There's no other way to say it, the Blazers need #10. Now.
"We got Crawford and Raymond who can play the point and who will play the point," McMillan said after today's practice. "We got two experienced point guards and they're (Nolan and Armon) playing behind them. That's pretty much what it is." This is nothing new, if you've followed Nate's coaching career with even a casual interest (FWIW, Portland's most-recent lottery choice -- Jerryd Bayless -- says 'hi") So...I wonder if Elliott Williams is going to pick up the PT scraps behind Mssrs Felton, Matthews and Crawford? "Before we picked up Crawford, we had young inexperienced guards," McMillan said. " Now we just bumped those guys behind Felton and Crawford but they'll both get their chance at some point." AJ will get his "chance at some point"? Does Nate mean for the Idaho Stampeeders, or perhaps in a different NBA uniform? That would break Marcus Camby's heart...but it's all part of the game. Depth is a good thing to have, and the young legs will come in handy, when the schedule catches up with the veterans (BTW, I think I'm going to like this Chris Haynes fella from CSNNW. Buzztap has also been berry-berry good for me, these past 6-8 months)
Mike Rice tidbits...Oden rode the bike for an hour, the Wild One thinks that the "setback" story was overblown...Nolan Smith ran PG with the 2nd team...player interviews with Babbitt and Smith...Sarah has the hots for Gerald...worth the time
All the Whos down in Whoville liked Brandon, a lot But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did NOT! "His contract is bloated!" the Grinch said, with a sneer If I don't waive Roy soon,...
Reprinted (and edited) from the "Weeked Project" (ref: BE archives, 5-1-2011) Here I sit on the first of July, wondering what I will watch tonightAll is quiet, dark and bare on our fav’rite...
Not many Blazer fans remember the 1970-1975 years. The team wasn't very good but they had a young star who won the (co-)rookie of the year award, and the NBA's inaugural one-on-one contest. If there had been a 3 point line back in the day, #45 would have scored even more, because many of his 2 point shots were made from the current 3-point distance As I've considered the sudden erosion of Roy's health and star career in the last 12 months, I've mentioned Geoff Petrie's name a few times, but tonight was the first time that I've looked at their stats side by side. The similarities are stunning. Both came into the league as rookies at age 22 Petrie played 6 years in Portland before retiring after multiple knee surgeries. Brandon has played 5 years, so far Geoff averaged 21.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 4.6 apg Roy's averages are 19.0, 4.3, 4.7 (he was averaging well over 20 ppg until this season, of course) Petrie played in 2 all-star games (which weren't such a big deal, back then.) Brandon has appeared in 3 Geoff was all-NBA top 10 in categories like FGA, FGM, FTM, PPG for several seasons. Roy was top 10 in most of those categories, in 2008-2009. Sure, it was 2 different eras and the two men scored their points in slightly different ways, but the ultimate irony is that by the time they reached 26-27 years old, their knees would not allow them to continue their previous high level of production. By the time Blazer fans celebrated the championship in 1977, Petrie was an afterthought. But during those early struggling years, he was the franchise's first star. Geoff won many games for Portland on last-second shots, back before there were nightly ESPN highlights or even video from TV telecasts to preserve those memorable moments on youtube.
John Canzano interviews 'Dre, who was at the grocery store.
Casey interviews the Blazer players from the PF on web video. Wallace is first, then Oden sits down and answers questions. I've only listened to a few minutes so far but it's worth checking out just to see/hear Greg Update: check the link (below) for Camby and Roy's interviews "Joel was the quiet leader of the team" -- Brandon
Wesley never stops working. His part time job is to grab interviews with his teammates and swag the 3-goggles. FWIW, I'm a little torn about Matthews promoting Patty-Rudy's goofy gesture. I would have thought Wes Money would be more old school. Perhaps like every other fad this will fade away (does anyone else still remember the "Uncle Cliffy" dance?) Here's hoping the TB crew down in L*A gets some actual rookie-soph game highlights up of our favorite all-star, in the hours-days to come. Enjoy your time off in Dallas, LMA! Aren't you glad you're not down in L*A running around with a mic and a camera man?
Lund's source said that Portland's front office thinks that Andre doesn't care enough that the team is losing and the brass doesn't want the younger players to fall into this habit. This is ironic to me, because the best way to ensure that the 2010-2011 team winds up in the lottery is to remove 'Dre from the starting PG position (well, other than trading LMA...) I guess it depends on what they get in return for Miller. Devin Harris (for example) sure seems to be a guy who's gotten used to losing. What young PG with a winning attitude could Portland reasonably acquire in exchange for Andre? Or, is this a case where Paul Allen has a list of favorite players and 'Dre isn't on that list? This rumor could be nothing, or it could signal a radical shift in the team's fortunes, this season. We have 3+ more weeks to find out...
(No, it's not draft night but I always wanted to say that) The New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets have agreed in principle on a three-way trade that will send Terrence Williams to Houston, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic and a 2012 first-round pick from Houston will go to New Jersey. Nets forward Joe Smith will join the Lakers, who also will send their 2011 first-round pick to New Jersey. In an effort to create luxury-tax savings by trading Vujacic’s $5.5 million salary for Smith’s $1.35 million, the Lakers were willing to include their first-round pick.
During the drive home tonight the game was just getting started on 95.5 but over on 1080 Isaac and Suke spoke with the former Blazer's GM. Unfortunately, whoever is in charge of the Fan's archives is a few days behind, so if you missed the interview (because you were listening to Wheels like a good Blazer fan should) then you're just going to have to read my 3-hour-old memory of it. Whenever they post the podcast I highly recommend that everyone give it a listen. First of all, Steve hurt his knee skiing up at Mt. Hood on Easter, so he recently had knee surgery himself They asked him about the 2006 draft and if Portland had concerns about Roy's knees at the time. Surprisingly, Patterson said that the Blazers weren't too worried about Brandon's knees but that he has flat feet and pronated ankles. After 4+ years, this is the first I'd heard of that. Then Steve gave the basic disclaimer re: how every team does their homework on any high draft pick leading up to the draft. Team doctors look at x-rays, the league gives them a physical at the combine, etc. Then he was asked in general about Roy's contract extension--does the team run the player through another physical before committing 80 mil over 5 years? Patterson said that the players are already so well known to the team there's not much of a point. They see the guys during every practice and while they work out and for 9 months out of the year, there are no secrets about how healthy they are. If something happens during the offseason, the player is bound by his contract to immediately report it to the team, etc. He also mentioned a couple of NBA players who had no cartilage in their knees and still played for many years at a high level (Kenny "the Jet" Smith and Nick van Exel) The doctors said that NVE had the knees of an 80 year-old, and it all depends on how a player keeps his quads in shape and how high of a threshold to pain they have as individuals. This gave me hope that perhaps reports of Roy's career demise may have been exaggerated. But there are no guarantees. If its just a bone bruise then Brandon could be back after a couple of weeks of rest and playing as well as he has for the last few years. Hopefully this is the case. Steve spoke well of Dr. Roberts and the Blazer trainers during the interview. He said that any criticism that they have received re: so many Portland players being injured is unfounded, the staff is one of the best in the NBA, etc. Patterson was also asked about Oden. He said he thought that prior to the 2007 draft that Greg was an injury risk and that he was in favor of selecting Durant at the time, because of these concerns (believe it, or don't) That's all I can remember, but it was a significant 10 minute interview that is well worth checking out on the 1080 website in a few days. I know that Patterson was snarky during his tenure as Blazer's GM, but he's been around the league forever and he's still a source of NBA info based on that experience. He doesn't seem to mind sharing his Blazer recollections from a difficult period in the team's history. Hopefully someday after his Portland contract expires, KP will be able to do the same, on the record.
Download the podcast from last Friday. Following the interview, Canzano revealed that KP's casa is now OMSW's casa!
Joe was guest hosting with Jay Allen this afternoon. The podcast is Sept 21, hour 3, first segment. Here are some highlights. On Oden "...after going through last year's playoffs with so many guys down and injured...that's a time of year when we really need all of our bodies...people want Greg to be ready at the start of the season...looking long term, we need everyone healthy, clicking together, come March, April into May. If we can get Greg to play 60-65 games this year and continue the development curve he was on before he got injured last year, I think we'll have a chance to have some success in the playoffs, this season." On Rudy "We signed Wes Matthews...Rudy brings us a dimension of shooting that every team needs, you get into the playoffs you gotta have guys to spread the floor, he's a very important part of our success. We need him in the right mindset, we see him as an integral part of what we've done the last couple of years, and we hope he wants to be a part of that going forward. He's come to the realization that the season is about to start, and guys like that, they want to play. I think he's beginning to feel a sense that "I need to get back in the right mindset, I'm going to be in Portland, I need to come and give it my best" and I think that's where he's at, right now." The rookies "I see progress from each guy. Luke has been a different player than we saw in Vegas, he's been much more assertive, more aggressive, you can see his confidence growing every day, I think he's going to be a guy who can fill a Travis Outlaw-like role for us, he's gonna score the ball in a lot of different ways. I think he has a chance to contribute for us as a rookie." "Elliot Williams does some spectacular things athletically. Teaching him to play point or off the ball is going to be crucial for his development...long term he has as much upside as any player on our roster...because of his hunger, his competitiveness. He's a great on-ball defender, a very aggressive attacking guard. I'm really excited about his future." "Armon has been solid here this fall. He's starting to get to know his other teammates, now...it's tough for a rookie to come in and contribute to a playoff team, so these guys have their work cut out for them. I like all 3 of these guys long term." Excited about getting the season started? "Lot's of people have overlooked us...that's a motivation for our guys...people are talking about other teams but they don't mention us. That's the role that we like, it shows that people aren't respecting this team, and I think our guys will play with a chip on their shoulders this year because of it."
Mike said that he heard from 2 people that Oden should be cleared to play 5-on-5 in a couple of days, and MB expects Greg to be ready on opening night He also said that Luke Babbitt has improved his post moves and strength since summer league and he's been the guy who's impressed Mike and Mike the most this week in informal scrimmages Elliott Williams and Jerryd Bayless are now playing ball with the others Check out the podcast later, this interview aired between 5:15-5:30 tonight on 1080
Here are a few excerpts, Mike Barrett was the host "I said this last year and all our coaches agree with it, I think he [Batum] is an all-star waiting to happen, he's got all-star ability...his ballhandling is improved, getting the ball in traffic and pushing it. I think his overall confidence, playing with the national team is going to improve...he's a great kid, he listens, he's coachable...I have no doubts about him, I really don't...the pads are a really good teaching tool for guys in the post, we'll figure out what his go-to moves are down there once we put him in there, let him get comfortable with it and have him play some one-on-one against Dante and Luke...start to develop that and I'll think it'll come" "We need a stronger base of leadership where the players are vocal and getting after each other, I'd like to see that this September and into training camp" "Jerryd is nursing an injury...the 2 focuses I had for him [during summer workouts] was to make his left hand as good as his right...getting to the rim and shooting a little left hand floater...and to continue to improve the consistency with his jump shot...he's a competitor, I know he's ready, there's no doubt...you don't get any tougher than Jerryd...Nate has plans to play him at both spots...to be the backup point but also come in and provide some offense and play off the ball a little bit when he's in there with Brandon and/or Andre...we need Jerryd to bust out this year...if Rudy's not back that certainly is going to open up a lot of minutes and give Jerryd his opportunity."
I've been thinking lately about how the starting lineup is going to share the ball, especially re: what would happen if Oden makes a complete recovery and it becomes clear that he needs to be...
Besides pulling off an impromptu Don Vito Corleone impersonation, new Blazer assistant coach Bob Ociepka shared some interesting insights re: Portland's transition offense and interior defense. Here are a few quotes: "After 20 years in the NBA and 10 teams...this is the best team that I've come to...that's been my history, getting the teams that have been not great upon my arrival...it's really exciting and I'm optimistic about what the TBs can achieve" "The biggest thing that has to happen defensively is to keep the ball in front of you and keep the ball out of the lane...the TBs have those pieces that can help you erase mistakes...you traded for Marcus Camby...Joel Przybilla, I was with him in Milwaukee and I know what he can do in a help position, and to have a healthy Oden back there to erase mistakes...those are some pieces that most teams don't have." Offensively...I was with Andre his first couple of years up in Cleveland, and when I watched him in the east with Philadelphia he did a great job of pushing the ball and creating a lot of early offense...I think that's a scenario [for the Blazers] where there's room for improvement in terms of getting some easier baskets...LMA is a heck of a runner, taking advantage of him running the floor and outrunning big guys...Andre Miller can take a lot of these smaller PGs down inside and score on 'em...[from an opposing coach's perspective] Brandon Roy is a player that we knew when the game was on the line he was going to be in a situation isolated where we were going to have to double-team him or force him to help...he's a guy who wants big time shots and can knock 'em down...Batum is a heck of a player...I think offensively all the weapons are there. I'm looking forward to being able to work with those guys."
Blazer fans owe Leiweke a debt of gratitude for encouraging Paul Allen that the broken financial model in Portland could be turned around, 5-6 years ago. Lots of praise for Paul Allen, Larry Miller, Steve Patterson, Sarah Mensah and the Blazer's front office staff (and the real reason why Tod is leaving Vulcan.) "KP learned a lot from the experience and he'll be a better man because of it" Don't miss it
Przybilla: Well Babbitt, you're going to be in Portland with me. You know Nate McMillian, the Blazer head coach? He told me I have a job as backup center for as long as he's running the team. Babbitt: Look Przybilla, if you're the veteran banger, you must know all the players. Przybilla: I certainly do. Babbitt: Well you know I've never met the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team. Przybilla: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names. Babbitt: You mean funny names? Przybilla: Strange names, pet names...like Catfish Outlaw... Babbitt: and that little guy named Patty, what's up with that? Przybilla: Patty Mills, yeah,well he's an Aussie. Babbitt: And his French cousin. Przybilla: Frenchy? Babbitt: Batum. Przybilla: Nico Suave. Well, let's see, we have tags on the lockers, Who's the point guard, What's the power forward, I Don't Know is the center... Babbitt: That's what I want to find out. Przybilla: I say Who's the point guard, What's the power forward, I Don't Know is the center... Babbitt: Aren't you the backbone of the team's defense? Przybilla: That's what they call me. Babbitt: You're gonna be the veteran tough guy banger? Przybilla: That's my job. Babbitt: And you don't know the fellows' names? Przybilla: Well I should. Babbitt: Well then, who's the point guard? Przybilla: Yes. Babbitt: I mean the fellow's name. Przybilla: Who. Babbitt: The guy playing point. Przybilla: Who. Babbitt: The point guard. Przybilla: Who. Babbitt: The guy playing... Przybilla: Who is the point guard! Babbitt: I'm asking YOU who's the point guard. Przybilla: That's the man's name. Babbitt: That's who's name? Przybilla: Yes. Babbitt: Well go ahead and tell me. Przybilla: That's it. Babbitt: That's who? Przybilla: Yes. PAUSE Babbitt: Look, does the team have a point guard? Przybilla: Certainly. Babbitt: Who's playing the point? Przybilla: That's right. Babbitt: When you pay off the point guard every month, who gets the money? Przybilla: His wife gets every dollar of it. Babbitt: All I'm trying to find out is the fellow's name that's playing point guard. Przybilla: Who. Babbitt: The guy that gets... Przybilla: That's it. Babbitt: Who gets the money... Przybilla: He does, sometimes. But usually his wife comes down and collects it. Babbitt: Whose wife? Przybilla: Yes. PAUSE Przybilla: What's wrong with that? Babbitt: Look, all I wanna know is when you sign up the point guard, how does he sign his name? Przybilla: Who. Babbitt: The guy. Przybilla: Who. Babbitt: How does he sign... Przybilla: That's how he signs it. Babbitt: Who? Przybilla: Yes. PAUSE Babbitt: All I'm trying to find out is what's the guy's name who's playing point guard. Przybilla: No. What is the power forward. Babbitt: I'm not asking you who's the power forward. Przybilla: Who's the point guard. Babbitt: One position at a time! Przybilla: Well, don't change the players around, that's Nate's job. Babbitt: I'm not changing nobody! Przybilla: Take it easy, rookie. Babbitt: I'm only asking you, who's the point guard? Przybilla: That's right. Babbitt: Ok. Przybilla: All right. PAUSE Babbitt: What's the guy's name who's playing point guard? Przybilla: No. What is the power forward. Babbitt: I'm not asking you who's the power forward. Przybilla: Who's the point guard. Babbitt: I don't know. Przybilla: He's the starting center (when he's healthy) but we're not talking about him. Babbitt: Now why are we talking about the center? Przybilla: Because you mentioned his name. Babbitt: If I mentioned the center's name, who did I say is starting at the 5? Przybilla: No. Who's playing point guard. Babbitt: What's playing the point have to do with it? Przybilla: What's playing the power forward. Babbitt: I don't know. Przybilla: He's the center. Babbitt: There you go, back to the center, again! PAUSE Babbitt: Would you just stay at center and don't go off it. Przybilla: I'd love to stay here, what do you want to know? Babbitt: Now who's playing center? Przybilla: Why do you insist on putting Who at center? We have enough of those, already! Babbitt: What am I putting at center? Przybilla: No. What is the power forward, and he really doesn't do that well playing center. Babbitt: You don't want who playing power forward? Przybilla: Who is the point guard, and we have plenty of power forwards, too. Babbitt: I don't know. Babbitt & Przybilla together: CENTER! PAUSE Babbitt: Look, does Nate have any assistant coaches, yet? Przybilla: As far as I know. He's working on getting a few more. Babbitt: Do you know the lead assistant's name? Przybilla: Why. Babbitt: I just thought I'd ask you. Przybilla: Well, I just thought I'd tell ya. Babbitt: Then tell me who's the lead assistant coach? Przybilla: Who's the point guard. Babbitt: I'm not...will you please stay out of the starting lineup! I want to know what's the guy's name who's gonna be the lead assistant coach? Przybilla: No, What is the power forward. Babbitt: I'm not asking you who the power forward is. Przybilla: Who's the point guard! Babbitt: I don't know. Babbitt & Przybilla together: CENTER! PAUSE Babbitt: Will you tell me the lead assistant coach's name, again? Przybilla: Why. Babbitt: Because I said so! Przybilla: Oh, he's the owner. PAUSE Babbitt: Look, does this team have a general manager that I can talk to? Przybilla: Because I said so is supposed to be working on that Babbitt: Does he know the GM's name? Przybilla: Tomorrow. Babbitt: You don't want to tell me today? Przybilla: Well, I'd like to tell you now. Babbitt: Then go ahead. Przybilla: Tomorrow! Babbitt: What time? Przybilla: What time what? Babbitt: What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who the new GM is? Przybilla: Now listen. Who is not going to be the new GM. Babbitt: I'll break your other knee if you say who's the point guard! I want to know what's the new GM's name? Przybilla: What is the power forward. Babbitt: I don't know. Babbitt & Przybilla together: CENTER! PAUSE Babbitt: Does this team have a starting small forward? Przybilla: Certainly. Babbitt: What's his name? Przybilla: Today. Babbitt: Today, and tomorrow's the new GM. Przybilla: Now you've got it. Babbitt: Great. So we've got a couple of days to figure all of this out. PAUSE Babbitt: You know, I'm a small forward, too. Przybilla: So they tell me. Babbitt: So when Nate puts me in the game to do some fancy shooting, I'm trying to play some defense and rebound and let's say the ball randomly bounces my way. I want to throw an outlet pass to the point guard. So I catch the ball and throw it to who? Przybilla: Now that's the first thing you've said right. Babbitt: I don't even know what I'm talking about! PAUSE Przybilla: That's all you have to do. Babbitt: Is to throw the ball to the point guard. Przybilla: Yes! Babbitt: Now who's got it? Przybilla: Naturally. Babbitt: But I thought the shooting guard is called the Natural? PAUSE Babbitt: Look, if I throw the ball to the point guard, somebody's gotta get it. Now who has it? Przybilla: Naturally. Babbitt: Who, the all-star shooting guard? Przybilla: No, Who is the point guard. Babbitt: Naturally? Przybilla: No, the Natural is the shooting guard. Babbitt: So I pick up the ball and I throw it to the Natural. Przybilla: Well you could, or you could throw the ball to Who. Babbitt: Naturally. Przybilla: Yeah, they both like the rock in their hands. Babbitt: That's what I said. Przybilla: You're not saying it... Babbitt: I throw the ball to the Natural. Przybilla: Or, you can throw it to Who. Babbitt: Or to the Natural. Przybilla: Depending on who's open. Babbitt: That's what I said! Przybilla: You ask me. Babbitt: I throw the ball to who? Przybilla: Or to the Natural. Babbitt: Now you ask me. Przybilla: You throw the ball to Who? Babbitt: Or to the Natural. Przybilla: That's it. Babbitt: Same as you! Same as YOU! I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is takes the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don't Know. I Don't Know throws it back to the Natural for a 3 point shot. RRRIP CITY!!! The old GM was fired by Because I said so. Why? I don't know! He's the center and I don't give a darn! Przybilla: What? Babbitt: I said I don't give a darn! Przybilla: Oh, that's our team president.
Amar'e Stoudemire was in New York on Saturday night and talked about who might eventually join him on the Knicks. "I've talked to Carmelo Anthony that he needs to come out here," Stoudemire said. "I've talked to Tony Parker. Both guys are ready to join me if I decide to come here. So we will see if we can work it out." Wouldn't it be funny if Stoudemire signs with the Knicks and then Tony and Melo tell him "psych!"?
Brian T Smith was on the MSP this AM and (among other things) said that "two solid sources" have told him that Portland haven't made any offers that include Miller or Przybilla this week. note: title changed due to general confusion re: GM terminology
I have a couple of confessions to make. First, I didn't go back in the archives to re-read jscot's treatise of "5 Playoff Myths" that he submitted a few months ago. So I'm writing this fanshot from memory. The second confession is that I watched parts of game 7 last night, from the 2nd quarter up until Fish hit the 3 pointer. I was not interested in watching the L*kers celebrate, and by then the momentum of the game was decided and the outcome was no longer in doubt. At least not to me. One of jscot's myths that this game debunked in particular was that it's not important to have bangers in your lineup to win a championship. As we witnessed last night, L*A shot 27% from the floor in the first half and only trailed by 4. Why? Because they had 9 offensive rebounds to Boston's 0 and 15 second-chance points to the Celtic's 2. Remember this game whenever you think about putting Joel Pryzbilla's expiring contract into trade proposals. The L*kers were without Bynum for the most part and still rebounded and drew enough fouls to win another title. The Celtic were without Perkins and were suddenly vulnerable, on the glass. If Blazers fans want to beat L*A, let's keep our big front line intact, because when push comes to shove in game 7, length and strength will snatch the rings.
Chad started out talking about how the Blazers are looking for players to surround their current core who "know who they are" and are ready to contribute (i.e. Pendy and Ferno) He said that the younger players tend to think they're better than they are, or they don't know how good they are, yet Kenny Vance asked him about PGs like Bradley, Bledsoe and Warren. Chad seemed to indicate that these guards are in the 2nd (younger) category, and that they played "off the ball" in college Vance mentioned that the Blazers were deep at the frontcourt positions and should be looking at guards. Buchanan didn't disagree with Kenny but he did fall back on the old reliable "BPA" There's a lot more (today's workout, this week in Treviso, etc) Check out the link later this afternoon to review the podcast. It will be during hour 1, 40-45 minutes in
As opposed to taking a wiz on the wall? (Poor Nets, Devin Harris isn't going anywhere)
Jason Quick doesn't know why Penn was fired. He said it was sad that there's been so much negative stuff being written about Tom, because he's not a bad guy Vance said that he was told in Vegas last summer (by an "NBA exec") that Allen was now questioning the front office's decision to draft Oden instead of Durant. Kenny also repeated that this exec told him that Paul felt that Portland was "a year behind" in their development towards a championship and that KP's job security during the offseason was not as solid as fans/media might expect. Quick said this was news to him and very concerning. Vance promised to reveal his "hole card" to Jason off the air. Follow the link for the podcast, which should be "up" shortly. It was hour 1 during the first segment (on air 30-45 minutes ago) I fully suspect Vance to be raked across the coals by Bedgers and his "credibility" questioned. As for me...let's just say that considering past behavior by Allen during his team ownership, this news should not be all that surprising.
The Nug's GM was on with Wheels and Vance this afternoon. (If you missed the show, I highly recommend the podcast, Mark was with the Blazers during the Whitsitt era and shared the story about Portland's decision to trade Jermaine O'Neal, as well as some other tidibts) But the point he made later about small PGs caught my attention. (A caller had asked him about Nash's decision to draft Telfair instead of Al Jefferson, already knowing that Wark had been opposed to the selection of Bassy) Here's a paraphrase of Mark's response: "I'm a believer in collecting big guys, and if you have too many of them you can trade them for something. I'm a big quantitative guy. The "quants" (that's what KP calls them) feel the numbers show a real prejudice against smaller PGs but that is reversing to some degree because of the way the game is officiated now, you can't touch those little guys out front. We (Denver) went for Ty Lawson who's a little guy, It wasn't with a lottery pick, but there were some other circumstances. George (Karl) is tough on rookies...but TL was a Carolina kid and George has the blue tatoo and he talked to the Carolina people so it was kind of an exception to the rule that we went with the little guy...KP and I are on the rules committee and the NBA officials are very happy with the "freedom of movement" rules that allow you to barely touch the little guys out front...and so while my own natural inclination is against the little guy, I'm moving on that. Most of us are, because it's changed." During the interview Wark spoke well of KP, so the reports of animosity between the two GMs (because KP got the Blazer's job and Mark didn't, etc) appear to be unfounded.
I didn't hear all of Jason's interview, but he mentioned that Portland was interested in signing a veteran PG like "Antonio Daniels, Jacque Vaughn or Dan Dickau" to fill the 15th roster spot. Harvey came on later and mentioned that the Blazer coaches have told him that they see Nic Batum as a future point forward who can help facilitate the offense and make it possible for Rudy or Bayless to play alongside Roy in the backcourt. (The website should have the podcast/mp3 up later this AM if you want to review these interviews)
Asked about Cunningham’s evolution, McMillan’s first words were: "I love his game." "I think he plays winning basketball because of the way he plays," McMillan said. "He’s not afraid to mix it up and guard. He’s not starstruck. He’s not intimidated by anybody." Out of all of the surprises in Cunningham’s game, his footwork and shot selection top the list. But it his fearless playing style that drew the most praise from McMillan. Portland’s coach said most young NBA players are in awe of the league’s brightest stars. Asked to guard a big-name All-Star such as Denver forward Carmelo Anthony, and a normal rookie will not just back down — they will back away. Up-and-coming athletes are more concerned with making summertime friends and bowing to power, McMillan said, rather than playing the game as it should be played. Not Cunningham. When Portland asked the ex-Wildcat to take on San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Kaman and Boston’s Rasheed Wallace in succession, Cunningham delivered. "He will go at the best player, even on his own team," McMillan said. "I’ve seen him switch out on Brandon (Roy), and try and get down and guard Brandon as a rookie." (More Dante interview details here) http://www.columbian.com/weblogs/blazerbanter/2010/feb/28/interviews-cunningham-mcmillan-wright-on-cunningha/
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