mikebarrett

Mar 04

It was a familiar scene, with familiar frustrations, that ended with an all-to-common result- a loss.  Afterward, the post-game comments were the same as they've been following the tough defeats during this stretch.  It was all about getting off to a slow start, coming out flat, falling behind by double figures, and how things have to turn around quickly if this team wants to salvage the season.

Give credit to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who beat the Trail Blazers for the first time at the Rose Garden since 2005.  It was their first win over the Blazers anywhere since 2007- a losing streak that had climbed to 16 games.  But, that's over now, following Minnesota's 122-110 victory at the Rose Garden.

They followed the scouting report perfectly.  I'm sure it says something about hitting the Blazers hard in the mouth off the opening tip, getting them in an early hole, and then details how to spend the final three quarters keeping them down.  Minnesota certainly succeeded at the first part that.  

The Timberwolves are a pretty good offensive team, but not a great one.  In the first quarter of this game they looked like the Miami Heat.  They shot 68 percent from the field, hit 8 of 10 three pointers, and scored a whopping 40 points.  This, from a team that averages 97 points per game.  The Trail Blazers were flat-footed, not rotating to open shooters, and it looked like pre-game warmups for the T-Wolves- except they don't hit that many shots in warmups.  

I'd go through and detail the final three quarters of this game, but it's probably not necessary. This game was about the start, and those first 12 minutes.  We've said that a lot this season.  

The Trail Blazers did rally back, and actually took a lead in the second quarter.  It looked for a second like they had dodged an early bullet and would pull themselves together and perhaps even extend their winning streak over this Minnesota team.  But, this is the NBA.  If you let a team come into your building and do whatever they like right from the start and build a big lead, you then have to play perfect basketball to rest of the way to charge back.  

It was another of the nights where the Trail Blazers looked surprised that an opponent would come out hungry, like sharks smelling blood in the water.  Guess what?  That's what happens when word gets out that you're struggling.  No one feels sorry for you.  And, the Trail Blazers should have known that Minnesota would be plenty motivated from the opening bell.

The proper way to deal with that?  Remind them that they are playing in your building, and that you've beaten them 16-straight times, and that streak is not about to end.  Start the game with energy, enthusiasm, and scrappy play.  We did see that, which was nice, but it didn't start until Portland was trailing by 14.  By that point, the Timberwolves were shooting 70 percent, were brimming with confidence, and you were dealing with a huge problem.

For the game Minnesota shot 60 percent from the field, and posted a season-high 122 points. Again, this team averages 97 per game, and you let them beat their average by 25 points, on your own home court.  

Before the game we were talking a lot about Kevin Love, and how he had never really had a good game against the Blazers in his hometown.  Give him credit, he certainly has now.  He scored 42 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and stayed in until the very end trying to bag a new career high.  They not only wanted to end their losing streak, but were out to embarrass the Blazers.  These teams play again on Wednesday in Minnesota.  Perhaps the Blazers will remember this, and will use it as motivation.  

For the first time, in a long time this late in the season, the Trail Blazers find themselves below the .500 mark.  Unlike last season, when they also got off to a slow start, there isn't a lot of time to get things corrected.  There is time, but it's running out quickly.  After a lot of the frustrating losses, especially at home lately, we've wondered if that was the loss that angers the Blazers and causes them to circle the wagons.  It hasn't happened yet.  And, now they've got one game left on this home stand before opening a brutal 7-game 13-day road trip back east.  Maybe a long road trip is what this team needs right now.

Next up, it's New Orleans on Monday.  Their game plan?  Hit the Blazers hard off the opening tip, get them down, and break their confidence.  It's yet another opportunity for the Blazers to respond.  Will they?

27 Comments

  1. I didn't understand all the hugs and kisses after the game. We play this team again in 3 or 4 days. I keep waiting for this team to get tired of losing and get mad. Where's the passion?
    As for the trade deadline. I hope nothing happens. A desperation move by a computer guru, a public relations executive and a room full of yes boys will not be a move in the right direction.
    Play the cards we have. If this trend continues play our young boys more minutes. Get them quality NBA floor time.
    Hire a GM, please.

    by Divotking on 3/4/2012 9:49 AM
  2. We can only hope Mike. I wasn't able to make it last night, but when I saw we allowed 40 points in the first, it told the story of where things were going to go. It was nice to see a rally, and gave me hope, but alas, it was only false hope, and yet another 4th quarter collapse.
    I'll be there Monday night, and lets hope we can still put this season together. A good solid win Monday over New Orleans, redemption in Minnesota Wednesday, and perhaps that will be enough to regain the confidence to pull out an upset win against Boston, NY, Chicago, and Indiana. We can hope Mike, we can hope.

    by blazerglen on 3/4/2012 9:57 AM
  3. They look like they've given up. They should. Get a good draft pick. Trade Wallace and Felton for Nash. Trade Camby for a draft pick.

    LaMacus needs a point guard. If we had Andre Miller, we'd have about 9 more wins right now. I remember you saying on the broadcast long ago that teams are often regreting trading Andre Miller. I wonder if anyone at all doesn't regret that, because if they don't, they're stupid.

    I remember I use to get disappointed when the Blazers played like this. I still do, but it's a strange feeling expecting disappointment. The playoffs are a dream. Let's face reality folks. Not this year. We've sat since the first loss against the Clippers wondering when this team would play a full 48 minutes and take every game seriously. It's not like what, 34 games down the road? It''s not happening this year. I'd be damned surprise if the Blazers make the playoffs this year.

    by Herr on 3/4/2012 10:20 AM
  4. Same cast, same effort, same result. To expect anything else appears futile

    by Ancientone on 3/4/2012 10:20 AM
  5. Hey Mike:
    I keep hearing Kassandra's posts over and over again, the Blazers need to play for 48 minutes, or at least more then half of a game. The Blazers seem to come out a few times a game and show they are serious only to crawl back in their shells and nap.

    Divotking:
    I don't fully agree with you, if something is broke and you can't fix it, sometimes it is better to acquire a new part. I am basically like you though, get the machine fixed oiled up and put it to the test; the malfunctions keeps reappearing and causes break downs.

    Felton isn't doing his job, and I am not sure if he ever will, but the problem is that he just doesn't get the job done and the Brass will probably not wait on the unknown. Sure his stats are higher then what he is playing, but that is in the past; at the present, he isn't close to that performance.
    GW, is a home warrior, but we need his energy game after game.
    Crawford is an off and on bench scorer.
    I think half of Wesley's problem is Felton not setting him up like Dre did.
    Camby hasn't been getting rebounds
    EW is getting better but is not there yet.
    Most of these problems are fixable as you have stated, but the one part that is not working that may fix the rest is Felton. True a new PG won't cure all our problems, but it would help everybody around him to be better.

    by Hg on 3/4/2012 10:35 AM
  6. Hg:
    I'm not saying it isn't broke. Not saying new parts wouldn't help. I just have lost confidence in management. At this point I'm starting to look farther in the future than the next game. Desperation is not the answer now.
    The players are the ones on the floor. They have lost the games. Play it out. Let the boys sink or swim.
    Hire a GM. Get some intelligent direction. Make someone accountable at the top.

    by Divotking on 3/4/2012 10:59 AM
  7. BLAZER 22.. LETS SUPPORT THEM THRU THICK N THIN. I AGREE WITH Hg. THEY ARE GROWN MEN..THEY WILL HAVE OFF DAYS. BASHING THEM DOESNT HELP.

    by blazer22 on 3/4/2012 11:06 AM
  8. In my humble opinion, what most believe is now what needs to happen. We need to sit Felton or put him on the block. 1-9 shooting is awful and not to mention he is not setting up his teammates for good plays. He is wreckless with his dribble and he is not in basketball shape. I would rather have Elliot in there...the guy has a smooth shot, and can grab some rebounds because he IS in shape a has jumping ability. Now, I love Wallace (when he is hustling) but why cannot this man jump??? He gets like just a few inches off the floor it seems and this results in losing out on rebounding and he get's his shots blocked all the time. He sometimes even just "looks" out of it...like he doesn't care or is bored. I don't know. I have always been a believer in sticking behind the team that you have but for the first time this year I feel really strong about needing a change...and that change right now would be bye bye Raymond. Yes...getting rid of Mr. Miller was another big Blazer blunder.

    peace out,
    daddy

    by daddylogan on 3/4/2012 1:02 PM
  9. Please God let the Blazers acquire a good point guard and get Raymond Felton out of Portland. He isn't happy, I'm not happy and I'm pretty sure Portland is unhappy as well. I want NASH.

    by Omalleyd3 on 3/4/2012 1:13 PM
  10. First off, I agree, if we had Miller, just that changes the game. We certainly have several more wins. Andre Miller was the straw that stirred the drink.

    I know a few of you want Nash. I like him. I think hes still good and even now a HUGE upgrade to Felton. But hes not the future, hes got 1-2 years left? Then what. UNLESS we can get him for rest of the year, and then Deron Williams after that. I really want Willams!..I want a long term awesome pg, I can dream cant I?

    Last but not least.... LMA- Talent wise he is one of the best pf's in the nba. But if hes going to be OUR guy..he needs to step up..too many games where were losing he kinda goes into the shadows. Hell get his 20 points but that doesnt cut it. We need that guy who goes hey give the ball to me, im going to be aggressive and get us back in it. I could go on but Ill leave this post fairly short.

    by whitefeather21380 on 3/4/2012 4:02 PM
  11. divotking, i wholeheartedly agree with your outlook on the season. stand pat and play it out. our needs go beyond a simple tweak here and there. we have no manager and no plan. we have paul allen and we have this team.

    just making the playoffs means squat. as a fan i'm not satisfied with that. what fun is it to not have a chance at winning the whole thing? this team does not care as a collective group. they'd all like to win but they aren't playing together.

    have no real point guard to lead the team is killing us and guys have shut mcmillan out. it's time to think, is nate the coach of the future? this team certainly isn't.

    i'm glad wallace didn't sign the extension. i'm happy felton will be gone soon. i'm glad we'll have good options soon but all of that might be meaningless because we don't have a plan!!!!

    on a positive note, welcome back my man pryz! if only the rest of the team has the same heart we'd be contenders.

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 3/4/2012 5:04 PM
  12. There was a sign at the game, right across from you Mike, that read "LA or Love, who wants it more?" We got that answer loud and clear -- Love dominated the game. He even fouled LA out with his aggressiveness on offense.

    If Martell Webster had rebounded like that when we had him, he'd still be a Blazer. That's one problem with drafting out of high school, or even one-and-done in college, it may take more years than a team is willing to wait for very young players to develop. There are exceptions of course, Kobe and LeBron come to mind, but it's still mostly a crapshoot.

    I hope the team isn't showcasing Elliot Williams as trade bait. He's been getting minutes lately that used to go to Nolan Smith. Trading EW at this point would be way too premature -- the guy could turn out to be a very good player for any years.

    We love you Joel -- please stay healthy!
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 3/4/2012 6:36 PM
  13. Yeah good point about Elliot Williams, I too do not hope the Blazers are showing him off to the league for a future trade, unless of course we get top notch player. But none of this Felton+Williams+Wallace for Steve Blake stuff lol! I know that sounds crazy, but the Blazers front office makes me wonder sometimes.

    DWill went for 57 points today..dammm..wish we had him..Ill take Rondo..Hes got a attitude sometimes, but maybe that wouldnt hurt on this team..and we know hes wayyy better than Raymond.

    by whitefeather21380 on 3/4/2012 7:42 PM
  14. One thing to think about...who wants to come over here and play with this mess...Im sure word gets around in the nba. If its nate..or the program whos to say..but everyone knows something is up here, and it needs a shake up. But who wants to jump in the fire here from another team?

    Wishes- Allen sells team to a intelligent hardcore rich basketball fan.
    We get a real GM and team President.
    We hire ninjas to smuggle POP out of San Antonio, becomes head coach of Blazers. We keep LA,Batum,Mathews,*maybe* Crawford,rookies and goodbye to the rest. Oh and I want NHL here too...Ok end of rant/

    by whitefeather21380 on 3/4/2012 7:53 PM
  15. Well, I guess we are ok at SF (Batum) and PF (LaMarcus). Kind of solid on SG (Matthews), but otherwise we are flawed. I always had this team's back, I liked Felton before, and I liked the shape of this team, but we need to shake things off, and here's my 2 cents:

    PG- Nash or Rondo, mabbe Curry (who knows). I'd love Rondo, he's the future. We may want Steve Blake back again, why not?

    SG- Monta Ellis. He's one of my favourite players, and one of the most talented and underrated on the league. it may be hard but one of the SG's on NYK would be good too. They have an awfull lot of guards, and who knows if they would like to trade Landy Fields or Iman Shumpert? I know they're fan favourites and good with the team, but as I said, they have too many guards on their rotation...

    SF - We're good. But why not dream of a good and cheap backup? We may want Dante Cunningham or Martell Webster or even Travis Outlaw back, who knows. I like Rhyno and Chris Johnson, if they can play the SF at least we'll have some effort there.

    PF - We're good. LaMarcus needs time and support, not bashing. He's a grown man. His backups (Rhyno and Chris Johnson) can handle well.

    C - Guess praying for Oden to get good is too much to ask. We could try and swing for Chris Kaman, and try our best to mantain our old vets Camby and Pryz. I don't know any other good or even second-string center available out there... :S And obviously we may lose Camby if we trade for any other quality big man, but I guess sooner or later we may have to, anyways.

    Well, imagine if Blazers had the money and were a team that all players would want to go to (like the Heat right now), and we could have:

    Rondo, Ellis, Batum, LaMarcus and Kaman. Would be a nice starting lineup, right? Let's say we get Williams or Patty MIlls, Matthews, Webster, Rhyno and Pryz as second squad. I guess they could well handle themselves, and at least fight and scrap on every single possession.

    That's my 2 cents here. But since we may not have money or assets to make this happen, and Portland may not be the most inviting team in the league (the city and fans are A+, but as some other post said, we may scare players because of our current GM and Standings situation, and our own confused team-indentity, right now), I can only dream of that.

    by Tiago Torigoe on 3/5/2012 6:49 AM
  16. Oh, and sorry the double post, but I was having this conversation with my friend (about dreaming of that lineup I said on the previous post) and he was saying that "that's too good to be true, to any team" and etc.

    Well, Rondo is great in my opinion, but barely made to the All-Star team. Ellis never made, I think (though he is underrated and on a losing team always), and Kaman was All-Star only in 2008 (if I recall), so... It's not like we would be shaking the grounds of NBA like Miami Heat did, but yes, it would be a dream come true to assemble so many good-but-not-elite players on one team (LaMarcus and Rondo may be the only considered almost Elite there, Ellis and Batum have the talent but need to prove theirselves more).

    by Tiago Torigoe on 3/5/2012 6:56 AM
  17. can you say washington wizasrds? this game reminds me of that one. we used to be one of the best defensive teams in the league, but now we're awful on the defensive end. we didn't really lose defense over the off-season and, in fact, we added Joel now to shore up the middle. something is still missing though. it could be leadership from the players or the coach. i'm not sure.

    i am sure i don't like this notion that the guys have given up. i'd like that to just be rhetoric, but i fear it is not. what we lack is continuity both on the floor and in the locker room. we've assembled a team who commonly don't play like a team. i'm not one to go around throwing names out there (i.e. we should get this guy or that guy).

    our structure is out of whack. our owner seems unclear of his intentions, our general manager is a huge problem (despite remarks to the contrary, it seems very obvious that he is partly responsible for the "lack of communication" problems which led to Cho's firing), our gm is ... well, we don't have one; not a full-time one at least (our last five draft picks have been guards -- Patty, Elliot, Armon, Nolan, Jon -- not countingLuke for whom we traded or the Congo guy who was traded). the team on the floor is reflective of the "team" in the front office.

    and how about that stellar officiating the past two games (insert sarcasm font here). is it just me or has nba management all but given up denying it anymore? superstars get the calls (apparently, Love has been promoted by the league as an official, full-blown superstar now). the miami game was worse even. i've watched the nba as an optimist, hoping that one night; just one night, my team will be the best team on the floor in a farly officiated contast. right now, i have zero confidence that will happen any time soon.

    i'm not saying the blazers won't be the best team on the floow; i'm merely saying that it's obvious the league has no intention of letting a small-market team make any significant noise. it laughs as small market teams watch elite players from around the league choose their highly populated destinations. it laughs when a goaltend call costs a small-market team a win against an opponent featuring one of the league's biggest superstars (oh, the league admits the mistake, but says there's nothing that can be done about it. and finally, the league instructs its officials to call certain games in favor of some superstars and some big markets.

    what am i leading to? i'm leading the fact that i have become so extremely weary about the league and how it's run, that i am very very close to saying goodbye to the nba, period. why get my hopes up each night when i know for damn sure this league is crookedly rigged. i know, some of you don't want to hear about it, but prove it's not true. just prove it.

    when i say goodbye (following tonight's game is likely going to be my last), it will not be because i don't love my blazers. let's make that clear right now. these guys represent my home town and have represented it well. the problem is that i can't bear to watch these guys play for futility any more. it's the league and it's warped sense of what me, the customer, wants to see.

    the blazers, as they are, need some work; we all know that. if the nba were a legitimate professional sports league, i would have patience with that process. however, i can no longer blindly follow a league which has insulted my intelligence and never earned my respect.

    this won't be the last you'll hear; just the last for a while.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 3/5/2012 1:35 PM
  18. YOU PICK A FINE TIME TO LEAVE ME KASSANDRA;
    Actually, i hear you loud and clear, It is almost like watching pro wrestling with a chosen winner. Then watch the super studs prance around with their big muscles flexed.

    There definitely is bias and it really shows in this shortened season.
    At the first of the season they were letting everybody play and we won our share, but it soon got to be crunch time and the old NBA showed up.

    by Hg on 3/5/2012 2:29 PM
  19. I haven't posted on here in a long time, but there's a few things I've just got to get off my chest. I've been watching this team all season, and bottom line, they simply aren't playing up to their full potential in nearly every position. And I suspect it's a coaching issue more than a player issue, although point-guard play is definitely a contributing factor. But then that could be looked at as a coaching issue as well.

    On a positive note, Batum is finally living up to his potential. LA, Camby, Kurt Thomas, and now Pryzbilla are all giving what I would have expected. But where is everybody else? Even Gerald Wallace (who was a game changer) last season aren't playing like they did. Matthews started the season in a shooting slump, as many shooters throughout the league did. But after 30+ games and some pretty solid shooting efforts here and there, he looks like he's sleepwalking through the game most of the time. Felton and Crawford have, overall thus far, been disappointments, at least for me, and yet at times they have shown some great potential. We know they're talented players, so what's going wrong?

    At the start of the season Nate talked about wanting to get out and run more, and when they were able to do that, they were largely successful. But then they mired in a few half-court games and now it seems like that's all they really play. And they are not a good half court team. They simply aren't built that way. But they can be a good running team, if they knew how to get that run game started properly.

    The hugely successful running teams all had a few things in common. Aside from being good offensively, they were also very good defensively, particularly in defending the paint and closing on 3 point shooters. They also were very good rebounding teams. Lastly they had a group of guys who could get down the court in a hurry and a point guard who knew where his teammates were at all times.

    That sounds like an awful lot to ask for a team, but really, the Blazers have a lot of those things already. They have a team that can get up and down the floor, they have a team that could, if properly coached, defend and rebound very well. They've got length and some very good defensive players. Where they seem to be lacking is in point guards who can make good decisions with the ball and know where their teammates are. Their defensive rotations, paint defense, and efforts on closing on 3 point shooters are laughable.

    So what do we do to fix this? Here's my ideas, and I know they probably won't be popular with some fans here, but I'm also trying to look realistically at what can be accomplished this season and look to future seasons.

    First off, write off this season, stick a fork in it, it's done. Tank it. Just continue to play defense the way the last few games have been played, and you'll finish the season in April without a playoff berth which will get you into the draft lottery. Maybe not a really high pick, but odds are good we'd end up picking somewhere in the 10-15 range. Fire Nate McMillan. He's murder on point guards, can't coach defense to save his own skin, and he's never going to get this team where it needs to be to go deep into the playoffs. Go out and hire a defensive minded coach who's good with point guards as well. There's gotta be some out there.

    Next...lineup changes:
    Starters:
    1: Raymond Felton (if he can get his act together, otherwise find a new pg)
    2. Matthews (Crawford has shown in the past he's more comfortable coming off the bench, so let him do that).
    3. Nic Batum (Again this is mainly because it seems Wallace plays better off the bench)
    4. LA (was there ever any doubt)
    5. Pryzbilla (give Camby some much needed and earned rest)

    Bench rotation:
    This is where McMillan really shoots himself in the foot. The Blazers have 10 very quality players. But currently we don't use them all. And Nate insists on playing players out of position. He seems stuck in an 8 (somtetimes 7) player rotation and that's just not going to work well in the long term. Here's the other guys that should be getting at least 15-20 minutes every game: Camby, Crawford, Wallace, Nolan Smith, Chris Johnson (at the 4, not 5). Kurt Thomas would be on that list, but because of his age he's better used as a bail-out guy if your other bigs start getting into foul trouble. From there it's just a matter of seeing who's got the hot hand on any given night, and ride that player until they go cold or ask to come out.

    Anyway, this has gotten a bit long-winded, sorry. But those are my thoughts and fixes. I don't have a lot of hope for this season, but it's not too early or too late to start looking forward to next season.

    by soulseeker on 3/5/2012 3:18 PM
  20. Regarding what Kassandra wrote. Yes the nba is a messed up league when it comes to star status and refs calling fouls. Its been like that for several years now, its just getting worse. You dont hear announcers talk about it alot, it pops up now and then, but it is basically the pink elephant in the room.

    As fans we watch the games all the time, while we are not experts, we do understand what its takes for a foul to happen. If we see a star player get a break on a call or 2 every once in a while, then its like well maybe its nothing. But time and time again..game after game..year after year..you see that "star treatment"..it gets old and obvious real fast, and makes the nba look pretty sad. It seems the more drama a player becomes, the most he complains and whines, the more calls will go his way. Thats just absurd, you should be calling the game on complete fairness, and not because well Lebron James gave me bad look so I better make sure he goes to the free throw lane 20 times tonight...stupid.

    So yes I agree...think a lot of us can agree...because its super obvious night after night. Im not blaming our losses on that, just saying yes its another sh*tty thing going on in the nba.

    Big story right now is Blake and Felton....Steve Blake isnt the answer, but whatever well see. Honestly more I research this, the more I want to point the finger at Nate. On paper we got a very good team, these players are going we dont know whats going on! And were talking pro nba players..something is up..either Nates style sucks..or they dont respect him..And its the players fault too...but Nates gotta go. I feel stronger on that every day.

    by whitefeather21380 on 3/5/2012 4:00 PM
  21. Whitefeather:

    I went to the frig for a wine cooler, and ended up drinking a four pac while reading Kassandra's post LMAO.

    by Hg on 3/5/2012 5:25 PM
  22. @Hg: i'm not so much leaving you or anyone else here. i will be spending more time elsewhere is all. the league's actions have been boiling for me for a very long time. this is no reflection on my friends here and on twitter, nor those such as MB who have been a beacon of information about the blazers over these past years. this is something i just feel i need to do. heck, pretty soon, you'll be saying "hey whatever happened to what's-her-name ... hmm, what is her name anyway?" the truth is, i'm about to begin my second major at school, i've got to start sorting through law schools, need to pay some more attention to my business (well, i own 4.5% of it), and i've got a fiance three hours away i have to do a better job of seeing. in other words, i have no shortage of things going on in my life already. you already know the other means there are to contact me.

    @Whitefeather: i've been aware of the nba's lack of objectivity when it comes to playing favorites for quite a while. in the past it's something i've been able to get past, but it has gotten so obvious and so horrible lately that the thought of watching or listening to something which has that nba logo attached to it makes me sick. to be honest, i'm surprised i've stayed around as long as i have. due to my parents, i am highly principled. i just don't think it's right to follow something when i have absolutely no respect whatsoever for the way it's run. i had hoped that when Stern retires, Silver would trend away from the current way the league is run, but i just have this haunting feeling that he'll be a chip of the old superstar/large-market block.

    @Hg & @Whitefeather: ha ha ha about the length of my post!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 3/5/2012 6:24 PM
  23. by dgpdx on 3/6/2012 7:06 PM
  24. @Kass: I agree that the NBA needs work, particularly when it comes to evening the playing field for small market teams, but, when you mention Love getting superstar calls, does that mean you consider Minnesota to be a large market?

    The league obviously considers their stars to be big income-producers and perhaps rightly so. But I was at the Minn loss Saturday and I didn't see any fouls called in favor of Love that weren't real fouls. As a long-time BB fan, what bugs me most is the way the NBA refs have changed the game by not calling travelling and carrying the ball nearly as often as it happens. At least four times Sat. I saw a ballhandler drag his pivot foot a few inches right in front of a ref. No call, of course. Either call the game by the rules or change the rules. The way it is now gives refs too much individual discretion over the game and some take advantage of that.
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 3/6/2012 10:44 PM
  25. The best way to make the NBA fair for small-market teams is to adopt the NFL model of revenue sharing and a hard salary cap. The players won't like it but it's for their own good in the long run.
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 3/6/2012 7:08 PM
  26. dgpdx;
    I agree. Some of the calls or no calls confuse me. I will say officiating a NBA is not an easy task. It is a fast moving game with highly skilled players. The dragging of the pivot foot or taking 4 steps to a dunk are calls that shouldn't be missed. Against NO I saw Gerald take at least 3 1/2 to a layin. No call.
    As far as small market teams having an unfair disadvantage, I don't buy it for two reasons. First, if a ref was keeping track of which team should be getting the more favorable calls he would be missing calls all night every night. He then would be looking for work. Second, if you want to blame your troubles on the refs then they are trouble. Play the game. Play through bad calls. Don't let the game be close enough for a bad call to change the outcome. If you do that officiating will be the other teams problem.
    We have all heard this argument before. The NBA wants Bostons and LA's to win. TV money too. Sure they would. Play the game. Win the game. Then you are king of the hill.

    by Divotking on 3/6/2012 7:38 PM
  27. @Divotking: I agree that refs in general aren't the ones hampering small-market teams. It's the league itself without revenue sharing and without a hard cap that does that. This is what allows rich teams to buy championships. Another factor is location. Paul Allen is wealthy enough to buy a great team -- if those kinds of players wanted to play in P'town. Not enough bright lights and publicity here though.
    --
    don

    by dgpdx on 3/6/2012 10:43 PM
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