Monday, February 27, 2012

Overshadowed, but well-rested!

The argument that it was better that Lamarcus playing limited minutes in the all-star game being a good thing is plain stupid. Portland had the longest layoff of any team during the break. The travel to Orlando alone was going to take the greatest toll on the players, sans Dwight Howard and the Threetles. But don't you think not having a game until Wednesday is enough time to recover? Do you really think having your best player only being on the court for 10 minutes during a showcase game was good? After all the hype and hoopla that was getting LA into the all-star game it was a little bit of a letdown. It was still an honor to have him selected, and a tribute to his play thus far. But on a night where the stars shine, ours was dim.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fuck it, cut the cord!

With the news of our new edition at 1 center court, the Blazer brain trust has a decision to make pending Joel's physical. Who to cut come Sunday? Candidates include point guard Armon Johnson, center Chris Johnson, and Luke Babbitt. I threw Babbitt in there because he just looks like a dork, I don't actually think there's even the slightest chance he gets cut.
 The player I'm hoping does get cut is Greg Oden. I knew going into this season he had already played his last game in Portland. I knew this when his rehab was going at a glacial pace. Remember that Joel recovered faster than even AFTER having a setback three months into his recovery when they got hurt roughly at the same time. Greg will be gone at the end of the year anyway, he has a good chance of never playing another game, period. So why not just hasten the process? Have Paul Allen buy him a seat next to Patty Mills, so he can keep doing what he's been doing for so long.
 I do feel bad for Greg on the human level. He wants nothing more than to help this team win. Jason Quick brought up the stat that in the 76 games that Oden, Roy, and Aldridge played together Portland were 51-25. They're a cursed franchise! Cursed I tell ya! What do you think, Greg?

Joel's back!

Joel Przybilla's returning to Rip City. He turned the Miami Heat down to come back to the Blazers. I applaud him for this. Most players in their waning days of an NBA career go somewhere just to try and pick up a ring and ride off into the sunset. It shows that  Przybilla is going for what fits him best. He probably won't see a lot of minutes and that's fine. He's here to be a role model. He will bring back the toughness, a lacking trait on the Blazers this season. I hope this will result in hard (but clean) fouls. I am tired of easy buckets at the rim from the opposition. We're so soft and nice in the interior it looks like a damn tea party. "Welcome to our party, have a crumpet to go along with your layup!" Joel will end the tea party and throw the crumpets back in the opposition's face with his toughness.

This will probably result in having Armon Johnson (who?) waived to create a roster spot. If the Blazers have a shot at getting higher than the 8th seed (or into the playoffs at all) we'll need Joel and his junkyard dog attitude on this team. Joel has 'Not in my house' tattooed on his arm and I'm very happy that he's calling the Rose Garden 'his house.'  ~JK

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I blame Martell for our woes

Watching the guys on PTI break down the news of the day brought up a few interesting topics. Primarily the story of another Oden knee surgery. I had already written him off, so I can't say that I care much. But the story of Martell Webster going for the dunk when his team is down 3 with the clock winding down made me think about something.
Portland's front office is getting some heat for taking Oden over Kevin Durant, and deservedly so. But I think the franchise changing decision happened two years prior. Portland had just beaten the odds and won the 3rd pick in the 2005 draft lottery. Andrew Bogut and Marvin Williams were the consensus 1st and 2nd picks, respectively. Portland hadn't expected to have this pick, and thought they'd use this to their advantage. They had taken a point guard the year prior by reaching to choose Sebastian Telfair. So the genius that is the Blazers brain trust decided to trade down to pick 6 and draft Martell, instead of the three point guards, Derron Williams, Chris Paul, and Ray Felton. One could argue that they didn't need a point guard. Then why did they draft Jarrett Jack with their pick later in the first round? Not buying it. You can talk upside all day, but when all is said and done everyone knew there were two special point guards in that draft. Martell was a project, and with hindsight we can see that project has failed. So let's say we take Derron Williams instead of trading the pick, he was rated higher than Chris Paul. His averages of a little over 10 points and 4 assists were comparable with those of Telfair (9 points, 3 assists) or Steve Blake (8 points, 4 assists). Portland had the worst record in the NBA the following year. I don't think the hypothetical addition of Derron Williams would have changed that. We don't get the 1st pick, we don't get the 2nd pick, we don't get the 3rd pick. We get the 4th pick, trade it for LaMarcus, trade Telfair for the pick that would be Brandon Roy. Things are looking up in Portland! Which means we improve our record beyond the sixth worst record. Who do we take in that draft? Who cares, we wouldn't have had to take Oden! He would be some other teams problem right now. We would still have the Roy situation, but we would either have an expiring contract of Derron Williams this year or have traded him for some value instead of Ray Felton. What'd we trade Martell for? Luke Babbitt. How's that working out for us so far?

Monday, February 20, 2012

No titles in stock at a small market

I was chatting on during the win over Atlanta the other night and the subject of bringing a title to Portland came up. When does it not? We were talking about the city of Dallas and owners. The idea came up that Portland is a better city than Dallas and why couldn't we bring a title here. I personally never have been to Dallas aside from their airport, so I can't truly say which is a better city. Portland has a better airport, but that's all I can say. I'm not gonna mess with Texas.

So, why not a title in Portland?
I was bringing up the points about how we don't have a GM (only team in the NBA that doesn't) and a lacking front office. I also brought up the largest factor, we're a small market.

After losing the finals in '92 to the Bulls, Drexler said something along the lines of; "Portland can't win a title because the league doesn't want a small market team to win." I don't think that's entirely true. I can see where Clyde is going with this. Below is an interesting point I found to why that crown in front of the Rose Garden is still on its side.

Which NBA city, with less than a million people in its proper, with only one pro team (hockey and soccer don't count) was the last to win an NBA championship? Portland, with our very own Portland Trailblazers, 35 years ago. San Antonio has only one pro team but they're the 7th largest city in the U.S. Hardly a small market.

Look at where the championships from football, baseball and basketball are coming from. Cities with multiple franchises, teams from larger markets. To make the Rose City bloom in the sporting world, we need another pro team. I feel that crown may be on its side for quite some time without one.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


The Trailcats have once again established their winning ways by defending the home court. This victory coincided with the return of LaMarcus Aldridge. It's becoming painfully clear that any sort of consistency for any team is going to be very hard to come by this season. These teams can't possibly be performing at their best when they are not accustomed to playing this much. Even teams with younger players are finding out that they can play a great game one night and come out completely flat the next. With a team like Portland it's also becoming clear that the lack of team chemistry might be their downfall. Ray Felton is taking a lot of heat for his performance, most of it deservedly so. But the team as a whole has been very inconsistent. They are so close to being an upper echelon NBA team on some nights, but their inability to finish the close games means they are on the outside looking in for the playoff race.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Retire Roy's Jersey? Nope.

Was Roy a tremendous talent? Yes.
A three time All Star, Rookie of the Year, and a nod to the All NBA teams (second team in ‘08-’09 and third team in ‘09-10) was pretty good, but c’mon, it seems like Rip City wants to let emotion rush this decision.

So why not retire his number? First off, the Rose Garden is far too banner happy. It cheapens the accolades of fabric drafting from the rafters. We have a banner for Co-Champions of the Northwest Division. We’re proud of a tied the regular season?
It’s all about what a team does in the post season. Isn’t that where champions are made and trophies won?

Speaking of champions. Some of the retired numbers in the Rose Garden are only there because they were on a championship team. Had we not won a championship, some of those players (I’m looking at you Bobby Gross) would have never made it up there. There was a water boy on the championship team wasn’t there? Get his name up there, oh and the ball boys too.

*Chuckling and shaking my head*

If it was up to me, I'd have banners for our; World Championship, our two Western Conference Championships, Drexler, Walton and the mic for Bill Schonely. These six without a doubt. I could see arguments for Wicks, Lucas and Porter too. The rest are up for debate.

How many playoff series did we win with Brandon Roy? None. He didn’t take us past round one. In fact, he couldn’t even take us to a game 7 in the first round. A retired player has to have a relationship with a team, not a fling. Brandon Roy, in the scheme of things, was a fling, a great fling none-the-less. But his injuries ruined his career. And in my eyes, the chance for his jersey to hang in the Rose Garden.

Lets not over look some Blazers that deserve if far (yes far) more than Brandon Roy does. Jerome Kersey, Cliff Robinson and Buck Williams. Check their stats if you don’t believe me. Oh, and these three all made it past the first round if you can’t recall.

With all due respect.
I know I sound like a heartless jerk about Roy. Brandon is my favorite Blazer of all time. I felt like I was going to puke when he had to retire. I just don’t want to hand out participation trophies just because a career ended too soon. That’s for the Rose Garden to do.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Keep your legs

One trend that keeps popping up this season is the Blazers inability to finish in close games. After a few minutes of anger I decided to give the team a break for playing the third game in three nights. Both teams played terribly last night. Only giving up 74 and 71 points respectively would point to good defense. That wasn't the case last night. Fatigue and poor shot selection were the main reasons neither team could seize control down the stretch. But unfortunately for Portland their drought occurred late in the game unlike the Clippers, which happened before half time. My frustrations were doubled with the university of Oregon blowing a late lead earlier in the night against Cal. Something has to give in Portland. The short season doesn't allow much leeway for many more games to get away.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rip City, rap city

Tonight the Portland Trailblazers will wear their alternate "rip city" home jerseys.
Even more rare than the alternate red road jersey, these jerseys are only dusted off on special occasions. I'm thinking the motivation behind this decision comes from the importance of tonight's game. Not only are the Clippers a viable opponent, but this is the last game of a three games in three nights stretch for the Blazers. If they don't come out to play then it could be a long night. I happen to think, in my unbiased opinion, that Portland have some of the best jerseys in the league. That being said, our alternate jerseys are just so cool that the team should break them out more often. Example, when they played at New Orleans the other night, we played in our home whites because the Nuthorns were color blind.

 I think the red jerseys would have been pretty cool in that situation. We weren't the home team! I think they should use these jerseys at least a few more times this year. Why not flaunt it if you got it?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rock Bottom

In light of tonight's embarrassing loss to the Bullets, along with the injury to Aldridge it is clear that the cursed franchise has become snake bit again. This is only one loss in the middle of a season where losses are coming along pretty regularly, but this is easily the most disappointing loss of the season.

The beloved franchise was supposed to come into this game with a renewed focus. The switch to Nic Batum in favor of Raymond Felton was supposed to reinvigorate the starting lineup. Instead the result was a bad loss to a very bad team, on Oregon’s birthday no less. Sure Batum had a great game, but I don’t think it’s far fetched to predict he’ll score about 10 points in his next two outings. The loss of Aldridge so close to the All-Star game will add to the misery if he is unable to play in that showcase. Not only will it be two years in a row that our all-star has been unable to play, but it would have been the high point of Aldridge’s young career. Keep in mind he doesn’t have any buzzer beating 3’s, or 4th quarter comebacks on his resume like Brandon Roy.

My suggestion for this team is a three part plan.
First, fire Jay Jensen effective immediately and hire a competent trainer who doesn’t have a history breaking his players.

Second, find Tony Robbins and put him on the Blazers flight to the bay area. Nate McMillan clearly doesn’t have what it takes to light a fire under this team.

Third, see if the Nuggets want Raymond Felton back. Say pretty please. Say you’ll be their friend on Facebook. A point guard who does nothing but miss shots and turn the ball over is not what this team needs.

There was a fourth part to my plan that involved Greg Oden finding a pair of Lt. Dans magic legs, but he’ll just leave at the end of the season and it will be some other lucky teams gain.