Jan 17

L-Train Rolls Over Minnesota, Again

By mikebarrett
If LaMarcus Aldridge could only play against the Minnesota Timberwolves every night, this whole All-Star debate wouldn't be taking place.  He'd already have his ticket to Los Angeles.

In three games against the Timberwolves this season, Aldridge has averaged 34 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, and has shot 62 percent from the field.  Most importantly, his team has won all three contests and has now beaten Minnesota 15 straight times.  In this one, his team led by as many as 17 in the second half, before winning the game 113-102.

The last time these two teams played at the Rose Garden, Aldridge posted a career-high 36 points.  On Monday night, he bettered that by a point, scoring 37, and grabbing 12 rebounds.  And, he did it against a very big, very physical interior, that has tried every possible combination of defense to slow him down.  They've single-covered, forced him baseline, forced him middle, brought quick double teams, played him from the front, and from behind.  Nothing has worked.

In the first two meetings, Aldridge has had Marcus Camby to balance out the front court, and has helped him defensively.  Camby played just over 7 minutes in this game, before leaving the game with what is being termed as "a sore left knee."

Fortunately, Aldridge, and the Blazers, got help from Joel Przybilla on this night, who is starting to look more like the player we knew before he had the two knee surgeries last season.  Finally given a chance to get a good solid run, and a chance to get loose, Przybilla recorded 6 points, 7 rebounds, and blocked a shot.  If the question was being asked (and it was) if Joel would ever get back to resembling the player who's been so good for this team in his career, this was an excellent sign that he is coming back around.  Joel has said he's at about "75 or 80 percent" of where he wants to be, and this was, by far, the best he has looked since last December.   

This game resembled Saturday's sluggish win over New Jersey for a while.  In that game the Nets shot well above their average in the first half, and led most of the early part of the game.  Minnesota grabbed an early eight-point lead in this one, and badly wanted to end this long, ugly streak.  But, the Trail Blazers finally flexed in the third quarter and outscored Minnesota 38-27. 

Aldridge was very good in the third quarter offensively, but Portland's defensive star of the quarter was maybe a little bit of a surprise.  Rudy Fernandez, who continues to struggle with his shot, recorded 4 steals in that quarter, and had a huge impact on Portland's energy in that decisive quarter.  There haven't been many times when you could say that Rudy shot 3 for 11 in a game, yet still was very, very good.  This was one of those rare nights.

The same could be said for Nicolas Batum.  He was just 1 for 11 from the field, but played very solid defense, and grabbed 9 rebounds, making up for the ice-cold night from the field.

Wesley Matthews, who had his turn at netting a career high against Minnesota 10 days ago, added 23 for the Blazers.

But, the player of the game, without a doubt, was Aldridge.  He's in this push to make the all-star team, and one of the guys he's going to have to beat out is Minnesota's Kevin Love.  Love had 22 points, and 17 rebounds, but did most of his damage well after the Blazers had control of the game.  This head-to-head round, like the first two, clearly went to Aldridge.

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

We're now off to Sacramento, where the Blazers take on the Kings for the first time this season on Wednesday night.  Their streak over the Kings isn't quite as impressive as the 15-game streak over Minnesota, but they have beaten Sacramento seven-straight times.  The Kings are playing much, much better as of late.  They just wrapped up an eastern road trip with a loss at Atlanta on Monday- a game they should have won.  And, on Friday beat the New York Knicks handily, at Madison Square Garden.



  1. 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 11:28 PM
  2. Aldridge is definitely making his case for the all-star game as shown in how he outplayed Kevin Love in all 3 games. He's going to have to maintain this high level of play right down to the time of the selection process.

    by blazerdarren77 on 1/17/2011 11:30 PM
  3. Haven't commented this season, yet, for a reason. but I gotta say it. Go LaMarcus. Holy Crap. And Wesley, nice work. Rudy has become the guy we loved so much his first season. And I gotta say, I loves me some Patty Cakes! Damn!

    by Olallie on 1/18/2011 12:04 AM
  4. Great blog as always.

    Mike, someone in the NBA front office should have a look at the Timberwolves version of the broadcast. Jim Pete was laughing at Rudy Fernandez when he hurt himself. It's classless and unsportsmanlike and that should not exist in this league.

    by Shem on 1/18/2011 12:11 AM
  5. It was a great game. Had to leave for work right after the game, and it is time to crash, I will read all the comments in the morning


    by Hg on 1/18/2011 12:38 AM
  6. Seriously, why doesn't the crowd chant "ALL-STAR" whenever LMA is at the FT line? DO IT FANS DO IT!

    Not much I can say about this game. I couldn't watch the first half, and after having a friend say she wouldn't mind if she died, I had other business to take care of. But the final score pleases me, and the fact LMA once again handed Kevin Love a loss, makes it all good. I like Love, but it's a competition until LMA is in that All-star game.

    Can't wait until we face those bleeping Clippers. I'm getting sick of Blake Griffin. I hope people realize he abuses people because he abuses the rules. He gets away with offensive fouls, defensive fouls, travelling, and all the rules in the book ALL THE TIME. He shouldn't be in the ASG, but unfortunately he's Stern's new toy, and now that they beat the Lakers because of the improved play of that entire team, the whole city of LA has jumped on a new bandwagon.

    Btw, not that I'm one that has anything against the guy, but the man entitled "free throw guy"... can we please stop that? The dude's obviously got an ugly ego if he makes his own shirt, acts like a clown, and thinks he's the sole reason for a player missing a free throw. It's never good to feed someone's ego, and honestly... I don't like it. It's good to see fans getting into it, but cmon... don't feed the egos.

    by Herr on 1/18/2011 5:31 AM
  7. Great Game!! LMA was a BEAST!!! He's the real deal and our new franchise player. He has the same stats as "Amare" and look what Amare did for Phoenix and the Knicks. We just need to get a few more quality players to surround him and we're on our way!!!! Great game for Wes and Andre. Great game for Joel!! Joel looked like his old self out there!!

    Good to see Brandon's surgery went alright. I think if we make the playoffs and Brandon is ready to play he could add some depth off the bench.

    by Gavinfan on 1/18/2011 7:43 AM
  8. Amen to all those appreciating LA. That dude is playing the game it's suppose to be played. He is taking care of business!!!!
    The dude is dominant.

    In response to Herr: Do you not like physical basketball? That's what Blake Griffin is all about and he's pissing people off because of it. I for one think it's good for the game. He got under Artest and Odom's skin and I loved every bit of that. Add me to the Clipper bandwagon cause that team is fun to watch. Of course they will never come close to my blazers in my heart but you gotta appreciate gritty basketball.

    You also gotta love the hustle of Batum. Just wait till it all comes together. Batum/Wesley/Aldridge- We've got something we can build on.

    Aldridge belongs in the All Star game. PERIOD. Whether he goes or not is trivial but for the sake of his mom I'd love to see it.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 1/18/2011 9:10 AM
  9. I'm Back LOL. Like in oh Rats Hg the Brat is Back!!!!!!


    I feel what Herr was referring to was the favoritism from the refs. It is great to be aggressive and even physical, but if only a few of the Stars are allowed to do it then it becomes ugly. Then you will get more and more of the Dre-Griffin duel that is not great BB in my book. In short, if the refs let one do it they should let all of them do it.

    I agree with you on Aldridge All-Star quest, it is Trivial as it is a popularity contest mostly, but it would be an honor for his ailing Mom and I am all for that.

    I think the whole team has something to build on. We need the continued leadership of Camby and Dre until they are so old they can't walk. Patty Cakes is settling down and becoming a great back up in which we need for our bench scoring. How about our Joel? He came through big time in the time of need. I have been preaching give him time (Like I told you so Vinnie LOL)


    I am not sure why Minny is not winning more games; they look like a pretty good team to me. But I am glad we kept our streak alive.

    Thanks for all the input from all you great fan’s and posters


    by Hg on 1/18/2011 10:11 AM
  10. LaMarcus is not only leading this team forcefully; he's doing it efficiently. 15-24 shooting is absolutely incredible for what the t-wolves were trying to do to him. some of us on chat were counting down to his career high, and his 10th rebound, both of which came late in the game. he just seems to be getting better every game and few defenders in this league can stop him.

    that being said, LaMarcus needs some help from time to time. when Marcus was reported going to the locker room, i somewhat rolled my eyes thinking: what's new. Joel answered that question. we've seen Joel battle time and time again, play his defense and snare his rebounds. in 17 minutes last niht, he looked, and now we know he's still got it in him.

    Wesley is being efficient on offense, which is basically what i've been looking for from him. i've never questioned his hustle and defense, and it was also apparent last night. Rudy didn't shoot as well as we know he can, but he was doing practically everything else ... and those five steals helped us turn the corner. Andre was very steady, playing like a veteran and playing with intelligence. i thought it very funny when he "replaced" Wesley at the line to shoot the technical shot.

    our bench really stepped up. Dante had a wonderful game and even though undersized on defense, he was making Love play at both ends of the court. you can't ask for much more than that. Patty was his usual self, pusing the ball and playing some very good defense of his own; he won the backup pg matchup. one note here: our bench scored 33 points and grabbed 16 rebounds (each bench player had at least three). i'd say the bench did its job.

    it was a nice win for us as we head out for our last road game of the month. hopefully we can snag one in sacramento!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 1/18/2011 10:13 AM
  11. Great post Miss Kassandra:

    I love me some Joel. I should have known that I really didn't need to defend him; I should have known given a chance Joel's play would speak the truth. Whether or not the front office wants to trade him for the future or not is up to them, but it is not because of his poor play, it would be just for business.

    Of course I am with you on waiting to see what we have before we start throwing away parts, especially any of our bigs.


    by Hg on 1/18/2011 10:25 AM
  12. herr,

    the free throw guy doesn't bother me too much, but what i'd like to see him do is something more effective. what they should do over there is get the boom sticks going and have him doing his thing until the opposing teams player starts his shot, and then stop. from the normal nba free throw noise to complete silence. could work. if anyone knows the free throw guy, i'm saying change up the plan. also, on the other side of the arena in their own shirts were free throw girl and free throw boy. so cute it could make the other team a bit ill.

    as for griff, what he keeps doing specifically that is wrong, is giving a hard shove in the back whether it is andre, odom or whomever. he needs to hear the whistle consistently when he does this. it is a foul. just as when boston somehow are allowed to push/pull/grab and are not called, griff does similarly. riding someone under the hoop or pushing/shoving them out of position is a foul. the rules should at least be close to the same for all teams and all players. he needs to stop hitting people in the back. i hope he doesn't try it on andre again.

    by reverse on 1/18/2011 11:32 AM
  13. It was another nice taking-care-of-business win. I hope we can get a string of these, so our intense Mr. Barrett will stop anticipating a meltdown every time we start giving back a few points of a big lead. I was never worried about either of the last two T-wolves games, and I don't think the team was either. They know they can take these guys, and they need more of that confidence going forward. Granted, the string of turnovers to start the final quarter was ugly in the extreme, but I don't want our announcer's voice to become the players' inner voice when things start going wrong; once you're out on the court trying to execute, remembering how you failed before really isn't the recipe for avoiding that fate.
    I hope Joel can start giving us minutes like these at a comparable level of productivity. He certainly bailed us out of a tough spot this time.
    Once again I saw some odd patches from Andre. The Blazers didn't try giving the ball to LaMarcus until the fifth possession, and three of those alternative tries were poor attempts by Andre. That's what first got us in our early hole. Then, late in the game, there were several possessions where he again seemed to be trying hard to look anywhere else but toward LA. Once he almost ran down LaMarcus, who was out there trying to figure out where to set a pick for him while being completely ignored. I just hope it's not related to the fact that trade talks might well be in progress, and Andre doesn't get an assist if he just feeds to LA in the post, who then makes some dribble moves before taking the shot.
    I also think we should all stop harping on the All-star thing for LaMarcus. When I listen to the guys on TNT and ESPN they never mention his name in that discussion; it's all Griffin versus Love. Of course LA deserves it, having single-handedly kept the Blazers in the playoff picture, while the other guys have wracked up numbers that haven't translated into wins. It's like his GM said to Ralph Kiner when he came looking for a raise after one of his big seasons for a terrible Pirates team: "we could have lost those 100 games without you." But I don't think there's any national buzz about LaMarcus right now. If we knock off a couple of the annointed contenders on national TV while he's scoring 30+ that might change, but right now it's not in the cards, and that's just as well. He's been carrying a huge load, playing too many minutes, and he really needs those days off.

    by Islander on 1/18/2011 11:33 AM
  14. Herr i completely agree,



    MIKE, PLEASE DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    by sudelander on 1/18/2011 11:38 AM
  15. Hey Mike!!!!!

    Hey guys.. HUGE fan here!!
    Also a HUGE fan of Camby... Which leads to my point.

    I happen to also be a MASSIVE fan of Dante Cunningham, and was disappointed in the coverage of the last game where several times, phrases like "That's where Camby woulda..", was repeatedly used instead of positive remarks like.. "That's where Dante DID".

    If you look over the footage of the first half.. where sadly Camby wasn't able to return, you'll notice that Dante is FIGHTING Love to keep the ball out of his hands.. and prevent second chance points. Instead you point out the ONE rebound by Batuum, because he runs the floor with it.. In the second half, you are also surprised to see that Love is still in single digits.. I feel that's in LARGE part due to Dante's Defene. In fact it seems that the Wolves offense was more comfortable going with Pekovic at Alderidge, than they were with Love at Dante. And THAT's saying something, because, as we all know, LA's a BEAST!!

    I'm not saying that we win and lose do to the grace of Dante Cunningham. However, I feel that he gets less credit than is due. NBA Stars typically defend lighter opponents so that they can save their energy for the Offense. Meanwhile, guys like Dante end up doing the heavy lifting, and then get frowned at when they miss the 2 shots they're given in a game.

    Love is no slouch. Dante did a great job defending him and keeping the ball out of his hands. This is the point of my message. i LOVE Camby, LA, and Batuum... I just ALSO think that Dante should get more credit than the "Free Throw Guy" does...

    My last little bit... I keep wanting to end this, but keep thinking of more (my apologies!!) ..
    Pryzbilla is a home town hero of sorts... I love the guy, and am so impressed by his story of recovery that was in the Oregonian a few months ago. But he too casts a large shadow of Dante. And it's not his stats.. just his reputation.
    He gets 1, maybe 2 rebounds.. and it gets a "GROWL..." from Mr. Rice.... Lets hear some Growling for Dante!!

    Thank you for your time, and KNOW that i am a MAJOR fan of the Mike and Mike show.. and cant wait for you guys to take over TNT.. AND... ESPN!!!

    I just wanted to stick up for Dante while i was thinking about it. =)

    GO BLAZERS!!!!

    by Blazermaniak on 1/18/2011 11:42 AM

  16. it was nice to see a solid game from the vanilla gorilla. if he can give efforts like last night's 18min with 6pts 7rebs 1asst 1blk & 1stl it would go a long way. you can see that he doesn't have his old lift, but joel is a smart player and will adapt to get things done with placement & timing. he is still 7'1" and 250lbs, and on one instance, darko ran into pryz and crumpled to the floor. not bad for an old guy coming off a couple surgeries:)

    by reverse on 1/18/2011 11:46 AM
  17. Hi MB!!! There are so many things I like about watching a Blazer game! I enjoy the reparteé between you and Mike Rice.
    I have to say though that when the Blazers are ahead by ONLY 11 WHEN JUST MINUTES AGO THEY WERE UP BY 15...and very similar and OFTEN REPEATED statements along these lines just about drive me around the bend.

    I know the Blazers have blown leads in the past this year...but REALLY REALLY do NOT need to hear about this every 30 seconds or so....so PLEASE stop doing this.
    I am not the only one who has noticed this tendency of yours.
    I hate to sound negative. You do a great job aside from the REPETITIVELY NEGATIVE statements re: the score and leads...ughh...
    Here is a quote from one of the major posters over at BE. His screen name is Timbo. His posts are titled :View from...And they are RECOMMENDED fan posts.

    "MB is really, really, really, really annoying with his obsessive about the changing margin of a Blazer lead. "And just like that, it's back to 12 point game." I've always had a high tolerance for him, but it's really starting to vanish. I think the blown leads of this year have scarred him and rendered him almost unfit to be a play-by-play announcer. "

    You are a smart, talented announcer and I love your Blazer fandom...please start being more positive.
    Thank you. Mary Joelle

    by natsthecat on 1/18/2011 1:03 PM
  18. By the way.. I am a season ticket holder and didnt' go to the game last night as I had to work.
    Loved the game and pretty much could tell the Blazers were going to win..just by watching their effort.
    LMA...no words...am so happy for him.
    Mary Joelle.

    by natsthecat on 1/18/2011 1:04 PM
  19. Watch out Wolves, LA's going for 50 on February 14th in Minnesota! You think the Bulls are kicking themselves right about now for that draft day deal?

    by DHawes22 on 1/18/2011 2:29 PM
  20. If we're voting, I could live without shots of the free-throw guy. It's embarrassing.

    by walt66 on 1/18/2011 3:04 PM
  21. free throw guy should get a free jersey from the blazers! haha

    by AndyPierson on 1/18/2011 3:04 PM

    I can't tell ya how much i agree!!

    EVERY time they focus on that loser.. my house(usually make a night of the games..) ERUPTS with shouts saying things like "GET HIM OFF THE CAMERA".. "GOSH>> SOO STUPID.."... etc..

    Free throw guy IS...i repeat.. IS a total TOOL!! PLZ MIKE..

    Do not draw anymore attention to the doofus!

    by Blazermaniak on 1/18/2011 3:12 PM

    I can't tell ya how much i agree!!

    EVERY time they focus on that loser.. my house(usually make a night of the games..) ERUPTS with shouts saying things like "GET HIM OFF THE CAMERA".. "GOSH>> SOO STUPID.."... etc..

    Free throw guy IS...i repeat.. IS a total TOOL!! PLZ MIKE..

    Do not draw anymore attention to the doofus!

    by Blazermaniak on 1/18/2011 3:21 PM

    I can't tell ya how much i agree!!

    EVERY time they focus on that loser.. my house(usually make a night of the games..) ERUPTS with shouts saying things like "GET HIM OFF THE CAMERA".. "GOSH>> SOO STUPID.."... etc..

    Free throw guy IS...i repeat.. IS a total TOOL!! PLZ MIKE..

    Do not draw anymore attention to the doofus!

    by Blazermaniak on 1/18/2011 3:25 PM
  25. wow.. my apologies everybody for the above repeated lines...

    Some sort of error on my computer


    by Blazermaniak on 1/18/2011 3:27 PM
  26. grest blog! LA is playing great and should definitley be going to LA for the all star game.

    The defense seemed better by all last night- hope it continues!

    by RedRudy5 on 1/18/2011 3:40 PM
  27. Blazermaniak: the repeated posts happen when you refresh the page directly after your post is printed. what i do is save the blog on my bookmarks, then click that when i want to "refresh."

    DHawes: Chicago is shaking their heads at that deal, but after a couple of our drafts and trades, i think we deserve one about which to smile and cheer. i still miss burgerville, btw; thanks for the poll!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 1/18/2011 4:31 PM
  28. Anyone heard anything about Marcus MRI

    by Ancientone on 1/18/2011 4:49 PM
  29. Mike - can you tell Rice to stop making comments right before the guys shoot free throws, especially Rudy. Everytime he says something like "the knee shouldn't get in the way of his free throws" or "he's played for a gold in the Olympics so the pressure won't bother him" he misses. It's like he's jinxing him somehow to miss ... it's not just me, my husband notices too!

    by somanluna on 1/18/2011 7:51 PM
  30. I love Mike Rice but someone should tell him to quit saying "He can do that," right after an opponent does something good. We know Mike, we just watched him to that!

    I also vote to get Free Throw Jerk off the air! It's bad enough fans bang those thunder sticks. I realize sportsmanship has mostly gone out of style, but let's not escalate an already poor situation.

    by dgpdx on 1/18/2011 8:49 PM
  31. i wouldn't change a damn thing about rice. "he can do that!" I love it.

    the free throw guy, i love it. what's wrong with having someone go nuts during every free throw. i think it's entertaining and adds to the game.

    and did anyone see blake griffin get kicked out of the laker game with 5 seconds to go? absolutely stupid. the refs took a dump on him there so he's not getting only love from the officiating team.

    god marcus camby! when will it end?

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 1/18/2011 9:13 PM
  32. We lost to both Miami and the Knicks at home but we must have done something bad to them. Has either team won a game since?

    by dgpdx on 1/18/2011 9:21 PM
  33. Danman: It adds what to the game? and Why does NBA roundball need anything added?

    by dgpdx on 1/18/2011 9:22 PM
  34. Major crisis day, but I find it soothing to read everyone's comments and then talk about something that in the real long run, doesn't matter at all: NBA Basketball :)

    Last night's game was a nice win. We looked like maybe we were going to choke it up again in the 4th for a few minutes, but then pulled it together. Despite my "learned nervousness", I didn't feel quite as panicky this time.

    It was so lovely to see LMA own this match-up again! Barrett asked a while back if he was going back in the box......I think it is plain as day that he is not. The box is done been flattened and recycled dang it! Screw the box...what box? LMA has arrived :) (I am now knocking on wood, crossing fingers, and sending up prayers to fight any jinxes!)

    Wesley messed up my theory! He had a good game, then a slightly sub-par game where he only put up 10, then 20+ game! YAY!!!!!! I hope this signals the end of the great game, followed by 3 bad games pattern I was noticing :)

    Nico says he shaving his beard now, after going 1 for 11, lol! He still contributed though, and that's what matters. I won't be concerned about him unless his shot is still MIA a game or two from now :)

    DC did serious work, and I agree with the poster above that said he is underrated. Even when his stat line is flat, he ALWAYS hustles, and sometimes, on this team, that is what matters most.

    Rudy's steals were so much fun to watch......why the heck doesn't he do that EVERY game? Or at least WHENEVER possible???? I get that his shooting is streaky, but streaky HUSTLE? C'mon Rudy, u need to bring THAT game every night!

    I do believe we all saw the return of Joel Pryzbilla, the Thrilla, the Vanilla Gorilla! Of course, if he was in any pain today (which was not indicated in any way), then maybe not. Either way, it was really excellent to see him out there, looking anything like his former self. What an inspiration.

    Tough luck on Camby. If he has a serious injury, after never really suffering an injury to the knee.....I will become a firm believer in our mythical Center Curse....seriously.

    Really aggravated to watch Dre NOT throw it into LMA, especially when LMA started his move, only to stop when realizing Dre was passing it to another guy on the perimeter instead of him.....too many times, as far as I was concerned. I will not be surprised if we keep everyone, and don't trade a single person by the deadline, but I will disappointed.

    Btw, Miami lost AGAIN!!!!!!!! That's FOUR in a row. What the hell did we do to them????????

    by EowynAmarie on 1/18/2011 9:23 PM
  35. Marcus NOOOOOO!!!!
    I guess we will need to see how Joel is really doing. We are now a very small team if Joel can't play meaningful minutes. I hope Nate doesn't run LA into exhaustion and injury.

    by Ancientone on 1/18/2011 9:58 PM

  36. wow

    slight meniscus tear. since i feel some expertise via osmosis i'll speculate. 6-8 weeks? in a best case scenario marcus will be back by the beginning of march?!? more realistically, mid march?!? again, i speculate.

    the bigs will now be LA, dante, joel and sean marks. wow. the 96min of 4 and 5 spot play would break down something like this: 38min for LA, 30min for dante, 20min for joel, and 8min for sean. the other option is time with batum as the 4, or babbit in spot minutes. foul trouble becomes an enormous concern.

    after 2+ years of injury avalanche, does it finally become too much? just as i was calling for the team to make a playoff run, and quick writes an article about making a "playoff statement", now this happens. wow. we'll see how things go against sacramento...

    by reverse on 1/18/2011 11:47 PM
  37. EA: Remenber Marcus is 37 and age makes a big differance on recovery. If the injury in minimal hopefully mid-March. Your times sound realistic, barring acquisition of another big man.

    by Ancientone on 1/18/2011 11:58 PM
  38. what does a fanatic fan bring to the game? energy and excitement! I like that, especially coming from a fan who is cheering for my team. whether it affects a shot or not i don't care. i like the enthusiasm. i guarantee the players do to.

    eowyn amarie: right on brother! this is nba basketball and i love it. it's a sports drama. we all like stories and the emotional roller coaster that comes along with it. without the bitter you can't truely appreciate the sweet. i'm about ready for some sweets now cause this injury bug is outrageous.

    all hope is not lost. let's go blazers!

    by thedanman on 1/19/2011 5:26 AM
  39. It has been said all year; one person's loss becomes another person's gain. Joel's minutes can be upped if medically possible. That will make his rehab faster, and his timing and confidence better. For us fan's it will relieve some of our loss. LMA can continue his burst into stardom as center with Dante, and Batum playing PF. In that case Nic and Dante along with LMA will need to fight hard for rebounds. We will have a better small ball team then GSW at the end of this.


    Would BRoy's clean-up surgery be about as long as Camby's timetable? That would give us something to look forward to. Camby and BRoy back in March to get their timing and conditioning back before the hopeful Play-off's

    I don't know if I am getting hard or conditioned to all these knee injuries. It starting to feel, like it is no big deal. Although, I know it is big for the players.

    I have been making public speeches about the knee being the most abused joint of the human body, therefore, strengthening of the supportive muscles, along with the major muscles are important. Don't bulk up the big muscles without tuning up the little muscles. Lighten the wts with more repetitions and put down the wts and start walking, bike riding and swimming. Don't wait until after surgery to do this do it before surgery.

    Links: Me, two knee replacement surgeries,


    by Hg on 1/19/2011 6:34 AM
  40. It was only a matter of time, right? Marcus Camby has been working his fingers to the bone out there, diving for every loose ball, slapping countless rebounds up top, lobbing to LMA for effortless jams, and doing so in big minutes. At his age, it was just a matter of time.

    I'd noticed that his game had been a little off lately. The other night, I remember an alley-oop pass that he threw into the 3rd row, and that wind-up jumper has not been dialed in. I guess the spring has been out of his step. Gotta be thankful it's not a bad tear and there's a chance he could return for the playoffs. Gotta also be thankful for Joel Przybilla.

    I think he can do it. He's got the stuff. In fact, I don't think the timing could be better. He's gotten some good run out there, and starting again might give the boost of confidence he needs to find his place on the court again. When he needs to sit, LMA moves to the 5 and Dante comes in at the 4. That's not so bad at all.

    LMA2 is going to have earn his spot on the All Star team by beating up on 2nd string centers and I have full confidence that he can. Still, it would be nice if Cho could kick the machine into gear and get him some backup. Otherwise, it'll be LMA2 under the knife soon enough.

    by 500Dogs on 1/19/2011 10:56 AM
  41. hg: If they just had to debride the knees and not too much reshaping of the remaining cartilage on Roy we could have them both back at about the same time. Wouldn't that be great if we had them in time to meld with the team before the playoffs.

    by Ancientone on 1/19/2011 1:52 PM
  42. tonight will be interesting. seeing how the team responds yet again to losing someone to injury will be interesting. neat match-ups with tyreke vs. wesley and lamarcus against demarcus.

    also of note, seeing a guy like jason thompson. i think he one of the types of guys that could really do portland some good in the long run. young guy at 24, marginal lottery pick, and probably not a serious game changer. paired with lamarcus and dante, and being 6'11" and 250lbs with some skills he fits the bill. it wouldn't be a huge move, but could shore up the roster for some time to come. just an idea.

    anyhow, it will be nice for joel get a start. he's so well respected, it'd be nice to see that happen.

    by reverse on 1/19/2011 2:37 PM
  43. Well.. I hate to be a realist.. But sadly our gorilla is not 100%.. thus leading me to naturally lean towered a starting Dante for the hustle factor...
    If our concern on D was other older centers like dunken or Yao, and slapping down quick PGs.. Then the Gorilla is the way to go.. But we're takin on the leagues youngest big guys.. With Hustle..

    PLZ Portland.. Don't think for a second that Joel can fill Camby's shoes.. They play abit different.

    I love Joel.. I'm simply saying.. that just becuz this happens to be the time Joel has started getting comfortable.. This is nothing to celebrate. The starting line up on the NBA is for the elite players.. A position usually earned.. As we've watched happen repeatedly with Batuum. Our gorilla is not in elite condition.
    We've seen recovery on the startin line.. And now his status is indefinite.. I dint want to see our Vanilla injured anymore...
    Sorry if this comes off negatively.. I'm just a realist.. And am upset at the news, as I'm sure most are..

    Go Joel, and Go Blazers!!

    by Blazermaniak on 1/19/2011 2:49 PM
  44. Plz forgive my spelling above.. I typed this up on my phone..

    And thanks Kassandra for the tip above!!

    Go Blazers!

    by Blazermaniak on 1/19/2011 3:11 PM
  45. Blazermaniak:

    I am not sure what you are saying that is realistic. Are you saying that Joel is not an elite player because he hasn't earned it?

    Are you saying that Joel is not as good as Camby? Therefore can't be a starter? I don't understand your stance on realistically valuing Joel. I know he is not a 100% but he can play BB, he can rebound, swat balls out of the air, and just bring us an anchor.

    Of course we are not as well off without Camby, that is realistic, but we have got hope in Joel.


    by Hg on 1/19/2011 3:23 PM
  46. Marcus Camby is a true pro as a basketball player and human being. I am looking forward to the game tonight. Go Blazers!

    by Bull Frog on 1/19/2011 4:24 PM
  47. Blazermaniak: Who are you? A reed blowing in the wind? A locust in search of greenery, yet rewarded with nothing more than a dust bowl of a team gasping its last breath upon the dried up carcass of expectations gone awry? Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, a team based in mythology , not unlike Zeus and Apollo, a combination of hope and prayer rooted deep in mysticism and whose foundation is not sound. What defines a true blazer fan? Those who blindly follow the ebbs and flows of the organization without question, or the ones who question the judgment of the privileged, and the influential?
    We who demand accountability from the blazer organization, and cry our river of tears, are the same ones left out in the dark when it comes to those who govern us. We plead ignorance as our rights are stripped away, and we show indifference as the blazers stammer towards mediocrity, pretending not to notice.

    by Phi Slamma on 1/19/2011 4:45 PM
  48. If you want to truly make a point, do it in such a way that a slight of hand is worth more than the sum of its parts. You can look at Lamarcus' accolades and drool; you can shout Nicholas' escapades and fool, no one but a Miller drive, a Matthew's knive, a cut to the basket, a contrived strut, a tisket, a tasket,
    yes mate, a Patty cake's misconstrapscit! Tie me Roo down sport, no a King's court, I'm on fire ,a blazin' sort of desire, even Joel can't quench this fire.

    by Phi Slamma on 1/19/2011 5:32 PM
  49. I ask you to consider the deception of the TRAILBLAZERS. Oh, I'm sorry, I just offended 90% of the faithful flock. Let me go for the remaining 10%. This team has no real identity. Is it a fast-break team? A half-court fiasco? A montage of photos in time, captured on polaroid to the big scrapbook in the sky? I suggest that things aren't always what they seem. Consider Leonardo Da Vinci's painting of the Sixteen Chapel? Notice God's left hand with his finger extended towards Adam's finger? Now pan outwards towards the rest of the painting. Notice that God's "left" arm is embraced around a woman. What? You didn't know that God had a girlfriend?

    by Phi Slamma on 1/19/2011 6:02 PM
  50. The "Sixteen Chapel? Phi Slamma? Hmmm....

    by Pamela Porter on 1/19/2011 6:31 PM
  51. at the risk of sounding optimistic, Joel's performance last game came when he saw some extended minutes. he played nearly 18. true, he's not at 100 percent right now, but given time on the court he can get there. that's what he needs now; playing time.

    Pamela: you know the sixteen chapel; it came right before the seventeen chapel which, interestingly enough, was painted by Leonardo's lesser-known brother, Ziggy Da Vinci! lol

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 1/19/2011 6:52 PM

    well.. It looks like Mike passed on my last blog to Nate.

    Thank you!!

    And again.. GO JOEL!!! PLZZZZZZZZ Dont get hurt!!

    Go Blazers

    by Blazermaniak on 1/19/2011 7:06 PM
  53. Kassandra: If I didn't have so much disdain for you I would give you a thumbs up for your humor . Good for you!@

    by Phi Slamma on 1/19/2011 7:09 PM
  54. Nate made a mistake not starting Joel. At least he recognize that quickly and put Joel in. I'm really surprise he didn't start him.

    by mgb on 1/19/2011 7:26 PM
  55. slamma, wow, just wow! hahaha

    by thedanman on 1/19/2011 8:55 PM

    I think my favorite thing about playing in Sacramento....


    by Blazermaniak on 1/19/2011 10:31 PM
  57. Excellent win! That was fun, nerve racking, but fun!

    Loved the alley hoops to Miller! :)

    I'm surprised some fans are so ultra critical of stuff like Free Throw guy and the 3 point goggles. Take a chill pill and have fun! :)

    by mgb on 1/19/2011 11:12 PM
  58. Ancientone: BRoy has no cartilage left in either knee to work on. What they are did was smooth the knee bones as best they could,
    removed any remanaining junk, and hope that relieves the bone-on-bone pain enough for him to play.

    When he comes back, his best role may be coming off the bench.
    He could be the next great sixth man at 20 minutes a game while giving his knees enough rest so he can play a few more years.

    Gutsy win in Sacto tonight on a night when LA and Wes were not shooting well. The Thrilla is almost back and Batman is coming into his own as a scorer.

    by dgpdx on 1/19/2011 11:12 PM
  59. Dgpdx:

    I think BRoy has cartilage left; it is the mencius that is gone. I am sure he has worn spots in his cartilage but he still has cartilage left. I don't know how much wear there is and how long he has. but it is a degenerative injury.

    by Hg on 1/20/2011 12:04 AM
  60. mgb,

    do you think coach nate was saving joel's start for at home?

    i couldn't watch the game since i was working, so i don't have an inkling.

    the highlights showed that the rudy to andre alley-oop keeps working!

    nice win. i hope they aren't too gassed for tomorrow. great to hear that aldridge came through in the OT and led his team to a big road W.

    does anyone know if the team is close to being eligible for an injury exception for roster additions? with williams, oden, roy & camby out (pendergraph was waived/cut and doesn't currently hold a roster spot) they now have 4 guys out with surgeries. can they get a d-league-er on a ten day contract? if they're down to 11 active players for the next month and a half or so, they need a body right. at the least for practice purposes, no?!?

    i will point out that LA keeps mentioning being tired. they should be wary of riding him too hard too often. if the L-train comes off the track, so does the blazers' season. whether in a 10 day signing, minor trade or major trade, #12 needs another big body around to give him a few minutes off. call the kings and bring in jason thompson. he's no world beater, but is a big guy that could help.

    and, i'll start a list of defenders that require lamarcus to use his all-court game to produce maximum effectiveness.
    serge ibaka
    tyson chandler
    samuel dalembert
    i believe that this is the list of guys that LA needs to take away from the hoop more often. these guys do a decent job against him in the post, and share some characteristics in being taller, rangy, physical post defenders. he needs to show these guys the whole array of jumpers and drives, and understand this going in to these games. additionally, the coaches should have more of these sets ready to go when going against these guys and their teams. put LA in a position to be successful!

    lastly, props to coach nate for keeping his guys ready to pull out a road win in the face of more adversity! if the road dogs start barking, this team could get somewhere.

    by reverse on 1/20/2011 12:36 AM
  61. well, we did just enough to win that game and it only took 53 minutes! hey, at least we've got an overtime win this season though.

    i thought Nicolas and Andre played pretty well the whole game through. Nicolas' defense allowed us to stay in it and whether it was making shots or dishing the ball off, Andre really came throuh in this game.

    LaMarcus did what a team leader does -- he came through in the fourth quarter when we really needed him. i completely understand if he has an off night here and there --all players do -- but his ability to turn it on when the game is on the line made a huge difference.

    did anyone else notice that Joel grabbed 11 rebounds and had a block in his 29 minutes? i'm not saying he's completely back. however, i would say it's a good sign that he's on his way. we played a lot better up front when Joel was in the game than when he was not.

    Rudy shot well last night which added to his hustle at both ends of the court. he was 3-7 from three-point range and 5-10 overall. not all of Dante's impact shows up on the stat sheet, yet he had several big plays which helped us out.

    in all, it was a rough game for us, and i'm concerned that three guys played 40+ minutes, including LaMarcus at 46. that could hurt us on the second end of the back-to-back tonight. i hope it doesn't. i agree with Travis and several others here. getting some help up front for LaMarcus, et al is of primary concern. we have no idea when Marcus will be back, but i'm pretty sure it's going to be a while. we've needed someone for a while, but it's become more urgent now than at any other time this season.

    i hope we can follow up this win with another tonight; a game i will be able to watch since it's nationally televised!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 1/20/2011 9:37 AM
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