Wednesday, July 20, 2005

NBATV: It's Fan-Tastic!

Game 2.

Once again, our friends at NBATV decided to show us another week-old Blazer summer-league game. This game featured Portland’s C-team versus the Bullets’ C-team. How better to dignify our opponent than utilizing their old name as my post format?
  • Webster’s jump shot looks silky smooth. The more I see it, the more I love it. Even if he only contributes as a pull-up shooter this season, that’s fine by me.
  • Nedzad “Ned” Sinanovic is so bad, it’s a joke. So many follies to choose from just in the first half alone … what do we point out? Getting one of his shots blocked by someone six inches shorter? His tip-in that drew only glass? Fumbling the ball and midcourt? No, I select the very beginning of the game. My personal favorite Nasty Ned Folly of the first quarter was the opening tip off. Or, should I say, both of them. The first tip-off, the opposing center jumped too eary, and Ned scooped the ball directly behind him, straight off of the hands of an opposing team player. The ref blew the whistle and lined everyone up for a re-tipoff (not that the announcers felt the need to tell us why; I assume because Ned’s scoop was deemed illegal which would seem to me that Washington would simply get the ball but let’s not digress). Anyhow, they re-jumped, the opposing center jumped too early again, which was funny enough, but Ned followed it up by scooping the ball to the other team, again. Quality work.
  • Speaking of The Bullets, not a game note, but the action is lulling … looks like we won’t be signing Antonio Daniels after all because they did. Which is too bad. He wold have been a great fit here – but we can’t blame him for wanting more job security. Washington gave him a five-year deal, and it’s doubtful that Portland was offering much more than 3 years at the most.
  • As hot as Outlaw was yesterday (make that a week ago yesterday), he’s really forcing shots tonight, and nothing is falling. At least he’s aggressive with the ball, but he’s a bit of a black hole … once you pass him the ball, it’s never coming back.
    Telfair is going headband-less tonight. Worth nothing.
  • Webster was working on a variety of moves; it’s clear he’s trying to establish that he can do more than jump-shoot. He took a couple of fadeaways and posted up a smaller player. Good to see him trying to add to his weaponry. In the second quarter, he also made a very nice save of a loose ball in the corner: jumped, spun, and fired an overhead pass straight into an open shooter’s arms in the second quarter. Nifty maneuver.

John Nash visited with the announcers during the second quarter. Highlights:

  • When asked about Sinanovic: “He was drafted at a time before I got to Portland. He’s made progress, he still looks a little raw, he has fresh legs because he didn’t play last night. Ned can block shots and rebound.”
  • On Telfair: “He’s well beyond his years in terms of basketball acumen. But we still want to bring in someone to challenge him, and that might be Jarret Jack, but we might bring in a veteran. We’ve been talking to a couple of veteran free agents and might bring one in.”
  • I’d like to thank the two announcers for not asking him about Martell Webster or Travis Outlaw. WTF is that? “How much playing time do you envision Webster getting?” “Is Outlaw a candidate to start at shooting guard or do you want to keep him as a small forward?” “What have you thought of Outlaw’s defense so far?” … not that there was anything they could have asked him.

Nate McMillan joined the announcers as well…

  • When asked about Telfair’s failed attempted alley-oops: “I just keep telling myself that this is summer-league ball. The players will try those plays in summer league.”
    “One thing I want to work with him on is how to learn to win.”
  • “We’re going in a much different direction now than they were last year. We are going to have to learn to grow on the fly, on the floor.”
  • How surprised are you that your situation panned out with Portland? “I was trying to negotiate something with Seattle that made sense … after a couple of weeks, just talking to Portland and John Nash and Mr. Allen about the club and what they wanted to accomplish, that got me excited …I just felt like, I’m still young enough, this is my fifth year of coaching. I can take a job like this. It’s a rebuild. I felt like … it would be a challenge and I have time to accept a challenge like this.”
  • When asked about some of the other younger players: “Travis is only 20 years old, and he has the ability to create his own shot off the dribble, out to the fifteen-foot range… the only thing that can help these guys is time on the floor.”
  • Do you have any idea what your rotation will be? “I’m thinking about it, but really I don’t determine that. Those guys will (the players). All of them will have the opportunity to start and play. The guys’ play out on the floor will determine that.”
  • On Martell Webster: “He has really impressed me. Martell and my son played AAU ball together, so I’ve had a chance to see him for a long time.. I’m really impressed with him at the offensive end of the floor. He just looks like he belongs in the NBA. Like Travis, it will take him a while to figure out the defensive end.”
  • “We’re so young that I can’t hold him back. If he comes to training camp and shows he can play, he will be out there. I don’t care how young you are, how old you are, free agent or all-star, come out and get it done and do the things that your team needs to do win games and you will play.”
  • Have you thought about what it will be like to go back to Seattle? “I know it will be different, and it will be hard for me … I know that once you switch uniforms, they’re on you. They have a really good team up there and good players, and that organization is in good shape.”

Good stuff from Nate. He was a much better interview than Nash, for what it’s worth.

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