Follow Your Trail Blazers In Turkey
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  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 08/27/2010 2:25 PM

     The last Trail Blazers game was 120 days ago and the preseason is still more than a month away from starting. For those who can't wait any longer to see their Trail Blazers in action, have no fear. Starting on Saturday, the 28th of August, and running through Thursday, the 2nd of September, there will be a total of 19 preliminary games over in Turkey for the World Championships with distinct Rip City connections. Participating in the Worlds are Nicolas Batum representing France, Rudy Fernandez and Victor Claver playing for Spain, and Patty Mills doing the same for Australia.

    After fellow Frenchmen Tony Parker, Joakim Noah, and Mickael Pietrus decided to skip the Worlds in favor of rest and recuperation and up-and-comer, Rodrigue Beaubois broke his foot during practice, the onus now falls more heavily onto Nicolas Batum's shoulders. As Casey Holdahl put it, 'France's Loss Might Be Portland's Gain', due to the fact that the only other NBA regular on the French team is Boris Diaw, meaning much more opportunities for Batum to fine tune his craft.

    Finally in July of 2010, at the Las Vegas Summer League, Trail Blazers fans got to see Patty Mills in his element. Up until that moment, there were only box scores of his dominating NBDL performances and sporadic appearances late in games with the Blazers to judge him on. Although he doesn't start for the Boomers, keep a close eye on Patty as he gets a lot of run, acting as the team's sixth man scoring punch off of the bench.

    Rudy Fernandez and Victor Claver will be helping Spain in their attempt to defend their 2006 World Championships trophy. While he doesn't get a ton of court time, seeing Claver play live will give fans an insight to what his skill set could bring to the Trail Blazers down the road and it beats watching the same YouTube highlights over and over again. On the other hand, Rudy has been and still is a mainstay on the Spanish national team and without Pau Gasol for this tournament, his role should be magnified even larger. After an unwanted ending against USA in their friendly match, look for the Spaniards, and in particular Rudy, to come out with something to prove.

    Even though nothing beats seeing our guys, donned in the red, black, and white, playing in front of a packed house at the Rose Garden, watching their maturation and progression from the end of the season until now will be more than worth the urge to resist hitting the snooze button and rise out of bed to catch those early bird matchups.
    Click HERE for the times, dates, and TV schedule

    I'm most interested in seeing how Batum handles a bigger load and if Patty can continue to light it up in international competition. 19 games in 6 days, not a bad way to pass the time between now and October 5th! Who are you all looking forward to seeing play in the Worlds?
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