- ESPN.com's Chad Ford predicted that Portland will finish 14th out of 15 in the Western Conference this year.
- Damon Stoudamire has been crying about Portland's upper-management to anyone who will listen in the media. First, it was John Canzano. Then it was Dwight Jaynes. (Did you know, by the way, that Dwight Jaynes is a right-wing conservative who is very open about his Christianity?)
- Zach Randolph, for the second year in a row, is doing the "Basketball Without Borders Africa" Tour. This is a very cool program that promotes friendship, healthy living, and education, and is targeted to young people. Here is a link with a story about it.
- Nick Van Exel signed with the Spurs. This is a weird signing that we haven't talked about much on this site. The Spurs are the NBA's version of the New England Patriots, and a big part of their success is due to their team chemistry and the players' understanding of their roles. I get that Gregg Popovic wanted some depth at point guard behind Tony Parker, and some offense off the bench, but Van Exel can be a head case. I got a message from a friend the other day who's a Spurs fan that read: "Spurs + Finley = Championship. Spurs + Finley + Van Exel = 2nd round exit." Hard to argue.
- Portland's website has a Q&A article with assistant coach Maurice Lucas here.
And one final note: Yes I realize that I led you astray with four of my five recommendations not panning out for last weekend's college football bets. And you thought I was just going to sweep that under the rug? Nonsense my friends. I'm going to make it up to you. Last season I started tracking my football gambling very closely; and I'll be honest with you: I learned that I'm much, much better at identifying profitable NFL lines than I am at college lines. So you shouldn't listen to me when it comes to college football betting. Would have been nice to share that with you prior to the 1-4 week, eh? Well, there you have it. So, following are five NFL games (the lines came out today) that you must bet on during week one. Week One betting lines are frequently as much as seven points off what they'd normally be, and it's the easiest week to make money. Anyhow, with the exception of the Philadelphia game, I wouldn't place these bets yet -- wait until Saturday so you know everything you can about injuries, etc.
- Denver -5 @ Miami
- Cincinnatti -4 @ Cleveland
- Buffalo -5 vs Houston
- St. Louis -6 @ San Francisco
- Philadelphia -2.5 @ Atlanta
Enjoy the start of the NFL season. In the meantime, once Portland breaks camp we'll take an in-depth look at the roster.