Blazer Fanatic

Jan 29

Mid-season regrets: Chris Kaman

By Blazer Fanatic Posted in: Blazers, Mavericks
The Portland Trail Blazers took a big swing at free agent Roy Hibbert this summer and missed.  They took another big swing at Hornets (soon to be Pelicans) SG Eric Gordon and missed again.  Another guy they went after, which didn't garner as much talk was Chris Kaman.  Olshey offered Kaman a very similar deal to what Dallas offered him this summer ($8 mil).  Perhaps persuaded by fellow German countryman Dirk Nowitzki, or deterred by a projected 28 win season in Portland, he opted to sign with Dallas.

As Kaman arrived in Rip City, it's quite possible that playing against Portland isn't at the forefront of his mind rather, that perhaps he's wishing he were playing with Portland.  The past 2 games, Kaman has played a season low 12 and 11 minutes.  He been relegated to the bench.  Its not that he should have known what could have been last summer, but the reality of hind sight can't be sitting well with the former mullet man.  That reality could sting even more should the Blazer beat Dallas convincingly tonight at the Rose Garden.

Kaman has kept quiet about his lack of play time, while Nowitzki and Dallas coach Rick Carlisle have been quite open about it.  Damage control perhaps, but here's what they said:

“He’s a good player and we need him... Look, we have good, honest conversations. Sometimes there’s a difference of opinion and that’s OK. Reasonable men have a right to disagree. I make it clear to him that he’s an important guy on this team and that we need him.” - Carlisle via Tim MacMohon/ESPNDallas

"He’s just got to keep working and stay positive.  Obviously, it’s natural to be a little frustrated with your minutes going down, but you’ve got to take that frustration out in the right direction and keep working, in practice go even harder. That’s the only way you can do it.  Hopefully he’ll understand that. He’s been around … He’s just got to stick with it and keep working.” - Nowitzki via Tim MacMohon/ESPNDallas

A large part of why Kaman has been benched has to do with his ability defend alongside Dirk.  Kaman is a solid scoring big man, but Carlisle has opted to go with who he thinks is a better defender to start at center.

Personally, I think LA has a much better post game than Nowitzki and that Kaman would have been a better fit in Portland, even if he came off the bench (25-30 min).  A 6th man center?  I'll take it.  He certainly is not Roy Hibbert on defense, but would have certainly been an upgrade over Hickson with his height alone.  He would have been the go-to guy off the bench, as he is very good offensively.  From Kaman's stand point though, when he looks at where Portland (22-22) and Dallas (19-25) are now as he sits on the bench, you have to think that besides the frustration, some measure of regret will weigh on him.  Who do you think feels it more, Kaman or the Blazers?

Kaman bumped his head Sunday versus the Suns, and he's questionable for tonights game at the Rose Garden.


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