Who's Been Most Impressive This Preseason?
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 10/18/2010 1:34 PM

    Which Player Has Been Most Impressive This Preseason?
    LaMarcus Aldridge (7)
    Nicolas Batum (1)
    Dante Cunningham (4)
    Rudy Fernandez (24)
    Armon Johnson (3)
    Wesley Matthews (13)
    Other (2)
    Now that the preseason is about to wrap up and the regular season is nearly a week away, I think it's time to evaluate the players' performances and decide who's been the biggest surprise, most talented, or lived up to the hype, whatever criteria you'd like to use to determine who's been the most impressive. I realize there hasn't been any television for the games, but for the fans who have went to the home games live, listened to all of the contest's on the radio, or read the recaps the next morning, chime in with your opinion.

    LaMarcus Aldridge: 6'11 240 lbs University of Texas

    Preseason Stats: 5 games, 27.6 minutes, 18 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 blocks, .6 steals, 53.2% field goal, 77.4% free-throw

    The Case: Portland's leading scorer this preseason. Aldridge is playing a nice mix of inside/out. Against the Warriors, he used his size advantage to punish Golden State on the glass and score inside to the tune of 25 points. The game prior, he got to the line an impressive 14 times, making 12, against Utah.

    Nicolas Batum: 6'8 200 lbs France

    Preseason Stats: 5 games, 24.4 minutes, 10.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2 assists, .4 blocks, .8 steals, 52.5% field goal, 47.4% 3 point

    The Case: Throughout the first 4 preseason games, Batum was kind of absent, never playing more than 23 minutes and scoring more than 10 points. But something changed last Saturday against Golden State. Batum was involved in the offense, scoring off of cuts to the hoop, showing off his play-making skills with the ball in his hands, and of course, nailing those jumpers. In 35 minutes, Nico had 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists, showing everyone what he's capable of when called upon.

    Dante Cunningham: 6'8 230 lbs University of Villanova

    Preseason Stats: 5 games, 31.2 minutes, 10.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, .8 assists, .2 blocks, 2 steals, 56.1% field goal, 66.7% free-throw

    The Case: No player has been leaned upon more heavily since Pendergraph's injury than Dante, who has logged an incredible 31.2 minutes a night so far. Maybe the most consistent Blazer so far, Cunningham's back-to-back performance in Utah and Denver are signs that Dante is just scratching the surface. He posted 18 & 10 against Utah, then the following night backed it up with 15 & 10. For an undersized 4, he sure gets himself in the thick of all the action.

    Rudy Fernandez: 6'6 185 lbs Spain

    Preseason Stats: 5 games, 23.6 minutes, 13.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0 blocks, 2 steals, 48.8% field goal, 81.8% free-throw, 60% 3 point

    The Case: Rejuvenated is the best word to describe Rudy this preseason. He's logged double-digit scoring in every contest but one, where he scored 9, and has been absolutely deadly from beyond the arc. Shooting 60% from 3 is easily the best on the squad and tops in all the NBA for players who have attempted at least 20 treys. Also, his 18 makes from the land of 3 is best in the league. When the Blazers have been down early on, it has been the combo of he and Matthews who have brought the team back.

    Armon Johnson: 6'3 195 lbs University of Nevada, Reno

    Preseason Stats: 5 games, 12.4 minutes, 6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0 blocks, .6 steals, 55.6% field goal, 72.7% free-throw, 50% 3 point

    The Case: Armon's minutes have been sporadic at best this preseason, but when given time to show his skills, he's performed. On October 8th in Denver, AJ got 22 minutes and responded with 10 points. But his best outing was his last outing and he left a lastly impression on Rip City. Against Golden State, AJ received just 17 minutes but put together an amazing stat line: 14 points (5-8 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 assists & 0 turnovers. Not to mention his defense has been air tight every second he's been on the court.

    Wesley Matthews: 6'5 220 lbs Marquette University

    Preseason Stats: 5 games, 19.8 minutes, 12.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2 assists, .2 blocks, .2 steals, 48.8% field goal, 81.8% free-throw, 40% 3 point

    The Case: It didn't take long for Wesly to let it be known he has game. In the 3 preseason games where he played more than 20 minutes, he was the best Trail Blazer on the floor, scoring 21,20, and 16 points in those contests. Beyond the surprising offensive game, Wesley's mark on this team has to be his attitude, defensive intensity, and approach to the game. If the preseason is any indication, Wesley is going to be getting a lot of time on the court, even crunch time.

    I am a fan of
  1. Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 10/18/2010 1:47 PM

    I have been impressed by all the choices. But the fact that Dante is playing undersized, gives him the win in my book.
     It is getting hard to have a favorite Blazer.
    I am a fan of scrapping !
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 10/18/2010 1:55 PM

    I had to go with Wesley, but Rudy came in a close 2nd. Wesley is just so much better than advertised. I am finally comfortable with our starters taking time off, because he's on the bench. He's proven he's not a one-trick pony (defense) but has a surprisingly good offensive repertoire. He actually reminds me a lot like Brandon. A player who was a 4 year college guy, whom people didn't think had much or any room to grow at all, but he just keeps improving.
    I am a fan of
  1. I''m OUT!
    I''m OUT!
    Posts: 1059

    Posted 10/18/2010 2:03 PM

    Wesley has been the most impressive. The biggest surprise considering the circumstances is Rudy. I think maybe he has finally gotten over his Ariza back injury psychologically. I really think that was the biggest reason for his sub performance last year, and then wanting to be traded towards the end didn't help either. But he seemed to play the same at the beginning of FIBA and then turned it on the last couple games there and hasn't quit since.
    I knew Dante could do that, he seems to do that whenever he gets the minutes. Lamarcus... I just wish he'd rebound more, but I like that he is at least going towards the basket a little more, and it sounds like he is being more aware on D, but we won't know until we're into the season. Nic hasn't been getting minutes and Armon, so far I like what I've seen from his attitude to his performance when he gets the chance. If he had the same minutes as last game all pre season and performed the same way I would have said he is the most impressive. Lovin the defensive mindset though. that's what I like about Nic, Wes and Arm.
    I am a fan of comcast and the blazers making deals that keep screwing us over!! woot!
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 10/18/2010 2:03 PM

    As much as it pains me to say it, it's Rudy. I've wanted him gone, but his 3 point shooting is going to bail us out. And if we are hurt by injuries, he's more than capable of filling in. I only wish he was shooting last year, like he is now. I am still reserving the right to clap for him after his comments but as long as the ball goes in the net, I'm good.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. ChrisRozwod
    Posts: 28

    Posted 10/18/2010 3:19 PM

    Wesley is a beast. Total monster all around. He's blown me away, though, admittedly, I had pretty conservative expectations. 

    What's more is that I think his attitude and intensity are going to be as important as his playing. Such a great influence to have on everyone. He's going to win some games for us that we wouldn't have won last year. He plays the way I wanted Martell to play. That doesn't make me a jerk, does it?

    I am so ready for the season to start.

    Runner up goes to Joel for the sudden burst of progress. We might not have only one center for very long. 
  1. McLegend
    Posts: 89

    Posted 10/18/2010 3:34 PM

    I had to vote for Rudy. I honestly thought he was going to sit himself out until he got out. I'm starting to have mixed feelings about him leaving now. I can forgive him for his actions this summer as I'm sure a number of us had. But if he continues to play like this I can't imagine how much he could help. I really now hope if he does leave he just goes back to Spain because I do not want to see what he could do against us.
    I am a fan of making Kobe cry in the Western Conference Finals.
  1. JFWard
    Posts: 8

    Posted 10/18/2010 3:40 PM

    Very tough choice between LaMarcus, Rudy, and Wesley.  I went with LaMarcus because no one seemed to be giving him any love.  The guy seems to be bringing a different attitude this year.  Makes me wonder if Buck Williams is already rubbing off.  If LaMarcus can play tough and aggressive basketball this year, look out.
    I am a fan of not forgetting about the intangibles.
  1. Belphegor
    Posts: 7

    Posted 10/18/2010 5:59 PM

    Rudy all the way, hes been super good, knows how to handle the ball and finds his people for easy shots, has been dangerous from the 3 point and is the only gourd getting lots of rebounds. In my opinion, I think he should start and bench BRoy.
    I am a fan of Rudy!
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 10/18/2010 6:32 PM

    Dante leads the team in boards during this preseason.
    He's got my vote, for gettin' his dirty work and hustle going.
    We will need a lot more of that as the season progresses. 
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 10/18/2010 6:36 PM

    That photo of Dante up there is HILARIOUS!!
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 10/19/2010 12:20 PM

    He threw down HARD on Arthur. By the way, I don't think anyone really helped themselves last night after that performance.
    I am a fan of
  1. GuitarJ111
    Posts: 167

    Posted 10/19/2010 12:37 PM

    I agree with Kim, Its getting very hard to choose a favorite Blazer!  I still love the fact that we dont have any thug lifers.  All appear to be good guys.  I think LaMarcus is sick of being called a softy, so he has really been stepping it up.  Dante, working hard as always!!  Rudy, well Im just as surprised as everybody when it comes to him.  I hope he keeps it up!!  Wesley, super excited he is on our team this year - huge difference in our bench now! Batum, love him and his hard work as always.  AJ, would love for him to beat out JB for back up PG.  
    So, I may not have answered the question directly...lol but those are my thoughts ;) 

    I am a fan of the Blazers once again, rising above all odds and injuries!
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 10/19/2010 4:10 PM

    I think sooner or later the Blazers are going to have to make key decisions about player personnel. We have 3 good point guards and can only play 2. Who's the odd man out? Certainly not Armon since he's the cheapest. Is it Bayless because he hasn't learned how to become a true point yet or is it the expiring contract of Miller?

    Then we have a lot of swingmen: Rudy, Wesley, Babbit, and to an extent Dante. With Roy and Batum taking up a glut of minutes at the 2 & 3...I'm not sure we have enough PT to go around.

    Those key decisions could determine our season.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 10/19/2010 6:08 PM

    Agree someone will have to go at some point, it may not be this season. I'm pretty sure Rudy will not sign another contract.
     Then imo, its going to be Rex that goes. I <3 his fire, but he does not look natural to me at pg, he wants to score.  I admire how hard he has worked. But imo,  AJ will take Dre's spot , before Rex does. I think Rex has to much talent to be happy as a back up here his entire career.
    I am a fan of scrapping !
  1. TayC
    Posts: 1804

    Posted 10/20/2010 2:19 PM

    Posted By GuitarJ111 on 10/19/2010 12:37 PM
     I still love the fact that we dont have any thug lifers.  

    (sigh)..........so unnecessary.....

    I have to Say Mr Fernandez has got some Brass ones. He goes out and puts his neck on the chopping block before the preseason, all summer is running a muck throughout the rose garden, saying how much he wants to leave, or how he'd rather sit his contract than play. His head is just so unbelievably far from basketball, and yete he is able to produce the way he did. WOW, thats a great athlete. I have, on more than once occasion, dismissed rudy from this team, and NBA for all i cared, but to see numbers like this, from a guy like him, who said some of the things he said, its just a complete turnaround. I truly believe, that he can help this team out, more so early on this season, while the bigs are trying to recuperate, his size and scoring ability should help the blazers significantly. Especially if their forced to play somone like babbit, a rookie, who's 6'7, at center. Ha, he'll be a professional croquet player before that happens.
    I am a fan of The Blazers ♂, the £-Train, and of course, The ¤ King. ™
  1. BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 10/20/2010 2:35 PM

    All six of those guys have played well this preseason showing something new or improving on their game. I voted DC but could of gone with Wes, DC is putting up the stats but he's also doing the little things that don't show up in the box score every night. Portland fans love and respect a player that can do that.
    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
  1. GuitarJ111
    Posts: 167

    Posted 10/21/2010 3:01 PM

    Posted By TayC on 10/20/2010 2:19 PM
    Posted By GuitarJ111 on 10/19/2010 12:37 PM
     I still love the fact that we dont have any thug lifers.  

    (sigh)..........so unnecessary.....

    Oh TayC - You never quit do you?   Sorry I bothered you with my comment.  lol
    I am a fan of the Blazers once again, rising above all odds and injuries!
  1. kenny c.
    kenny c.
    Posts: 418

    Posted 10/21/2010 3:52 PM

    1. Rudy has made me eat my words by his play. Now, if his words could go along with his play everyone could be happy.
    I am a fan of Winning
  1. mario250775
    Posts: 197

    Posted 10/24/2010 12:01 PM

    first place :  Rudy , after all this bad rumors He suprice me not only with good statistics but most with confidence in his play. second : Wesley, everybody knows he has potential and determination and he prove this in this few matches definitely. third : LaMarcus - Ieading scorer, I am waiting for the first game of the season to see How strong We are ,  GO BLAZERS !
    I am a fan of Portland Trail Blazers, RIP CITY !!!
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