Monday, December 01, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Episode 1...A pretty crappy start

Here it is, the podcast Stephen and I did this morning before six. Hopefully these will start going up much earlier in the day.



Here it is if you want to open it in a different window.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Blazers/Spurs (fourth quarter)

The Blazers start this quarter with 78 points, which is a pretty good total considering they've played three periods against the vaunted Spurs defense.

I don't really like the look of Batum's three point jumper, but I love that he doesn't hesitate to shoot it when he's open. It also doesn't hurt that we have good offensive rebounders who create second chance points. If only we could improve at the same thing on the defensive end.

Free throws had better not plague this team this year.

Something that won't plague this team – even though it did against the Lakers on opening day – is open jump shots. Channing Frye just hit another one. When Oden comes back healthy and opposing teams have to focus even more defensive energy on our interior, we should start raining in mid-range and long-range jumpers all over the place.

By extending Martell Webster today, the Blazers ensured that they won't have to deal with the cap-hold they would have had going into free agency next year. By signing Webster to that deal, they might have a) locked up a good young player for a decent price b) signed a guy to a reasonable deal that will make him more attractive as part of a trade c) simply made sure that the cap hold wouldn't affect them next year.

Channing Frye just went past Duncan and dunked it. He also seemed to giggle a little bit as he slid around Duncan, as if he knew that he got away with something.

I hate seeing Sergio get frustrated. A frustrated Sergio is an ineffective Sergio.

That pass by Tony Parker was really nice. I think the Blazers are going to get some starters back in the game now.

I thought that was decent defense by Przybilla on Duncan, but that call will always go Duncan's way.

Brandon Roy just got to the rim on Duncan. He has to hit his free throws, but I love that he can drive against anyone. And he nails the first. I love Brandon Roy. Both.

It looked like Duncan was complaining about the foul they just called against Przybilla. That's hilarious.

Brandon Roy just took Outlaw aside to do some coaching on the floor. What a great player and leader.

Again Roy takes the lane.

I like that Aldridge is willing to take the three pointer and can hit it, but I don't think he should take it when he has someone near him like that.

Brandon Roy does not play like a third year player, helping Przybilla tie up Duncan to force that jump ball.

A great point being made right now is that all of San Antonio's three pointers in the fourth quarter have come on kick outs from dribble penetration. Portland needs to make sure they learn to do that better.

Did I mention that LaMarcus Aldridge is the guy I consider the top scorer for this season.

This is a big defensive possession for Portland.

I love that McMillan is trusting Batum to be in at the end of this game.

We need a good play here.

Good defense to end the night for Portland. That was a lot of fun.

Best sign of the night:
Everybody's
Scared of
Portland
Now

Blazers/Spurs (third quarter)

Portland is still the second youngest team in the NBA this season. Crazy.

I've been telling people that Aldridge would eat the league up this year. It looks like he's working his way toward that.

Tim Duncan is a great basketball player.

The announcers are claiming that Kurt Thomas flopped on that last foul call against Aldridge, but I didn't complain about it.

Pretty ball movement from Roy and Aldridge to get Outlaw a nice corner three.

Well done by Lincoln on that commercial. I just don't think you can go wrong with a tasteful David Bowie cover.

Joel Przybilla making his money underneath on that one.

Pretty play by Aldridge and Oulaw that resulted in Duncan fouling Outlaw on his way up for a dunk. I think he looks much better in this game than he did on Tuesday, which is making it harder for me to stick to my position that he should be one of the ones to go if anyone must leave.

Jon Barry just claimed that Roy was doing "what he does best – puts the ball in the basket." I don't know if I agree with that statement. Roy does way too many things well to claim that scoring is the thing he does best.

Holy crap Nicolas Batum is a great basketball player.

Brandon Roy will take whatever he's given. And the Spurs are giving him a lot right now.

Fast break points. We love those. Nicolas Batum. We love him. Too bad I haven't been blogging, because I was talking about him like this even before I got to see him play.

Blazers/Spurs (second quarter)

I love Pop. That interview with him was classic.

This second unit is so much fun to watch on the offensive end. Rudy and Sergio are great together.

They just showed a replay of Batum's block of Duncan. This kid is brilliant.

BATUM IS UNREAL!!

Batum just got compared to Tayshaun Prince by Jon Barry. I've been saying it since the beginning of training camp.

Przybilla just got some love from the announcers, which is nice. He deserves it.

A miss by Batum, but it was a good jumper in the flow of the offense. Now that I'm actually getting to see him I like him as much as I thought I would.

Przybilla just earned a foul with good position, so I won't complain any more about what seems like one sided officiating.

Sergio just missed a three, but Rudy corralled the long offensive board. Sadly, LaMarcus missed another mid-range jumper. It'll come, but he's been missing a lot of them again tonight.

BATUM!!! (He picked up a loose ball, beat two Spur defenders, and then made the and-1 as he got fouled on the lay-in. Then he hit the free throw. Ridiculous.)

"This Batum guy is impressive." --a text I just received from J-Lew. I agree Lew, I agree completely.

It's good to see Aldridge getting to the line and hitting.

The only thing the announcers failed to mention when talking about why Travis Outlaw has improved so much statistically is that he's the Gatling gun. 1000 shots per minute.

Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge are so great.

A funny disparity between the Blazers tonight and the Blazers on Tuesday is how young we looked in LA and how mature we look tonight. This is the way we need to look if we're going to have a successful year.

If we keep playing zone, we need to make sure we don't get beaten when they swing the ball around. We just got beaten again by a wide open three point shooter for San Antonio.

Brandon Roy is my favorite Blazer ever.

(Okay, Sabonis is still number one. But that shot, the composure, the defense he displayed earlier...all those things are the reasons he is ahead of Clyde and Rasheed on the all-time list.)

Blazers/Spurs (first quarter)

I broke into some friends' house to watch the Blazers game tonight. Here are some thoughts while getting to see the game.

It looks like we decided to force the ball inside to Aldridge, something we should have done better in Los Angeles Tuesday night.

We look a lot more settled in this game than we did on opening night. Hopefully it was just the nerves. I wondered if it might have had to do with Oden and the pressure that comes with the hype, but I think it's more likely that the team is just more calm at home after working the kinks out in that big-time opener.

Speaking of being more comfortable, it looks like Frye is hitting his shot again.

Brandon Roy is so good.

They have been calling all sorts of off-ball fouls on Portland. Boo.

I LOVE Nicolas Batum. He just had a sweet offensive rebound and then got an assist on an Aldridge dunk.

RUDY! RUDY! RUDY! RUDY!

Sergio just drilled a three pointer. Beautiful.

Nearly the whole second unit is in, with Aldridge being the only starter still in the game.

The refs called another terrible foul against Portland. Boo.

Never mind. After watching it again, I have no idea if it was a good call or not. I won't whine just because it's against my team.

Rudy missed an open three to end the corner off several nice passes to swing the ball around really quickly.

Down 22-21 at the end of the first, but I really like what I saw.

DirecTV

The DirecTV guy came by the house today with bad news. It seems that
my house is in a bad spot to pick up the signal, especially because of
a tree eight next door. So no DirecTV. The guy suggested that dish
network might get a better signal because their tower is in a
different spot or something like that. If not I'll just go with cable.
No matter what, my dream of league pass is coming true this year.


Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A podcast? More than likely.

Quick update: I should have DirecTV set up tomorrow. That means I
should also have league pass very soon. With those things happening
Stephen and I are planning our own podcast, which will be posted here
and in iTunes if I figure out how to do it.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Coming back soon

Double entendré? Yes please!

Sadly, my soccer team is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention – unless it turns out that another league team did something illegal earlier in the year to disqualify themselves – which means that our season will be over after our game next Tuesday. I would love to make the playoffs, but I'm also excited to have a little more time to prepare for school and make sure that I'm taking care of all the school things that I've been letting slide a little bit. In addition, I'll be able to start posting more again, which is exciting. In fact one of the reason's it is exciting is that...

The NBA season is soooooo close now. Some more things that are coming back soon... ...Channing Frye at full strength
...Steve Blake at full strength
...Blazermania in absolutely full force
...Brandon Roy's habit of making other players (and executives) in this league look foolish
...Kevin Pritchard's habit of making everyone believe in his superiority as a GM to anyone else in pro sports
...the Larry O'Brien trophy to Portland (as I said back on November 2, 2008).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Greg Oden sings

This is a video of Greg Oden singing. I thought he sang alright at the ESPYs, so I think this might just be his goofiness coming out. I love that guy.

Roseburg Soccer Highlights

Please enjoy the song during this video, and the poor editing. Well, and enjoy the fact that someone in my community cares enough to post video "highlights" of games online. This was from our first game, which happened Tuesday. The girls played well again yesterday, but were a little unlucky and failed to finish a few times. We walked away with a 1-0 loss.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My favorite fairy tale

Dave over at Blazer's Edge may have outdone himself. He wrote a fairy tale with an allegorical plot and Blazer players as characters. It's fantastic, and it's broken down into two parts.

Part one.

Part two.

Seriously, even if you don't like the Blazers you should read it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hilarious stuff from BDL, as usual

When I started listening to the Basketball Jones last summer I became a big fan of Tas and Skeets both. So I was really glad when Skeets jumped on board at Yahoo!. Here are some quotes from a live blog this morning. I know he says they were cut, which means they were from readers, but his choices are still great. And really funny. Really really funny.
• 92-69? That's it? What is that, eight, nine points? We should be beating teams like Greece by 80 or 90 points. We should be winning games 150-6! And those six points should only happen because we're shooting on our own net in the first half to get used to the rims.

• Redeem Team? Ha. Try Pipe Dream Team! Why isn't this team winning games by more points? Did you see what the score was after 1 second — 0-0. Zero points! We were tied with Greece after one second of play. That won't cut it versus the Spaniards!

• What a bunch of showboats. This team makes me sick. You should never dunk the ball if you're beating your opponent. Never! In fact, as soon the USA takes a lead we should be subbing out a guy and play short-handed. Coach K has no idea what he's doing out there.

• (Following a 14-foot USA jump shot): Is this is a joke? We're supposed to be the GREATEST TEAM IN THE WORLD and we can't dunk the ball from 14 feet? Pathetic. Brent Barry would have dunked that. Where is Brent Barry? Why will no one answer me?

• John Stockton's feathery hair could win gold by itself!!! Fact!!

• Did you see that Bryant alley-oop? BOR-ING!!! Kobe shold have grabbed it, wrapped it around his back, went through his legs, cleaned the backboard, snatched that rogue red balloon for the little Chinese girl, kissed a helicopter, smiled a little more, and then dunked it.

• WHY ARE WE PLAYING WITH SHOES ON!? WHERE ARE OUR CROCS!?!?

• Greece cut it to 16 during the second half and trailed by just 20 at the end of three quarters. If that doesn't tell you something about the fragile psyche of this USA Team then I don't know. We're doomed.
Just fantastic stuff.

I'm glad it went well

I can't wait to see this smiling face back on the floor, and hearing that the recovery should take 4-6 weeks was welcome news a few minutes ago when I read it.

I still want next summer to go by with no knee surgeries. That'd be great.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I hate late summer knee surgery

hate

Pick and Roll? Yes, please.

This whole thing is okay, but the part that I posted it for starts around the 48 second mark. Greg Oden and Steve Blake do a pick and roll there that is beautiful. I laughed out loud with glee the first three times I watched it. In a row. There are several more videos where this came from at Casey's Center Court blog.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My first draft

I have four (maybe five, if they ask again) fantasy football teams this year. Here are the results from my first draft. I picked seventh out of ten. Click on the picture to see it bigger, if you actually want to see it.

This is even cooler

This is a link to an even sweeter version of that 4x100 freestyle. I love watching this race.

Monday, August 11, 2008

This image is beautiful

I was just looking at the (still hidden/beta) trade machine – trying to find a way to trade Josh Smith to the Grizzlies for J-Lew's sake – and noticed what the Blazers roster looks like now. Seriously, look at how many guys have one year left on their contracts, and how much cap space that will be, and how many foreign players we have as additional assets, and how GOOD our players are.

(sigh)

I can't wait for this season.

One of the best things I've ever seen

This was just too amazing. I am now a huge Jason Lezak fan.

Oh yeah, I'm happy that Phelps gets to continue his pursuit of eight.

I love headbands

I remember the turn of the millennium Blazers fondly, even though they didn't fulfill their destiny. One of the things that endeared them to me was the headband revolution, including the song they did.

Anyway, the Blowtorch has a great tribute post to that team today, and it gives a guide on wearing headbands. Well worth the read. (via TrueHoop, again)

Maybe I could get this job

This whole article is great, but this section was my favorite. Maybe if we can't get the current Squatch, I could take the job and just run around up there shirtless. That'd be fantastic.
When it comes to the delicate art of slam dunking a basketball while being propelled by a trampoline, few do it better than Squatch. His skills are vast and his mascot abilities are graceful and energetic, yet still tactful and refined. He's everything Blaze is not. Plus he bears a strange resemblance to Teen Wolf, another mythical creature who is capable of grand performances on the basketball court. And if "Stiles" (or Channing Frye) wants him to surf atop a moving van, he'd totally do it.

While I'm no historian of mythological woodland creatures, I do believe with much conviction that the real Sasquatch is far more likely to lay claim to the plush Oregonian woods than he is the condos of Seattle's U-District, or, God forbid, the dusty wastelands of Oklahoma City. Just think what that dry air will do to Squatch's majestic mane of hair.

He belongs here.

From Ezra Ace Caraeff's article in the Portland Mercury, via TrueHoop.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More video of Greg Oden

The Oregonian does great stuff. Really great stuff, actually, about the Blazers. Here is the latest video installment on Greg Oden's rehab. (My favorite Blazer, Channing Frye, is also in this video. I love that guy.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

I really hope Channing Frye is a Blazer for life

His blog rules. He's hilarious. I like his game. He loves Portland as a city.

Did I mention that his blog rules? Really, go read the latest post.

Brandon Roy video

This video is from The Oregonian. That link goes to the blog that includes the video and 10 blog posts, with audio, about Brandon Roy. It's fantastic. As I said a while ago, Roy has made his way to number two on my list of favorite all-time Blazers. Depending on how this season goes he might take the top spot soon. Poor Sabas.




Friday, July 18, 2008

It has been quite some time

Yeah, I haven't blogged since I got up to Oregon and started working on finishing my M.Ed. Today marks the end of two of my three classes, though, and the two that are ending are the ones that required a ton of effort, energy, and e-focus. I have been able to pay attention to some things going on in the sports world, but not as many things as I would like. For instance: I haven't watched hardly any of the Blazers' summer league games. I think summer league is really fun, and this year might have been even more fun because of the way Jerryd Bayless has destroyed the opposition and Petteri Koponen has shown his abilities as a guard at this level. Something else I haven't talked about at all? How about NBA free agency or a few of the crazy trades (and trade ideas) that have been going on. Elton Brand? Baron Davis? Cory Maggette? Marcus Camby? (Not) Zach Randolph? Topics that interest me but that I haven't put any time into on this blog. Or I could have been talking about the fall of Jeff Francoeur. Or Chipper Jones' attempt to hit .400. Or Lofa Tatupu still being a great guy despite being charged with a DUI. Yeah, that one's pretty old, but it's still relevant and I haven't mentioned it until now. What's that? I failed to mention the University of Oregon football player who drowned earlier this week, when I've been on campus? Yep, until today. I was attending classes at the sight of the U.S. track and field Olympic Trials and didn't talk about the crazy atmosphere? True again. A guy who graduated from my high school became the first catcher to be charged with a loss as a pitcher in a game since 1901. (Thanks Jayson Stark.) How about the best swimming event in a long time, one that included three people from my high school – and could have had two more – competing against one of the best fields in the history of the sport, and I didn't mention it except on my other, non-sports blog? I did that too. Did I even mention the way Kevin Pritchard destroyed the rest of the association in the draft again this year? I don't think so.

All of that as a big way of apologizing and saying that I'm back. With a much lighter load for the rest of the term, and with the arrival of my iPhone, I plan on keeping things alive at this site for a good while to come.

And I'm putting in a new countdown. This one will tick off the days until the Blazers report to pre-camp camp. I'm giddy already.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Greg! Greg! Greg!

Did I mention that this guy is coming back next year too?




Saturday, June 07, 2008

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

I was having a conversation at lunch today with my friend Mariano and mentioned how great the Lakers could be next year when they add Trevor Ariza and Andrew Bynum.

Then I realized that the Blazers will be adding guys who will probably be better than those two. Need proof? Watch.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Maybe the Celtics can win, as long as they can score

Hollinger wrote about the argument over which aspect wins championships, defense or offense. He included this snippet about the Blazers versus Bulls in 1992.

Chicago vs. Portland, 1992 NBA Finals

The 1991-92 Bulls won 67 games with a dominating offensive attack led by Mr. Jordan, of course. In the Finals they ran up against a Portland team that also was wickedly talented but did most of its damage at the defensive end, where it finished a close second in defensive efficiency.

Portland's defense did the job, holding Chicago to 104 points per game -- right at the Blazers' season average on D and six below Chicago's. But, as with the Knicks in '93, the Blazers' offense didn't come through. A Blazers team that scored 111.4 points a game in the regular season didn't hit that mark in regulation once, and averaged 96.7 -- nearly 15 below its regular-season average -- for the series.

Verdict: Inconclusive

My knowledge of the game is better now than it was then, and I like knowing that Portland was able to slow down Phil Jackson's triangle offense featuring Michael Jordan. It's just too bad the defense couldn't do it.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

There can only be one



Yeah, that's me and Rasheed combined. I can't believe how alike we are.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I don't know how I missed this the first time

Tim Kawakami just re-ranked the future of the western conference in the NBA. It's too bad I didn't see it when it was first written, but the re-ranking is still a fun read. Here's my favorite part:
2. Portland Trail Blazers.

-Feb. 18 rank: 1. (Net loss -1.)

-Why it changed: They could be the New Spurs… and still not be good enough to knock off the Lakers for two or three years.

-Assets: Greg Oden 20, Brandon Roy 23, LaMarcus Aldridge 22, Martell Webster 21, Travis Outlaw 23, and they have the 13th pick in the June 26 draft.

-Possible problems: You don’t know about Oden’s knee and they’ve got to get a quality point guard.

-Potential solutions: Management has already put together a ton of talent and has the will to wheel and deal for more.

-New crystal ball: Some great playoff battles with Kobe are coming up. But who guards him?
Even though he has us at second, I agree with most of what he says and can't wait to see it play out.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A great take on the lottery


I posted this to the Kay House wall already, but I thought it was good enough to share again with everyone.

I still love Rasheed

Say what you want about Rasheed Wallace and people saying things about the referees – I usually respect people who don't complain about them – but I appreciate what 'Sheed had to say after the game last night. This is from Need4Sheed via Ball Don't Lie.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

José Calderon

A lot of Blazers fans think that we have a chance to get Calderon from the Raptors. The thought is that Toronto will have to move him or Ford, and since Ford has the injury concerns and the 8 million plus contract and Calderon wants to be the starter (and could command that much money even as a restricted free agent) the Spaniard is the one that will be traded this off season. If he is moved, it will have to be in a sign-and-trade. If that's the case, he'll probably get around what Ford is getting now. Also, they'd probably want an expiring deal back, which Portland could send with Raef LaFrentz. That would mean that the Raps would have to send someone else back, too.

If Toronto signed Calderon for $8,000,000 – which I think would be too much, but that might be what it takes – they could trade him and Rasho Nesterovic to Portland for Travis Outlaw, Jarrett Jack, Raef LaFrentz, and the Blazers number one pick. It would work with the CBA, but I don't think I like doing this. We'd be giving up a ton for him, and paying him more than I think we should for too long. Jack might be a good backup point guard in Toronto, Outlaw could partner with Bosh in the front court for more scoring, and they might like trading one expiring contract for a much bigger expiring contract. Oh yeah, and they'd get a lottery pick. Again, I don't actually like this deal, but I think it's possible, and I think a lot of people in Portland would like it a lot. Then again, quite a few people in Portland fell in love with Outlaw this year. I like him a lot, too, actually.

Friday, May 16, 2008

He just keeps pushing himself up the list

1.(1) Arvydas Sabonis

2.(2) David Robinson

2.(2) Tim Duncan (tie)

4.(5) Brandon Roy

5.(4) Clyde Drexler

6.(7) Bill Walton (He'd be higher if I had actually ever gotten to watch him, but the sentimentality puts him up this high. He also moved in front of number seven because we're in the playoffs, and that makes me pine for the glory days of the Blazers.)

7.(6) Rasheed Wallace (Seriously, I love this guy.)

8.(8) Terry Porter

9.(10) Steve Nash

10.(9) Video game Derek Anderson (He was just too good.)

And here's just one more reason that Roy has overtaken Drexler. (Oh yeah, and this is my first ever all-time favorites list, but I had to guess on what the previous rankings were.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I still love Ime

As the title of this blog suggests, I'm a bit of a sports bigamist. I'm not a complete sports bigamist, but I have cheered for the Spurs since the early '90s, as long as they aren't playing Portland. Well, I'm happy they won tonight. But even more than that, I love that one of my favorite Blazers from last year did a great job for them. Ime Udoka – who played high school ball in Portland, starred at Portland State, and then had a Rudy-like rise to the NBA last year to become a starter for the Blazers – was five for five from the field, including three for three form the three point line as the Spurs beat the Hornets tonight. He also had three rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block, all in 19 minutes. I love that guy, and I'm really happy he's an important contributor on the team I still believe will win the NBA championship this year.

The Sports Guy has a backbone

My friend J-Lew first alerted me to this with a status change yesterday on facebook. Then today he actually posted it on the wall for a group of my college friends. Here's the story from Deadspin. And here's the money quote:
I really did believe that we had hashed out all the behind the scenes bullshit and come to some sort of agreement on creative lines, media criticism rules, the promotion of the column and everything else on ESPN.com. Within a few months, all of those things changed and certain promises were not kept. It's as simple as that.
I was talking to my roommate Eric about the way TSG is responding, and I don't know if he can really do a much better job. If he just writes what he wants, as far as content goes, the editors will chop it up, make it suck, and his relationship with them will go – or continue to go – downhill. So instead, he's chosen to cut his production down. And he is also publishing on his own again. Well, at least he has published one thing on his own. It's a story he wrote way back in 1996, and you can find it here.

In one of the deadspin comments someone mentioned that this would be breach of contract or something like that. But if he feels like they screwed him, I don't blame him. Especially since he has such a cult following, a lot of friends with good connections, and clout on the internet.

I hope that the outcome of this is that either his situation at ESPN improves to the point he's hoping, or he parts with the worldwide leader and ventures back out on his own.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Not your Vidas

I've enjoyed Luke's tumblr so much that I'm finally starting my own. Hopefully this means I'll actually write more about sports here and actually link to cool things there. We'll see.

Of course, the name comes from what several of the SportsCenter guys used to say when talking about my favorite NBA player of all time, Arvydas Sabonis.
Anchor 1:Not your vidas...
Anchor 2:Not my vidas...
Both:Arvydas.
Yes I know that Arvydas is spelled with a "y" and I used an "i," but I think that's the right way to do it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Making trades for some teams that need it

Okay, it's time to figure out how to fix some teams. My two main teams to fix are New York and Dallas. This is what I was thinking about for each team.
  • New York:
    1. Needs a point guard who can run and get people involved in D'Antoni's system
    1. Needs to dump the slow big men who will just get in the way

    2. If possible, they need to dump some long term bad deals

    3. If possible, they need to keep their good guys/fan favorites like David Lee and Jamal Crawford

  • Dallas:
    1. Needs to give up any of the big contracts that they can

    2. Needs to find a low post scorer who can draw some people from Dirk

    3. If possible, needs to find another shooter who can hit shots when Dirk passes out
With that in mind, I looked to see if there were some things I could do. I already had the idea that Milwaukee might be a destination for one of those two big guys from New York, and since they were unwilling to do the deal for Randolph, I thought that maybe they'd take Curry. I also thought that if the Bucks were going to be involved, they would need to dump Mo Williams and his long contract, since that signing doesn't look like it will work out very well for them.

Having said that, here's the deal I did.

Why New York does it: Like I said, D'Antoni needs a point guard who can run. As much as Kidd has lost a step, he can still push the tempo and he can still create. Desmond Mason doesn't have a great shot, but it's not that bad, and he might do well as one of the guys that comes in for a little while, in addition to the already potent shooting duo of Jamal Crawford and Quenton Richardson. The bigger reason New York does this, though, is that they would be able to get rid of both Curry and Randolph. Oh yeah, the Knicks would have to give up cash and future first round picks. But really, to help fix some of the huge mistakes already made and clear up playing time for the young guys who could run and work in a D'Antoni system, I think it's worth it.

Why Milwaukee does it: They need to do something, and what they gave Mo Williams was way too much for what he brought them. This might not be a great deal for them, but they had already thought about a deal for Randolph because of the low-post offense he could bring. Owner Herb Kohl didn't like Randolph, but maybe he'd be okay with Curry and his similar offensive game. I don't know how well Curry would work alongside Bogut, but if it does, having the added inside presence should be really helpful for Redd. Shipping out Williams would open up a need for another PG, and while Nate Robinson isn't a great pure point guard, maybe he'd be able to fit the bill. Oh yeah, New York would need to send at least a future first to Milwaukee, and since they wouldn't do this deal if they got the first pick – and thus picked Derrick Rose to run the D'Antoni offense instead of Kidd – they would be able to trade this year's first round pick to Milwaukee as well.

Why Dallas does it: The Kidd trade obviously didn't work out the way they hoped it would. Dallas is still desperate. Randolph would give them the exact sort of low post offensive presence that they've been missing. There might be some doubt about how well he could share touches with Dirk, but having read enough about how sad he was to be in New York's terrible situation, he might actually be more willing, at least for a year. Listening to the Sports Guy's podcast from last week, I just found out that Mo Williams was actually a really good shooter last year on open shots. He might be a good complement to Dirk and Zach, even though he's not a great point guard. Bringing in those two guys would pack the Mavs with offensive firepower. Sure, it would do it in a way that I mocked for the Knicks, namely five guys who all need the ball to be effective. Maybe not all, but at least four (Dirk, Zach, Mo, and Jason Terry) of them have traditionally needed the ball in their hands to be effective. But again, what they tried wasn't working, and maybe Carlisle can convince them to work together, share the ball, and really feed off of the strengths they all bring to that end of the floor.

Oh yeah, the one caveat to this whole deal: if New York wins the first pick then they don't make this trade. They'd still try to dump Curry and Randolph, but they'd draft Derrick Rose and go from there.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

This is part of the reason I hope I hear I have the job

OK, you and I are officially not happy. Wednesday's quiz, taken during the half day, demonstrated that you do not, after 8 months in a high school math course, know how to do arithmetic, not with fractions, not with square roots, not at all when I put a variable into any of those arithmetic operations.



Ok, I started this page off announcing that you and I were not happy. I know why I'm not happy...I don't like realizing that I have only one month left to make sure you can do arithmetic, before a summer comes and I lose contact with you. I hope that the reason you are not happy is only 20% because of what it is doing to your grade, and what the next 3 weeks will end up doing to your grade if you don't get this fixed, and 80% because you realize that being able to do arithmetic is a fundamental skill to someone who is planning to take math the rest of your high school career, and that plain old arithmetic is an essential part of your knowledge base as you later decide to join the adult world. That's the real reason to be unhappy...you're entering a world that you will be victimized by, because of a lack of understanding of how numbers work. Monetary decisions involving anything other than single digit positive numbers will be made by you with less knowledge than the people competing for your money will have...you will not win those encounters. Don't let something trivial like whether or not it's sunny out, or whether or not the boy or girl that you're smitten with is equally smitten with you. Smitten-ness for a 15 year old is invariably temporary...being ignorant is far more likely to be lifelong and doesn't change without intense effort. Focus.

I like you all; you're fun people, but I'm trying much harder than you are lately, and it's showing.
So well said, so well reasoned, and so focused on what's best for students. I haven't heard yet, but Don is part of the reason I really want to be back in Roseburg next year. Oh yeah, it doesn't hurt that he's a huge Blazer fan and we can have well reasoned discussions about the most promising team in the league.

*I took that straight from his website.

Clyde Drexler was awesome

This video comes via Sean over at the Oregonlive Blazers blog.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Not quite as sick, and an update on my interview

Yesterday afternoon I had my phone interview with Roseburg High School. There were six of them, all on speaker phone, talking to me on my cell phone. As the assistant principle opened the conversation, he told me that he'd be asking all the questions – since he was the closest to the phone – and that the other five would just be listening. Then he told me the other five. I know all five of the others who were on the line.

I think that it went well, although I certainly didn't say things to try and paint myself as anything that I'm not. Then again, since five of them have actually worked with me, it wouldn't really make much sense to have tried to make them think I'm better than I am. Instead, I told them about things I did well this year and the things that I really struggled with. Hopefully their knowledge of my strengths and my personality will be more than enough to solidify the job for me. There are three other applicants, I believe, and they said I should know by the middle of next week whether the job is mine or not. That's pretty fantastic, and pretty exciting as well. So we'll see.



I'm finally feeling a little bit better, but it's pretty frustrating that this virus hit me so hard this week. I missed four of the five days. Yeah, four of the five. Terrible. And since I'm not 100% yet, I think I may end up heavily medicated all next week at school. But I have to be there. It was so ridiculously frustrating to miss so much time. I was excited for this week, too, because I felt like I had good plans for helping my students prepare for the CST, a test they'll be taking for the next two weeks. And I still set it up for the substitute to go through it with them on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I doubt that much happened. That means that I'll be trying to do as much as I can with them on Monday, and for the periods that I'll have before the math part of their test on Thursday I'll try to review even more. It is pretty crazy, though, that I have two weeks of testing, then four weeks left of school, and of those four weeks there's even more testing.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A little blurry

These aren't that clear, but I'm combining two things my friend Luke does on his blog:
  1. Using images instead of computer type (even if they're images of writing–it's not computer type).

  2. Posting stuff from my moleskin. This is stuff I realized today.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I have to put it in writing

The Nuggets will beat the Lakers.

Reasons? I've got a few:
  1. I hate the Lakers. That shapes everything I think. And I hate hearing my students talk about how good they are. Again, this shapes everything I think about this series.

  2. Denver can play great defense. They did it enough times to be ranked 10th in defensive efficiency for the season, while being the first ranked team in pace. And that's pretty impressive because they're running a lot but still doing a good job of keeping teams from scoring a lot per 100 possessions. That still ends up being a lot of points, but shows some decent defense. The best example was that Seattle game when they won 168-116.

  3. George Karl has been a good coach in the playoffs a few times. Three times, really. In 92-93 and 95-96 with Seattle, and in 2000-2001 with Milwaukee. Those teams were above .500 in the playoffs, but none of them won the finals. Still, if he can get everything together with those crazy guys, maybe it'll work.

  4. While I don't think the Nuggets can do anything to stop Kobe, I think that they have a chance to completely shut down the front court help on that Lakers team. Camby and Martin should easily shut down any combination of big men that LA will trot out there. If that happens, Kobe might give up and try to win it on his own with his offense, instead of focusing on the defensive end shutting down 'Melo, which doesn't bode well for the Lakers – as I've already said – especially since Kobe won't have to put in that much effort to get his points. The extra effort won't get him that many more points, but the points that 'Melo will get with Kobe focusing on the offensive side will be enough. Barely.

  5. The big three question marks for the Nuggets are going to come out and play well. Okay, I have no evidence for this, but the Nuggets will win if these three come to play in every game: J.R. Smith, Linas Kleiza, and Eduardo Najera.

  6. Did I mention that I hate the Lakers? Yeah, that's important for this, and the one other important thing: I don't think anyone is picking the Nuggets. Didn't they learn from the Warriors last year? This is a team that won 50 games in the west. They showed glimpses of brilliance, and they're pretty tough to beat a mile up. If the Staples Center was some amazing place where the fans brought the ruckus, I'd say that there was no way Denver can steal a game in LA. But this is a stadium filled with celebrities who are there to be noticed.
Denver wins in six.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Henry Abbott on NPR

Here's some audio from an interview I heard on NPR's Marketplace today. Several reasons to post it here:
  1. Henry Abbott from TrueHoop does the interview, and I love that guy.

  2. The woman doing the interview for NPR used to be a big fan of the Blazers, but in the last few years she gave up. Hmm, that sounds like a lot of people. And raise your hand if you're surprised that someone from NPR grew up as a Blazer fan. If you have your hand raised, I haven't been educating you as well as I thought.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The last day of the season? Wow.

Umm, there is no good way for me to set up this clip. Crazy good.



Accreditation stuff ended today. We did well, I think. I did really well, impressing the people that observed my class. They reported stuff to the math coach, who came and asked me for any of my notes for geometry since I won't be around next year. That conversation deteriorated when she asked if I had notes, and I had to tell her that most of my stuff either came from my head, the book, or from the best math teacher I've ever met. Anyway, I feel quite relieved, because just having those people around increased my stress level. I will now proceed to rival Tim Thomas in my level of mailing-it-in.

Hopefully that's not really true. Actually, I know it's not really true. But I can't see myself making sure that I do all of the paperwork stuff. Student stuff? Yes.



I posted this on Blazer's Edge today, but that I'd double up and put it here too.

The Sports Guy included this tidbit in his column today on the NBA MVP.

    39. LaMarcus Aldridge

    Note to Portland fans: You were right, I was wrong. He's a keeper. Even if he reminds me so much of Charles Smith that I wouldn't be surprised if they lost a key playoff game some day because LeBron blocked his layup three straight times at the buzzer.
I thought that was appropriate, especially after he said that we should have tried to trade him at the deadline. But I was a little surprised and disappointed that Roy wasn't in his top 25. Maybe it's the Blazers colored glasses, but isn't Roy one of the 25 most valuable players in the league?

It's a great column, though, and even though I still believe Paul is the MVP, he makes a great case for KG.

By the way, I really like the way that SB Nation has revamped their set-up. Very good stuff.



One last thing from the internet, and another thing that I put on Blazer's Edge. In his Games to pay attention to post on Ball Don't Lie, Kelly Dwyer said this today:
Portland at Phoenix

One last chance to call Portland a "lottery team" before they win 11 championships in 13 years.
I love reading this. Love it. So true.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I just want to be done

It got to 97º today. That's too hot.
I have grades due tomorrow, which I have to submit on paper forms with bubbled in comments and grades.
The accreditation team is probably at school right now, and will be there tomorrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
I have formally applied for the open mathematics position at Roseburg High School for next year.

I just want to get out of California.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tale of the tape: Roy vs. Bryant (it's all about the defense)

Yesterday as I was sitting at It's a Grind with my brother, both of us reading our daily dose of NBA news and blogs, I started talking to him about a specific element of the Blazers win over the Lakers on Tuesday night. Specifically, I was working out an idea that came to me concerning the Roy-Bryant match up. In his Late Wednesday Mini-Bullets, Henry over at TrueHoop quoted Michael Jordan from an article Jack McCallum wrote about him in 1989. Have I mentioned that I love the new SI Vault? The gist of the quote from Jordan was that the best way to defend him was to make him play defense against a guard who had a physical offensive game. This tired him out and kept him from being as physical against them on the other end. When I read the quote it reminded me that Jordan was an exceptional defender who focused on that even more than scoring.

What does that have to do with Kobe? I was shocked as I watched the KCAL 9 broadcast here in LA that Roy could play as well offensively as he did against Bryant. Several times Roy broke Bryant down on the edge, beat another guy, and made an easy layup. Bryant didn't do that to Roy nearly as badly on the other end. By my count, four of Roy's eight field goals were layups.
One of his field goals was a three, one was a wide open 22-footer, one was an eight-foot jump shot early, and the other was a nine-foot runner in the fourth. Of his seven missed shots, five were jumpers from outside the key, including two three point misses. On the other hand, Kobe made 11 of 26 from the field. Twelve of his fifteen misses were jump shots from outside the key, including five failed three point attempts. Of the ones that he made, one was a dunk, two were layups, two were three-pointers, two were four foot running j's, one was an eight-footer, one was a 21-foot jumper, and two of his shots don't have a distance on the ESPN play-by-play. If you aren't already bored by reading what shots were taken, you might be wondering why it matters. I mean, Bryant scored 34 and Roy only had 23 – Kobe was 10-13 from the stripe while Roy was 6-8, showing a good effort by each of them getting inside.

As I thought about the ways Roy scored on Bryant compared with the ways Bryant scored on Roy – and, in fairness, Outlaw – I realized that Kobe was working a lot harder for his shots than Brandon was. Roy was taking the lane when it was given, shooting open jumpers when they presented themselves, and directing the flow of the offense. But Kobe was often taking the time to force his way into the lane, or else use some combination of moves to set up his beautiful turn-around jumper. This is where the difference between Bryant and Jordan (as evidenced in the aforementioned quote) really stuck out to me: Bryant could have shut Roy down. He's that good of a defender. But instead, he spent more energy on making sure he got his points. And yes, he scored more than Roy. But I looked at the assists for each and what those assists led to, and it tells the tale that Roy actually contributed to more offensive production than Bryant did.

Bryant had five assists. Three of them were to Lamar Odom for layups (two) or dunks (one). The other two assists were from hitting Radmanovic outside for the three. That means Bryant scored 34 and was directly responsible for getting his teammates the ball for 12 more. In total, I'll say that Kobe created 46 of the Lakers' 103 points. Roy had a career-high tying 12 assists. Four of those set up three-point field goals, and the other eight went to guys making mid-range jumpers or layups. So Roy scored 23 of his own points, and was directly responsible for getting his teammates the ball for 28 more. In total, I'll say that Brandon created 51 of the Blazers' 112 points. Of course this doesn't take into account the fact that the Blazers might have given up points to the Lakers because of the way they defended Bryant, plays on which he got no statistical credit. I wouldn't suggest that those sorts of plays would be even with the same type for Roy on the Lakers' side, but I don't think they would be too far off, either, and since they are immeasurable I really can't speak to them.

Being the type of defender that Kobe Bryant is, I believe he had the ability not only to stop Roy from scoring 23, but from directly creating as much as he did for teammates. Certainly some of the blame must go to other LA defenders, but when you're as talented and highly regarded as Kobe is, you need to shut down the opposition. If Kobe had decided to make Roy work harder for his offense, he might have scored a few less points. But I really think that the reduction in Roy's contribution would have been far more significant. Yeah, there were many other factors in the game, but for the Lakers to win in the playoffs it's Kobe's defense that needs to be at its best, not his offense. His offense will take care of itself.

One last note: I realize that the Lakers were without any real low-post presence on defense, which also contributed to Roy's ability to drive. But the Blazers have been without their chosen low-post presence – Oden – all season, and were without their next best option – Joel Przybilla, thanks to a broken hand – in this one. That left the über-tough Channing Frye as the center. I love me some Channing, but he is not my first (or second or third or fourth) choice for a tough inside presence on defense.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

From the SI Vault

Alright, this is what I did today. I found that Sports Illustrated's new SI Vault is awesome. I went through and got every article about the Blazers or Blazers players over the years. A few of them I ignored, mainly because the memories were too painful (see: Sam Bowie, the Clyde Drexler trade)otherwise, I think I've collected links to every story here. By headline and date. Browse away. I haven't read any yet, but I'm especially looking forward to the trio of articles from 1988 about Sabonis (twice) and Petrovic. But I also can't wait to read the full text of the Curry Kirkpatrick articles from the championship year. Here they are:

Geoff Who? and Mod Todd 11/02/1970
You might say he arrived in the Rick of time 11/19/1973
Centers of Interest 10/28/1974
Bill Walton won't you please play ball? 01/27/1975
But don't say he beefed up 11/13/1975
Beneficiaries in the Will 08/16/1976
Healthy, Wealthy and Size 12/13/1976
Couple of Babes in the Woods 05/09/1977
L.A. Couldn't Move the Mountain 05/23/1977
There's no place like home court 06/06/1977
All for one sure beats one for all 06/13/1977
A fever called Blazermania 10/31/1977
'Nobody, but nobody, is going to hurt my teammates' 10/31/1977
Going Like Blazers 02/13/1978
Why is This Man Eating Popcorn? 04/17/1978
Down Goes Big Bill, Up Go the Sonics 05/01/1978
Scorecard 08/14/1978
Off on a Wronged Foot 08/21/1978
The Big Push on the Oregon Trail 04/09/1979
They Said It 05/28/1979
Blazing a New Trail 03/23/1981
Everything you will ever want to know about the Blazers–And more 12/07/1981
More Than Meets the Eye 02/09/1987
Courting a Big Red 06/13/1988
The High-Priced Yugo 09/26/1988
So Near, So Far 10/17/1988
Is Anybody Happy Here? 01/16/1989
Rip City returns... with a BANG! 01/15/1990
When You're on Top, Life's a Breeze 03/11/1991
Driving For a Title 05/11/1992
The Salt Lake T Party 06/01/1992
From out of Nowhere 06/08/1992
On The Edge 06/15/1992
Catch This! 04/22/1996
High Points 02/10/1997
No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers 11/10/1997
Egoless Trip 03/22/1999
Around The Rim 04/05/1999
Who's The One? 05/10/1999
Hair-Raising Hero 06/07/1999
No Babe in the Woods 12/13/1999
L.A. Confidential 04/24/2000
Scout's Take 10/30/2000
1 Portland Trail Blazers 10/30/2000
Wells Spring 02/19/2001
Internal Combustion 03/12/2001
Losing Their Grip 12/24/2001
Lousy at a Luxury Price 12/16/2002
Point Taken 03/17/2003
Can This Man Save THE BLAZERS? 01/12/2004
Love and Basketball 11/14/2005
Bittersweet Success 11/13/2006
Dear Greg Oden 04/02/2007
The No. 1 Health Concern 09/24/2007

So there they are. I hope that's helpful, and that you get to read some great stuff. I'm looking forward to reading them all by the end of the summer. The pictures on this post are the only covers SI has run that ever really featured Blazers. There have been covers with Blazers getting run into or dunked on, or covers with future or former Blazers, but based on my search at the SI vault, these are the ones that actually feature Blazers.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

No April Fool

Last night I finished watching Black Magic, the ESPN show about many of the Black players who helped integrate basketball in this country. It was a great show, and today I bought the soundtrack on iTunes because that was such a great part of the show. Actually, I bought the show on iTunes as well. So Apple made some money off of that show, at least from me. I'm thinking about using the show in class, if I can get a projector, as a reward at the end some days. It would be somewhat relevant because it's about history and oppression and making change. It's also just good, and I've reached the point where it seems that I'm mailing it in a little bit.

Speaking of that, my grades for third quarter are due next Monday, and I am not excited about making sure I've represented the progress of each of my students. Ugh. I hate grades. Also, the accreditation committee is visiting beginning next Sunday, and I'm not really excited about that either. Then again, as my roommate Eric said, if the accreditation of the school comes down to how good I'm doing, then the school really is in bad shape and probably doesn't deserve to keep its accreditation. Not that I think the school will lose accreditation, and not that I'm planning on a poor showing by myself, but it was a nice thing to keep me from feeling too much pressure.

I think I might head to a bar or someplace that I could watch the two college games soon, although I could watch fuzzy versions of the game at home. That's a decision to make, although I should make it soon, since the first game will probably start before I finish this post.

Just a little Blazer news: Martell Webster is having some heart issues, which is scary. Jack Brown at Deceptively Quick had a good little post about it, especially the YouTube video he embedded that shows Martell torching the Jazz. Go there to watch the video, if not to read his take.

Rudy is "90% sure" he's coming next year. I think we knew that, but it's still good for him to say it. I found that here (of course that's a link to OregonLive – those guys are great).

Alright, I don't think I have anything else to say. Look at the top of the page for something new I added to the blog. It's great. Oh, and the title of this post had nothing to do with the post except that it's my first entry of April.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Clipper sweep

The last two nights set a record for me this season: most back-to-back Blazer games watched this season. I nearly went to the game last night at the Staples Center, but decided that I didn't want to deal with downtown and the blue line that late the night before finally flying to Chicago.

I wish I would have been there, if only to see Joel Przybilla completely destroy the Clippers on the boards. Przybilla was fantastic, and he brought some offense too. It really did look like a preview of what Oden could do next year. Interested in seeing how he's doing? This article will lead you through it. Great stuff from Jason Quick, as always.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy were once again great in the same game. It was Aldridge's ninth straight game over 20 points. That's another great sign for next season. If he can play like this consistently next year, and Roy stays the steady presence he has been all year, this team will be so good. Add Oden and Rudy Fernandez (who, according to Pritchard, is coming over next year) to this team and it's even more exciting than I would have thought.

Another great sign from these two games – the last three, actually – is the point guard play of Steve Blake. His defense has been a little shaky, and his shooting has actually been a little down. But the way he led the offense and his assist to turnover ratio has been really great. He has had 23 assists and one turnover in the last three games. If he can keep doing that next year, and Sergio Rodriguez can make a leap this summer, I don't think we need a new point guard. I know, that's risky to say, but I think it might be true.

Alright, I'm going to get back to reading The Breaks of the Game while I wait for my flight to leave. Stupid snow in Chicago. Stupid.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Snow in march. Boo.

I'm sitting in Long Beach drinking a vanilla latte at 11:39 am. I should be sitting on a plane above Utah or Colorado or Kansas. And I found out this would be the case at 4:22 this morning when my phone rang. I jolted awake and opened it to see the Utah number 801-993-8000. The winter storm that's been raging in Chicago was enough for them to cancel my flight six hours before it was to take off.

Because I'm flying JetBlue, there's nothing I can really do. There are only two flights from the west to Chicago on JetBlue each day, which means that all the flights for tomorrow were full. I'm scheduled to fly out Easter Sunday morning at 10:30 and land in Chicago at 4:29. I am currently a standby passenger for the 4:15 flight tomorrow afternoon, but that seems pretty unlikely. And that means I get to sit around today and tomorrow relaxing, figuring out how to use my time, and reading The Breaks of the Game, by David Halberstam. I think that's the end of my rant about my spring break debacle, except to say that I'm still flying back on Wednesday, cutting my trip from Friday-Wednesday (a nice length) to Sunday-Wednesday (far too short).



Speaking of The Breaks of the Game, I'm really excited. I've been wanting to read this book for a very long time. It's been out of print for a while, and I'd been searching for it for about a year. I spent far too much for a used paperback, but I'm still happy to have it.



The Breaks of the Game is about the downfall of the Portland Trailblazers in 1978-1979, and is a sort of microcosm of what was going on in the NBA at the time. This article is a commentary on the potential beginning of the end of Darius Miles' NBA career, and that could be seen as a microcosm of some things that are currently happening in the NBA. The article makes me really sad, but it's pretty good. And not long.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A quote and a mini-sermon

Jesus did not come to make us Christian; Jesus came to make us fully human.

––Hans Rookmaaker

A good friend has labeled himself as an "unrepentant sinner." This is infuriating to another friend of mine, so we talked about it for a while the other night. In the end, the label hit me because of the thing against which it is set up. Some might think the opposite of "unrepentant sinner" would be "repentant sinner." I agree. Sadly, though, many Christians instead live as though they are no-longer-sinners. We cover up to look like this, instead of openly and proudly calling ourselves repentant sinners, which is what we are. That's what my friend is really doing: being perfectly honest about who he is. He's being more honest than most of us dare to be. If we do not openly claim to be repentant sinners, then we might as well be unrepentant sinners.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Still not finished

Okay, tons of thanks to Lewis for leading into this post: why would Portland do this? Won't this hinder the growth of the team together? What will Nash have in the tank in a few years?

Before I try to answer those questions, I need to fix one thing from the post yesterday. I left off a really important piece of the Suns roster in Grant Hill. I don't know how I did that. There are a few other guys on the roster too, but I think he was the only really important one I left off my made up two-deep depth chart. I was thinking that maybe Hill gets included in the deal, perhaps with Martell Webster coming over from Portland.

I don't know if that makes it more likely for Phoenix to do the deal, but I think it might because my whole idea is that they'd be blowing things up and trying to get younger and build from the ground up. Okay, whether or not that helps, here are the answers to those other questions.

  1. Why does Portland do this?

  2. Portland has the youngest team in the league right now. There was talk that Atlanta was younger after the trade for Bibby, but I think I saw somewhere else that this isn't true. Portland would be trading away three young players. One of whom is finally showing how much he can grow into his potential. One of whom was great as a rookie, but has been a little disappointing since then. And one of whom I love, but just isn't getting his chance with Portland and still needs more time to make mistakes and grow up. The other guy Portland would be trading is one of their few veterans, even though he isn't really that old. Portland would be willing to give up these guys because they'd be making a huge upgrade at the one position that's really a gigantic question still. Right now Blake is one of the main guys who brings veteran leadership, and Nash would do that to a far greater extent.

  3. Won't this hinder the growth of the team together?

  4. I think this would actually help the growth of the team. One of the problems with the inconsistency at point has been that we can't develop the team the way we want. This is supposed to become a great running team, but Jarrett Jack has trouble running the break, McMillan doesn't trust Sergio Rodriguez very much, and Blake, while good, still isn't as good as what we hope Sergio will be. The team is still built around Roy, Aldridge, and Oden, who will all be less than 24 next year. That's still young and still plenty of room to grow. In addition, we have another PG of the future stashed in Finland. Petteri Koponen has a ton of potential, much like Rodriguez, but would need a lot of time to develop. Having Nash on the team to help him develop in practice would be huge, and since Sergio is still just a great prospect, it makes sense to me to take the risk on another great prospect, especially if he could learn from Nash.

    Also, this gives Jarrett Jack more job security as the back up point guard, which is good because many consider him the soul of this team to Brandon Roy's heart. This also frees up room for McRoberts to get a chance, Joel Freeland to come over – perhaps – and get his chance, and pairs down the rotation a little better. Again, even though this would make the team a lot older, we'd really only have two old guys: Nash and Raef LaFrentz. We'd have two seasoned veterans: Joel Przybilla and James Jones. The rest of the guys on the team would still be either young studs/role players (Roy, Aldridge, Oden, Fernandez, and Jack) or prospects with huge upside (Koponen, McRoberts, and Freeland). I left out Darius Miles, but who knows what that guy might do.

  5. How much will Nash have left in the tank in a few years?

  6. I actually don't think it really matters how much he'd have left for a few years, because his main role would be to run the team next season and as much of the one after as he could, and then he can hand the reigns to Koponen, who will have hopefully already stepped into the role of PG and team leader. Maybe Nash has three good years left, maybe he only has two, at the worst maybe he has just one. But bringing him over would help everyone else develop and would give Koponen a chance to become the sort of point guard who could run a championship team.

Again, I don;'t think the Suns would ever make this deal. I also don't know if Pritchard would do it. But, as much as I'd like to see this team grow into a dynasty as-is, I think this sort of move – and specifically this move – could be the thing that helps us make the jump from up-and-comer to championship contender in only one off season.

I think there's probably more to figure out, but that's as much as I've gotten so far.

One last thing: Nash's salary is so reasonable that this would hardly have an effect on our upcoming cap space, if we still felt the need to find the last piece at small forward.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

An unfinished idea

Last night as I was talking to my brother I was inspired to begin thinking about a deal. I don't know what inspired me, especially since the Blazers were still losing to the Suns badly at that point. Maybe I was just thinking about the Suns because of the game, and realizing that their experiment is about to fail. Their window is about to close. They're going to need to rebuild. That means they'll need good picks and good young players, two things Portland has. So, if the window really does close for the Suns after this season, why not blow it up for real. That would mean trading away an old guy before all his value is gone. Of course I mean Steve Nash, who should never be traded. Also, I know that this is a homer deal. But I can see some things about it that could help Phoenix. Again, this is just the first effort, but what if the Suns received our first round picks in 2008 and 2010. The pick in 2010 probably won't be great, but this year we're a near lock for the lottery again, and they get the Hawks pick, which also looks like it'll be in the lottery because the 76ers are playing so well. In addition to the two picks, we give them three young guys who could flourish in the D'Antoni system: Travis Outlaw (Shawn Marion with a little less defense, more athleticism, and a prettier shot), Sergio Rodgriguez (a guy they drafted and should have kept, sort of like what they did with Nash), and Channing Frye (a decent big who can run some and hit the mid-range jumper pretty well, plus he'd be going back home to Arizona). The Blazers could also throw Steve Blake into the deal to give a stop-gap point guard while they dump the reigns into Sergio's hands.

Again, I don't think this deal is an easy sell for Phoenix, because they'd be trading a two time MVP for a platter of young guys, two of which are still pretty unproven. But it would give them this lineup to build around:
Also, I really haven't finished thinking this through. It might take getting another asset from Portland and the Blazers getting another player from Phoenix. And I left out the backup shooting guard, because I think the interchangeability of Barbosa and Bell, along with the interchangeability of Outlaw, Frye, and Diaw would take away the need for a backup shooting guard. Then again, with two lotter picks this year they could end up with a player like Mayo or Westbrook or Collison or somebody else who could help with that. Also, the potential for the Suns to take one guy like that and Kevin Love – a center who can start the break as well as anyone in the country – could be really intriguing. Love could end up starting alongside Stoudamire after Shaq's body finally stops working.

Tomorrow I'll try to write more about why I'd actually love to do this deal from Portland's standpoint. One last time: I know that Phoenix wouldn't do this. I know. I just wanted to try it.