Next Game, Utsh Jazz...
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  1. S. Diamond
    S. Diamond
    Posts: 22

    Posted 11/28/2009 4:27 AM

    After this recent thought provoking, yet awfully dismal performance in front of a near sell-out crowd (if I'm not mistaken, I don't have the attendance figures in front of me), we've seen a few things that are obvious: 1.) "El Machetero" is ice cold like a mike's hard lemonade! 0 for 3 behind the arc tonight and no steals? What gives? Normally he's better than this... Any ideas anyone? 2.) Martell Webster, going 6 for 10 from behind the arc (if I'm not mistaken), for 24 points! Impressive, since you don't generally equate downtown with Webster. He is more of a perimeter player, just not that far out in three point land. 3.) Blazers are roughly 22nd out of 30 overall in PPG (points scored per game). One word: Ouch. What do you feel the blazers need to do in order to get the freight train moving again in a more positive direction, in order to beat the Jazz on their turf? That 31-2 run from the first half of the first quarter through the rest of the first half is just un-excusable.
    I am a fan of Greg Oden getting healthy and shutting up his critics. Period.
  1. S. Diamond
    S. Diamond
    Posts: 22

    Posted 11/28/2009 4:30 AM

    *UTSH* should read, "UTAH". Pardon the typo.
    I am a fan of Greg Oden getting healthy and shutting up his critics. Period.
  1. BlazersFan702
    Posts: 2

    Posted 11/28/2009 7:48 AM

    Here's what I've noticed so far this season. This team is completely out of sync and looks stiff. I can't quite put my finger on it...maybe it's the heightened expectations...maybe it's the fact that BROY and LA got paid(doubt it)...maybe it's the addition of Miller and loss of Outlaw/Batum. Quite frankly what I see is the team leader is sulking a little bit and it is bringing the rest of the team down. It's becoming clear that Roy does not like playing without the ball and seems like a kid about to take his ball and go home. It's frustrating because last year I grew to love the guy and this team. I have confidence in their ability to turn it around but it's pretty clear things have changed. So we have to look at what's different from last year that would cause that change... 1. Loss of Outlaw/Sergio/Batum= Loss of instant(sometimes heartwrenching) offense/Loss of player able to play with and knows Rudy/Loss of arguably the teams best defender. This certainly is hurting this team's ability to succeed. 2. Lack of ANY running game. Blazers only seemed to run last night on completely busted plays. But when they were down there was no sense of urgency or energy. 3. The relative salaries of all the players has changed. Like it or not, that changes the dynamic. In order to turn this thing around, these players need to put aside any selfish thoughts about their game and play as a team...We saw it in the first few minutes of last night's game. For every made basket there was an assist and the team was rolling. If the team is going to run the pick and roll...they need to learn HOW TO ACTUALLY RUN IT. Gotta say...the best thing about last night was finally realizing that they dropped the beer prices from the beginning of the season.
    I am a fan of fun basketball...
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 11/28/2009 11:50 AM

    I really don't think Roy is the all.

    The problem is the offense, bottom line. We simply shoot too many jumpers at times and don't get enough easy buckets. Outside of Andre, what other perimeter guard is attacking the hoop? I have noticed Brandon isn't getting to the rim as much as he has in the past, and maybe that can be attributed to having Greg as a force down there. But we must start getting easier baskets and points in the paint. The ball really needs to go through Oden every single time down the floor. He'll either A) score off of a dunk or baby hook B) draw a double team and kick it out for an open jump shot or C) hit a cutter for an open layup. Greg is a willing passer out of the paint but we seem to have such a hard time getting him the ball and when we do, where are the cutters?

    It is still early though and I'm sure we will figure it out. Patience.
    I am a fan of
  1. S. Diamond
    S. Diamond
    Posts: 22

    Posted 11/28/2009 6:47 PM

    What I've noticed in the first 6 to 9 minutes roughly of the Jazz/Blazers game is that Webster, in his most recent dunk (when the dunk made it 17-7) is that the team seemed a bit nervous out there and out of sync, as if they feel like they're the next ones to end up on the unemployment line. I agree that Outlaw and Batum were certainly good contributors to the 2nd unit (Outlaw especially), but I'm not sure about Sergio Rodriguez. Certainly Rodriguez knows El Machetero better than anyone (since they both played in Spain) but that doesn't necessarily mean that Webster or Roy can't compensate for that void. Besides, Batum and Outlaw will return later in the season, Rodriguez is now with the Kings and therefore a non-issue.

    As for a running-game, this team does have the ability to really run a fast-break offense, when they want to. They showed it against Minnesota. Of course, that isn't always going to happen, so getting those high quality shots comes down to attacking the "G.O.-Zone" (attacking the paint) and kicking it back out to the open man, whether it's Steve Blake or Rudy Fernandez. This, in my opinion, comes down to L.A. and Miller cutting to the baseline and dishing it to Oden so he can draw the double-team. My concern, however, is that I'm not sure if Nate has enough belief as of now to run that pick-n-roll offense.

    In tandem, they need to make shots, period. Especially the easier baskets when the looks are good. An example of this includes the three from Rudy at about 10:30 to go in the 2nd, which he thankfully made this time around.  But getting some decent ref calls couldn't hurt either.

    As for overall energy, B-Roy at least put up 26 last night, but the energy level was just not present last night, and is starting to wane again now. They need to get more agressive, and play like they have a pair, but not so over the top that refs get whistle happy.

    That's my 2 cents on it.
    I am a fan of Greg Oden getting healthy and shutting up his critics. Period.
  1. S. Diamond
    S. Diamond
    Posts: 22

    Posted 11/28/2009 7:01 PM

    Now that I think of it, a couple of other things just came to me.

    One -- Oden, as much as I like him and his playing style, is a Personal Foul magnet. Having a powerful big man, in addition to Pryzbilla and Aldridge, would certainly help the team. Aldridge can't do it all, and Pryz is mainly a rebounder and shot blocker. We need someone else to step up in this role... maybe I'm missing something?

    Two --  Dante Cunningham needs to get a few more touches and, if possible, drive a bit more to the hoop. That might be able to take some of the pressure off of Miller and L.A.

    Three -- Jerryd Bayless needs to work on his three point shooting with Baino. By doing so, he becomes a another outside threat.

    That's should do it on my end.
    I am a fan of Greg Oden getting healthy and shutting up his critics. Period.
  1. S. Diamond
    S. Diamond
    Posts: 22

    Posted 11/28/2009 7:03 PM

    To augment my comment for Jerryd Bayless working on his 3 point shooting, I'd like to reference his airball at 1:35 in the second, which resulted in a shot clock violation.
    I am a fan of Greg Oden getting healthy and shutting up his critics. Period.
  1. S. Diamond
    S. Diamond
    Posts: 22

    Posted 11/29/2009 4:55 AM

    Wowzers, another lackluster night for the Blazers... Maybe they let last night get to them?

    3 for 18 from behind the arc, Andrei Kirilenko and Carlos Boozer collectively owning the Blazers, and lopsided production from the Blazers bench led to this 16 point loss.

    I mean, how do you let the Jazz shoot 76 percent against you in the first quarter alone, and 61 percent overall? You would think Nate McMillian would've lit a fire under the butts of his players... Or at the very least, inspired them during half-time.

    And you would've thought that with the loss of Paul Milsap and Andrei Kirilenko by the half that the Blazers would've seized the opportunity to come back.....

    Nope. Another garbage night... Personally, I think this is because they let the loss from last night affect them.

    It was good to see them crash the boards a bit more often, but giving up too many second chance opportunities killed them again... And Oden needs to stop getting into Foul Trouble! Pryzbilla, even though he is the village elder, is just not consistent enough at that this point to be considered a threat either on defense or offense. Even the Jazz Bear played better defense than Pryz, just by being able to get away with hosing one of the refs in the crotch with an ABC Extinguisher! (That was kinda funny, if you didn't see it, considering the fact that that mascot didn't get ejected!)

    6 for 16 shooting from Aldridge also hurt us, seeing as though he's normally one of our top producers. And even though Rudy did manage to hit a 3, FINALLY, going 30% from the floor and 20% from behind the arc just doesn't cut it. I mean, you can't expect Jerryd Bayless to carry the second unit by himself, especially on going goose-egg from behind the arc. You might as well have Dante Cunningham shooting the 3 ball, let alone from half-court!

     *LOL  j/p*

    Ok, jokes aside, Blake also dropped the ball by failing to convert from behind the arc in his two attempts. Plenty of decent opportunities from downtown for the Blazers in the form of a large quantity of open looks that weren't taken, and plenty of hesitation from the second unit really killed the rhythm of this team.

    Maybe against the Heat on the 1st of December they'll get the picture that the NBA is where the professionals play at. I'm hoping they do.
    I am a fan of Greg Oden getting healthy and shutting up his critics. Period.
  1. KingKoopa
    Posts: 56

    Posted 11/29/2009 3:15 PM

    "You would think Nate McMillian would've lit a fire under the butts of his players... Or at the very least, inspired them during half-time."

    Seems like they're neither buying into his system this year nor listening to him this year either. Based on the teams comments in the game recap on Oregonlive, I definitely get the vibe that the team and coach are struggling to get on the same page.
    I am a fan of Marcus Camby! :)
  1. Revfisk
    Posts: 8

    Posted 11/29/2009 4:26 PM

    I'm an old blazer fan living on the East Coast and staying up passed midnight to watch these abysmal losses to westcoast bottom-feeder teams.  I just don't get it.

    Following the discussion (and wondering why I can't find more discussion on this topic), I get the feeling that we fans are as flumuxed as anyone else.  But when I think back to the things I'm saying out load to my tv screen, here is what I remember?

    1.  "BRANDON, SHOOT THE BALL!"  I don't know what's up with B-Roy, but I know this: he's passing up open looks.  More, he's passing up open looks at precisely the times when we need most to have franchise player feeding the rest of the team his energy.  I don't see Kobe or Wade passing up open three's to swing the ball to Andre Miller for his flat-foot-three.  Miller has a role for us, but its not taking shots away from Brandon because Brandon is PASSING THEM UP.  WHY WHY WHY?

    2.  "Nate, what are you doing????"  I can't figure out what NM is trying to do.  I really want to support him, get on board, and recognize that he's the professional coach and I'm just some hack, but I can't find rhyme or reason to the chaotic busting out of odd sub patters, the attemps to fix 30 point blowout quarters be going zone on hotting shooting teams, taking Greg out when he's the only hot guy on the floor with 8 minutes in the game left because he picked up his fourth foul?? HUH???  Our offensive set is stagnant, Oden DOES need many more touches BEFORE he fouls out, and role players taking shots when franchise players are not is a coaching issue.  It needs to be addressed in huddle.  Our bread and butter are BRoy, LA, Oden, the Spaniard, looks like, Martell.  The rest can get there's.  But these guys need to be LOOKED for.  And right now...they're not.

    3.  "RUDY, SHOOT THE BALL!"  I said it already about Brandon.  It's like watching a skinny white guy rerun or some matrix gliche in the second unity.  I'm not talking about forcing the shots.  I'm talking about not taking the ones that are open so that Bayless can take a double clutch three with 2 secs on the shot clock.  I'd rather Rudy shot the open one. Maybe he'd hit a few more.

    4.  "Why is Greg not touchin the ball?" and "Dammit Greg!"  Stupid fouls are a problem and we all know that.  But he has improved 200% since the first week and the only thanks he's getting for it is to get taken out for "rest" anyway, usually having touched the ball only 2-3 times, which resulted in dunk, an assist and a baby hook.  Hmmm....

    5.  "Why is _______ taking that shot?"  The rest of it boils down to regular frustration at the shot selection taken by non-marquee players at very inopertune moments.  I'm not saying other players shouldn't shoot.  I'm just saying that they don't know that sometimes its not their job to shoot, especially if they're not getting after it on the boards and D.

    On top of all this, we look scared.  Just plain scared.  Maybe it's the expectations.  I'd like to think its that, cause if its that we'll snap out of it and the season can be fun.  Right now though, what scares me is that its deeper.  And while a team like the Thunder is playing out of their minds and above their level, and Phoenix - PHOENIX! - has the best record in the league, and in the East you have teams that are plain old fashioned HUNGRY, well...we look like the 3rd youngest team in the league with a confused coach and franchise players who've decided its not their job to step up and make something change.

    Why is Pheonix #1?  They traded Shaq and gave teh team back to Nash.
    Why is Miami playing over their heads?  They traded Shaq and gave the team back to Dwayne Wade.
    We can't trade Shaq.  But we do have an all-star guard with the potention to drive the teams hunger.  Is the coach going to make priority one getting that boy's stomach to growl, or is he going to keep tinkering with 1-3-1 zones and hoping that benching or not benching Bayless will fix it?
    I am a fan of Rudy. Keep shooting.
  1. S. Diamond
    S. Diamond
    Posts: 22

    Posted 12/01/2009 1:06 AM

    I'm seeing a common thread emerge from what's been said... And I hope I'm wrong in saying this.

    From an analogous point of view, it would appear that NM is playing a game of chess against an opponent that he's scared of, and yet that opponent is himself, because of the second-guessing between him and his players, between him and the "weaker" teams, and between himself now and himself then...

    Why else would he protect Oden like a "Queen" and treat B-Roy and L.A. like "Bishops"? You protect your Queen at all costs except when you can either sacrifice Queen for Queen, or if you're in a position to get a Pawn to the other side, or if you can win the game completely via strategic advantage. The Bishops also provide spirit for the battlefield.

    Fernandez and Blake are obviously Knights. They'll hit from moderate to long range usually and more often in weird predicaments (though obviously not that well as of recent).

    Webster and Miller are your "Rooks". They'll hit from long range too, if they can, but will ground and pound inside when need be on the give-n-go and alley-oop. Outlaw could also qualify here as a rook for his outside jumper game, even though he's injured at the moment.

    Batum, Cunningham, Pryzbilla, Bayless, and Pendergraph are like Pawns... Useful for substitutions when needed, and expendable if need be, but useful in the clutch if you lose a player along the way...

    Anyways, the point I'm making is that it seems that NM is trying to play his offense around Oden, yet over-protecting him like a Queen when things get tough. Though I understand the logic, this is also back-firing against us. The lack of depth at center is hurting this team, because Pryz doesn't provide the same threat level at center, thereby allowing the ball to be kicked out to the perimeter after drawing the double team. I'd almost rather see NM start off with the 3 guard offense (letting L.A. play at Center) early in the game, just after tip-off, and run with that using the Dribble-Drive Motion offense... then bring Oden in when you least expect it, to run NM's version of the Phil Jackson "Triangle" if he feels ballsy enough to pull it off... I don't think many teams would expect that from such a young, "inexperienced" team.

    Of course, I could be wrong, but this is what's making sense to me right now. Any other perspectives, before the Miami Heat match tomorrow?
    I am a fan of Greg Oden getting healthy and shutting up his critics. Period.
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/01/2009 9:20 AM

    You hit the nail on the head KingKoopa.
    The team is simply not on the same page as the coach and when a team like ours, that thrives so much on team chemistry as a proponent for winning, then there are going to be a lot of bumps in the road. Until this happens, we will be the most sporadic team in the league.

    Just imagine if we had Nic and Trav still healthy and in the lineup! Talk about a major log-jam. I think this is where KP earns his paycheck and finds a nice consolidation trade to get the rotation down to 9 solid players with guys like Dante and Pendergraph able to come in in times of foul trouble need or minor injuries.
    I am a fan of
  1. S. Diamond
    S. Diamond
    Posts: 22

    Posted 12/02/2009 5:53 PM

    Y'know, I was listening to the post game show on 95.5 FM just after the loss to Miami last night and the conclusion that Antonio Harvey came to about NM, regarding the apparent disconnect between B-Roy and NM, in my opinion only scratches the surface.

    It would seem there is a total disconnect between the captain and the crew as a whole, not just captain and first mate (B-Roy in this instance).

    I can tell there is a disconnect within the entire franchise cause I can't even get a personalized jersey w/o them screwing it up. Not once, but twice!!  First, when I got it, and twice when they mailed it to me!       =)~

    Someone needs to take Paul Allen to small claims court and sue him for allowing our team to crash like Windows Vista. I mean seriously, WTF?!?!

    *I want my ticket money back! WAHHH!!!*   LOL  j/p

    Now then, off to my hermit cave where I can grumble, sob, and stamp my feet some more...

    I am a fan of Greg Oden getting healthy and shutting up his critics. Period.
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