Kennedy on 2013 ROY candidates - early, I know ------- Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers – Lillard exploded onto the scene in Las Vegas, averaging a league-high 26.5 points along with 5.3 assists and four rebounds. He was by far the most impressive rookie and showed how he was able to climb draft boards and make executives fall in love with his game over the last year. Lillard was able to score at will in college and summer league despite the fact that defenses were sending double teams at him and gameplanning to slow him down. In Portland, he’ll be playing alongside veterans like LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, which should shift attention away from him and allow him to be more of a facilitator. The Blazers have made it clear that Lillard will start for them and they see him as their point guard of the future. Sometimes this award goes to the player who gets the most minutes and has the ball in his hands the most. This year, that player is Lillard and if his performance in Las Vegas was any indication, he’ll make the Rookie of the Year race interesting.Alex Kennedy on 20123 ROY candidates
"Yeah, I'm opting out," Crawford told CSNNW.com. "After talking with my agent, it was a no-brainer. The whole plan all along was to secure a one-year deal so I could hit the market again this offseason.http://www.csnnw.com/pages/landingblazers?Jamal-Crawford-tells-CSNNWcom-hell-opt-o=1&blockID=698715&feedID=5212
Austin Link of TeamRankings.com writes about teams that would benefit from a shortened season on ESPN Insider. -------------------------- The Trail Blazers are a solid team that challenged the eventual champion Mavericks in the first round of the 2011 playoffs. Yet they haven't yet lived up to the promise they showed a few years ago, largely because of injury trouble. There's no guarantee that the Blazers will get both Oden and Brandon Roy fully healthy, but if they do, they could become an elite team. Portland was also home to probably the best historical analogy here: Bill Walton. Walton got healthy for just under two seasons, and gave the Blazers an NBA championship during that time. Unfortunately his healthy stint ended 60 games into his second season, taking the Blazers' hopes of a repeat with it. In a shorter season, though, 60 games might have been enough for Walton to win Portland another ring. -------------------------- Link also writes that Blazers center Greg Oden would have "just about a 5 percent chance" of making it through an 82 game season without injury while he would have "conservatively" a 16 percent chance of making it through a 50 game season. Obviously, Oden is not on schedule to play an 82-game season. ed: bumped to front page, note added. -- Ben
Anyone going to the Hoops & Hops beer event, pre-game? It's in the little pub before the game, where Cucina Cucina used to be. $10 for ten tickets for STH, $15 for ten tickets otherwise. If you...