mikebarrett

Feb 16

Red Hot and Rolling at the Break

By mikebarrett
Everyone has expectations before a season begins.  Often times there are several moments during a season where you adjust your expectations.  These adjustments occur for a variety of reasons.  It can be a trade, a coaching change, the expected development of a certain player, or the disappointment of another.  Being we're Blazer fans, our expectation adjustment is usually caused by an injury.  Or two, or three.

The team started 3 and 0, and perhaps you started dreaming big right now.  But, our plans were changed when it was learned Greg Oden would miss the season.  The loss of Brandon Roy was huge.  When it was learned that Marcus Camby would require surgery, we moved the bar again.  Now, I'm not even sure what to think.

Because as unexpected and tragic as so many events have been this season, here we sit at the all-star break with an entirely new set of expecations.  The bad has been trumped by the good.  Our belief has been restored, and perhaps we've weathered some kind of storm.

If someone would have told you, before the season, the Trail Blazers would be 32-24 through 56 games, you probably would have shrugged and been okay with it.  After all, last year's team had the exact same record through 56.  But, because of all of the bitter we've faced, the sweet taste of this moment is so much more sweet than expected.  Get it?

The story of this season, without a doubt, was going to be injuries once again.  But now, is that really the story of this season?  Or, has it been more about this team adjusting and persevering through a cruel storm?

It seems it's been about LaMarcus Aldridge reaching an entirely new level, about Wesley Matthews' free-agent signing looking like the steal of the century, and about Andre Miller's ageless leadership.  It's the true value of a coach like Nate McMillan, and his staff, never allowing the team to create any alibi because of bad luck and bad timing.

It won't be told this way anywhere outside of this market, but this is team has simply been the story of the year in the NBA.  You take the Big Three in Miami, I'll take the Blazers.  They are much more reflective of life, and why we pour so much emotion into a pretty simple game.

Never has a 32-24 record at an all-star break seemed like a bigger accomplishment.  Satisfied?  No.  Proud as hell?  Absolutely.

Fifth place in the ultra-competitive Western Conference seemed like a pipe dream just weeks ago.  But, here we are.

Wednesday night's game at the Rose Garden was this season in a nutshell.  Incredible plays, disappointment, disbelief, and ultimately, victory.  Not only over the New Orleans Hornets, but over fate.

Give me a power forward in the NBA who has played better over the last few weeks than Aldridge.  You can't do it.  Against a good defensive team, a great individual defender, and an opposing coach that knows his every move (because he taught him many of them), Aldridge scored 34 points, on 13 of 18 shooting, and came up huge in the fourth quarter once again.  We've come to expect this, I know.

The Trail Blazers rallied from eight down in the second half to beat the Hornets 103-96.  New Orleans took control of this game with their defense, and didn't give up the lead until just over four minutes to go.  That's when Aldridge lowered his shoulder, worked his way to the middle, and scored while being fouled.  Even though that was Portland's first lead of the half, they were over the hump and you knew weren't going to lose.

Miller is so smart, so instictive, and so clutch.  He knows when his team needs him to score, when it needs him to pass, and when it needs him to grab a clutch offensive rebound.  He scored 10 in the fourth quarter, and is right there with Aldridge when discussing MVPs of the first half of the season.

Matthews is in that conversation as well.  Our big three is now Aldridge, Miller, and Matthews.  That wasn't on a billboard last summer.  Wesley had 24 points and 8 rebounds, and played great defense, as always.  Nicolas Batum, who hit a big three pointer when the team was badly needing something positive to happen, scored 14.

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

The Trail Blazers roll into the break with the NBA's longest winning streak, and as its hottest team.

Fifth place sounds terrific, even if the margin for error is still paper-thin.  There's a logjam right behind Portland in the west, and guess what?  There are slumps, struggles, and yes, probably injuries still to come.  There are also new expecations to meet.

Yes, the team is in a great rhythm, and yes, there could be an adjustment period when Camby and Roy come back.  But, that's a great problem to have.

After the break, it's four more home games, starting with the Lakers.  Then, it's Denver, Atlanta, and Houston.  The schedule the rest of the way is difficult, but the positive news is there are only 11 road games left in the regular season.  There are 15 home games left.  And, using recent history as our guide, there's a lot of drama left.  Good and bad.

So, what do you expect?

81 Comments

  1. Excellent game! All the way up to 5th spot!

    LA did great even if he only got 7 rebounds. :)

    by mgb on 2/16/2011 11:39 PM
  2. With the emergence of Dante, it may be best for the team to stand pat the rest of the season and see how they finish with BRoy and Camby coming back. If all goes well, sign Camby and Miller for two years each and see who they can get in the draft.

    It wasn't long ago that Nate was crying for a veteran or two to help the team grow. Now that he's got them, maybe he's in no rush to trade them for more youth just yet.

    by dgpdx on 2/17/2011 12:15 AM
  3. Looks like most of the talk about trading Dre is fading, and lets keep it that way shall we? Hes been Mr. Reliable all year. Hes our point guard and hopefully stays that way. Ill take a veteran 12-14ppg 7-9 apg anyday if I cant have Deron Williams or Rondo,CP3. Speaking of cp3, we did a excellent job of defending him, think he scored 6 points and had 5 assists,something like that...thats supercrazy, thats about as good as is gets defensively.

    Mr. Aldridge......sheez..each game goes by and his chest sticks out alittle futher and futher..more confident...I love it. There is no forward in the nba playing better, and possibly no player at all....Is there anyone else averaging 33+ ppg lately? Please let me know lol. Mathews has been most consistent, was huge factor in tonights win. This team is really coming together, and yes Nate is doing a great job coaching.

    I must say I am soo spoiled too. Tonight I was at the game in the upper 300 level, the reason being was a niece of mine was one of the girl dancers during pregame, so ticket were free, cant beat that!..But so used to the 100-200 level lol, but still had tons of fun!!

    Well All star break is ahead..time for some rest for our players and coaches, time to wind down alittle and then start off hard against the Lakers. Once again Mike, great post, go enjoy some much needed rest and time with the family.

    by whitefeather21380 on 2/17/2011 12:50 AM
  4. This is why it's fun to root for a young team. We survived all the injuries because several players took the steps forward that you hope young players will make. LaMarcus and Wesley took big steps, Patty proved he can contribute, and Dante did what we knew he could do and then put on The Mask against Minnesota and kicked it up a gear. Yes, Rudy was a disappointment for a couple of months, but now he has bounced back too. I don't mean to downplay Andre's contribution, because he has done everything you would hope for from a veteran, but the reason you build with youth is that potential for growth. I expect that we'll continue to compete at the current high level, although you have to think the Lakers will come at us hard in the first game back to reverse their recent tailspin. How high we finish will depend in part on how well our injured complement, including Joel, who's still struggling to regain his old form, come back. If Marcus regains his form in a few games, if Joel makes progress, and Brandon shows that the surgery has really helped, and is able to find a niche without confusing the rotation we'll be looking good. And if Nicholas shows up refreshed after the break, and does what he can do when he's fully energized we'll have another young and improving weapon at our disposal. I'm not sure I see us catching the Thunder--we'd have won going away tonight if the refs had given the Blazers the deference Durant and company get--but the five or six spot seems about right to me. Enjoy your time off, Mike, and thanks so much for avoiding the "while the Blazers stand around" refrain tonight, when the long string of rebounds going to the Hornets provided so much temptation. In fact, I'm starting to think you may have finally gotten over the trauma of the early season blown leads; you sounded much more relaxed when we blew another one tonight, as though you have begun to believe that the team now has the heart to put games away when crunch time comes. Like you, I knew we had them the moment we got the lead back.

    by Islander on 2/17/2011 1:03 AM
  5. Mike, you're starting to sound like me! There are no better PF in the league right now. In fact, I don't think there is even a player playing better than Aldridge in the league right now.

    Great to get a playoff contender out of the way on this win streak. I know Chicago is a borderline elite team, but that was early in the streak, and was a huge win. Now, this is a big win as well, as it comes against a conference rival, our past coach, and right in front of a much needed break. It was nice to see the Blazers looking at the game rather than the break.

    Also nice to hear Roy saying he wants to return against the Lakers. Enjoy the break, and in about a week I'll be posting on your blog about how we handed the Lakers yet another loss in the Rose Garden!

    by Herr on 2/17/2011 2:45 AM
  6. Awesome game. Good drama. Good performances. Miller's little "timeout" had me dying. The Miller 1 on 5 slow-break. Est. 2011! What more can you possibly say about that guy?

    Hell of a ride so far. Tough road ahead inspite of the comfy, home setting but I'll be right there with the rest of you guys and gals for the back stretch. If WM wasn't in the rook/soph game I'd ask somebody to just wake me up next Wednesday. Second of two televised games this month incoming. Thanks Comcast! :D

    by shynz0r on 2/17/2011 3:28 AM
  7. Mike:

    I am so glad to get your post and drama's of the game. I had to work all through the game and was trying to rely on the radio to keep track of the score. Our local station kept fading completely out for long periods of time and I barely got the scores let alone anything else. It did stay on for the last few moments and we had a little break going from one business cleaning to another, and I was able to listen to the end.

    I am ahead of you and Herr, We was starting to get stops and catching up before we got the lead, in fact we blew the chance for the lead earlier and I told my wife we would come out victories because of our history and LMA. When BRoy was on his tear if we were within 10 points at the 6 minute mark, I figured the game was ours. It was a great win and great composure for our team to hold onto their confidence, team play, and staying connected.

    When we almost caught up the first time, Antonio Harvey said that he didn't understand why we got LMA into the game and had the chance to go ahead and then go back to three point shooting. The team or the coach must have heard him or they made that discovery themselves, because from then on it was our game.

    by Hg on 2/17/2011 4:54 AM
  8. Mike, me again:

    I listened to Mike R on the Up and Adam show and loved his input as much as I did yours from home a few days ago; now you have competition as my favorite broadcaster. At any rate, he gave out some info about how difficult it was to get in practices when your team is short-handed and playing 40ish minutes a game. I had never thought of that, therefore, no matter what BRoy's or Camby's contribution will be after the break, they will bring us relief from the 40 some minutes of LMA, extended time on the floor of Dre, Nic and Wesley. Not counting Camby's rebounding; BRoy's shooting and adding another all-star to our team; just having veteran bodies could be the most important part of getting injured players back and that excites me even more.

    by Hg on 2/17/2011 5:00 AM
  9. MGB:

    good comeback, sorry about our little beef. I do get defensive at times.

    by Hg on 2/17/2011 5:03 AM
  10. Mike;
    One more forgotten thing before the break. As being at the same the same place after 54 games at the all-star break, as last year, reminded me that last year at the all-star break, we were without Greg, Joel and BRoy was just starting his year long injury and I was feeling pretty down and out. This year being at the same place in win and lost column, with the hope of Camby and BRoy's return, the new play from Rudy, the added play of Wesley and a full year of Batum, makes me up and excited. Isn't it funny how different scenarios can change perspectives of the same records.

    by Hg on 2/17/2011 5:15 AM
  11. Mike, this is your best post ever! You are dead on about everything and you accurately captured the spirit of this team and the fans.

    now that's the way to go into the break. really! i really have nothing new to add. everyone above me has already posted my thoughts. but...

    this team is making me believe! LMA is the player i always dreamed he would be. it's like some switch was turned on. just like that. when he lowered his shoulder and went straight at west dead dead center in the paint, i went crazy! that's killer instinct for you. he went straight to the hole. it didn't matter if someone was in his way. the LA - Train name has never been more appropriate. you can't stop a train.

    matthews is not playing like a second year player. the dude is solid, period. you always know he's gonna work and he wants to win. can't ask for anything more.

    and miller's sneaky fake time-out move had crafty veteran written all over it. he knows what he's doing and he predicts what "they're" gonna do. i love it. he and camby are coaches on the floor. you need those kind of guys on a team. i credit miller for being a key figure in getting la out of his shell. he lit the fuse.

    and how about nate mcmillan. i truly believe he is doing his best coaching of his career. he has really turned the page. i like what i'm seeing. we have an uptempo team that is fun to watch.

    ok.... i'm done. nope, one more thing. kudos to the fans! our fans are great and they love this team. i love seeing the "old faithfuls" respond after every game and post. makes me proud to be a blazer believer.

    if there was ever a an MVP for best fan i would give it to HG. hg, you call it how you see it and you never apologize for being a homer.

    our fans deserve credit. we have blazer fever! rip city!

    go blazers!



    by thedanman on 2/17/2011 5:45 AM
  12. I thank you for that wonderful thought.

    I am proud of being a homer.

    Again, I thank you for your Props.

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/17/2011 6:19 AM
  13. In a world where everyone has their philosophy and opinion. In a world where one of the most respected basketball analysts in the country, Charles Barkley will give the Blazers no love. In a world where sometimes the Blazers own news paper columnists are stingy with giving praise to their team, and for whatever reason would rather write reasons for the Vulcans to dismantle the team. In a world where our coach has done an amazing job yet has been overshadowed by things out of his control. In a world where fans still show up for games regardless of what drama they read about or hear.

    In our amazing city, we have the best forward in the game right now...We have the best team cohesion, trust and respect for one another. We still got the best fans...

    I would state my opinion, but what we have all witnessed is more than just a glimmer of hope for this franchise. This is who we are. I am not going to get on here and talk trade. I love Dre and Camby, Mr. Przybilla.

    I just want to say I love this team and I am so proud of them. Talk about the dynamics or execution and playing under pressure down the stretch. All we talk about in this town is the Blazers, cause that's all we have. We are talking about a team that will has what it takes to get it done, it's not a matter of 'if', truly in my unbiased opinion, it's a matter of 'when.'

    Can't wait to attend some games after the break. Thank you Portland.Great blog Mike.

    Rip City & Go Blazers!

    by Bull Frog on 2/17/2011 6:41 AM
  14. I'm really happy with the way the Blazers are playing, but to keep this game in perspective, NO has lost now 3 in a row and 9 out of the last 11. They are not the same team we loss to earlier in the season. Of course part of the reason is a injury to a big guy and we certainly have had more than enough injuries so they won't get any sympathy from us. Plus this was a important game in the standings to both teams.

    The good for the rest of the season is we have more home games than road, but the bad 18 is against above .500 teams. Going to be interesting!!

    GO BLAZERS!!

    by mgb on 2/17/2011 7:10 AM
  15. I agree wholeheartedly with dgpdx. Nate was indeed crying for a veteran presence to compliment the abundance of youth. And Miller and Camby are the anchors to this team. Let's hope Nate is not afraid to use Roy off the bench because I truly believe that is where he would be the most useful. If we are handing out mid-season accolades for fans, how about" Most Annoying"? Danman, you like people who tell it like it is? Please! Last time I checked you are one of the posters who can't stand to be wrong about anything. And HG never apologizing for being a homer? Wow! I guess you've been under a rock for the last two years.

    by Phi Slamma on 2/17/2011 9:04 AM
  16. Patty Mills just scares me running the point. No, I don't mean scary good. I mean runaway freight train, out-of-control, New Zealand Tasmanian Devil, I'm gonna do my best Jerryd Bayless impression, get my shot swatted, can't wait to take my place on the pine, kind of good. I can't see Mills pulling off how Miller feigned a time-out, and then galloped to the rim for a layup. We've seen that before from him, so I know it's in his playbook. I love that stuff. Kind of like extending your hand to greet someone then retracting it quickly while kicking them in the groin. And, oh ya, if I had a dollar for every time HG has apologized on this blog I could retire in Switzerland, where the women are fair, the citizens are armed, and life looks like a big cone at Dairy Queen. My 2nd choice is Slomania, but don't even get me started on that.

    by Phi Slamma on 2/17/2011 8:36 AM
  17. HG apologizes for making people angry, reporting an incorrect stat, or for not understanding something completely but he never apologizes for being a homer.

    i bet that just annoyed you. i'm going back to my rock now.

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 2/17/2011 9:48 AM
  18. Great game, great win, glad to see us in the #5 spot. The guys deserve it, totally and completely. I hope they all have a good break and come back rejuvenated for the stretch, the toughest part of the season. With reinforcements on the way, there is no reason to think we will not hang onto the 5th or 6th seed the rest of the way, tough schedule or not.

    My expectations for the team have remained pretty much the same all season: make the playoffs and win a series for the first time in over a decade. That really only wavered when we lost Camby, but it only took about 3 games for me to feel confident about the playoffs again. Even when I saw us losing every game for awhile, I still believed we would pull it together in time.

    Lamarcus is just amazing. He has done everything he has been asked to do and then some. KD tweeted yesterday that he should have been an All-Star. LA says he doesn't care about all that, but he sure did respond to KD right away with a "thanks!" We all like recognition when we are doing well after all. I hope LA really understands how much Portland fans are behind him.

    Coach Nate is one of the best coaches in the league, probably only behind the guys who are legends (Pop, Sloan, Phil, etc.) I sometimes wonder if even those guys could guide their teams to wins given the exact same circumstances as Nate has had for two straight seasons. The only one who even comes close comparison-wise is Doc Rivers and the Celtics, and I think it's safe to say their combined talent and experience far outranks ours. Nate doesn't get nearly enough credit, from just about anyone, and his contract and situation is the one piece I worry about the most. If he leaves, it will wreak total havoc with this team. Losing Coach Monty had an affect, especially with the sensitive Batum, and I can't even fathom how losing Nate would affect guys like Brandon, LA, Dante, and Rudy. We talk a lot about the core here, and you know who we leave out all the time? Nate. There is no doubt in my mind he can lead us to the promised land if he EVER gets a HEALTHY squad to work with :)

    by SisillaRiann on 2/17/2011 11:29 AM
  19. Yes, LMA again played great, Andre was crafty and came up with what was needed. However, half way through the third I was grinding my teeth the way we were being stiffed on the boards. When Wes went on a binge on the boards it really seemed to be a catalyst that made the difference. My game ball to Wes.
    hg: Keep it going thedanman: Good repartee.

    by Ancientone on 2/17/2011 11:51 AM
  20. I agree with thedanman on this being your best piece of work that I've read Mr. Barrett. Thanks for bringing out the poetic side of basketball. The resiliency and late-game poise of this team is a beautiful thing to watch.

    by C. Larry on 2/17/2011 12:24 PM
  21. wow, wasn't it just a couple weeks ago when memphis had overtaken us and pushed us down to ninth? we've come along way in just those two weeks and we've got some serious mojo in going on here.

    LaMarcus just keeps keeping up his amazing play; he sure played last night as if he wanted to earn a week off -- and he certainly earned it. Wesley was solid last night on both ends of the court, including the boards. Andre keeps proving the critics wrong with his play (love the fake timeout!), Nicolas was steady and Rudy provided a nice spark off the bench in the first half.

    if i had one wish, it would be for these guys to stop making me nervous during games! we broke out to that great first quarter with 35 points, then combined for the same amount in the second and third quarters. i think the key was that we never let the game get out of reach. and then, we took over in the fourth.

    i'm glad these guys have a week to rest, spend some time with their families, and generally recoup with two-thirds of the season done. next up are the lakers let's just hope it's the same lakers who showed up last night in cleveland!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 2/17/2011 3:04 PM
  22. Great Wins! Blazers are playing great! After taking a look at our remaining games this season, I'm concerned. We have a 4 game eastern swing that is so tough, we'll be lucky to win 1 game. We have some really tough road games remaining and I'm concerned about our lack of scoring from our bench. With Roy back we will get some help but I still think we need to pick up a big backup power forward and I don't know if Patty will be effective as a backup PG in the playoffs. I think Cho is going to make some trades to make us deeper and I think its the right move. We do great at home but playing tough teams on the road is a different story. We need to keep LA's minutes down so he is not totally burnt out come playoff time. This group is playing great but as we learned from the last two years, the playoff are a whole different story.

    by Gavinfan on 2/17/2011 4:10 PM
  23. Anyone who has read my posts knows I'm no homer, I just love watching the game played right and right now, the Blazers are doing just that. Except for a few lapses each game, which allow the opponents to stick around, they are playing a beautiful, and winning, brand of basketball.

    Those lapses will decrease as the guys learn more about each others' tendencies on the court. I keep having to remind myself that both Wes and Dante are only sophomores and Nic, even with his European experience, is still only 23.

    The future looks good...
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 2/17/2011 11:41 PM
  24. mgb lol! I was watchin' those boards all game thinking where is my man crashin' the glass?! He still needs a bit of work on the defensive glass but on the O end he's compensating with big assists. He is possibly the hardest big to defend in the league. Once he starts stealing your rebounds he's going to be the biggest threat on the court for any team. I love watching him play this year but the prospect of what he could learn over the summer has me giddy beyond all effin' belief. Being a Trailblazer fan hasn't meant this much to me since I was a handful of years old watching Drexler and Porter in the 80s and 90s.

    by shynz0r on 2/17/2011 11:56 PM
  25. Armonster is returning to action.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/index.ssf/2011/02/trail_blazers_will_recall_armo.html

    It's about to get real.

    by 500Dogs on 2/19/2011 1:04 AM
  26. Sure been quiet on this board lately.

    Some have suggested Armon is coming back because a trade is in the works. Hmmm. Than again he was being used as a SG not a PG so Portland just might felt he wasn't being used as they wanted so thought why not bring him back?

    by mgb on 2/19/2011 2:14 AM
  27. Phi Slamma:

    I do apologize for many things, but never for who I am and what I stand for. I usually apologize for being ignorant of games inside the whole game of BB because for the first time in almost a decade I get to watch games instead of relying on a radio that has more static then you and relying on the Internet and posters giving me some BB knowledge. I just get excited about the game and watching our players play win or lose. I apologize quite often for not being able to put my words or thoughts down in writing without confusing posters and for not being able to show my emotional intent. Therefore, as you say I do apologize often because it hurts me that I offend people unless people or being obnoxious.

    I told you I didn't play your little mind games because I am not good at it. I see no reason to go to school to learn to be a different type of an agnostic fool then I am right now. I chose, yes CHOSE to try to be more understanding of all types of posters and opinions of me and the game of BB. I even read your opinions of me and choose to sit back and tell myself that you are just as much entitled to your cruel opinions as I am mine even if your opinions are usually ridicules and condescending.

    I again apologize that I offend you so much, but some things just can’t be fixed.

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/19/2011 2:21 AM
  28. Mike:

    Sorry about my side track, back to the Blazers. We have often said that the team needs to learn to play 48 minutes of BB. I, like Kassandra above me posted, wished the Blazers wasn't so rough on my emotions doing the middle of the games. But, then I heard one of LMA's post game interviews where he said he hated to admit that he was pacing himself in the third quarter to give him a punch at the end of the game when it really mattered and IMO, the opponents were trying their hardest to close out the game. That, plus Mike Rice's blog on how difficult it is to play 40ish minutes every game and not get worn out made me realize that when you play that many minutes you are in a marathon not a sprint and you have to pace yourself if you want to finish the race. Put in that perspective, I am even more proud of our team for pushing their wall of endurance back and being able to finish games.

    Getting Armon Hammer, BRoy, and Camby back will help that quite a bit. I read somewhere that Armon was playing lots of 2gd in the D league and the author was wondering why. It could be the fact that because he is to young to be a great PG at the time we can't have to many shooters and drivers to the Basket. Plus when we need defensive stoppers in the crunch time of the season he can give Rudy, Dre and Patty some relief.

    All this gives me hopes of what can be and hopes that our vicious BB Gods are being nicer to us. BOTOH, all the adversity has made us a much better unit in more ways then just the win and loss column. Therefore it can be said that sometimes adversity is a blessing in disguise.

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/19/2011 2:43 AM
  29. I can't wait until the trade deadline has passed. Limbo sucks which I'm sure some of the guys are feeling. I'm not completely against making a trade but I hate the idea of risking a disruption in our chemistry. Finally, we have good chemistry. If Miller was to be dealt, I wonder if the replacement, even if more athletic and young, would be able to utilize Aldrige's talents as well as Miller has. That's a risk I don't wanna take. Maybe it's one we need, I don't know. It's a gamble, that much is for sure. I would love to see Cho's pros and cons list on potential trades. Wouldn't that be a treat?

    I'm curious to see how McMillan is going to use Roy. My guess is he will ease him in. I really hope Roy can learn how to come off the bench. He can't be a work horse because his body simply won't let him. Let's hope he comes to terms with that. I love his competitive spirit but if it always overrides what his body is telling him, his career is going to end much shorter than it could be otherwise. Yep, I'm a doctor in common sense.

    If McMillan cared for my opinion I'd tell him to play Roy for the final 5 minutes of each quarter, maybe more, maybe less. Roy is one of the best closers in the game and he thrives when time is expiring. That's just an idea. Of course I'd hope McMillan would would feel the game out like he's been doing recently but as a general strategy it would maximize Roy's impact and preserve his body at the same time. Maybe Roy could play a bigger chunk in the 3rd to provide more scoring so Aldridge can rest. So many options. Minutes are there. Aldridge, Miller, and Wesley are playing too many. Roy and Camby's return is gonna be some good relief.

    So many things to think about. That's why I hate waiting.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 2/19/2011 4:18 AM
  30. thedanman:

    On Dre, I don't have the ins and outs, but if they think he has to be replaced because he is getting old, then they could do it in June as easy as now and we would have training camp and Preseason to learn to play without him. Right now, I agree with you, if he went, LMA's new game would suffer tremendously.

    No body knows what BRoy's legs are going to allow. I think it is unanimous to start him out slow and find out what he has to offer and then make the most of that.

    Everyone worries about what will happen with LMA when BRoy gets back, but I am excited to find out. LMA and BRoy has always played good together, Now that LMA is an inside force and BRoy can't take it off the dribble to the basket, they have reversed rolls. It used to be BRoy taking it off a dribble and dishing to LMA or LMA picked and popped and BRoy would hit him for that sweet midrange jumper LMA has. Now he can pass to LMA in the post and get open for that sweet mid-range jumper he has. And hopefully BRoy playing like Dre keeping grounded and being foxy can also get to the rim and or post up that would give us different looks and options with LMA and BRoy along with LMA and Dre. I don’t know if BRoy can offer more of what Matthews brings because of his knees and Matthews defensive ability. Therefore, I think Matthews will be the SF if BRoy comes in with the first unit.

    In short, I agree with you, we need BRoy's consistent shooting ability to take the double team off LMA. LMA's only complaint is that when opponents have many bigs they take turns leaning on him and that wears him out. BRoy can change that by scoring.

    The too many options that you mentioned just baffle me. You can have BRoy and LMA on a pick and pop, pick and roll or a pick and slide. You have Camby on the high post that can hit LMA on the low post with great timed passes. You can have Dre posting up his man on one side of the low post and LMA on the other side that can keep the doubles off Dre by LMA receiving the pass if they leave him. Or LMA is becoming better at hitting Dre, Nic, Maybe BRoy, Wesley on the base-line cut. It is just to mind boggling for me.

    I thank you for having my back. You don't have to be a BB whiz to be a Blazer lover, but I do love to read debate and watch to learn more about BB.

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/19/2011 4:51 AM
  31. Hg,

    When I said the board was quiet did you take that as a challenge? :)

    Ya, I'll be glad when the trading deadline is over too. At least when Melo has been traded because other trades should happen then. That seems to be holding stuff up.

    I agree we are playing well right now and that any trade will hurt us this year, but hopefully it will make us better in the future if we do make a trade.

    by mgb on 2/19/2011 5:58 AM
  32. MGB: I was out of town for a couple of days so was catching up.

    I feel any thing that can be done now can be done at the end of the season. We don't know who they have in mind, if they are just trying to quick fix or it who they get will even help us in the future. Why gamble in the middle of the season when we just now have great hope of being in the play-offs?

    If there is one thing I have learned from my life is that you don't give up today for hopes of tomorrows. The team we have today gives us great hopes for the future. Who do you dislike so much that you want to trade them off? Who out there that we have a chance to get that you want so bad that you are willing to give up our core to get? because anybody worth trading for is going to cost us just that.

    I would say we need a boost in our shooting game. we could use some help to give LMA, Wesley, Nic and Dre some shorter minutes, but BRoy and Camby should help there and Camby should give us help on those rebounds you cry about. Also, I think Joel will continue to heal and get more confident in his legs. that will help on the rebounding and defense. The fact that he is becoming part of the defense on pick and rolls is really encouraging to me. That is my only fear of BRoy coming back. he is not a great pick and roll player. Of course he may have to learn.

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/19/2011 8:54 AM
  33. Hg,

    Joel I believe is a expiring contract that has no value after this season so any deal with him wouldn't help us after the season Also we might be able to make a deal now that isn't here this summer though of course this summer there might be a deal that isn't here now. While we might make the playoffs I doubt we'll do much, hopefully win a series would be nice, but challenge for a title or even WCC is unlikely so if we can make a deal that'll help us in the future we should do it. Of course it would have to be the right deal and it might be a minor one that won't even hurt us now.

    Kind of a low blow the comment about me crying about rebounds,when I was just commenting on part of one players game and then only on one game, would be nice to have a adult conservation. Way to drop the subject. Oh well.

    by mgb on 2/19/2011 9:58 AM
  34. MGB:

    Opps!! Forgot to say I was joking; the devil in my gets out of hand from time to time.

    Joel might be persuaded into taking a smaller contract and be very valuable to us in any title run for his leadership and giving minute when needed. Also, I think he will get better and should get a contract for next year. Then his value will be as a player not as money. Isn't that what it is supposed to be about? Well unless you are a Clipper.

    Being overly sensitive and defensive can go both ways. I have no animosity towards you what so ever, In fact I have the highest respect for you and have a high opinion of your BBIQ. You are just like LMA, with all your greatness there are flaws in your make up. Be an adult and admit you are not perfect LOL. Anyway I didn't mean any harm and I will be an adult for a change and admit it was my bad.

    hg

    by Hg on 2/19/2011 11:16 AM
  35. Hg,

    If I'm ever wrong I'll be glad to admit it. :)

    by mgb on 2/19/2011 11:44 AM
  36. Well I am never wrong, I thought I was wrong once but found out I was mistaken.

    Peace my friend

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/19/2011 11:49 AM
  37. "Warning, non-blazer related material. Reading could be hazardous to your fragile sense of self worth"
    Last summer Eclectic Spider was called out by another poster about his recent demeanor on the blog. His response stunned me. He seemed genuinely appreciative of the fact that somebody took notice, admitting that he had been having some difficulty in his personal life. Rarely do I see such willingness to accept personal critique with gratitude. Because some post here with frequency, a neighborhood watchdog mindset develops. Instead of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, it's more like "Bloggers Against Blazer Basketball Liberals & Enthusiasts" The acronym is BABBLE, which is about a good a name as any for some here I guess. Some claim to "love" a good debate, but then proceed to tell us what they have a problem with. Many feel safe and snug in their camp, and wouldn't dare stand with someone such as myself on any topic regardless of merit, simply for fear of being ostracized from the majority. And for that you pat each other on the back and say, "Way to go"! Doesn't matter what regurgitated crap some spew, it will always be applauded like the Emperor and his new clothes. I'm sure some are chuckling, thinking that I'm outside of your camp like an outcast with his nose pressed up against the glass, sniveling in the cold. The truth is I want no part of the concentration camp you pass off as a summer retreat. I don't mind wearing the striped uniform and the tattoo on my forehead if it means I haven't sold out my objectivity.
    The next time one of the Chosen Ones here makes "The Decision" to pretend to take the high road while encouraging others to join there posse in exchange for protection (much like a cyber gang) just remember that the Scribes and Pharisees behaved much the same way in bible times. Your subtle intent to undermine those outside of your clique does not go without notice. Some here claim to encourage those who "tell it like it is", yet are the first to be offended by such raw opinions. I find it ironic that the few posters who actually fit that description are the ones who are finding fewer and fewer reasons to share their viewpoints here.

    by Phi Slamma on 2/19/2011 12:25 PM
  38. what up and who said the blazers would't be able to make the playoffs and LA is going to be soft. where did that gang go... go blazers

    by Miller on 2/19/2011 1:00 PM
  39. PS,

    You need to get out more. :)

    by mgb on 2/19/2011 5:33 PM
  40. Well, I dropped in to see what you all are up to....and find the usual :)

    Not much going on in Blazer-land, but A LOT of BS in Laker-land, where the NBA has just firmly anointed their newest demi-God, aka, Blake Griffin! Someone said earlier today on NBATv that he was as humble as they come....hahahahahaha....yeah, humble guys dunk over a CAR every day of the week, LMAO. Anyway, glad he has accepted the mantle, so I am saved from years of Lebron "The King" James. Of course, my loathing for Griffin is about to surpass that of James! It's weird.....I never hated MJ or Isiah or even Kobe....why is it I can't stand these guys?

    Wesley did alright in the Rookie-Sophomore game, but didn't get the ball enough. It was really a free-for-all, with zero defense and was a dunk-fest for much of the time (Wesley not being much of a dunker, he missed out of course!). He left he madness behind today and went to support his former team at Marquette....I'll take character over trophies any day of the weak (I guess when I was younger, that didn't matter as much!)

    BABBLE.......that was the highlight of my day.

    CANNOT wait for the trade deadline to pass as well...just anxious to see our Blazers take on the Lakers next week, and hopefully deliver them a whoopin', old skool :) A return of BRoy and/or Camby will be icing on the cake. My next game is the Nuggets, and I KNOW that will be a spankin', one way or the other!

    Go Blazers!!!!

    by SisillaRiann on 2/19/2011 9:39 PM
  41. EowynAmarie: i know what you mean. Griffin is technically a rookie, but i'm already tired of hearing about him. yes, he is a very good player. however, i have a hunch it's more large-market hype.

    Wesley was just about the only one passing in the game on a regular basis. it seemed like most of the guys were catching the ball or taking it up the court and going one-on-one. at such an event, i really wouldn't expect that to be any different, but if he'd have taken the ball on his own more often, he might have scored more. in all, i think he represented the blazers well.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 2/20/2011 4:40 PM
  42. i don't get the hate against griffin. the dude is fun to watch and he's on a big-time underdog team. the thing i like about him is he's fearless and he works his butt off on every play.

    i can understand how people might not like him because he pushes in the back and he's so physical but to me that's just basketball. if he was jawing and talking a lot of s*** i'd have issues with him but he seems to be about business.

    my number #1 enemy is kevin garnett. i can't stand that guy. he's dirty. he's the type of dirty where he doesn't care if he hurts you. and he'll go out of his way to do it. and the guy is so disrespectful to young players and players he doesn't consider elite. i know talking, pushing, and all of that stuff are inherently part of the game but garnett goes way too far. i haven't disliked anyone so much since bill lambeer. that guy was a nasty one too. but, i do like those types of players for one reason and that's because i wanna wup em bad.

    glad to see matthews represent. i love that guy. he's an old school type player that is fearless, hard working, and classy. 15 points and 3 3's. way to go matthews. i hope he lets his body have a little break.

    BABBLE, that is the highlight of my day too! this all star break is seriously taking it's toll on some people. i'm one of them!

    Go Blazers!


    by thedanman on 2/20/2011 4:44 PM
  43. tdm,

    I was thinking the exact same thing. Why the hate on Blake? He is fun to watch and it's amazing what he is doing as a rookie. I can understand people not liking the league/media hyping him up, but that's not his fault and if anything he is living up to the hype.

    Ya, all-star weekend games are not really the type where Wesley will shine because he's about defense and being unselfish which is not what this weekend is about at all.

    Looks like I completely agree with you in this instant!

    GO BLAZERS!!!!

    by mgb on 2/20/2011 8:35 PM
  44. No defense, that's exactly why I don't watch NBA all-star games. Football is the same, no defense because that's how guys get hurt, by playing intense defense.
    Of the major sports, only baseball plays real all-star games because defense is a separate part of the game, most of the time anyway.

    just my $0.02,
    don

    by dgpdx on 2/20/2011 8:40 PM
  45. thedanman:

    I think you and MGB hit it on the nose, I don't hate Griffin it is I have the continues hype about him, so I shut off the hype and therefore shut him off too.

    I don't hate the players for the Celtics (except KG), I don't hate the L*kers Players, or the Miami player. It is all the hype that I hate so it reflexs on the team.

    Anyway Don, that is my $0.02 cents

    by Hg on 2/20/2011 8:56 PM
  46. i've been thinking, we aren't really hurting for shooters so much. it seems to me that when we're in good rhythm the shots fall. i think if we continue play the style and tempo we are right now the percentage will go up. when i play i notice a huge difference in my shot when i'm playing on a team that is clicking and moving. the slow stuff feels awkward and the shots don't fall as easy. i guess it's all about finding a system that fits the players because obviously this league isn't about finding players to fit the coach's system anymore. it's interesting to see the game evolve. some is for the better, some for the worst. gotta take the good with the bad right?

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 2/21/2011 12:13 AM
  47. thedanman:

    I partially agree with you. When a team is clicking the shots falls more readily.
    But, when sophisticated defenses, dbl teaming, playing the passing lanes, holding up players from making their moves, (Of course that is illegal and never happens in the NBA LOL), that is taking advantage of the home court advantage. Then you have to slow it down to wait for the good shot and work the heck out of their defensive sets. Therefore, it is more of learning to play fast and slow, if you can master that, it is all for the good.

    GSW are fun to watch, but when good defenses slows them down and make them shoot over the top, they tend to fade because they refuse to learn the half court and take what the defenses eventually gives them.

    It is true that fast passing getting the defense to scramble gives you a better open shot, but initially that is not there because a good team has scouted your game very well. As Wesley Matthews said, If you work to get better then you better work harder to get that much better fast because the defense is always working to take your game away from you.

    Sometimes it is as Kassandra says often when she is joking, Wait for it. then gives the punch line. Same thing with BB, sometimes you have to wait for it.

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/21/2011 4:46 AM
  48. I'm afraid, folks. I'm afraid that we in Portland will soon feel the pain that echoes still in Salt Lake City. Restricted Free Agency has been our ally, but may be turning its back on us and drawing a cold knife.

    Allow me to paint my nightmare in black and white: Greg Oden, having had his fill of the City of Roses and it's nosy fan base, decides to test Free Agency and rejects the Qualifying Offer. Unsurprisingly, a 7ft potential Franchise-Maker commands attention on the open market, despite his obvious and well-reported travails. Enter Golden State...

    It was reported today that GSW are interested in Old Greg. If he is not dealt in a trade, you can bet the Warriors are going to come out and play at season's close. This puts Portland in the position of matching a team with nothing to lose. Fearing the emergency of Greg Oden, Portland will match whatever ludicrous, front-loaded offer GSW can pretend to put forth, which will likely be far more than GO is worth.

    Fast-forward to summer 2012...

    Guess which of our favorite Blazers enter Restricted Free Agency? Nico and Rodo. Saddled with inflated contracts to Roy and Oden, reasonable (but still spendy) deals with Mathews and Aldridge, the choice to extend Camby and Miller, as well as a call on 2nd rounder Armon Johnson, Portland is not in a position to negotiate or compete...

    ZIP! There goes our best defender. POW! Adios leading bench scorer. BANG! Welcome to Utah.

    This cannot happen. Greg Oden needs to either be signed to a reasonable offer as soon as possible, or traded immediately to an eastern conference team where his possible comeback won't bite us in the keister all season long and in the Playoffs. I advocate the latter because I couldn't blame Oden for seeking a fresh start in a new city. I'd hate his rotten guts until flames sear my odious soul at the end of days, but I can't say I wouldn't do the same (on an unrelated note, is there a patron saint for unrepentant sinners?). The team needs to extract value from this #1 pick or face the mercurial whims of Restricted Free Agency.

    by 500Dogs on 2/21/2011 1:35 PM
  49. Bird rights allow us to sign our own players so that won't be a problem as long as PA is willing to play the luxury tax and depending on what happens this off season if we get a hard cap or what.

    by mgb on 2/21/2011 4:49 PM
  50. I'm not even going to think about next year until the summer is over and we know what the new salary rules are. I agree with Stern that somehting must change but what it will bring is anyone's guess.

    I just hope there is a full next season...
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 2/21/2011 8:35 PM
  51. 500Dogs:

    touché LOL.

    Everybody, the joke is that 500dogs taught me how to write touché without going to Microsoft words and having it spell checked. That makes writing touché lots easier.

    touché Hg

    by Hg on 2/21/2011 9:11 PM
  52. Some ppl are hardcore fanatics when it comes to the dissemination of ideas, proposals, conjectures or vehemently object to what others opine about. This is a blog anything and everything goes. While I am a huge fan of facts and figures to substantiate opinions, it is incumbent on those w/ the facts and figures (or at least those who see themselves that way) to properly address or refute any opinions they feel don't have the apposite desiderata which precedes such opinions.

    by Roland on 2/21/2011 10:27 PM
  53. Knicks get Melo, Billups, Corey Brewer, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman.

    Nuggets get Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, and a 2014 first-round draft pick.

    Minnesota gets Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry.

    by 500Dogs on 2/21/2011 11:45 PM
  54. what does "refute any opinions they feel don't have the apposite desiderata which precedes such opinions" mean? i is not smart.

    knicks came out on top by far. amazing! the east is getting stronger. this will help the blazers.

    go blazers

    by thedanman on 2/22/2011 1:48 AM
  55. So does LA get Melo's all-star spot? :)

    by mgb on 2/22/2011 1:56 AM
  56. hell yah!

    by thedanman on 2/22/2011 5:24 AM
  57. Super happy the Melo drama is over, anxiously waiting to see what else shakes loose over the next three days. The speculated Miller/Pryz/?? for Harris/Murphy seems like it might be good long-term and not cause too much damage short-term. I am also good if we stand pat for now. The one rumor I am freaking out about is Camby. Being a parent, and being highly sensitive to my children's needs and especially their stability, I completely understand the reported position of Camby about the possibility of being traded. I really hope this organization does not screw him over, business or not. He would never have signed that extension and moved his family up here if he didn't really believe the Blazers were going to keep him for the duration.

    by SisillaRiann on 2/22/2011 2:00 PM
  58. Roland......whaaaattttt??? What the heck does a hymnal poem have to do with debating and backing up those debates in a quantitative way? Sorry, but for everyone other than probably Phi Slamma, that is probably just way too out there for this particular environment.

    by SisillaRiann on 2/22/2011 2:09 PM
  59. EA: I agree 110% with you about Camby. He's the perfect kind of center for this team. When are those in charge going to figure that out??? Plus he's the steady voice in the locker room and has the respect of all the guys. Trading him now would be a huge mistake!
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 2/22/2011 8:29 PM
  60. count me in. i'd hate to see camby go. yep, he's getting old but look how he plays. yes, he has an injury but what good center out there doesn't deal with this dilemma. it's the nature of the position. and his skills go beyond rebounding. he's a great passer and he'll score when he needs to.

    if we can trade him to get a piece that will bring us a championship, then sure, why not? but what guy out there will give a larger impact, overall? talent, experience and skill are all things we need to consider. a healthy camby and aldridge working together is gonna be fun to watch. i don't wanna disrupt that.

    right now i would trade oden if a team was willing to sacrifice talent for his potential. we need a future guard or center. i don't believe oden is it. why? i've watched this team and basketball long enough. there's a chance he could come back and be effective or even dominant. but, i'll call it an outside chance. he's one guy i wouldn't be afraid of trading. if we keep him and he proves me wrong, i'd be the happiest pessimist in the world. he still does have potential but it's a huge gamble to bet he'll stay healthy.

    we need a future point guard. how we get it i don't know. i'm too biased and emotionally involved in this team to make a significant suggestion to pull it off. plus, who is that guard that will fit in? i thought aaron brooks would be a great fit but he had that little fit. damn, i would have loved to have him but he's a hot head.

    good luck cho. good luck blazers. beat the lakers!

    go blazers!





    by thedanman on 2/23/2011 7:38 AM
  61. The worse thing that could happen is we trade Oden and then he takes another team to a championship. We have to stick with him and see and not let another team reap what we've sown. Not only would we be known as the team that took him instead of Durant, which I would have done too, but the team that gave up on him just before he finally got healthy, which no way I would do. Come on he's what 23?

    by mgb on 2/23/2011 8:11 AM
  62. thedanman;
    My opinion of GO is much different than yours. If you have a classy car that had a series of break downs none related to the other, the last part you put in it could have been the last if you had not declared it as a lemon and traded it off. Regardless of the momentarily bad running parts it is still a classic model that has more value then you could have gotten in a trade. You could go out and get a serviceable replacement and wait for the classic to quit breaking down. Of course there is a chance that is a complete lemon, but it could go on from now on without another break down and then you could trade it for the true value of a classic car. Sometimes you just have to gamble.

    On needing a PG. We have a good one that is playing well and since he is an iron man could last another 5 years since his desire is to play until he is 40. By that time we should have Armon and or Patty ready to take over the job of running the team. Therefore, how far into the future or we talking about.

    On one part you want to trade off a classic, on the other part you want to trade off a machine that is hitting on all cylinders and has done you well just because it is getting old. If you trade it off you could very well get another lemon. Look up Kevin Harris injury report. It isn't much better then Greg's.

    Anyway this is just a homer speaking that wants to keep what we have, but then again sometimes you have to gamble LOL.

    by Hg on 2/23/2011 8:54 AM
  63. Hi Gang.I have been noticeably absent lately.Miss ya all,Someone life's path takes a right turn.
    Anyways,Wowsers,DWill to the Nets.Unfreakinbelievable,I am stunned..The western Conference just gets better with each trade.Woo HOO.Time to WesSlap the Lakers.
    Looks like the Blazers are going to stand pat at the deadline.
    I agree,with the present teamwe have,,that the best move is no move.I thought we might bite on Devin Harris.Apparently ,not.
    What do you al think about the trade and OUR non trade

    by DowntownVinnie on 2/23/2011 9:03 AM
  64. Oh yeah Big Props to my boooii Dre for the"Fake Time out" move That crafty old Vet.

    by DowntownVinnie on 2/23/2011 9:07 AM
  65. MGB, i hear you 100% but oden is a "if", a big "IF". how about a known talent in return for a big "IF?"

    by thedanman on 2/23/2011 9:11 AM
  66. Phi ,My Brother ,no matter what I or,anyone thinks,I applaud you for taking the pothole filled "Road less traveled".You are a pioneer.You ARE the veritable Sacajewia of this blog.carry on:)

    by DowntownVinnie on 2/23/2011 9:21 AM
  67. Don't be stupid, trading Marcus Camby is not the answer...He says he likes it here, that's kind of important. Listen to Mathews, someone who actually knows and plays the game! May I add, he does those things quite well...Furious

    by Bull Frog on 2/23/2011 9:19 AM
  68. Won't be happy if Joel goes either. I don't believe there is any miracle cure out there that's going to make us a contender or 'younger,' we were younger and y'all goofed it up. Channing Frye, James Jones, Jack, Bayless, Travis Outlaw, Blake...

    by Bull Frog on 2/23/2011 9:22 AM
  69. MGB and HG.Don't make me come up there and put both your noses in the corner if you can't get along better:) You Bad Boys.

    by DowntownVinnie on 2/23/2011 9:42 AM
  70. Apparently, the Utah brass decided DWill was too much trouble for them. It's being reported he had no idea this was coming and is in shock. Obviously, he's not going to be happy about going to New Jersey. I was stunned myself, as most of the NBA world was. This came out of nowhere. Score one for the Nets, jeez!

    I don't know if the West is getting weaker or not, but the NW Division sure has had some major shakeups in the last two days. These trades have to be good for the Blazers and the Thunder in the long run though.

    Nervous about tonight, hoping to see a win, in any fashion!

    by SisillaRiann on 2/23/2011 10:14 AM
  71. Vinnie,

    Great seeing you posting. Just a few hrs ago I was wondering why you haven't posted for a while and was thinking about emailing you.

    Trade a if for a sure thing? Sure, but who's going to trade a sure thing for a if? That's the problem, we wouldn't get much in return while if he does stay healthy we'll get a lot in return!

    Hey, don't blame me, hg is just mean and cruel!

    by mgb on 2/23/2011 10:21 AM
  72. DowntownVinnie:

    MGB and me are getting along fine. We had a disagreement and kissed and made up. NO JUST MADE UP.

    No fear we are cool.

    EowynAmarie:

    I am wondering if D Williams was getting to much static from the rest of the players and the city of Salt Lake for his part in firing of the coach. It sure doesn't make since that they would put their loyalty to D Williams and get rid of the coach and then turn around and trade of Williams. Would you put your great BB mind to work on this and explain it to me?

    I don't know yet if I agree with you on the Blazers and OKC in the long run. I definitely agree on this year or short term. Especially Utah, Antonio Harvey on the Up and Adam show just said with a new young coach and new players, Utah will take a big dip before adjusting so that should knock them out of the play-off race. In the short term and long term of things, Denver got some great talent in the trade and With George running the show they may not miss a beat. In fact they might be able to get down to BB now that the Anthony show is over.

    Did you read that 500dogs taught me how to write touché, I thought you being a educational whiz, you might be pleased about teaching a old dog new tricks. Oh thanks for your rebuttal to Roland, He was definitely over my head and apparently most others. In my layman's mind I was going to post back and say what the heck or you talking about with your mumbo jumbo, but thedanman beat me to it.

    One more thing EA, It is my belief that the Lakers has been pacing themselves to prepare themselves for the end run. Kobe's scoring in the All-Star game and their win over Altanta last night confirms my belief's, I guess time will tell, but what is your take on the Lakers? Are they has beens? or just getting geared up?

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/23/2011 10:43 AM
  73. MISS KASSANDRA:

    I hope your midterms are about over, I miss your input.

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/23/2011 10:47 AM
  74. EowynAmarie:

    I listened to Mike Rice on chalk talk and he says pretty much what I feel That Kobe and the Lakers are gearing up for the big run for the Play-offs. They got the rust off, they don't have the trade deadline mistraction or the not knowing what BRoy can bring destraction so the advantage goes to LAL. Nevertheless we prosper in the underdog roll.

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/23/2011 1:09 PM
  75. We're going to kick the Lakers butts!!!!

    GO BLAZERS!!!!!!!!!

    by mgb on 2/23/2011 1:18 PM
  76. MGB,No .I'm Coool. i've been immersed in my new studio and new guitar toys.Go to my YouTube site and check all the ones that say Boss RC 20.And Tindeck @DowntownVinnie for Free Downloads.

    by DowntownVinnie on 2/23/2011 3:22 PM
  77. HG: Wow, so many questions! I already espoused this at one point, that I thought the Lakers were behaving like Boston did last season, so yes, I think they were pacing and are now ready to go for the stretch. Regardless, we have a history of being able to beat them in the RG, so I will be hopeful for that :)

    As for the Utah-DWill situation, this was clearly a move by the front office and ownership. DWill had nothing to do with it. It is essentially the backlash superstar players can expect for appearing to be non-committal with their teams. Lebron got away with it, so did Melo, but Utah's decision sends a clear message in the other direction. Here's a link to David Aldridge's story from Utah's owner: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2011/02/23/utah-owner-no-hard-feelings-d-will/?ls=iref:nbahpt1

    Also, I would be willing to bet just about anything that Coach Sloan's retiring had something to do with this decision as well.

    by SisillaRiann on 2/23/2011 4:31 PM
  78. MGB: You're right of course. If only I would spend my days waltzing the "Macarena" while objectively pondering the meaning of the universe, then, and only then, would I be qualified to express my opinions on this sacred thread. But alas, I've had a Ghandi -like experience that transforms me from sublime to , well, even your level of wisdom. As I partook (is that even a word?) a glimpse of ineptude on the blazers' part against the lakers, one thing becomes clear. I saw the uniforms of the Miami Heat wearing Laker Purple and gold; a leprechaun spinning a pot of gold just within reach, yet a fools' gold for thine to plunder. Like a bad case of Groundhog's Day, the day for this movie's premiere has come and gone. L.A. packed the inside and dared to make the blazers beat them from the outside. Good call! I see why Phil Jackson is the Zen Master. I recently read in a fortune cookie that those who live by the sword shall die by the sword. I'll let those of superior wisdom such as yourself decipher the secret code.

    by Phi Slamma on 2/24/2011 3:39 PM
  79. PS,

    Hmmm, maybe I was wrong, maybe you need to have your meds checked? :)

    by mgb on 2/24/2011 5:33 PM
  80. MGB: No one else is looking on this past blog so we are safe to exchange secure dialogue here. I really have no animosity towards you and don't predict that to change in the near future. I am more than willing to banter back and forth with you about a myriad of topics and am quite comfortable in exchanging dialogue with you that can be interpreted as an adversary approach to any point of view that you may wish to explore. I do not wish to be your friend, or confidant, or priest, I simply wish to exchange ideas on this blog, that no matter how uncomfortable for some, a truthful opinion that is undoubtedly unpopular with the majority. I continue to respect your angle even if I do not receive the same respect in return.

    by Phi Slamma on 2/24/2011 5:55 PM
  81. Dude, I'm just joking with you.

    by mgb on 2/24/2011 10:35 PM
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