mikebarrett

Jan 15

Defense Comes Alive in Fourth

By mikebarrett
The longer you play, the greater the chance that the numbers will return to their normal averages.  However, for much of the game on Saturday night at the Rose Garden, it appeared the New Jersey Nets were going to continue this out-of-character, red-hot shooting night.

The Nets came into this game averaging 44 percent from the field, which ranks 27th in the NBA.  And, even though they, like the Trail Blazers, had played on Friday night and were supposed to be suffering from tired legs, they were scorching hot early.  They shot 60 percent in the first half, and center Brook Lopez was doing just about anything he wanted.

Their percentage started to dip in the third quarter, when Portland's defense began to tighten the screws.  Finally, in the fourth quarter, with the Trail Blazers facing desperate times defensively, the Nets slammed back to earth, going just 5 for 16 in the quarter.  Portland forced five New Jersey turnovers as well, and cashed them in for seven points.  After trailing by as many as 13 points, the Blazers were finally able to deliver the dagger, and won the game 96-89, snapping a three-game skid.

LaMarcus Aldridge once again led the way for Portland, and his push to make his first all-star team continues.  Aldridge had 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.  But, it was his defense that showed, on this night, that he continues to stride toward being that complete NBA star. 

Of those five New Jersey turnovers in the final quarter, Aldridge was directly involved in three of them, poking the ball away twice, and once batting the ball out of the hands of Lopez, as he faced up to start an offensive move.  And, because Marcus Camby was in foul trouble, Nate McMillan decided to switch and put Aldridge on Lopez for much of that final quarter. 

Lopez, who put 35 points on the Lakers on Friday night, was crusing in this game, and came to the fourth quarter with 28 points, on 11 of 16 shooting.  Camby was making him work, but Lopez was just too much.  After the move was made to have Aldridge cover him, Lopez had just four points in the fourth quarter, and turned the ball over twice.

Clearly, the defense, led by Aldridge, saved the day. 

Portland's offense was fairly solid most of the night.  The Blazers shot 46 percent, recorded 21 assists, and turned the ball over only 11 times.  Numbers like that almost always result in a Portland win.  You wouldn't have expected that New Jersey would outshoot Portland, make two more field goals, and record two more assists, and lose.

Also starring at the offensive end for Portland on this night was Nicolas Batum, who finished with a season-high 23 points, and pulled down 6 rebounds.  Batum hit two three pointers, and scored in a variety of ways.  This is the Nicolas the Blazers need on a more consistent basis.  Andre Miller also had a very good offensive night.  After scoring 19 second-half points on Friday at Phoenix, Miller had 19 against the Nets, also dished out 8 assists.

Wesley Matthews, who fought his way to 26 points against Phoenix, was needed more for his defense against the Nets.  After Travis Outlaw started the game aggressive offensively, Matthews pretty much took him out of the game the rest of the way.

The Blazers didn't get offensive production off the bench, and relied heavily on the starters to carry the load.  The bench was just 4 for 19, and scored just 13.  Patty Mills, who has been consistent, had 9 points in 13 minutes.  Portland's margin for error is so slim on nights when they don't get offensive support from the second unit, but lived to tell about it on this night.

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

With the win, the Trail Blazers got to the halfway point of the schedule with a 21-20 record.  Looking at the Western Conference race, and considering all the Blazers have been through, things could be a lot worse.  No one is satisfied with that record, but the schedule will continue to balance out, and I think it's still realistic to think that Portland gets to 45-48 wins.  It won't be easy, but it's doable.

After this latest back-to-back set, there won't be much time for rest, as the Blazers host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.  They'll be looking to beat the Timberwolves for the 15th-consecutive time.  Then, it's off to Sacramento, to take on the Kings on Wednesday night.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the blog Mike. Good to see us get this win. I am comforted by the fact you said we could get 45-48 wins, that would be pretty awesome all tings considered. I was just thinking this morning that it is going to be a 44-38 type season. Hope LA keeps this up the rest of the year, barring the few off nights all players of his caliber have.

    Anyways, keep fighting Blazers!

    -Anees, from Prague

    by Anees on 1/16/2011 1:19 AM
  2. It was nice to have a close game finally go our way. The defensive pressure in the fourth quarter was welcome, but you wonder why the D has been missing for so long. It has been embarrassing to see team after team shoot over 50% against us. We find special ways to give up easy ones each game: Wade's cherry-picking fast breaks in the Miami game, the baseline lurker of the Knicks, the repeated circle-and- shoot pattern of Nash, the inside dominance of Lopez versus Camby tonight, but in every one of them there are too many drives that end up at the rim, too many wide-open threes. I just don't know what has happened to our defensive rotation. Well, I do know what happened in Phoenix; we just decided to switch everything even when they were exploiting the mismatches, and for some reason never did change plans. (Phoenix, on the other hand, gave up single-teaming LA after he destroyed them in the first half) I don't mean to grumble, but if we don't find a solution soon, we'll be in a lot more nail-biters against bad teams.
    It was good to see Nic step up, to see LaMarcus continue his roll, and to see good play by Andre. There were, however, a couple of times early when I could swear Andre was avoiding passing the ball in to LA, or at least was unable to work to make it happen. And despite his good shooting in the fourth quarter in Phoenix, his late mistakes also did a lot to lose that game, once when he decided to try his luck on the one on four fast-break, and once when he had a legitimate break and just fumbled the ball out of bounds. I'm cheering him more than I'm swearing, but the bad stuff really makes me shake my head. And of course Wesley continues to demonstrate why he's still got a lot to learn, needing to develop a bit more finesse instead of depending on sheer drive and energy. And with the team last in the league in 3-point shooting the move that gave away Martell, just so we could warm the bench with Babbit, seems more and more misguided, from anything but perhaps a purely financial view.
    I still expect us to win the next three games--there's no good excuse not to do it--but having to play catch-up most of the game against New Jersey is not exactly a ringing endorsement of our current level of energy and execution. But a struggling oughtta-win victory sure beats another giveaway, and I can only hope there were some lessons learned and confidence gained.

    by Islander on 1/16/2011 1:21 AM
  3. wow,just got home from work. took time off tn watch the game and had to work forever to catch up. Glad we won.

    Hg

    by Hg on 1/16/2011 3:42 AM
  4. Glad we applied the D at the end for the win. When we were down 87 to 86 and they had the ball and could go up by 3 or 4 I felt if they did we probably wouldn't be able to pull it out, but they didn't score and we took control and won the game.

    Someone has to tell the bench that they are home again not on the road.

    I disagree Mike, I think we'll finish 62-20, that's right we are going on a 42 game winning streak! Aww, what the heck, then we'll sweep through the playoffs! :)

    GO BLAZERS!!

    by mgb on 1/16/2011 6:08 AM
  5. Well I got a little rest and I am more comprehensible. I was chewing my nails so much that I didn't realize we switched LMA on to Lopez after Camby got in foul trouble. I have always believed in LMA and have preached time after time just be patient, he is much better then many think. The stats shows that he got very few rebounds against the Sums, but as you mentioned several times Mike, he was out on the perimeter guarding Frye most of the night, which reminds me, I think Frye had a great game.

    You asked the question many times of why so many teams plays so good against the Blazers, and although I know it has to be the defense, I don't know why, it gets so bad at times. I know Nic and now Wesley has bad ankles and may not be able to defend as good with limited lateral movements, but I don't know if that is the reason or not

    ISLANDER:

    We lead in the Suns game by as many as 13 points most of the way and then lost in the final two minutes, We trailed by as many as 13 points in the Nets game and won it in the final 2 minutes. Maybe the answer is stay close and have a closer then to be ahead and burn out in the fourth. At any rate, since we are not a great team any more in terms of win and losses, I will take any win that we get, with the hope that our starting will continue to improve. If you think of the aspect that most of the time we are usually right in the game at crunch time with most teams most of the time, except for New York and LMA was in foul trouble, tells me that in your own words at the end of the game lots of the points scored and the winner is often just luck of that precise moment a shot went down or another one didn't. Matthews is still very streaky, but I think he will improve as he learns to create shots for himself and start finding open shooters when he is driving, but that takes time.

    I agree with you Mike on about 45 to 47 wins, because of the easier schedule, more home games, and more gelling especially on defense we should improve our record by about 5 to 10 winds the second half, therefore, we all laughed at Mike Rice on his prediction before the season started of 47 games won, seems to be coming true.

    This was a great win as all wins are great wins after our consecutive 3 losses.

    Hg

    by Hg on 1/16/2011 8:11 AM
  6. Good to see us finally play some defense in the 4th quarter! Great games for LMA and Nick.
    Nick is showing much more assertiveness on offense. He's being aggressive on the boards and hitting his mid range jumper. This kid's going to be a super star!!!!
    So Rich Cho's got a plan to make some moves prior to the deadline. My guess is he'll hang onto LMA,Wes,Nick, and Patty and try to get a backup PF, starting PG, and backup SF. If we were to get a few quality players and get Roy and Oden back next year, we could be a real good team.

    by Gavinfan on 1/16/2011 10:57 AM
  7. Gavinfan,

    Did Cho say he has a plan to make some moves prior to the deadline? I know the article I read said he had a plan, but he didn't give any details what so ever. His plan might be to sit tight this season.

    by mgb on 1/16/2011 11:32 AM
  8. Gavinfan:

    Mike and Mike said that Nate called a time out and shook Nic saying you have got to shoot the ball and be aggressive. Maybe he just need to be told each and every night. Most of us feels like that is Micro Managing and we know Nate wouldn't be guilty of that LOL. If it works do it

    Hg

    by Hg on 1/16/2011 12:02 PM
  9. I don't know if we won that game, or the Net's lost it. We need to get our bench rolling. Rudy is complaining about his back on Twitter, but I think the problem is he's settling for the 3pt jump shot again.

    I also think our bench is too much of a hustle bench and not a productive bench. Guys like Cunningham and Patty are guys that work hard to get extra possessions but not enough scoring. I think Cunningham, at this point, should get more shots than Rudy. Once Cunningham hits his first shot, things look great for him the rest of the night, but he only gets like 4 other shots in the night.

    All I know is I see Dante Cunningham working his butt off every game, and I think he deserves more shots, because he can dunk it, work in the paint, and hit his beautiful jumpshot.

    Patty on the other hand should get more minutes, and maybe try playing him at the 2 with Andre at some points. 9 points but only 13 minutes? You're not going to get much bench productive if you continue to bench the production.

    Nets let that game slide. We are lucky to have won. You can take the win and move forward, but this game you need to look back on and see what you did wrong. Honestly, I think the problem was the zone.

    by Herr on 1/16/2011 12:09 PM
  10. Herr,

    Rudy's back giving him problems might be the reason he's settling for 3 point shots. :)

    by mgb on 1/16/2011 12:51 PM
  11. What ever the reason, Rudy is shooting only 28% in Jan. I know he does a lot of other things but grade school players shoot better than that.

    by Ancientone on 1/16/2011 1:22 PM
  12. mgb,

    i'm continuing from the last post.

    i think the reason for a trade is more about the long term outlook for the team, not this season's record. i think that the team has done reasonably well considering all that has happened.

    the long term plan has to change. b-roy and greg should not be counted on to be a part of the picture for: these playoffs, next season, or 2-3 years from now. LA, nic and wesley probably should.

    miller and camby are a couple months short of turning 35 and 37 respectively. they could be here through next season, but that almost certainly would be the end of their run. they were brought in to supplement and mentor a team featuring oden, roy and LA. that team was supposed to challenge for the title this year and/or next year.

    the long term plan has to change. this season may take a hit because of that. i'd hope that our blazers remain a playoff team, and that a trade would give them some juice. what GM cho is tasked with doing is turning this roster in to one that can compete for the NW division over the next few seasons.


    depending on where carmelo lands, the team that misses out on him should be engaged as a trading partner. i'm guessing the nets get him, and sooner than later. that would mean that NY, who covet marcus camby, would be our trading partner. it might look something like camby and rudy for turiaf, mozgov and azubuike. that would give portland a 4/5 guy who is ready now, and a younger big man to develop.

    the nuggets play tonight, and then don't play until wednesday. maybe we'll see some trades go down. after the carmelo move is done, i think lots of dominoes will fall.

    if a bench scorer is what is needed, maybe we'll see joel go back to milwaukee for john salmons and his 41.5% 3pt shooting. it is hard to imagine what all could happen, but i'm ready to see some trades made that acknowledge and move ahead from success being linked to brandon and greg.

    to finish, i think the team has done well enough under the circumstances. LA is playing great, nic is showing some real potential, and wesley played great crunch time defense on a bad ankle to get a needed win. we'll see what GM cho thinks soon enough.

    by reverse on 1/16/2011 1:31 PM
  13. travisd
    I think Oden is part of the long term plan for the team. I believe that he can still a big body on defense and be a difference maker for the club. The kids young and his first surgery has made his one knee better and his recent surgery was a success. With Roy, I think they have completely lower any expectation and are expecting him to be a role player off the bench.

    by Gavinfan on 1/16/2011 2:09 PM
  14. I'm with Gavin, Oden is still viable and that is the prescence were missing Don't get me wrong, love Camby's play but with Joel bieng tentative and rightfully so, ( even though you can tell he wants to bang ) he is still in recovery mode. Can this small line up take us to the playoffs? From what I see from Lamarcus he might just be the catalyst for that to happen. Maybe 50 wins get us there and next year with a larger prescence hopefully with Oden we take 60. I just don't think we need an overhaul just yet. I am willing to be patient and take a wait and see as I hope Cho does the same.

    by Jonsey86 on 1/16/2011 7:05 PM
  15. Great blog! Glad to see the turn around in the second half !

    by RedRudy5 on 1/16/2011 8:38 PM
  16. i listened to most of the game and was a little nervous heading into the final quarter. it seemed like Lopez was everywhere doing everything.

    it's very remarkable that LaMarcus has turned this corner in his career. to be honest, i wasn't sure how he would respond to being the go-to guy. i also wondered if his first couple games at the higher level were a fluke. i think he has answered his critics in the past five or six weeks. he's elevated his game and i don't see him going backwards.

    i was also glad to see Nicolas have a good game. we need guys like him to step up. Wesley's defense was great, and he shot pretty well en route to his 10 points. i'm not too sure what has sparked Andre's production these past couple of games, but it's great to see.

    it's like you said, Mike, we could be in worse shape at 21-20. i'm glad to pick up this win. i'm also thinking that maybe Rice was on to something when he predicted 47 wins this season.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 1/16/2011 8:41 PM
  17. Well, I am having a lot of trouble lately with a health issue, so my perception of the game is a little colored.

    It was nice to see the RG with a lot of people in it, but it really stunk to watch these guys, who gave Miami such a run for their money, almost lose to the Nets (btw, notice how Miami then lost 3 in a row?? And that the freaking CLIPPERS have beat both Miami AND the Lakers in the last week??? Puke!) I'm going to say this plain and simple: something is wrong with them. Things were looking good, chemistry was going on, and then something changed again. Since the Miami game, they haven't been playing with the same motion, the alley-oops are becoming fewer and fewer, LMA is having to work much harder, etc. I don't like it.

    Again, our bench stunk it up. Sorry, they need to step it up, I don't care what is wrong with them. This is their job. I am glad they are having some fun, and have found ways to bond, but they still need to deliver.

    Wesley.....is on his way to proving my theory correct. Great offensive game, followed by 2-3 "bad" ones (where his buckets are off or low, but he does other things). And seriously, is something wrong with his finger? He's had it taped for weeks now, and he frequently grabs at it after he shoots. Just wondering...

    LMA is a beast. Who knew? I was always supportive of him, and defended him, but I never once expected THIS player was there the whole time. SO glad he is here, I LOVE watching him play!

    Nico is on a streak, putting up 22, 13, 18, and 23 in his last 4 games (not even 30% from deep though!). Here's to hoping that scoring continues :)

    Done with Dre. Can't wait to see who we get in return. My animosity has grown so much, that I couldn't bring myself to even be happy when he made a basket last night. I can't ever recall disliking a Blazer so much in 25 years. And please, don't ask, I have no real logic for reply. It's like with Lebron and Blake Griffin.....there's just something not right about him, something not easily seen, but I just can't put my finger on it.

    I look for us to really struggle this next game. The T-wolves will be MEGA hungry to beat us. Then, we head off to play in Sacramento. At this point, it's like Herr (and the Blazers themselves) have said, we could just as easily win as lose. There's just no real consistency to build on.

    Number of wins at the end? Please, I am taking my Blazers one-game-at-a-time baby!

    by EowynAmarie on 1/16/2011 9:50 PM
  18. well said. their defense in the 4th was the key to their win thanks to Aldridge's shut down on Lopez.

    by blazerdarren77 on 1/16/2011 10:55 PM
  19. Nice W. ^^

    Let's see if we can keep this up

    GO BLAZERS

    by Tiago Torigoe on 1/17/2011 3:07 AM
  20. Eowyn Amarie....sorry you are not feeling well.Best wishes to you.
    Hey gang.a couple of things.The Blazers are playing great ball considering the revamping we are going thru. I think Nic seems to be coming around.he is learning how to be assertive, finally.
    Lamanchild is just rollin right now,steppin up to whole new level.DRE and Camby's veteran experience has carried us on tuff nights.without Camby's 12 boards a night,Tip- outs , and inside presence , we would be doomed.
    I think Patty has proven to be a quality backup PG.That being said,I think that Dre will be moved.I also think that Devin Harris will be our new PG.I don't think that anybody is out there that's even near starting PG material.
    Ok, here's where it gets sticky.We need Camby ,that's all there is to it.We have NO quality or quantity in the big man dept. I think Joel's game has lost a step.I think the smart move would be to trade joel for a backup power forward.If we ship Camby off,IMO we lose any shot at advancing in the playoffs.
    I have been hearing Anthony Randolph for a draft pick .I would be OK with that and he can shoot.
    I don't think Paul allen is a blow up the team kind of a guy.The fans are too important.
    Every body wants Nic, but we are having none of that.I'm glad for that.
    I agree that we shouldn't put our stock in GO.IF we get anything from him,it will be a bonus.I also think we will resign him, too.
    I know Wesley can force things a bit,but I like his intangibles, his defense and just grittiness in general.When he does get hot ,he can get streaky hot.I just like what he brings to the table.
    That is all:)
    BlazersROCK

    by DowntownVinnie on 1/17/2011 11:11 AM
  21. Vinnie:
    Joel is still in his rehab stage and only about 75%. Give him time before shipping him out. I understand his expiring contract, but if we wait until he is 100% then we would know what we had or what we might be giving up, plus his value would more then likely be higher then it is right now.

    I think we are playing great also, we need a closer at crunch time is all. Everybody thinks it is because we play poorly in the last 6 minutes of the game, but it is actually the other team kicking it into overdrive and we don't yet have an answer to that. All those close losses could have been wins, and all the close wins could be losses. If we get a closer then the close losses will become wins. (If we are ahead at the 6 minute mark).

    I don't think Devin Harris will be our starting PG because they want Nic for him and Nic ain't for sale.

    I think GO is worth a gamble, besides No one is out there that is attainable that is any better then Greg. I don't know that much about Anthony Randolph, except he is always in the coaches doghouse. He would be a replacement for Pendy if we don't get Pendy back. Until then Joel is still rehabbing and doing fine, give him time. Plus LMA is doing a tremendous job at Center, That is the position he is playing when he gets most of his double-doubles.

    Wesley does force his shot a little and he is not really good with his handles, seeing open teammates, and creating his own shot. He is very young, is a work horse and will learn those things soon. Well I am sure of that anyway.

    I think we are continue to get better and will lose our tendency to give games away at the closure, but then that is the only thing we are consistent at.

    Hg

    by Hg on 1/17/2011 12:14 PM
  22. great win! glad to see la and batum continue their roll. as far as the future goes...nothing. i don't have a clue and i ain't gonna hold my breath for nothin'. anyone holding out hope for oden or roy is simply a good fan just hoping cause those guys have nothing to give us solid ground in believing they'll be able to change their course of health. no knocks on them, it's just what it is.

    we've got a lot of talent and desirable contracts teams envy. now is cho's time to shine. if he sits because deals don't pan out i won't blame him. but, i'm not forgetting what pritchard did for us despite the roy/oden debacle. gotta take the good with the bad. let's see what this new manager can do.

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 1/17/2011 12:19 PM
  23. oh my god!

    rebecca harlow looks horrible!

    sort of like she's on crack

    wow.

    by sudelander on 1/17/2011 12:43 PM
  24. Vinnie: thank you. And..agree, agree, agree (about Camby), agree, super agree, not sure how we get Harris when they want Batman and we are NOT giving him up, agree, super agree we need Camby, not sure abut Randolph, agree, agree, agree and would include Brandon in that sentiment - anything we get from either of them is icing, and totally 100% agree about Wesley!
    Wow.......I don't ever recall agreeing so very much with just one person on here....cool :)
    Go Blazers!

    by EowynAmarie on 1/17/2011 1:52 PM

  25. the starters need to bring this one home against the wolves. we need 15 rebs from camby. 30 & 10 from LA. 20 pts from nic and either wesley or andre or both. it would also be nice to get 10 asst from miller. they need to play a team game and beat a team that they should beat.


    the rest of the week, the L-train needs to roll. this week is probably the week that lamarcus needs to have a chance at the all-star game. the blazers need to go 4-0 or 3-1 to set the stage. on top of it, aldridge needs to push a little further and reach something like 28 and 12 for the week with some great nights and a few extra assists and blocks.


    by reverse on 1/17/2011 3:47 PM
  26. don't look now

    washington beat utah
    and
    detroit beat dallas

    by reverse on 1/17/2011 3:51 PM
  27. uh, wow

    griffin had 47 and 14 to put lac past indiana

    by reverse on 1/17/2011 3:52 PM
  28. Wow, Blake is a beast! And he's just a rookie! Amazing!

    by mgb on 1/17/2011 4:02 PM
  29. In January, the Clippers have won 5 and lost 2. All those wins were at home. They play Minny on Wednesday, then fly up to play us on Thursday, on TNT. They are rolling right now, but have been playing better at home than on the road, at least recently. Trust not to hope though, since those 5 "W"s included stomping on Denver, Miami, and the Lakers. Earlier this season, they beat Phoenix, Chicago, New Orleans, and Oklahoma City. How many of those teams have we beat, aside from the Suns? This Thursday is going to be a super tough game, and I think it will determine who goes to the All-Star game....LMA or Griffin. I don't look for Lamarcus to get over on Blake, but if we can beat them, despite Griffin's "beastliness", and LMA has anything close to a 20-10 game, on TNT, he makes a very good case for himself. Especially since some of the league's top teams have had trouble with these guys lately.

    by EowynAmarie on 1/17/2011 4:26 PM
  30. i'm not sure if things will go in lamarcus' favor, but seeing a big effort would be great.

    one of the very nice things in this all-star race is that team counts to some degree.

    aldridge having marcus camby around to help box out and defend griffin is huge.

    the blazers looking like a playoff team is another source of help for #12's case.

    another thing to consider is that blake will play in the rookie game & dunk contest.

    additionally, he'll probably win rookie of the year.

    the more i think about this, the more certain i am that the league will make this blake griffin weekend in order to anoint another superstar in l.a.

    damn.

    l.a. needs to have a week averaging 35 and 15 while thunping his chest and shoving pgs.

    by reverse on 1/17/2011 4:39 PM
  31. you can see why there is a tradition of players from winning teams being nominated to all-star games. lamarcus' efforts contribute greatly to wins. it could be questionable as to whether not kevin love's style of play would be as effective or statistically impressive on a better team.


    seeing greg on the bench was very sad. he looked so unhappy. i felt very badly for him. i hope that he is doing ok.


    likewise for brandon. i hope that he is doing ok.


    and, please please please let camby's knee injury not be too severe.


    good win. at this point i really need to see them continue to prove it this week and rack up at least a couple more wins. i have no question that they've faced a lot of adversity as a team, and i am not questioning their collective effort. what i need to see is more wins that put them in a spot to compete for the 7 seed, or 6, and possibly even 5. i really want to see this group keep putting it all together if they want to stay together.

    go blazers!

    by reverse on 1/17/2011 10:54 PM
  32. When Rich Cho makes his move, we'll know whether the team is in the running for this year's playoffs or if they are going to fold this year's chances and opt for long term improvement.

    If Camby and Miller, and to some extent Pryzbilla, are gone, then it's wait until next year, folks. From what I saw tonight against Minny, Joel isn't more than a couple weeks from being 90% and that's good enough to backup or even start if necessary. He won't 100% until next season though.

    Of course, a lot depends on who we get in return, but it makes very little sense to trade our veterans for someone else's veterans. More likely we would want future potential for all three. A few guys could be able to step right in, Ronny Turiaf from the Knicks comes to mind, but most guys who could help immediately on the starting unit are probably untouchable or would cost us too much.

    As for the bench, we could sure use a shooter and a big. I wouldn't mind seeing someone like Chris Humphries coming off our bench.

    Then there's the PG situation. The more I see, the more I feel Patty Cakes can be the man in another year or two. I'd prefer to keep Miller until then. We could sign him for two years and then trade his expiring contract in 2013 or use it ourselves depending on the salary cap situation.

    by dgpdx on 1/17/2011 11:25 PM
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