Tuesday, September 25, 2007

BlazersBlog Featured On HoopsHype

Jorge over at HoopsHype.com has been running a feature entitled "Bloggers Corner", and he asked us - along with a few other blogs about the Blazers - to answer a few questions.  Enjoy.



Thursday, September 13, 2007

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance


I can't seem to get past #4.

My first post in two months, my triumphant return to the blog, and all I can produce is a gloomy, depressed "sigh". I keep, as you likely do as well, staring at the espn.com screen, reading the headline and looking at the picture of Greg Oden, hoping that it's not real. (Denial.) I haven't read the story yet because I know what it'll say: Portland's good luck turned bad, ridiculous comparisons to Sam Bowie, devastating news, etc. It's nothing that any of us don't already know, and it's not going to help to read it. We've already taken a hard punch to the stomach today; let's not exacerbate it. (Anger)

Portland's 2007-08 season which 4 hours ago seemed so promising will now have a cloud hanging over it. The development of our best and brightest player, our dominant monster who's going to lead us to the promise land, has been cut off; our hopes and dreams brutally sucked away; betrayed and stolen like a jealous wife discovering her best friend in bed with her spouse.

Please allow me to advise you to not talk yourself into any of this "he could be back by March and help the team push into the playoffs" nonsense -- I went through that phase about 10 minutes after finding out "the news", but it's fool's gold. (Bargaining.) I think we've all learned by now that it takes 12-18 months to fully recover from microsurgery. Do the names Zach Randolph or Amare Stoudamire ring a bell?

There is a silver lining, but you have to look awfully hard. For our own sanity, let's give it a try:
We still have a lot to look forward to for the Blazers' season. It's an exciting, talented young team which still has one of the brightest futures in the league. They won 32 games last year, and solely from the growth of Roy and Aldridge (not to mention having them for a full season), a potential step forward by any of Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster, Jarrett Jack, Sergio Rodriguez or Channing Frye, they've probably improved by 5 or 6 wins already. The team wasn't going to win a championship next year anyways. And you know what, we still have B-Roy, and we still have LaMarcus, who's probably ready to make The Leap.
But that Leap is going to be about 75% harder without The Big Fella patrolling the paint next to him. (Depression).

A few notes from the press conference:
  • The doctors performed a full microsurgery and it was successful
  • Oden will spend 6-8 weeks off of his leg; following that, he'll be out for the full season, 6-12 months
  • The club did MRI's on both of Oden's knees prior to the draft and they were "pristine"; even having the MRI results examined by three independent doctors
  • Going into the knee surgery, one of Portland's doctors speculated that a microfracture surgery might be necessary so it was not a total surprise
  • Greg and his mom said "sorry" to Kevin Pritchard probably "20 times" after coming out of surgery and finding out what needed to be done
  • "I can't underemphasize how bad he felt...because he feels that he's let us down."
  • The doctor who performed this surgery is the same guy who did Zach Randolph's microfracture
  • McMillan: "Certainly it's disappointing...as tough as it is, we have to move on. Injuries are a part of sports."
  • "This team is a long-term investment...we like the direction this team is going in; Greg Oden is a great addition and we'll just have to make that addition a little later than we hoped."
  • KP: "You never say never, but at this point in time, we don't expect him to come back at any point this season....we do expect him to fully recover but don't have a time table."
  • This doesn't open up a roster spot for Portland; Oden remains one of the 15 guys on the team's roster.
Putting aside the excruciating emotional trauma for a moment and trying to think technically, what could this mean for Portland's rotation? Obviously Joel Pryzbilla re-claims the starting center position, and LaMarcus Aldridge probably gets a little more burn at Center as well. Those two and Channing Frye will get the bulk of the frontcourt minutes, and likely one of Raef LaFrentz or Josh McRoberts will need to emerge as a reliable backup.

Who knows. I'm not quite sure what else to say. For crying out loud, Nate McMillan made comparisons to losing his mother two years ago. This is devastating news, and all of us in Blazer Nation are feeling a lot of pain today. Email us your thoughts and we'll post the best replies. Vent your heart out. I'm not ready to move on to "acceptance" yet, and neither should you.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Oden Surgery

This is not good. Hopefully it's just a minor scope, but anytime your cornerstone center is having his first knee surgery before he's even played a game for you, you're allowed to worry. Here's the story from ESPN: