Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Big Gamble

The 800 lb gorilla in the room is the way the Blazers played without Zach Randolph while he was on his "leave". Obviously they looked great, Aldridge played a dominant power forward. The All Star looked solid at the center position simply by rebounding, playing D, and staying out of the way of Aldridge, Roy, Jack, and Sergio when they were doing their thing. Yes, Zach has been great this year, and yes he's been vital to this team's success, but it's certainly possible that they're past needing him to shoulder the offensive responsibilities. Once that's no longer needed, his value goes way down. We've talked at great length about the Blazers either drafting a small forward or trading for one, and suddenly the trade route looks very appetizing given the following:

  • Rashard Lewis wants out of Seattle and wants a big contract.
  • You have to make contracts match up and Zach's is notoriously huge.
  • Joakim Noah's draft stock is falling slightly.

If the Blazers don't win the lottery and end up with Greg Oden, it seems as if they could take an enormous gamble and draft Noah, then trade Zach to Seattle for Rashard Lewis (along with some minor pieces going either way obviously). You're left with a starting 5 of Jack/Sergio, Roy, Lewis, Aldridge, and Noah. Noah's a known commodity, a great shot blocker, tough defender and rebounder, and an amazing energy guy. You throw him in the front court with Aldridge and you've got two guys who are more athletic than any one's front court could match.

It's the Blazers potential big gamble. I don't know if they'd have the guts to do it, but they'd suddenly be the most dangerous team in the NW Division heading into the 07/08 season.

Update: They just lost to the Griz at home, again, and I'd just like to say that regardless of the outcome I think it's a bad thing if Zach takes 26 shots and Aldridge and Roy take 22 combined.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


A delayed congrats to Brandon Roy and his new son Brandon Roy, Jr. Hopefully in 2025 when he's playing for the Ducks we'll all be taking great delight in Jr destroying the Huskies. Some other notes, thoughts, whatever:

The team is just hideous without Roy, that was a debacle in crunch time against the Bulls. Actually it looked a lot like last year.

Aldridge is better than Randolph, there I said it, now I feel better. I hope to have a long winded diatribe on this subject up in this space shortly.

On a related note, I guess we all grieve in different ways, but stopping off for a lapper on the way to the airport? Now that's some grieving right there.

I'm almost 100% certain the Blazers will explore a trade for Randolph this off season. Aldridge's natural position is the 4, they will be getting Joel back full time, and you could get a star caliber small forward for him. Seems like a no brainer to me.

You could add Corey Brewer to the list of players that wouldn't be bad for the Blazers to draft.

The Other Guy should be back in action very soon.

29-42, 11 games remaining. Let's get up to about 35 wins this season and make a serious run towards playing some playoff basketball in 2008. It's always nice when you bet the over on the season wins and it's already paid by mid-March.

PER Report will be up this weekend, seeing as how it's the end of March here pretty soon.

Monday, March 26, 2007


The national media appears to be talking up the rookie match up yesterday between Brandon Roy and Randy Foye. They were traded for each other on draft day and they play in the same division so it's possible we could be seeing a budding rivalry between the two. Here's a quick look at their rookie seasons overall:

Brandon Roy: 16.3 points, 4 assists, 4.4 rebounds, 1.24 steals, 17.79 PER

Randy Foye: 9.4 points, 2.7 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 13.59 PER

It's obviously Brandon Roy's world right now, and he's clearly going to win the Rookie of the Year, but Foye is definitely getting better out there. He seems to be a lot more inconsistent than Brandon is, 24 points one night, 4 the next. Should be interesting to watch going forward.

And yes, I'm still sulking over the loss to the Gators and their trannie center.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sideshow Bob

I like to think I keep up on things with the Blazers, but I have to say that I had no idea they signed Sideshow Bob to a 10 day contract. I flipped over to the game last night, watching it equally between it and the tournament, and suddenly there's a guy that looks like he's a classic Oregon big man running up and down the floor. Supposedly his name is Luke Schenscher, but since I don't want to type that when I'm making fun of him, he's Sideshow Bob. I think Pritchard just got tired of all of us making fun of Jamaal Magloire and decided to find someone that was clearly worse. So congratulations Kevin, you win, Sideshow Bob is worse.

On the bright side, that's two in a row, and I'm really not concerned with their draft position. There's not a huge mathematical difference from being in the 6 to 9 spots in the ping pong ball derby. Brandon Roy almost certainly sealed the Rookie of The Year by crushing the Knicks in a must win game for them in front of all the East Coast honks.

I guess I should say something nice about The All Star in the interest of fairness. 14 points, 16 boards against the Knicks last night and he looked like a legitimate player. That's the type of game that could have got you traded to the Knicks earlier this year Jamaal, thanks for pulling it out now when we can't deal you for David Lee and Renaldo Balkman.

Big night tonight, Ducks, Vegas, 6:40 from St Louis. If they want to run and gun with us, be my guest. Ducks by 10.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Foundation

So that's what life looks like without Z-bo:

Aldridge: 39 minutes, 25 points, 8 boards, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks.

Roy: 36 minutes, 19 points, 12 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal.

Sergio: 22 minutes, 9 points, 9 assists, 2 boards.

A nice win over a legit Eastern Conference contender, although it's not like that's a huge accomplishment, I think the Blazers might be a contender in the East. Anyway, nice win, kept Agent Zero at bay (again), and stopped a long losing streak. Nice game fellas.

Rehashing an earlier point, if the Blazers have the opportunity, they HAVE to take Greg Oden. You put him with The Foundation and trade Z-bo for a legit small forward and you've got yourself a title contender for a decade. Under that scenario, Rashard Lewis should be target number 1.

I need to add Jeff Green from Georgetown to my list of players that I like in the draft if the Blazers don't catch lightning in a bottle with the lottery. He's like Udoka with a more well rounded game on the offensive side of the floor.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Over/Under: 50

Let's run through a few things here, The Black Mamba goes for a 7 under par 65, the Blazers mail one in against the Sonics so bad they should have changed the logo at half court to a postage stamp at halftime (although the dude cashing the half court shot for the car was pretty sweet), and now Blazers Blog favorite Agent Zero is coming to town. Gilbert Arenas is still on his vengeance tour, was mocked heartily for only scoring 9 last time, and considering recent developments I have nothing else but to advise the following...

Bet the over on 50 points tonight for the one and only Agent Zero.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

7 Under Par

News and notes for a Sunday evening:

I see Kobe threw in a 7 under par 65 on our boys while I was away. Tivo'd the game, are the Blazers ever going to double on a high screen? My God, you have to give Ime at least a little help on those picks.

He pushed off badly on that last one, everyone saw it, including the refs, but because it's Kobe of course they were too busy watching and not calling the game.

Raef LaFrentz says it's a lost year for him? Looks like it's time to award the "Firm Grasp of the Obvious" prize for 2007.

I thought about ranting and raving about the Ducks, but I'm a little too giddy to form a ton of rational thoughts right now.

If the Blazers wanted to entertain offers for Jack in the off season and get an impact 3 in return, I think they could do worse than to draft Aaron Brooks with one of their second round picks.

Go Butler.

Apparently the reason Spanish Chocolate hasn't been playing lately is his defense against other high end guards that they've been facing recently. Rubbish. He needs to play, he just provides too much, plus they need to see more of what they've got to plan for the off season.

They're currently down 10 at the half, at home, against the Sonics. Smooth 12 points in the second quarter there guys.

Just to reiterate...go Butler. Has anyone ever made the Final 4 without playing a major conference team? Miami of Ohio, Winthrop, Vegas, and Butler?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

X Factor

Well, so much for the Gatorade X Factor being Martell Webster. Way to sack up there Marty, 13 minutes, 0 for 4 from the floor (0 for 3 from downtown), 0 points, 2 boards, 0 assists, and 2 turnovers. Solid F- performance by the Blazers bench last night led by Martell's suckfest, they only scored 12 points total.

On the bright side, LaMarcus Aldridge, yikes. He's becoming dominant late in the season, 24 points, 17 boards, 4 blocked shots. The thing I like the most about LaMarcus is his efficiency (shocker), he scored his 24 points on 17 shots, compare that to Zach who scored his 26 points on 27 shots. This is not going to be a bang on Zach post, but LaMarcus is quickly becoming a superior player in all aspects of the game. I have images of David Stern flipping over the card at the Lottery with the Blazers in the #2 spot and some team falling all over themselves for Kevin Durant with the top pick.

Let's get this out of the way now, I think the Blazers should draft Greg Oden if the opportunity presented itself. It's hard to go wrong with a starting 5 of Jack, Roy, Durant, Z-bo, and Aldridge. That would be amazing, but the fact of the matter is if you've got a dominant center like Oden you're guaranteed to be a contender every year, if you've got a dominant wing player you aren't (see Garnett, Kevin). Drafting Oden would put the Blazers in a tremendous position of power this summer. They'd have a massive chip to play, they could trade Zach for Luol Deng in Chicago in a sign and trade, or for Rashard Lewis in a sign and trade, both Chicago and Seattle are dying for a low post scorer. The Blazers would go into next year with a starting 5 of Jack, Roy, Deng/Lewis, Aldridge, and Oden. Aldridge and Oden together would be an interior force that the league hasn't seen since The Admiral retired. Bottom line, Oden makes the Blazers a title contender for the next 10 years. Durant probably does too, but that's the key, he "probably" does, you know Oden does.

Housekeeping note, this will be the last post until Monday. I'm off to Bandon Dunes for the weekend for some golf, watching hoops, and a whole lot of liquor. I may have to be checked into rehab with Brittany and her bald head when I get back. She'll be yammering on about god knows what while I'm rocking back and forth in the corner muttering something about Ernie Kent.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pale Rider

Time to check out the window for a pale horse and a pale rider, or to see if the world has just stopped spinning. I just liked a commercial from the Blazers Marketing Dept and about 30 seconds later I agreed with Rice on the pregame show. Um...this is not good.

I'm calmly watching the pregame, usually looking for some good comedy like "we need Zach to play hard, get some rebounds and get his double double in order to win tonight". Then all of a sudden we hear that Freddy Jones is out tonight with an injured right hand sustained in practice (gee, I wonder how that happened, maybe we should keep him and Travis away from each other so they don't start in with dunk contests) and Rice then comments that Denver will want to push tempo and without Freddy we're going to need Martell to play well tonight. Couldn't agree more, he's going to have to knock down some jumpers to help out tonight.

The bigger surprise was the Van Halen "Right Now" montage they went with as their season tickets add. I really liked it. Usually I'm hear to poke fun at billboards with Ha on them or that ridiculous comic book thing they've had out recently, but this was quality. Lots of shots of dunks, as well as using some of the good will in the community, and trying to build on a little momentum from this season. Plus, I always kind of dug that song. The act is tired, the knock off on the video with the words scrolling along, but this add seemed to at least pull it off a bit. On the other hand, it might just be the alley-oop Freddy two hand reverse dunk against the Spurs that I can watch 1,000 times and not get bored. Who knows.

Anyway, surprisingly I like the Blazers tonight on the road in Denver. The Nuggets aren't playing too hot and this just feels like one the Blazers might sneak out.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hoops News & Notes

It's that time again, and I can't really contain my excitement over my Ducks, but we'll get to them in a little bit. First, news and notes from around the league and some Blazer stuff.

  • LaMarcus has officially become the starting center and has played really well so far. Another solid 28 minutes in last night's win, 7 points, 9 boards, and a block. Needless to say, we really like him.
  • I haven't decided what I'm cheering for, the Blazers are dangerously close to finishing in about 9th place in the West, thus not making the playoffs and eliminating any chance to be in on the Oden/Durant sweepstakes. It's a minute chance anyway, so I lean towards the winning games side of things.
  • Brandon Roy, well, there's just no more discussion. I'm pretty sure his name is already engraved on the trophy.
  • Isiah Thomas just got an extension from the Knicks. I don't even have a joke, pretty much says it all by itself.
  • I can't really comprehend how any team can be 51-5 over any stretch of games, and I feel like a complete ass for thinking Phoenix is still going to beat them in a few months and I wouldn't put it past the Spurs. With The Other Guy unavoidably detained for another couple weeks, you have to put up with me making ridiculous claims like these without any repercussions.

And now onto my Duck related thoughts,

  • No, they aren't as good as they played last weekend. That's the best I've ever seen any Duck team play...ever.
  • If Malik decides to play that hard and Bryce Taylor has it going, they're going to be an awful tough team to beat by anyone.
  • The Pac 10 Tourney means a ton, regardless of what people may say about it. Five days ago the Ducks were a 7 seed at best and looking at a potential 1 and done scenario. Now they're a 3 and they've got cupcake city the first round (Miami of Ohio was 15-14 entering the MAC Tourney), and a Winthrop/Notre Dame winner in round 2. As long as they don't have one of those ice cold games (certainly possible), that's cruise control into the Sweet 16 game with Wisconsin, which would be epic.
  • Please, for the love of God, someone beat Florida before the Ducks have to play them. That would be a horrifying match up.
  • I currently have Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, and Ohio State in the Final 4, but the picks aren't official until Thursday morning. If you think that Florida isn't going to be changed to "Oregon" by then, well, you're kidding yourself.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Going Dark

No, we're not slackers, but there will be a bit of down time in the next week or so. I'll be back at it next Monday, and The Other Guy will be unavoidably detained for a few weeks. A few quick non-Blazer related thoughts for your gambling addictions:

Don't underestimate USC playing at home in the Pac 10 tourney, they could make Stanford very nervous by the end of tonight.

Arizona usually mails it in, but this year they might have something to play for since they did finish 5th in the conference. Basically that's my way of saying I have no idea what to expect out of Ducks-Cats today.

I like UCLA in this thing, shocking, they're the best team.

Worst case scenario for the Ducks is to beat Arizona and UCLA and then lose to someone in the finals, playing 3 games in 3 nights, then getting one of those Thursday morning games on the East Coast. That would be bad.

Best case scenario would be either win the damn thing and get a top 4 seed in Spokane on Friday, or beat Arizona, lose a close one to UCLA and go home and rest and find out who's ass they get to kick next weekend.

Go Blazers, Go Ducks. See you all next week.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Draft Buzz

Since everyone seems to be doing an early draft report, I might as well chime in (why not, it's easy to copy what other people do). There are some ground rules, obviously it would be nice to have Oden or Durant. We don't really need to discuss it unless they win the Lottery. Rest assured, both myself and The Other Guy have our theories on what they should do, but we're going with the realistic approach today, that they'll be picking somewhere in the 7-10 range of the draft. We also know that they need a small forward, so that's where we'll concentrate our efforts for now. Here's a preliminary look at potential players they could draft.

Guys I Like:

Julian Wright, Kansas. Probably going to go too high for Portland, he's a do everything small forward. Described as a more aggressive Boris Diaw on, not sure if that's a compliment or not. A terrific defender that passes really well, he looks more like a Scottie Pippen type to me, and they even say he's got the ability to play a point forward like Scottie did. The only problem is he can't really shoot, which could deter the Blazers, they need shooters.

Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech. This looks like your classic Trader Bob pick, uber athletic, attacks the basket, streaky shooter, really fun to watch. He actually reminds me a lot of Outlaw, ESPN's comparison is Al Harrington.

Chase Budinger, Arizona. This one could be my first pick for our team. Very versatile, tough as nails, can knock down jumpers and is a very good rebounder for a small forward. He's a lock to be the most despised guy in the league by rival teams. Dagger 3's, looks like he would have been in the Cobra Kai, you get the picture, he's the guy you want out there with Sergio and Roy on the wings to throw in some attitude.


Spencer Hawes, The Scumsucking Road Whores. Let's see, soft center that will get tossed around, only looks real good when he's being guarded by a guy that's way shorter or less athletic (pretty sure that's not happening in the NBA) and always gets the less rugged defender because of Brockman, and oh yeah, he's a Husky.

Brook Lopez, Stanford. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw him in the top 10 today., not in this class.

Al Thornton, Florida State. You'd think I'd learn my lesson with the good college senior now that we have Brandon Roy, but he looks like the classic tweener 3/4 that played the 4 in college but can't quite play there in the NBA and would get eaten alive by good 3's. In other words, he wins the honorary Fennis Dembo Award.

Josh McRoberts, Duke. His chances of being even a remotely good NBA player are somewhere between zero and, well, zero.

Wild Card:

Yi Jianlian, China. This would be very Blazer of them, I have never seen him play, but he projects as a 7 foot Tony Kukoc. I know the knock is he's probably a bit soft but when I see that there's a 7 footer that can shoot and is a terrific ball handler and has a high basketball IQ, well, I'm intrigued. Considering the Blazers marketing department might be salivating over him, it's certainly possible.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It's all Subterfuge and Innuendo

Subterfuge Stevie Patterson just officially resigned as President and GM, and the year of progress just keeps getting better and better. Brandon Roy, LaMarcus, and Sergio in the draft, Z-bo finally making The Leap, the team buying the arena back and not complaining about a broken financial model when the owner has $30+ bil, no arrests (during the season anyway), trading for Freddie Jones, and now Subterfuge Stevie is out. I'm not used to all of this, kind of makes me dizzy.

So Steve is out, unless it's all subterfuge, innuendo, and erroneous rumors, and Tod Leiweke is taking over. Leiweke is currently the CEO of the Seahawks, other than that, I know exactly nothing about him. I don't even know how to say the guy's name. Apparently the Blazers and Seahawks will also now be owned under the same corporate umbrella, Vulcan Sports & Entertainment, officially the dorkiest named sports corporation in the world. It's freaking named after Spock, I can't even make a good joke about that, it says it all by itself.

The key issue for us fans is who's calling the shots from a basketball operations standpoint. I think this means that Kevin Pritchard is now The Guy, and there's always been rampant speculation that he has been for the past year anyway. It's well known that he has Paul Allen's ear, he seems like a likable, bright, energetic guy, basically the exact opposite of Subterfuge Stevie. I had a feeling that it was Pritchard who engineered the draft day larceny that netted the Blazers with The Foundation, now it looks like his coup is complete.

I should mention that I'm going to miss having Steve Patterson to kick around, it's obvious that I didn't like him (who did?). His bullying, somber press conferences, his silly 25 Pieces of Flair for the franchise, his undermining of John Nash, and his handling of the Darius Miles situation which led to the classic exchange with the Oregonian where he said all of their reports were filled with subterfuge, innuendo, and erroneous rumors, only to have them all proven true a couple days later. He was an easy target, but he was also a very deserving target. Adios Stevie, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Spreadpredictor Game 5

Your fearless Moderator tries to put a halt to his three-game losing streak, while The Loch can’t seem to do much better.

Portland vs Charlotte
Portland –6.5

Moderator (1-3): Portland.  They’ve got to stop playing like garbage at some point.  I don’t think we’ll see Zbo and ROY lay dual-eggs again.  And for what it’s worth, I also like the under (192).

Lochi (1-3): “Roberto Gato.  The Blazers should clobber Charlotte.”