Dec 28

Hi IQ Bowl

By iggymo
What a great "ugly" win over a talented but youthful Sacramento team! There were all the elements we love in the 2nd half: dives, smacks, screens, blocks, dunks, passes and just passionate defending. I'm sure you heard the Kings' coach echoing Nate's recent remarks: "Those guys just know how to play the game." I've been here since the late '90s, and I'm saying this team already has the highest basketball IQ I have yet seen from the Blazers (and that includes the players behind the near misses at the start of the millennium, with the exception of Sabonis). And what they don't know themselves, they understand with minimum coaching explanation. In just two games, they have shown a great aptitude for being in the right place at the right time, even with a rapidly rotating cast of characters on court. This IQ has been personified so far by Gerald Wallace, but certainly shows in the play of our other veterans, both old and new Blazers. What a thrill it is to watch guys who know - instead of guys who guess - what to do in nearly every situation. And let's not forget that these guys are just barely getting to know each other. If they can play this way as strangers in early training camp condition, what can we anticipate once they become a truly smooth machine is top physical shape? Don't know about you, but I can't wait to find out. I'll be watching.
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  1. i think the players' intelligence is showing. so far we're seeing the guys figure out how to hold on or come from behind. too many people think sports are purely athleticism when the great majority of success is done through thinking about and sorting out the situation. that's where i think our balance of veterans & youth is paying dividends.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/28/2011 3:56 PM
  2. You're right Kassandra (good to "talk" with you again; I nominated you for courtside reporter a couple years ago; still think it's a good idea). No matter how much physical skill you have, you must have the IQ and experience to go with it. For the past several years we have had the physical component but we have lacked the experience. I am enjoying "watching" the brains working this year as well as the muscles. Plus I am one who thinks that Nicola could play every position on the team, and he's getting close. What an amazingly versatile player he is.

    by iggymo on 12/28/2011 4:06 PM
  3. nice seeing you around again. i know you, Hg and a few others want me to be a sideline reporter, but i'm just dead set on a career in law! appreciate the compliment though. the iq thing is something i think we had with Brandon, and we missed it at times the past couple of seasons. it's unfortunate how things turned out, but i think there's a great combo of seasoned veterans, 4-8 year veterans and youth. i remember for a while when Marcus and Andre were our only real veterans. it was great to have the youth, but adding guys like Jamal, Raymond and Kurt is going to make a huge difference. Nicolas (i know it's Nicola, but Nicolas is just a tad cuter!) can play any position (hey, if Boris Diaw can start at center for the bobcats, Nicolas could serve a few minutes at center!). i'm generally not a fan of guys playing out of position, but he's a unique case. he has the height of a sf, but the skills to cover pf when needed, sg and pg. in fact, he and Crash rocked it while playing together at sg and sf, respectively. i'd like to see us explore that a little bit more, especially if it means posting up a small young guard like Ferdette with Nicolas as we did last night. all this talk is making more excited about the team and season!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/28/2011 7:57 PM
  4. First of all, I see nothing wrong with a double major: law major/ace reporter. My best friend has a law degree and have never even thought of practicing law. He was a success as head of production for The Golf Channel, among other things. With your knowledge and eloquence about sports/basketball, there could be a wonderful career that combines all of your talents. As far as the Blazers IQ these past few years, I do agree about Brandon. He was a prodigy with almost innate knowledge and ability. But with his inexperienced supporting cast, he had to do much too much himself. Now Nic and Wesley and even LaMarcus have a great support group, so they should be able to shine as never before. More than anything, I'm hoping that Nate will be able to expand his imagination to encompass all the possibilities his crew provides, while not being afraid to let loose some of his youngsters (Elliot, Nolan, and even Luke and Armon) to close some games and spread their wings. Before the season's over they WILL be needed.

    by iggymo on 12/28/2011 8:27 PM
  5. actually, that would make it a quadruple major. i'm also studying political science and u.s. history. my uncle is an attorney and i used to talk to him about his work when in was a little girl. i've always wanted to be a civil litigation attorney and that's still my plan.

    as for the blazers, we seem to be in agreement. i really like the mix of players we have. a lot of the vets seem to be mentoring the youngsters. i absolutely love that!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/29/2011 3:07 PM
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