- Telfair looks awesome. He's totally ready to play 30 a night, dish out plenty assists and do some significant scoring. I'm actually almost worried that he looks to score too much, but I think that could be a function of the caliber of players in this league. He looked like an offensive machine at times. The team's offense went to hell when Telfair left the game. He looks bigger, too. Clearly hit the weights and bulked-up this offseason.
- Same goes for Outlaw. Despite his receding hairline, he's ready to score 15+ a night in the nba, his jumper looks awesome and he can get off his shot from anywhere. He's got to get consideration for the starting lineup, even if it's at the 2. He really shoots the lights out when he gets hot. You can tell he'll be one of those guys who just collects points in bunches and given the way Portland's offense struggled at times last year, he'll be a breath of fresh air.
- Webster ... he's huge. Looks like a power forward out there. Big guy, shot looks good, but not sure he's ready to play consistent backup minutes in the nba quite yet. His jumper looks nice out of his hand, he sets his feet well, releases high and the good sign is that he doesn't need to dribble to shoot it, but so much more goes into getting off a shot in the nba than just getting in the hoop and he's probably not ready yet. Can look a little clumsy at times. I think he's more like a 5-10 minutes a night guy right now. That could be change further into the regular season, but I wouldn't count on him for much more than that at this point. He does a lot of floating around the perimeter on offense, standing behind the three-point line and can really disappear at times (and this is in the summer league). He does go after rebounds on defense and isn't afraid of contact in the paint. He fearlessly attacks the rim on fast breaks as well. The Glen Rice comparisons are understandable. Webster's got a lot of confidence, which is good see in such a young guy.
- I really wish we could have seen Jack play.
- Sinanovic is terrible. He's like a clumsier, smaller version of Ha and it's hard to see him ever having success in the league.
- There isn't a whole lot of defense being played in this league. Portland shot 53% in the first half, Cleveland 58%. It's up-tempo, entertaining basketball. The second half was a bit slower, mainly due to less jumpers falling.
- The play where Telfair hurt his wrist (as most of you probably read about last week) was a fast-break where he was attacking the rim, and it appeared to happen after the contact when he fell to the floor.
- This team could struggle from the free-throw line this season. Telfair and Outlaw are both a little shakey, and if they're takign as many shots as it looks like they'll be taking, we could see some serious standing-bricks.
- The officiating is horrible. Which is nice because it will get these guys ready for the real NBA.
- These broadcasts on NBATV kind of suck. Their ticker at the bottom of the screen is too big and annoying, picture quality is mediocre and you never get replays. The score they show on TV doesn't contain either a game clock or a shot clock. Plus, the announcers go off on their own tangents for plays at a time and forget that us viewers need information (such as how much time is left or what the referees' call was). But the ghetto commercials are pretty funny and it gets us our hoops fix. So I'm not complainign ... too much.
Did any of you catch the game? E-mail me here as I'm curious to know what you thought. The next broadcast is tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5:00.
Additionaly, Portland has been making a tiny bit of non-Las Vegas news. Bring me my bullets!
- Here's to hoping that Portland is able to sign Antonio Daniels. He's a versatile, solid player who will fill two of our needs: a guy who can start at the "2" and play minutes at the point guard. If the club can ink him for a three-year deal at the MLE, I think that's a very nice pickup; I think this would also likely solidify that DA will be the amnesty-casualty. (Good riddance).
- If Daniels doesn't work out, rumors have Portland considering Juan Dixon. I don't quite understand exactly why they'd want Dixon. He isn't a young guy and would certainly want more than a two- or three-year contract, which it doesnt make a lot of sense for Portland to offer.
- And let's not forget that we still need a Power Forward. As much as I love Theo Ratliff, I don't know that we can count on him to provide 15 minutes-per-game as a backup to both the C and PF positions -- both from a health standpoint and the fact that he can get a little "plodding" on offense.
- The Shareef-Abdur Rahim situation: I actually admire the team for sticking to their guns and demanding a first round pick from New Jersey. I don't believe they dropped the ball at all. The trade-exception is nice, but doesn't buy them a whole lot and would still count against the luxury tax, so where's the motivation for the team to make that deal? Either way I'm okay with the situation. If New Jersey acquiesces and gives the first round pick, great. If Abdur-Rahim walks for the MLE and Portland gets nothing in return, that's fine as well. We don't want any players back (we've got plenty of those) and we don't want second-round picks, so if you can't get a first rounder, why take on additional luxury tax burdens?
- Assuming that both Van Exel and Richie Frahm, two players Portland owns rights to, don't end up on the active roster, and Portland amnesty's DA, and sign either Daniels or Dixon, the Blazers already have twelve guys who deserve spots: Telfair, Jack, Daniels, Webster, Monia, Miles, Patteron, Khryapa, Randolph, Pryzbilla, Ratliff, Ha. And that's without having signed a backup power-forward. One of Ha, Khryapa or Jack can easily start the season on the newly named "inactive list" (formerly known as "injured list", where a team can hide up to three players it doesn't have room on the roster for) and you aren't losing much from your rotation. Clearly, one of those SF's has to go. I imagine it'll be Ruben.