a fan. Keep it up and they play like they know they are capable of there is still time and good reason to believe in the future of the team. No doubt, keeping the faith! Go Blazers.

    by Bull Frog on 12/22/2010 4:56 PM
  39. fathorn:

    That is the most heart felt post I have ever read. That might be because it came from your heart; no analytical BS, just heartfelt emotions, much as I feel. Only I can't put mine in writing as you just did. Thanks for putting in the good word for Brandon.

    I love everything about the Blazers, even the bad play at times, because that is part of being a Blazer and a Blazer fan; taking the good with the bad.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/22/2010 6:40 PM
  40. One thing to remember about LaMarcus -- we drafted him ahead of BRoy. LA was the #2 pick that year and Brandon was picked 6th by Minnesota. (Lucky for us Minny liked our #7 pick, Randy Foye, too much and swapped with us.)

    It wasn't playing out that way for their first few years, but the #2 suddenly looks more than justified for LA. A great big man is a tough get in the NBA and it's starting to look like we got one.

    Add my condolences for your father, Cassandra, and best wishes for his full recovery!
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 12/22/2010 10:58 PM
  41. Bi Slamma
    You sound like you're on mushrooms! I have to read your comments twice because your so off the wall, it gets real old! Lay off HG and learn to write (when you're not on mushrooms)!

    by Gavinfan on 12/23/2010 2:54 AM
  42. Gavinfan:

    Thanks for your support.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/23/2010 4:54 AM
  43. Hg,

    You have my support as well. I just wish this blog had a ignore feature. It gets old as Gavinfan said to get a notification there is a new comment to the blog and all there is is bs like that wiht not Blazers content. I didn't come to your defense because I feel it's just best to ignore rather than give attention.

    Speaking of the Blazers. This should be a good road trip to gauge where we are at. I'm hoping our bench continues to play well.

    by mgb on 12/23/2010 8:27 AM
  44. MGB:

    After getting my butt in trouble many times, Kassandra told me the best policy is to ignore the bashers. Therefore I do agree with you.

    Over at BE. they have an article on which team is the Blazers like and I couldn't answer that because I am not sure how to gauge the Blazers, are we a fast pace, half court, inside, outside, run and gun, good defense, bad defense or are we all of the above? So, yes this road trip may be a good gauge.

    The only thing I am really worried about is the Blazers don't play well with the in your face defense from the opponents on their own floor because the refs lets them get away with fouling and Portland doesn't play well when pushed out of their comfort zone. Therefore, I think the one Utah game and the one Denver game may be losses, but if we can beat Utah at home, I can also gauge that we are now a poor road team, as apparently may be a fact.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/23/2010 10:11 AM
  45. Here's a little rumor mill for ya.
    http://www.iamatrailblazersfan.com/MessageBoardRoot/tabid/158/afv/post/aff/488/aft/2650/afr/2650/Default.aspx

    Phi,if you are not careful ,Santa might take a dump in your stocking :)

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/23/2010 10:30 AM
  46. Your a good reminder for me MGB, I tend to forget that the irregulars here are only tolerant of each others b.s, and not of those outside the circle of trust. Imagine my horror when I get a notification in my mailbox alerting me to another fine post, only to read recycled comments about Brandon's knee, or the Atkins diet, or how Herr's dog died, and his friend left him, and wait a minute, isn't that a country song? Don't be hatin'. I love all you kind people. I have a hard time ignoring the hypocrisy when I read a blogger call someone ugly and overweight and the only reaction from you good folks is to defend him. There are people on this site who are in wheelchairs, whose spouses are suffering from a debilitating disease, who lost their jobs, etc. You can speak out against the resident boogie-man, I get it. What I don't get is the people here that can't stand an infusion of a little humor from time to time. You're so uptight you make the grinch's heart seem three sizes too big. Vinnie: Thanks for the ribbing. I get you, you get me... it's all good.

    by Phi Slamma on 12/23/2010 6:45 PM
  47. PJ,

    What you left out was you originally saying the poster had a woody for another poster and in the next post implied he had gay tendencies. You initiated it so no I didn't feel sorry for you when the poster retaliated. You started it, but you completely leave that out and play the victim.

    by mgb on 12/23/2010 7:12 PM
  48. Sorry, that should have been PS.

    by mgb on 12/23/2010 7:13 PM
  49. MGB: I have no desire to get into it with you. Normally I have the skin of a rhino, but I respect what you say about staying on topic with the blazers. For the next two weeks I am committed to nothing but blazer analogy. However, first I must address your knee-jerk remarks. If you reread my post (which you say you don't read, or care to) then you will notice that I said that Gavinfan reminded me of a card playing youngster that I later found out to have gay tendencies. I made no mention of my opinion one way or the other about this. In fact, this kid was like a son to me. You chose to make the assumption that I was comparing Gavinfan's sexuality with him. I was not. If I said he had a woody for Kassandra, I was only stating the obvious. But if that is the case, doesn't that dispell any myth about him being gay? Seriously, sometimes I wonder if people think before they speak. If I was indeed looking for sympathy than I can assure you, this would be the last place I would look.

    by Phi Slamma on 12/23/2010 8:01 PM
  50. Regarding the Wallace/Augustin for Miller/Camby trade rumor.
    Wallace would duplicate what we have in Matthews and Batum, although Matthews and Wallace can play together. Augustine is a decent young PG who can shoot, but trading Miller is a tough one. You just can’t quantify how much his veteran savy means to this team. Same with Camby. Even though his offensive numbers aren’t impressive, what he brings in experience and intangibles is so important. The blazers would really be losing a lot of experience in this deal, but at the same time, I don’t see us getting any farther than the 6-8th spot with this team. The real question is do the blazers want to wave the white flag this season? IMO that’s what they’d be doing by trading Miller and Camby in this particular deal.

    by Gavinfan on 12/23/2010 8:12 PM
  51. I am not quite ready to jump on the band wagon. I like the new action I see in LA, but I want to see him play a above .500 team before I believe "The New LA" is here. Don't get me wrong The L-Train is performing just fantastic, going to the board, and the dunk's are inspiring....Go, Baby, Go!!!!

    by Art97124 on 12/23/2010 9:01 PM
  52. i'm not going to delve into the talk of the trade rumors because they are just that: rumors. there are so many rumors floating out there with this player or another that it just doesn't makes sense. there's no doubt in my mind that Cho is working on something(s). after all, Greg's trade exception expires at the end of this month.

    on LaMarcus: he's becoming more and more confident in his new role with each new game. he definitely has the capability to continue doing what he's been doing on the floor. i agree with MB; LaMarcus is not going back into the box.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/23/2010 10:54 PM
  53. kass, i'm happy pops is alright. sounds like it was quite the scare.

    all these trade scenarios i'm reading about sound really lame.

    phi, you should start a comedy blog and call it "Behind Time!" it has lots of meanings :)

    by sudelander on 12/24/2010 10:53 AM
  54. I have been thinking long and hard about how this team can return to being contender and what trades might facilitate that and I have come to the conclusion that there are none. I like this team and think they can compete, but I also see that they have a low ceiling right now. Problem is, there are no franchise changing trades to be made out there. What we had in Brandon was a ticket to the finals. One of only four or five players that could take a franchise to the next level. Without him we are just a good scrappy team that can compete possibly get in as a 7 or 8 seed but not the ring.The idea that we can somehow make a trade that will get us back in contention is false. Those players that give you that opportunity are not going anywhere, and especially not to Portland. We are not getting, LBJ, Wade, Paul, Kobe, or anything near that for any package we could put together, so why make major wholesale changes? I like a lot of players like Wallace or Iggy, but those are second or third guys on a championship team. Right now we have a good mix of young talent and productive vets, our best move would be to use our Medical exemption and maybe draft picks to get some more depth and fill a hole or two. Carl Landry comes to mind as does Brandon Bass, something small but effective could really solidify this team and then next year we have somewhere around thirty million to work with if we let our expiring contracts go. That's plenty to add a big piece or two to an already solid core. I am as excited as anyone about a big trade to right the ship, but I just don't see the pieces out there to make a real difference and get us to the next level. I say we see what Rudy, Batum, Mathews can do along side LA, Miller, and Camby. Let's keep that streak alive and crush the Warriors tomorrow!!!

    by Gavinfan on 12/24/2010 6:52 PM
  55. hey sudelander, things are pretty good right now. we've got dad home and christmas on track. thanks to my two older brothers, all those little things which come "assembly not included" will be assembled by morning. we've adjusted christmas dinner a little bit and everyone should still enjoy it. of course, we have to eat early so those who need naps can take them in order to be up by 7:30 for the game.

    i'm really looking forward to this one. since we won last saturday by a tight margin. we've got Nicolas back for this one, and maybe Marcus (haven't heard an update there), so maybe we can start out this road trip on a good note.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/24/2010 7:45 PM
  56. Gavinfan: i agree that there's no major trade we can make this year which will send us to the championship. sure, people can say we need this guy our could use that guy, but there are two major questions which need to be asked when considering trades.

    would the opposing team actually be interested in parting with the player(s) in question? in a lot of cases with the rumors i've heard, the opposing team is very unlikely to part with the player we're "targeting." rumor starters have to realize that other teams are trying to build their rosters just as we've been trying to build ours.

    would the trade fit into the nba trading guidelines? i swear that in at least 90 percent of the rumors out there, the trade would not comply within trading guidelines (try the espn trade machine, people!). it more has to do with people wanting to get rid of one player and hoping to get another.

    anyway, we've got Greg's injury exception which needs to be used within the next week, so i can see us looking for someone to plug some holes for this season. what happens in the offseason is anyone guess.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/24/2010 7:46 PM
  57. hg: thanx

    You are a Portland fan tried and true. It means a lot that you appreciate what I have whether we agree or not. Always glad to hear your thoughts too and I always find this blog entertaining and worth while. When the Blazers finally do bring home that trophy, just think of all the things we will be saying.

    Thanks again, a little confidence booster for me if you will

    by Bull Frog on 12/24/2010 10:39 PM
  58. We are not in the position where we can add one piece that will put us over the hill so to speak for a championship. This year I don't see us challenging for a championship though a playoff spot is still a goal.

    What we do have is a couple of expiring contracts that we can either try and trade for players that might help us in the future or let their contracts expire. Most likely neither Camby or Miller will help us much past this year, while they might be able to help another team either by shedding their contract or help that team now. For us just letting their contract expire doesn't really help us since we are over the cap anyway and they won't drop us below probably even luxury cap level. I would hate to give up either player, but if we can get younger players even not quite as good it might help us in the future while letting them walk won't help at all. We might even get them back later if the team is just after shedding contracts.

    by mgb on 12/25/2010 12:25 AM
  59. MGB:

    Although your argument holds water, IMO, Dre and Camby as a back up with less minutes would be a great asset to our team, Not only as players but as mentors.

    Of course with Camby it would depend on Greg or another top center, if not him and Joel splitting time at center isn't bad, but they both are prone to missing games, and as times like now missing games at the same time is bad. So with your argument, we do need a Iron man center. Maybe LMA will transpose to that spot. He is doing damn good there.

    With Dre I think he is a good starting PG for another two or three years, then if we keep Mills and Armon, they would be ready to step up. From what I understand he is already a great mentor, and it appears as though he doesn't mind not getting starters minutes as much as he needs to have the starters status. I am sure he knows he is on the way out and aware of the fiction between him and BRoy, therefore a lot of Dre depends on the future of BRoy. Maybe that dude was right about Dre being an injury All-Star, he concedes to the franchise players, but when they are on the bench or out of the game, he does great at taking over the game. Therefore at a different role, Dre still has a lot to offer in the future.

    Still as the present status of both players, your argument does hold water.

    Like you said, maybe we could get them back in a different role.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/25/2010 5:54 AM
  60. Hg,

    Ya, it really depends on the trade with who we are getting.

    by mgb on 12/25/2010 6:32 AM
  61. Oops, my new puppy sent that before I meant it to go!

    As I was saying in my first post I would hate to see either player go. In your example I am concern how well Miller would play back up as he didn't do so well as a back up before. Of course it would depend on if he felt it was that time in his career to play back up mins. He is also a iron man which is so not what us Blazers are about! heheh I remember when someone originally brought up him not missing a game for how ever long and you stated that was a boring stat. Man how I wish Oden had that boring stat!! :)

    by mgb on 12/25/2010 6:46 AM
  62. MGB:

    I was a new poster at the time, I loved the Blazers, but had very little analytical knowledge. (well, I still do). I do find stats boring, because you can give different stats for diferent opinions and although the stats gives the players trend, it does nothing for the present game. as we found out trends can be broken in a flash. I do agree with you that I wished Greg could get that iron man stat.

    Also, game recaps in a blog is boring becuase that is the first thing I read after the games and they are all repeats of what I have already read.

    I have to agree with Phi Slamma on that respect. I read all the post, although I don't always respond. Although as I said, IMO, Phi Slamma is rude, but when he isn't trying to be whatever it is he is trying to be, he has lots of valuable knowledge to give.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/25/2010 7:17 AM
  63. Hg,

    I at times like to see different view points of a game. I agree if it's just a rehash of a article it's boring, but not if it's that persons view point of a game.

    by mgb on 12/25/2010 9:45 AM
  64. I agree with personal view points not being boring, but to just rehash the re-caps makes me wonder if they actually saw the game or just posting off the recaps. Like the last GSW games, a poster came on BE and said he thought it was too slow of a pace game and the score showed it. Little did he know the pace was fast enough, but both teams couldn't hit their butts with both hands. Anyway personal inputs of the game is different then giving stats of the game.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/25/2010 11:07 AM
  65. go blazers!

    happy x-mas!

    by reverse on 12/25/2010 12:55 PM
  66. mgb: i'm not sure we can say Andre nor Marcus will not help the team beyond this season. Andre may have been around for a while, but he has no major career-shortening injuries, which would tend to prolong his career. Marcus is getting older, but with the way he's still rebounding and fighting when he's in there, i wouldn't exactly say his days are numbered. additionally, no one really expected him to he playing the number of minutes he's played per game thus far this season. Joel's return is supposed to correct that, so i guess we'll just see how that pans out.

    i agree that it probably depends on the player(s) we would receive, but i can only reiterate that i don't want to see us make a trade for the sake of making a trade. we need to make a trade that makes sense and at leasts attempts to help the positions where we need it most.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/25/2010 5:55 PM
  67. I hate to say it but we're going to see alot of losses like this (mostly on the road) until we either get a little more help in key positions or Brandon can return, healthy enough, and be our clutch guy in the 4th quarter. We played pretty good until the 4th and just couldn't put it in the hole when we really needed to. Very encouraging game for Batum, he was everywhere. Patty's showing more and more, he can be our backup PGOTF. We out hustled, out rebounded and basically outplayed this team, that normally runs us out of this arena, for most the game. LMA needs to take the "killer" attitude in the 4th and take these games over. Lets hope we turn this around next game!!

    by Gavinfan on 12/26/2010 10:35 AM
  68. Gavinfan:

    Do you think it is safe to say we are a lousy road team so far this season?

    I agree we need at least one Mr. fourth quarter. It seems like when the game gets down to the wire the young players get tight, starts thinking and over reacting and that leads to poor execution that leads to missed out side shots.

    I think LMA had enough killer instinct, IMO he was drawing attention. and couldn't make his shots. Heck he missed two dunks. Also, I don't have the stats of course, but the missed free throws could have easily iced the game.

    All in All, I thought it was a very fun game to watch, and I think we are getting a little better in crunch time. When two teams are playing that close together you will win a few and lose a few. Or win the home games and lose the away games.

    by Hg on 12/26/2010 10:47 AM
  69. Gavinfan: i agree, if you look at everything except the score, we win this game by about 12. the problem was a lapse in defense in the fourth quarter -- and many other stretches in the game as well. i also agree with you on Nico, he had a nice double-double and helped keep us in the game for quite a while. we switched back and forth between kgw and espn (my brother actually likes the espn announcers) and at one point, the espn announcers said Patty pushes the ball up court better than Andre. the problem with the game is that LaMarcus and Rudy were hustling and playing well, but weren't making shots. that really hurt us a lot toward the end. we do need help in key positions, such as center and backup pf (if we only had Pendergraph healthy). the pickens are slim amongst free agent big men right now, so it's likely that any meaningful player at either position will come via trade.

    hg: LaMarcus was 1-2 at the line, and the team shot 75 percent, which is about what can be expected, though Andre had an uncharacteristic two misses. by contrast, Ellis came into the game shooting 72 percent from the line, but went 10-11 last night. it was just his night. i wouldn't use the term lousy, but we certainly have been unsuccessful. i think this comes back to depth. we just can't complete with a lot of the teams when our guys are as tired as they are.

    obviously, five or six days between games doesn't work for us (remember thanksgiving week?). i think we need two or three days between games and we'll have better success. nearly everyone did some meaningful things for us last night -- all nine guys who played for us scored -- but we just came up short in a game we really shouldn't not have.

    we've got utah and denver on a back-to-back. can we win? yes, i think we can win any time we take the floor. i'd love to be proven right monday and tuesday.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 12/26/2010 11:08 AM
  70. Kassandra:

    Like I said I didn't have stats, but watching the game, I for once observed if we had made a few more clutch free throws and got a few more calls to go LMA's way (not saying that GSW had the home court calls from the refs.:)) we would have won the game from the free throw line.

    Do you think Nate is falling in love with the small line-up and that is why Camby was on the bench? Or was Camby's shoulder still bothering him? A few rebounds in the final minutes would have at least helped.

    I liked the game until the end.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/26/2010 11:25 AM
  71. Hg,

    Just look at our road record and it's pretty easy to see we haven't been a very good road team. For the most part our bench just plays better at home and the crowd seems to give us extra energy when we go through a dry spell. That is typical of a so so team, win at home and lose on the road.

    by mgb on 12/26/2010 11:40 AM
  72. After doing a quick check we are 10-3 at home and 5-12 on the road. Yes, I think that qualifies as terrible on the road. We have played 4 more on the road so we'll get a few more games at home soon, but we really need to improve on the road.

    by mgb on 12/26/2010 11:46 AM
  73. with about 6min to go i said, "put camby in," then again with about 4.5min left. then when it was too late i said, "we needed camby."


    rudy should have been out. iow, the starters should have finished the game.


    still looking for that trade that brings a young-ish proven 4/5 that would make dante a spot 4 and more of a back-up 3.


    after last night, the blazers lead the pack for the 8th playoff spot in the west. houston & phoenix are right behind portland, and memphis & GS a bit further back. if denver trades melo, and new orleans keeps declining, there could be a huge 6-12 seed jumble for quite a while. none of these teams could be called decent on the road.


    there will be competition in the west for quite some time.

    by reverse on 12/26/2010 1:19 PM
  74. mgb, you're right. it pains me to say, but we are what our record is. so-so.

    if we make the playoffs with this lineup, it's one and done. again.

    how could kp have given brandon a max contract with the knowledge he had about his knees? miller's response to that was "because he's the face of the franchise". that's like saying: thanks for all you've done. i know your knees are done, but here's 82 million in recognition of your contributions to this franchise. what a joke. i agree that he was the face of the franchise, but then again so was tracy mcgrady. the difference is houston knew his back wasn't going to get any better so they benched him knowing he was going to pout and want a trade. who's going to want to pick up a gimpy brandon roy's 82 million/5 year contract. thanks kp!

    by sudelander on 12/26/2010 3:11 PM
  75. Last season, it seemed we were really focused on becoming a better road team. I remember that there were several comments about our home record being terrible, while our road record was a huge improvement. It was noted at the time that Championship contenders have to play well on the road.

    Now, it seems we have gone back to playing decent at home, but have become really terrible on the road. It's an interesting trend, that's for sure. It's almost as if with the current personnel, we cannot be both, but only one or the other.

    I am in the camp that says we need a trade of some kind to advance, but I think the best trade options are yet to come, and that if we make one this season, we will be giving up Miller and/or Joel and/or Camby, thus mortgaging our present for our future.

    Sudelander: I actually agree with your KP criticism here. I have been wondering at his track record, especially in drafts since Oden. While we seem to have done well at times, we also seem to have really missed some good ones and picked up guys that may have injury problems. However, regarding Brandon, that would have been a decision the organization, and especially ownership, would have signed off on. Perhaps KP's "negotiations" pushed them into a corner or something, but they could have let Brandon walk and test the waters of free agency with his nearly meniscus-free and uninsurable knees. Allen and company did not do that. The fault lies soley with them.

    by EowynAmarie on 12/26/2010 6:12 PM
  76. EA, fair enough. for the sake of argument, let's say it's the whole organization's fault. either way, i'm completely baffled by it. how could they have overseen this? i think part of it has to do with brandon's apprehension of MRIs and i also think he felt deep down that something was very wrong and didn't want to face it.

    do you realize that they gave him that contract without any recent MRI analysis? wouldn't you want your mechanic to look at a car that you were considering buying?

    in this case it's 82 million! and be bought him as-is!

    shame on them.

    it's easy to be a fan of this team and i always will be, but it's very difficult to be a fan of the organization.

    by sudelander on 12/26/2010 11:36 PM
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