Monday, November 27, 2006

Some Blazers odds and ends

ZACH'S KNACK: As good as Zach Randolph is posting up, he may be even better attacking his defender from the perimeter. His sense of where the angles are is innate, and special. Now he just needs some consistent guard play, like all bigs do. -- Thorpe
From Blazer's Edge:
Individual Observations

--Zach had the most magnificent first quarter I can remember from him in forever. He definitely came out to play. It wasn't just scoring either. You could see it in the way he set picks, directed traffic, went for rebounds, passed, and helped on defense. You could even see it in the bounce in his step as he moved around the court. If he came with that every quarter, or even every night, there would be far fewer questions about him. He lost it by the second quarter under the continuous Phoenix assault and the not-so-favorable officiating. I don't know that he'd have been able to carry us on his back anyway. I really, really want to see that effort brought back and extended farther though.

--Ime Udoka also came to play, albeit much more quietly. I love that guy.
This is a little old (after the loss to San Antonio at home a week ago) but I needed to get it in here, from Hoopsworld:
Now 5-7 after a tough road trip and a loss at home to San Antonio, it’s clear we were wrong. The media was wrong, the fans were wrong, the team management was wrong…heck, even Nate McMillan and his coaching staff were wrong. Wrong about a lot of things. We were wrong in our expectations of the team and of the rookie class. We underestimated them. Most teams if they lost that many starters/key players would barely be able to keep things together, let alone see players step up and make such great contributions.
A few more from Hoopsworld, the grey one is here and the red one is here. The first one is about Travis Outlaw:
This is the kind of play the Portland Trail Blazers thought they would get from Travis Outlaw when they made him the 23rd first round pick back in the 2001 NBA draft.

Five years later, the 6'9 Starkville, Mississippi native is making a significant contribution off the bench and is quietly leading the second unit for Nate McMillan's 6-7 Blazers.

McMillan got the biggest glimpse of this when Outlaw poured in 13 points off the pine in Wednesday nights 100-97 comeback win over the New Jersey Nets, their second win over the Nets in a week.

With this outing, Outlaw is currently averaging 9.5 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, in just over 23 minutes per game. Maybe those numbers aren't "Sixth Man of the Year" award worthy, but nonetheless McMillan, Steve Patterson, and Kevin Pritchard must admit they are pleased with Outlaw's performance this year.
Here's the second one, about Aldridge.
Well, funny how things work out: an injury to starting center Joel Przybilla and a philosophy change by Coach Nate McMillan has thrust Aldridge (albeit likely only temporarily) into the starting center position. In five starts this season before Sunday’s game against Phoenix, Aldridge has averaged 9.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, and shot 20-38 (53%) from the field. For the season (nine total games) he is averaging 8.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and shooting 58% from the field.
It's time to get back to work getting school stuff done. I've had the Oregon QB rating done for a while, but I never put them up here. After Joey's game on Thanksgiving and A. J. Feeley's short stint last night, maybe I should do a quick update before posting it.

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