mikebarrett

Feb 26

Roy to the Rescue

By mikebarrett
After having their hearts ripped out on Wednesday night by the Lakers, blowing an eight-point lead with just over four minutes to play, the Trail Blazers reversed roles on Friday night, and won in dramatic fashion.

Trailing Denver 89-82 with just 3:48 left, and after trailing by as many as 11 earlier in the fourth quarter, Portland mounted a rally that ended with a Brandon Roy three-point bomb with five seconds left that forced overtime- Portland's second-straight overtime game.  This time, they were able to make the defensive stops, got a huge three from Wesley Matthews and two big free throws from LaMarcus Aldridge, and hung on to win it 107-106.

It was a strange night, in a normally pretty routine rivalry where they home team almost always wins.  But, this Denver team is so entirely different, and the Trail Blazers essentially played six guys because of being so shorthanded following the Gerald Wallace trade.  I can't remember a time Portland ever played this small- and I mean ever.  Roy played center on a few occasions, and so did Nicolas Batum. 

Denver, without Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups now, actually play defense, and are arguably as good or better than they were before the trade.  Perhaps that's a stretch, but they took an awful lot of talent from the New York Knicks and instead of standing around and watching Melo shoot, they're playing with a chip on their shoulder now and are playing scrappy ball.  Not sure if that's just the honeymoon surge that follows a trade, or if it'll truly last.

This win for Portland was big because a loss would have meant losing the season series to the Nuggets.  Down the road that could have had dire consequences.  Also, the Trail Blazers moved back ahead of Denver in the western race.

Now to Roy.  Brandon was limited to just over 15 minutes on Wednesday against the Lakers and badly wanted to play more.  He got his wish in this game, but Nate McMillan still wanted to closely monitor his minutes.  They set a goal of 20 minutes in this game, but he ended up playing 24.  It's a good thing.  Roy scored 18 points in his 24 minutes, grabbed five rebounds, and hit the off-balance three pointer that sent the game to overtime.  It was a return to his heroic role on this team.  And, if there was a concern that his return would hinder Aldridge, and what he's been doing lately, this, at least on this night, put that to bed.  Aldridge had 24 points and 14 rebounds, and loved having someone to help him shoulder the load.

Rudy Fernandez played a career-high 44 minutes.  Matthews played a career-high 50 minutes.  Andre Miller played 42 minutes.  Nicolas Batum played 38 minutes, on a sore ankle that he jammed early in the game.  And, Aldridge played a whopping 51 minutes, also a career high.  They simply didn't have a choice.

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

Help is, of course, on the way.  Gerald Wallace will make his Portland debut on Sunday night against Atlanta.  We talked to him during the second quarter of the game, and I interviewed him on the court following this contest.  It was great to hear him say he actually had chills watching his new team come from behind to win.  He also talked about the atmosphere at the Rose Garden, and how it'll be playing in front of a sold-out arena every night.  That'll be a huge change from Charlotte, where good seats are always available.

Hopefully, Marcus Camby is back soon as well, and that could even happy as early as Sunday. 

The Trail Blazers are also now AHEAD of last year's pace.  That's remarkable.  They were 32-26 after 58 games last season.  After this win they sit 33-25.  Think about all that has happened this season, and then let that soak in.

Talk to you Sunday night.



Help is on the way.

40 Comments

  1. Great win! I loved Roy's clutch play! LA was his usual excellent self and what can you say about Miller? I almost wish the game went into double OT so Miller could get his triple double! :)

    by mgb on 2/26/2011 8:39 AM
  2. For me, being there, knowing how short-handed we were, and then to witness the return of BRoy + Beast-mode LA....this was the best game of the year so far. The RG is "awesome when it's awesome", as someone tweeted last night. And man, it was so totally awesome last night. I was so surprised when Roy hit that 3, and then again, I wasn't. I KNEW he was gonna have a great night, I could just feel it. It was immensely satisfying to see them still play fluidly when he was on the court. LA was defended well again, and still came through. And our guards rebounded like CRAZY!! Just a great win, made my week :)

    Now, here's to hoping Coach Nate will go back to the time limits, because as beautiful as it was to see Roy do that, I want to be able to see him do that during the playoffs. His knees HAVE to be managed, Coach and Cho need to stay strong, cause he is likely going to be very difficult to keep reigned in :)

    Can't wait for Sunday! The Hawks won last night after losing two, so they won't walk in super hungry to win, though they will still be competitive of course. As long as the guys get good rest and Wallace plays, we should have a good go of it.

    by SisillaRiann on 2/26/2011 9:01 AM
  3. Thank you Mike, I am with you, Welcome back BRANDON.

    Boy what a game to watch. I had to listen to ESPN, but it was OK.

    As short --handed as we were, I was terribly afraid that our lack of height would do us under. But, EowynAmarie said in your last blog that K-Mart not playing might counter-act our lack of bigs and that gave me hope. Denver is still going to be a team to fear down the stretch. They are good, because now they are playing Portland style ball. scrappy and playing good D. Their guards are fast and although both of their guards were missing shots they won't do that all the time.

    My point is, We didn't just beat a team that lost their super-star, we beat a team that is very good, a team that although is new to the Nuggets, has players that have played together all year with the Knicks. That makes this game a "ONE FOR THE BOOKS",type game.

    by Hg on 2/26/2011 9:21 AM
  4. EowynAmarie: You called this game in the last post, saying that you expected BRoy to have an outstanding game, and K-Mart not playing might equal things out, Good call.

    I sure can't figure why Carl didn't use more of the 7 footers to counter Portland's lack of bigs, but I won't judge.

    I am sure Nate will limit BRoy's minutes again. With everything that was on the line, I couldn't expect the coach to let his star sit.

    Maybe, instead of limiting his time every game, limited it by the need. If we are winning easily then play him very few minutes. or none. If we need him badly, play him extra minutes.

    Anyway it goes, getting GW on the team will help on limiting BRoy's minutes. Getting Camby back sometime in the near future will help give LMA limited minutes, So all in all I am getting excited.

    I don't agree or disagree with your Standing picks because I just don't know as I have mentioned before, My question is does the good play of BRoy and the addition of GWallace change your prediction. If OKC plays as poorly very often as they did last night, I can see catching them. I look for the Lakers to make a gigantic push and over take SAS and Dallas for home court advantage.

    by Hg on 2/26/2011 9:39 AM
  5. I was surprised how good the Nuggets looked. This was a big win. I love the fight this team has.

    EowynAmarie : yes, yes, and yes. u said everything i was thinking

    i watched league pass and they had espn commentators. i was impressed with how well they knew both teams. one of the guys made a comment how he didn't remember aldridge being so physical. his partner said something to the effect "he wasn't. this is a recent development." lamarcus is getting noticed and gaining a ton of respect.

    roy is still one of the most clutch players in the league PERIOD.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 2/26/2011 9:40 AM
  6. also, amazing bounce pass from batum to (miller?) in the fourth. miller crashing the boards.... wesley.....rudy..... i love this team!

    by thedanman on 2/26/2011 9:51 AM
  7. Brought over from last blog:

    MGB:

    If Camby can stay healthy, we should be OK, but giving a D league a 10 day contract would sure help. Betting Wallace although he is short, plays big, and gets rebounds from what I read, so that will help. It is possible as you told VL that we may not get Joel back until the end of the year.

    BTW, I am only mean and cruel to you because you live 150 miles away and I have some neat hiding places LOL.

    Long short, with the return of Camby soon, and the signing of BWallace, I am excited about the remainder of the year regardless of the things with Joel that we cannot control. And, I am still in the camp of GO returning next year; with what we have now, and getting GO and maybe Joel back, with the hopes of getting Ford as a experienced back-up PG, I have very high hopes. When I am happy I am not so mean and cruel LOL.

    Hg.

    by Hg on 2/26/2011 9:53 AM
  8. thedanman:

    VL pointed out to me that maybe the players Denver has is new to Denver, but they have been playing together as NYK for quite some time. That was the difference in thier playing, Carl let them, at least temporarily, play their NYK, style of play. So, I wasn't surprised too much.

    The Nuggets are playing through some adversities and that gives us the advantage, We have the upper hand in playing with adversities.

    Terrific win and we will get better, and I think the Nuggets will get better.

    by Hg on 2/26/2011 10:01 AM
  9. So, I don't know what amazes me more. Brandon Roy, just two games back after his 2 month long injury, nailing not just one impressive three pointer, but two. Along with Rudy nailing an impressive one shortly after Roy's first to help send it to OT when down by 6 with about 30 seconds left. That, or the fact NBA.com didn't put Brandon Roy's amazing "forcing overtime" three pointer on the NBA.com's top 10 plays of the day. It's hard to tell really. First it's hard to be amazed by Brandon anymore because that is what Brandon Roy does, and it doesn't surprise me that the NBA disrespects Portland AGAIN (for about, what, the 50th time this season?) by not giving them any consideration. We didn't even get a front page article, but it's okay the Lakers got theirs.

    Meanwhile, I will say this Denver team could be a lot better than when they had Melo. Aaron Afflalo has got a future in this league, and he's very young and for sure has the supporting cast around him. Denver will likely make the playoffs, so this win was VERY nice. Utah however...

    50 wins here we come. Just need to go 17-7. Very possible.

    by Herr on 2/26/2011 10:07 AM
  10. Looks like, via Twitter, Kevin Durant wants an early vacation this year, as Portland is likely to finish 5th seed and go against the 4th seed OKC.

    @KDthunderup
    Kevin Durant
    Man I'm glad to see my boy B.Roy back!!


    If he's glad, I wonder how us Portlanders must feel? Oh wait, I know. We feel awesome.

    by Herr on 2/26/2011 10:27 AM
  11. I actually think that is nice of Durant.

    I knew Roy's game was going to be ok when he got the ball I think the first time he toss it in to LA. That meant he was going to be willing to play inside out with LA posting up.

    I sure hope Camby is playing Sunday. With him and Wallace both playing LA can get some rest! Him and other players as well.

    Hg,

    I replied to your post on the other blog, but you are going to have to go back there and read it! :P

    I don't know why I feel so good today! Yes I do it's because I'm a Blazers fan!!

    GO BLAZERS!!!!!!!!!!

    by mgb on 2/26/2011 12:17 PM
  12. Great quarters 1,2,4 and overtime. I was incredulous about their play in the 3rd when I had to look closely to make sure it wasn't the Washington Generals that had taken our place.

    by Ancientone on 2/26/2011 12:22 PM
  13. Fantastic game. To come back and win this one, after losing the last one in overtime, was just superb.

    MB: It appeared that Andre caught the rebound after the last missed shot by Denver, and yet his stats remained at 9 rebounds. Even if he misses the triple-double, couldn't he at least get credit for a double-double?

    by RemoteFan on 2/26/2011 12:45 PM
  14. Awesome win...I honestly sat back in my chair after Afalo made that 3 with what 2 min left, and was like..."thier is the nail in the coffin"...I was so upset...were going to lose another game to a rival and very important one. Nope...Broy was amazing..Rudy made a very hard 3...LA got his free throws to redeem himself of the missed ones vs Lakers...and we pulled out of there with a win!!! WHEW lol

    Its still gonna be kinda tough when we face big teams without Marcus. GW will help...but we still need guys close to 7ft in there to give you inside presence. While I agree that Roy's Minutes need to stay low...15 is dam low IMHO...I think Broy can play 20 solid min and still be good, but whatever. Better safe than sorry.

    Awesome for Kevin Durant to say that...I really think he is a very classy player..doesnt say much, but does say the right things...Loved it when he called Bosh a punk, said hes now acting all "tough" because hes a Heat player lol..so true. Imagine Durant,LA,Roy,Miller,Batum,Mathews...oh my..with that line up a Prys would be enough for center. Okies..back to reality...

    I dont know what to think of OKC yet..I wouldnt say were going to jump in front of them, keep in mind they did lose to Orlando..but thats without 3rd leading scorer Green, and who they traded for-Perkins&Robinson. So they were short handed...Perkins is gonna add that gritty inside defense and scoring..I think if anything, their better than they were before, I honestly think they made a move that can help them move further into the playoffs. But we shall see..If the Blazers can get the #5 spot, then Ill be very happy.

    by whitefeather21380 on 2/26/2011 1:18 PM
  15. That game tying 3 by Roy was so Brandonesque. Welcome back Brandon. As you said Mike, interior help is on the way. Wallace will make his debut and Marcus should be ready to return as well. Let's keep this roll they're on going.

    by blazerdarren77 on 2/26/2011 1:19 PM
  16. whitefeather21380, before you read what I have to say, understand I'm an Oden fan. But also understand that I could sit here all day and explain that (if healthy) Oden would have been the correct pick. He's also the same age as Durant (maybe a bit younger), and I highly doubt he'll need to have another knee surgery that's kept him out for 2 seasons. However, Durant on this team would mean no Batum, no Mathews, no Wallace, and probably no LaMarcus 2.0. Also, I would still say Roy is a better scorer (if he can continue to show vintage Roy) than Durant. And lastly, Durant would not get as many shot opportunities in Portland as he does in OKC.

    All I can say is stop dreaming, and start predicting. The real future is the 2nd round at least. The real future is getting a championship very soon, especially with Duncan, the Celtics, and PJ retiring. With Brandon back, the Wallace trade, and Greg Oden coming next season, it's Championship time. Let's just pray the injuries stop. I have high hopes that they will.

    Miller
    Roy
    Wallace
    LaMarcus
    Oden

    Championship team. Also don't forget we get JP and E-Mail next season as well.

    by Herr on 2/26/2011 1:50 PM
  17. we don't need to talk about starting line ups that aren't going to happen this year. broy had one good game but he needs to keep this up along with staying healthy. I am glad he is back and showing signs of broy of old but he should stay around 20 min a game and come of the bench aleast till the playoffs . i like the crash pick up. go blazers

    by Miller on 2/26/2011 2:57 PM
  18. Hg: No, my idea of how the West shakes out isn't really any different. I still think it's extremely unlikely we catch the Thunder, especially since they picked up one of the best centers in the league (as long as he stays healthy). And neither Denver nor Utah look like they will fall off even as much as I thought they might. So in all honesty, I think things remain about the same. Time will tell though.

    Try to keep in mind that BRoy may not be able to sustain this. He may have to sit out again. That's why management of his knees and playing time is so important. Also, with all the injuries we've had this season and last, I will not breathe easily until we make it to the second round without another injury, even a minor one.

    Btw, in case you missed it, Joel will not be back with us this season. He is going to give it a go in Charlotte. Can't blame him. Who wouldn't want to play for Jordan?

    by SisillaRiann on 2/26/2011 3:08 PM
  19. Well we need to pick up a center Joel will be staying the cats town. We will miss you Joel dont retire until your back with us you should retire from here.
    any way for those stat people out there here is a list of D league centers might be worth a look.

    Marcus cousin 14.5 points 8.4 rebounds
    Sean Williams 14.4 points 9.5 rebounds
    Courtney sims 16.8 points 9.5 rebounds
    Drew Naymick 6.9 points 6.9 rebounds
    I done know if any teams own rights to these players just thought might be some good options

    by Avgjoe28 on 2/26/2011 3:41 PM
  20. Courney Sims is a two time MVP. I think he'd be a good fit.

    We could always Shavlik a buzz. I think he got waived in October.

    by 500Dogs on 2/26/2011 5:36 PM
  21. Thanks for the reply EowynAmarie.

    I thought Joel might at least stay with the Bobcats until the end of the season.

    by Hg on 2/26/2011 5:40 PM
  22. Herr........... I was dreaming...thats why I said back to reality. This is not my first rodeo man, my basketball iq is fairly decent and ive been playing and following basketball for 22 years now. YES Oden was the best decision at the time, we needed a center. And Im fan of the big fella, It killed me when he got hurt last year when he was really getting some confidence and playing very well. So yeah heres hoping that he can become a great center in this league.

    As for who we would have if we had Durant..guess that depends, we might still have Batum, nothing wrong with having another long arm forward..Mathews can play point,2 guard and sf..so he very well could be here too. BUT...what I will disagree with is Lamarcus 2.0....IF anything it would have been faster, not only are these close, and they played college ball together in Texas, but they also train together often during the off season, I could very well seeing Durant push LA to becoming better...thats my personal opinion...but anyways no more talk about that, cause thats not reality.
    I think with our current team now is looking good....2nd round is possiblity for sure..just take it 1 day at atime..we still lack that killer instinct that championship teams have, but were getting there. Were all in the same boat as Blazer fans, wanting our team to succeed. Got a pretty good Atlanta teaming coming in so lets take care of business.

    by whitefeather21380 on 2/26/2011 7:12 PM
  23. There's no way Roy is a better scorer than Durant lol. Especially now that he's not playing to his full potential like he was a couple of years ago. But that's irrellevent, he's a clutch performer that's been missed. Plus with Aldridge's emergence he won't need to take as many shots as before. I hope LA remains as aggressive and the number one option even as Roy gets more and more minutes, and then Brandon can pick his spots and step up when the team needs a play. There seems to be quite regular situations where the shot clock runs down and matthews or batum throws up a brick, so Roy is going to be really useful in these situations. Apparently we have the toughest schedule to close the season by some distance, but i remain posititve, the team has overcome so much already this year that i think they'll do it again and get a good position in the playoffs.

    by Becker24 on 2/26/2011 8:42 PM
  24. Maybe the weird way I saw this game has influenced me, but I don't see much reason for all the optimism that's flowing right now. I missed the adrenalin rush of the improbable come-back because I had to see the game on tape, then discovered the recording ran out with about a minute left in the game, then saw that there was a late ESPN replay at the same moment that I overheard a recap of how the game ended. So I had to stay up late to see how we did it, but I knew how it would end, so I never got that rush of joy that follows gloom. Lacking that mood bump, I'm feeling less than giddy.

    I was very happy with this team right after the Laker loss, but the trade has me baffled. Maybe it's because I don't really know much about Wallace; there are a lot of guys in the league who play in the east and have bland interchangeable name who I just can't get clear in my head. From the short descriptions and stats my first impression was "Jerome Kersey type." Which is certainly something valuable to have around, but on a team that already has Batum and Mathews and Roy I'm just not sure adding that kind of player is worth sending away every bit of your depth at center and power forward. I'm bummed that I'll have to wait until next year to (perhaps) see a line-up where a healthy Camby is backed up by a resurgent Pryzbilla; I like a solid anchor of big guys. I'll also really miss Dante. So I'll need to see something special from the new guy before I get my hopes up. Yes, we compensated for our lack of height for one game against a team missing a power forward and shockingly disinterested in crashing the boards or feeding their center. Does anyone really think that will continue?

    It felt to me during the game like we now have a bunch of talented guys who no longer fit together as neatly as they did, and the fact that they played hard and got lucky at the end of the game doesn't convince me that things are looking up. I had this penciled in as a game we should win, and as it was we stole a game we probably should have lost. I'll take it, but I'm still left wondering whether this trade was really a clever ploy to sabotage the team and get us a lottery pick. Oh, wait, we gave away draft picks too, so even that doesn't work. I just don't see how we can hope to advance in the playoffs without a true center and a back-up for center and power forward. I don't see any short-term advantage to having to readjust rotations to accomodate one new player and one returning from injury, while dealing with some big new holes that have to be filled by guys playing out of position. We had a team that really meshed, and maybe we'll have that again, but right now we're facing four games in a row we really need to win in order to have a cushion for the next hard road trip. Sweeping those games while busily trying to plug holes and a find new groove seems unlikely to me. I love these guys and have confidence we'll eventually work something out, but right now I'm much less optimistic about our chances to improve playoff position and win a first-round series. Here's hoping Camby is back very soon, so the lack of big men goes back to merely "troubling" instead of the current setting of "ridiculous," and that Gerald Wallace comes out on Sunday and shows me the big plus that will somehow compensate for those missing back-up bigs.

    by Islander on 2/26/2011 10:49 PM
  25. Islander, shame you missed the game, because that was indeed an adrenaline pumping game when it was live. I was sitting on my couch watching the game and nearly screamed "Wow he made that" on Roy's 3 point attempt. All I can say is I was blogging until 2am before people stopped talking because of the hour. But again, I'm a fan that's always looking forward.

    That being said, I'd much rather fix a long term problem than a short term problem. People tend to forget that Greg Oden has had two season ending surgeries that, from my knowledge, cannot happen again. I've also read that his knees are getting better, and are more structured than before. Most people don't give Oden any hopes, but I am a fan that never gives up on him, especially when he's still only 22 years old and full of potential. Also, most people forget about Jeff Pendergraph as well, who was waived to make room, but has been with the Blazers constantly, and talks as if he's still on the team and the Blazers talk to him as if he's still on the team. He's been on Talking Ball, the pregame shows, the post game shows, and all those good stuff. So, we have Oden, Camby, Pendergraph, and likely Joel next season. I'm not sure if you plan on winning a championship this season, but I'll just break the news now, it's not going to happen, so I'd much rather the Blazers do this trade, get someone very valuable, give away draft picks that we don't need, and have the ability to resign the players we gave away.

    I'll admit I don't watch Wallace either, but the guy has shown to have the ability to score, rebound, and play great defense. He's the type of guy you want on a team that shuts down elite players. He's like a Ron Artest defender, who replaced Trevor Ariza (one of the keys for the Lakers in 2009). If the Lakers are willing to give up a player that made HUGE plays to win the Championship in 2009 for a Ron Artest player, I'm sure the Blazers can live with giving up Joel, Marks, Dante, and draft picks, especially when it's likely Joel will resign with the Blazers next season.

    The only thing I'm concerned about right now is the second round. Since I predict we'll go against OKC, we'll have 3 guys that can shut down Kevin Durant.

    by Herr on 2/26/2011 11:06 PM
  26. Islander,

    If we end up in the lottery, which I doubt, we still have our pick this year because we gave away NO pick this year and a future first round pick of ours protected for top 12 I believe.

    by mgb on 2/26/2011 11:48 PM
  27. Islander I for one know wallace verry well his game that is. He has been a player i have watched for about 4 years now. He is a guy most teams would love to have. I think this trade was unexspecte by the rest of the nba and I gaurantee the other teams in the west are a little worried now. Batum and Mathues are nice players but wallace is an even better defender than both of those guys and can put huge numbers up. He is the type of guy who will do the dirty work alot like dante but will fill the rest of the stat sheet up as well. He is a guy that can help us win a champion ship. We are still one piece short though i think. weather that be a better point gaurd or a better center is left to be found out. Any way just my two sense

    by Avgjoe28 on 2/27/2011 12:42 AM
  28. I made a thread on the message boards about how, on paper, the Blazers are better than the Lakers. We have a better point guard than LAL. We have a better powerforward and I'd take Wallace over Artest anyday. Also, it's still up in the air that talent wise Roy and Kobe are equal. Bynum also didn't play such a huge factor in their championship runs, and their bench? Deep, but not the deepest.

    We just need Oden healthy. JP, Oden, Camby, and Joel is a deadly deep center position. If the Blazers remain healthy, we're a championship contender. I think the Wallace trade has made this team an elite team. I'm with joe on the league being nervous about us. The Wallace trade got almost no media attention, but he may just be the piece we need.

    by Herr on 2/27/2011 2:13 AM
  29. Mr. Cho certainly gives no indication that Joel will be on the team next year. In fact Joel is on record saying that this is the first time that a GM told him that they wanted him, ever! That doesn't scream running back to the blazers to me. As for Pendergraph being an unofficial member of the team because he is a regular on "Talkin' Ball", maybe that means that Dwight Jaynes will suit up as our new center next year as well? And Roy being just as talented as Kobe? I need to start keeping a journal of all the homeristic remarks, that would make my Letterman top 10. Seems like, wait I remember, a mere week ago that fans were writing Roy's Epitaph. His headstone went something like this:

    Here lies a player,
    A natural we mourn;
    Even the naysayer,
    does not deny for why he was born;
    He came in with 80 million in riches,
    a dominance on the court;
    He left that court in stitches,
    a promise made, a dollar short;
    Rest in peace those 3-time all-stars,
    our thanks we give thee as our token,
    your flame's snuffed out, your knees bear scars;
    ' Nuff said now, the tribe has spoken.

    by Phi Slamma on 2/27/2011 9:22 AM
  30. this game ranged from elation to despair. in the absence of a true center, the guys really pulled together. it was a great and needed win.

    i don't think Brandon can maintain this kind of play at this point, but what i take away from it is that he still has it in him. we're not going to need him to be the clutch guy every night; we just need to know that he can during those games in which we really need him.

    i don't know about making predictions right now; the playoff race is just too tight. what i will say is that last week i predicted 49 wins for the season. going 16-8 the rest of the way puts us there.

    here's some news: as expected, Gerald will make his blazers debut tonight. the big news: Marcus will start! we're a little deeper now. look out, atlanta!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 2/27/2011 10:53 AM
  31. Haha, alright Phi, come talk to me next season if JP and Joel aren't Blazers.

    As for Roy being as talented as Kobe, I'm talking about the talent needed to win a championship. Where would the Blazers be now if they could make a basket in crunch time but failed to do so? At least 3 more wins, and I'm sure we'd still be on a win streak right now.

    by Herr on 2/27/2011 10:59 AM
  32. Kass,

    18-6, 51 wins.

    From the last I heard Camby is playing and Wallace is coming off the bench. At least that is a tweet from the Blazers from what I read on ripcitytwo.com

    by mgb on 2/27/2011 11:40 AM
  33. Should be a excellent game tonite. Atlanta is a pretty good defensive team so it might be low scoring. Can't wait to see Wallace play! GO BLAZERS!!

    by mgb on 2/27/2011 11:43 AM
  34. We need a backup center to finish the year.

    by Ancientone on 2/27/2011 12:11 PM
  35. I know I am supposed to hate OKC, but watching them handle the Lakers right now is just too much fun. Those fans are exactly like the fans in the RG, getting to their feet when their team is up a few points in a playoff intensity game :) Westbrook is lighting it up, man, he's fun to watch! I gotta say it again, the Blazers have almost no chance of catching these guys. If we get them in the first round....whoa....THAT will be a seriously intense and fun playoff series :)

    by SisillaRiann on 2/27/2011 12:36 PM
  36. OKC loss. That's good. Lakers supposedly are turning it up a notch. Their defense looks nice, but they showed OKC's weaknesses and barely won. As I said on my blog, LA has to go through 6th seed (likely Denver), Dallas, and the Spurs. Doubt they'll win the Championship this season.

    I think, at this point, the Bulls are going to be the darkhorse and reach the finals. I'm not liking the OKC-BOS trade for either team. Seems like it fixes long term problems for OKC, but not short term. They lost a huge scoring threat in Green, and today showed that if you shut down Westbrook and Durant (who had like less than 10 points combined in the 2nd half or so), their scoring will stall. Boston lost their best center, and I don't think Green or Nenad will fit in as well as they did in OKC.

    Will be interesting, but I see Portland in the second round against SAS. If we can beat San Antonio, we go against the Mavs. I'm seriously liking the Mavs chances against the Lakers. Mavs vs Chicago if we beat SAS likely. Spurs vs Chicago if we lose to the Spurs.

    Excited for the game tonight. Luckily there is a great game on ESPN before ours. Will be nice seeing Melo and Stoudamire lose and go "oh jeez, maybe we're overrated".

    by Herr on 2/27/2011 2:24 PM
  37. I have watched many videos of G-dub lately to see what kind of player he is and have discovered a player with Kersey-like passion and energy. In addition to being 1st team all-defense, his offensive averages are nearly on a par with Wesley right now. He averages around 9 rebounds per for his career and 1 block and 1 steal. Definietely a statistical upgrade even if you lump Joel and Dante together. I would agree with you however that we do need help with the center position, even if it's just bringing in a hacker to contribute 6 fouls on Bynum, Perkins, et al. Can't help wondering how Greg's and Jeff's rehab is going. Maybe the Blazers front office knows something we don't?

    by Just Tim on 2/27/2011 3:46 PM
  38. Herr: Yes, I'm really peeved that I missed the emotional lift of the win. I'm with you all the way on prefering long-term solutions, and I too want to believe that Oden will come back. However, I've reached the point where I will believe Greg can be healthy when I see him actually get through an NBA season. The argument that he has an underlying susceptibility to injury is hard to dismiss at this point. Long-term, the trade cost us some draft picks--I'm relieved to know that next season's pick is still ours--and swapped Cunningham for Wallace. I'm willing to accept that as an improvement, though wary because Wallace at 28 is several years older, poised right at the point where age-based decline begins. (Please, don't everyone snap back with lists of players who stayed great well into their thirties; if you look at players as a large group, instead of the superstars we focus on, most of them are gone by their thirties, and almost all, stars or not, have their best years in their twenties). But for a year or two the age factor probably won't hurt, so let's say the trade is an upgrade. My argument is that it's an upgrade at a position, small forward, that we're already using to play our surplus guards, while thinning us at the big positions, and that this will hurt us this year. No one seems to be offering any arguments to reassure me on this front. If Marcus is really back tonight and in decent form we'll probably be okay, but I really worry about the minutes Aldridge is playing, and as the trade gave away all his back-ups, I assume he'll keep playing over forty minutes a game from now on. That's a gamble, for the short-term and the long. Disrupted chemistry and confusion working out new rotations is a short-term danger, and so is the the danger that we'll be overwhelmed inside any time LA gets in foul trouble. We thinned our resources at positions where we were already thin, and that's worrisome no matter how good Wallace might be. I hope everything works out next year, but I don't yet see such a great long-term gain as to make me easy about the possible ill-effects over the next two months.

    by Islander on 2/27/2011 4:09 PM
  39. Careful Herr, I feel a bad episode of Tourette's Syndrome coming on. I don't mind if I'm wrong about Joel wearing red & black next year. As to your query whether we would have won a few more games if we had a clutch shooter, I concur. Somebody like Kobe you mean? :) Any player who carries a rape kit in their car has to be somebody that means business. Hey everyone makes a boo-boo now and then. If I can forgive Marv Alpert, I'll give Bryant a pass too. There's reason to be hopeful that Brandon can reinvent himself and become relevant to this team. I wasn't ready to jump off a bridge when he went down, and I'm not ready to jump on the bandwagon now that he's been activated. Besides, with you behind the reins, the wagon's Clydesdales are galloping way too fast for an arm-chair warrior like me to catch it.

    by Phi Slamma on 2/27/2011 4:51 PM
  40. Islander: we have two open roster spots. Pretty sure the front office has a plan of some kind for filling them both. Have heard they are already considering some big guys, including one waived by the Suns in December, Earl Barron. Just thought you might like to know that :)

    Phi: feisty, eh?

    Going to dinner to celebrate my 12th anniversary :) Hope to make it home in time for tipoff, lol!

    by SisillaRiann on 2/27/2011 5:44 PM
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