Lrg_magpie

Corvid

  • joined Apr 16, 2008
  • last login Apr 17, 2014
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User Blog

NBA Confidential Ref Memos Now Available to Public

IMO, Adam Silver gets points for his moves to demystify NBA officiating: "A trove of confidential, internal memos on NBA officiating became public Monday afternoon, revealing new insight into the league's enforcement of rules this season. No privacy laws were breached in the process. The memos were released by the NBA itself, as part of Commissioner Adam Silver's push for greater transparency. Fans will be able to review the documents at NBA.com/official."

An Essay on Tanking and Striking it Rich in the Draft

From the Atlantic: "The big lie about tanking is that it’s a prudent long-term strategy, when in fact it’s just another get-rich-quick scheme. It invites fans to see spectacular failure as a kind of trampoline that will catch teams at their nadir and launch them into the stratosphere. The truth is boring and simple. In the short term, average teams are more likely to become good, because they’re already closer to being good. The rampant fear in the NBA that mediocrity is a perpetual purgatory elides that crucial detail about purgatory: it’s closer to heaven than the alternative."

Highlights from the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

"Fifty basketball-related highlights from the 2014 conference, comprised of notes, quotes and anecdotes gleaned from the entertaining — and educational — weekend."

Howard Beck: Adam Silver and His Agenda

Background on NBA commissioner Adam Silver's fandom, management style, and some of the changes he'd like to see -- including speeding up the game and improving officiating.

Robin Lopez visits Powell's Books

Rolo takes us to one of his favorite hangouts: "When I first heard I was coming to Portland, I was excited. The town kinda fits me like a glove. I'm eccentric, it's eccentric . . . and this is one of my favorite places to be a little eccentric."

Willamette Week interviews Robin Lopez

Fun stuff: "He may be the most Portlandian Blazer since Bill Walton. And with his rebounding, defensive presence and hustle contributing to the Blazers’ best start in a decade, Lopez is poised to become the team’s biggest cult hero since Channing Frye."

What Asst Coach Jay Triano Brings to the Blazers

Every now and then we get a good article about one of the assistant coaches.

Freeman: Blazers at the Forefront of NBA iPad Evolution

As Ben mentioned in a recent game recap, the Blazers are making good use of current technology, including players watching video clips on the sidelines during games. Joe Freeman provides a more in-depth look at the team's iPad use for scouting, in-game adjustments, and post-game viewing.

Anatomy of a Streaker

The stat gurus at NBA.com take a look at similarities and differences between the two hottest teams, the Spurs and the Blazers.

High-Tech SportVU Cameras Coming to All NBA Arenas

The NBA has decided to install data-tracking cameras in every arena by the start of next season. The cameras, which cost about $100,000 per year, had been used by half the teams last year (not by the Blazers).

Hoopsworld: LMA a top power forward in 2013-14

Erin Pincus of Hoopsworld lists LaMarcus Aldridge as the #2 power forward heading into next season, just behind Tim Duncan. In related articles, Damian Lillard and Nic Batum get honorable mentions.

OSN: Greg Oden Suppresses Pain All Over Body During Meeting With Heat

An except from the article: Having already received interest from several other NBA teams, reports confirmed Thursday that former Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden suppressed acute shooting pains throughout his entire body while holding talks over a prospective move to the Miami Heat. According to sources, Oden attended a two-hour meeting with head coach Erik Spoelstra and other members of the Heat coaching staff, during which he attempted to conceal constant surges of excruciating physical distress. "I can’t wait to get back on the court," said Oden, forcing a wide smile as wave after wave of tortuous pain reportedly flooded through nerves in his arms, legs, neck, chest, and back. "I feel refreshed, healthy, and raring to go. I had a few tough years there, but I’m ready to prove I can be a dominant NBA center."

Blazers to Sport Short Sleeve Jerseys this Summer

Well, fashion freaks, the day has finally come. The Blazers will be wearing the new Adidas short sleeved jerseys when they are the "away" team in summer league games. Casey Holdahl speculates that the Blazers could be one of the NBA teams wearing the new uniorms during the rest of the year too: "While the Trail Blazers wearing short-sleeves at summer league is no guarantee that they'll be one of the five teams to wear short-sleeves in the regular season, there are reasons to believe they're a good candidate. After all, adidas' North American headquarters are just up the street from the Rose Garden and Damian Lillard is one of their adidas' brightest young stars, so there's a case to be made."

Haynes: Harper and Lauderdale to Boise, additional cuts coming Saturday

As expected, Dallas Lauderdale and Demonte Harper will join the Stampede next month. While they won't officially be cut by the Blazers until Saturday, they weren't at the practice facility on Tuesday and won't travel with the team to Utah. In other roster moves, one additional camp invitee will probably be assigned to the Stampede on Saturday. From Haynes: "Olshey said the organization will wait until Oct. 27, to make roster cuts. Those players waived will be placed into a 48-hour waiver window open for any to team to claim, similar to what the Trail Blazers did with Justin Holiday. However, if a team does claim a player off waivers, they will be responsible for their prorated salary. An NBA D-League team can carry up to 10 guys and Olshey says the makeup of the Stampede will probably be four to five players that were on the team last year, three players that they'll assign out of the pool of camp invites, and a couple of draft picks." In a related article, Candace Bucker notes that NBA rosters must be set by Monday, Oct. 29.

Blazers to roll out "New Team, New Dream" marketing campaign

The new marketing camping will be digital-rich and web-heavy, with less money spent on TV, radio, print and billboard advertising. One of the highlights will be a free iPhone app (with future plans for Android) that will provide a live scoreboard and stats during the games, text play-by-play, plus Facebook and video features.

Amick: UFA C Joel Przybilla's Decision Coming Soon

Sam Amick of SI.com reports the following update on unrestricted free agent center Joel Przybilla, who spent last season with the Portland Trail Blazers. -------------------------------- Source says free agent center Joel Przybilla will likely decide which team to sign with by later today or tonight. It appears Milwaukee is out in front, with Portland and Dallas also in the running. -------------------------------- Przybilla, 32, averaged 2.0 points and 5.1 rebounds in 16.6 minutes in 27 games for the Blazers last season. ed: text edited bumped to front page

Quick: Blazers Coaching Search Down To 2 Finalists

Jason Quick of The Oregonian reports on Twitter that the Portland Trail Blazers coaching search has seen its candidate pool cut in half. ----------------------- Terry Stotts and Kaleb Canales are the two finalists for the Trail Blazers head coaching position, The Oregonian has learned ----------------------- Steve Clifford and Elston Turner had also reportedly interviewed for the position this week. Quick also reports on Twitter that the Blazers' radio home will shift from 750 AM The Game to 1190 AM KEX, with a simulcast on 102.3 FM. ed: text edited, bumped to front page

2012/2013 Season Internships with the Blazers

The Trailblazers are looking for people to fill paid internships in various positions and departments. The deadline is August 5th, but many internships will fill before then, so apply early!

Photos: The rookies are in town!

From iamatrailblazersfan.com, photos of Damien Lillard, Meyers Leonard and Will Barton at today's introductory news conference.

ESPN: Player tracking transforming NBA analytics

ESPN's sports technology writer Zach McCann writes about SportVU Hoops Tracking System, used by ten NBA teams this year. Will this new technology revolutionize basketball? ---------------------- SportVU tells us, with relative certainty, which player has the fastest top speed in the NBA. It tells us not who scores the most, but who scores the most per touch. It tells us who dribbles the most per game, and who dribbles the most compared to how many shots they take. And that’s just the surface. ... There are six computer vision cameras set up along the catwalk of the arena -- three per half court. These cameras are synched with complex algorithms extracting x, y and z positioning data for all objects on the court, capturing 25 pictures per second. Each picture is time-stamped and automatically processed by a computer, which connects the data to the play-by-play feed and delivers a report within 90 seconds of a play. This is the part of the process the STATS people are so proud of – the proprietary algorithms in the software, which they call the ICE Platform. Almost instantly, coaches and stat guys have this information at their disposal on their computer or iPad. ----------------------

Haynes: Batum's Agent Says No Waiting For Blazers

Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports that the agent for Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum will not delay restricted free agency negotiations to aid the Portland Trail Blazers, who hope to spend their cap space prior to re-signing him. --------------------- "The first good offer we get, we're going with that," Bouna Ndiaye of Comsport Management told CSNNW.com. "We're not waiting for anything." Trail Blazers' acting general manager, Chad Buchanan, wouldn't disclose if he has asked Batum's agent to hold off on signing an offer sheet promptly from another team in order to give them time to improve their roster via free agency. --------------------- ed: text edited, bumped to front page

An Ode to Pete the Rhino, by Craig Smith

Craig Smith shows a sensitive side and writes about Pete the Rhino, who recently had to be euthanized at the Oregon Zoo. An excerpt: So to hear that a fellow rhinoceros, Pete, had passed Was a very sad moment You see Pete and I are one and the same We both relocated to Portland for an opportunity at a new life Although our size can be intimidating and we can be pegged as aggressive In nature, we are able to differentiate between when it is necessary To be aggressive And when it is okay to be passive

A Sloan Conference Preview: Data Crunchers Look to Quantify Chemistry in N.B.A.

Attention stats geeks! Off the Dribble (the NYTimes basketball blog) highlights some of the research that will be presented at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. The article provides summaries and links to several papers, including: "N.B.A. Chemistry: Positive and Negative Synergies in Basketball," an attempt to measure on-court chemistry "Effort vs. Concentration: The Asymmetric Impact of Pressure on NBA Performance," i.e. why players choke on free throws at home "Experience and Winning in the National Basketball Association," yes, playoff success correlates with the amount of time teammates have played together "Big 2’s and Big 3’s: Analyzing How a Team's Best Players Complement Each Other"

Research: Attending Blazers Game Is Cheaper Than NBA Average

The Team Marketing Report just released its Fan Cost Index, a summary of what people shell out to attend games at arenas throughout the NBA. Some interesting points: * Average NBA ticket prices are up 1.7% across the league, but the Blazers' average ticket price has dropped 4.4% * Portland's prices for beer, hot dogs and sodas are higher than average, but it could be worse: you'll pay $9.50 for the cheapest beer at Madison Square Garden. * Blazers fans pay less than league average for tickets, parking, programs, and souvenir caps. You'll pay $15 for a program in Miami, and $26 for the least-expensive Nets cap (compared to a free program and $15.99 at the Rose Garden). * The price for a fictitious family of four to attend a Blazers game (including parking, food, drinks, and hats) is $296.58. This is a 0.3% drop from last year. The same family of four would pay $608.78 at a Knicks game, an astounding increase of 20.4% from last season. Mike Tokito of The Oregonian with more here. ed: bumped to front page

Charles Grantham, ex-NBPA executive director: Players should have taken deal

"Today, we spend too much time in the court, with too many lawyers. … Instead of having 10 lawyers and an economist you should probably have 10 CPAs or forensic accountants and two lawyers," said Grantham, a guest lecturer on professional sports negotiations at Seton Hall's Stillman School of Business. "In this case, (the players are) looking to use the law to gain leverage, to get a better business deal, when, in fact, the negotiations that should be taking place is with regard to how you divide that (every) $100." . . . "My philosophy was to keep the guys working, because they lose income that's not recoverable," he said. "They're employees. They're not partners. … Let's not get this twisted, (players) don't sit in the boardroom." ---------------- Also: a video interview with Grantham

Atlanta Hawks sale falls through

This may not be fanshot-worthy, but what the hey, it's interesting. The Atlanta Hawks sale to LA pizza magnate Alex Meruelo, which had been contingent on NBA approval, has been called off. ------------------ "The approval process bogged down after the NBA required economic conditions that were not part of Meruelo's original deal. The NBA's stance was believed to be similar to that the league took when Atlanta Spirit bought the Hawks, as well as the Thrashers, from Time Warner in 2004. At that time, the NBA and NHL approved the transaction only after several Spirit partners agreed to make personal guarantees of tens of millions of dollars to ensure sufficient liquidity to fund the money-losing teams' operations going forward." ----------------- Meruelo's statement noted that the two parties "were not able to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement on some key issues given the current uncertainty surrounding the labor issue."

Brettman: NBA, Blazers Dispute Paul Allen Reports

Allan Brettman of The Oregonian reports that NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver disputed multiple reports that Blazers owner Paul Allen delivered a message to the players union that led to a breakdown in Thursday's labor negotiations and that Portland Trail Blazers president Larry Miller disputed the notion that Allen is preparing to sell the Blazers... -------------------------------- At the mediation Thursday, "Paul did not speak at the session with the players," Silver said. "I do not understand why his presence has taken on a life of its own as if he was sent in to deliver a message to the players," Silver said. "In no way was his presence intended to send a message." ... Also Friday night, Blazers president Larry Miller rejected the contention, contained in one account of the Thursday mediation session on a national website, that Allen was positioning the team for sale. "Paul is just as committed to the team as he was when he purchased the team 23 years ago," Miller said. -------------------------------- NBPA executive director Billy Hunter (here) and union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler (here) called out Allen publicly for his role in the NBA's labor breakdown. Another report referred to Allen as the "Grim Reaper" in the failed labor negotiations. Here's Dave's take on Allen's role. ed: post updated, bumped to front page

NBA and Ref's Association agree on new contract

The NBA and the referee's association have agreed on a new five-year contract. The previous agreement expired on Sept. 1, and the NBA was faced with the possibility of using replacement refs when the season started up again.

UPDATED: NBA/Union met for 5+ hours Wednesday; agree to meet again Thursday

NOTE: The link has been updated to reflect Wednesday's news Once again, the two sides wouldn't say anything about what they had discussed, but the fact that they are committed to meeting again bodes well! Today's best quote: "Hunter, who long held a pessimistic view of the negotiations, said he thought clearly "there's more than enough time" for a deal to be reached that would allow this season's schedule to remain intact."

Does modern technology affect team bonding and communication?

As a fan, I love that technology has given us insights into athletes' lives. With Twitter and Facebook, we're no longer dependent on the traditional media to hear their words, and we can communicate directly with the players. But there's a flip side to modern technology. From SI.com: ----------------------- "Ask many coaches, general managers and older players and you'll hear a common gripe: chemistry on teams has been altered because of modern technology, and not for the better. The rise of smartphones, with all their instant-communication and entertainment options, have created insular worlds into which distracted players too often retreat instead of bonding with teammates." and "Coaches and managers are particularly frustrated at the paradox of players fraternizing less with their own teammates, and more with the "enemy." Players from opposing teams, they say, too often get each other's cellphone numbers and start calling or texting back and forth, often griping about playing time and occassionally [sic] giving up little secrets about their teams." ----------------------- Thoughts?

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