Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I'm thankful that Lamarcus has finally brought the game he has talked about the last 3 years. Yes, his numbers are up, but to truly appreciate what he's doing you have to watch the games. He is finally becoming the all around player we've always asked for and I don't think he's getting enough props for it.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
No way. Seriously. No way.
That is all I could think when I heard last night about Oden. It felt like a cruel joke. Because there is no way someone could be that subjective to injury. No way, after battling all the way back, arguably a month before he’s back to normal, he needs to have season ending surgery. I found myself wishing I sucked at reading (I’m actually a phenomenal reader, shout out to Reading Rainbow) so I could be wrong. Felt like my eyes were betraying me the same way Oden’s knees betrayed him. So where do we go from here?
First, those of you familiar with the business world know the term “sunk cost”. A sunk cost is a way to analyze a future investment. Basically the idea is you cannot look at what you have already invested in a project, player, etc. as part of your decision making. What’s gone is gone. What makes the most sense from this point forward? Well, I think that is the same approach the Blazers need to take with Oden. We can’t talk about all the time and money we’ve invested into him already, because to be honest that has no bearing on his future success. Bottom line is the deal we give him (or do not give him) needs to be treated like we were signing the guy away from another team. A fresh start. And in a way, isn’t that what Oden needs the most?
We have a few options, and to find out even more, I sent a question into an ESPN chat with Hollinger today. No big deal, we are pretty tight.
Yes. He can either take the QO, negotiate a deal with the Blazers for any other amount/years, or sign an offer sheet with another team.
So basically if we do not extend the qualifying offer to him, he is an unrestricted free agent and any one can sign him for whatever. If we do extended the qualifying offer, he can do one of 3 things that Hollinger details. This is a tough decision, and I don’t envy Rich Cho and company on this one. I think the answer lies in Brandon Roy’s knees and how we perform for the rest of the year. Or at least it allows that extra time to gather more information, plus remove ourselves emotionally from this news.
Bottom line is we have played more games without Oden then with Oden, so it’s not like we don’t know how to do it, and how to do it successfully. The thing it does change is our championship outlook. It’s clear that we are one superstar/all-star away from truly competing in the west. Not sure where we are going to get that guy, but what we do know is we can no longer look to Oden to fill that role.
In a weird way, after the initial shock wore off, I almost felt relieved. Relieved of the fact that our championship aspirations more or less rested on Oden’s brittle knees. That is no longer the case. We know now that we can no longer hold our breaths on him. If he stays and turns into a great player, bonus. That’s all it is. And I think that’s the attitude Cho and company need to have moving forward.
One last note. I truly feel sad for Oden. The guy has wanted nothing but to play good basketball and be liked. Hollinger (my boy) did a good job reminding us of that in his article today on ESPN. In particular this excerpt:
“The defining moment, for me, remains a little less than a year ago in a game against Houston. Oden was lying on the Rose Garden Arena floor, with his kneecap several inches lower on his leg than kneecaps are supposed to be, and his first instinct was not to wonder, "Why me?" or to angrily curse the basketball gods.
It was to tell Roy, "I'm sorry."
If that isn’t Oden stay in Portland in a nutshell, I’m not quite sure what is.
PS – One more trip down memory lane
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Didn’t see the game last night cause I was at the Mayer Hawthorne show. If you don’t know about him, learn about him. Good music. Great show. Party.
Here are some random Blazer thoughts/box score assumptions.
-Has Aldridge ever played better then he is right now? He is easily our best player right now. Yes 2 years ago he caught fire after the all star break, but even then he wasn’t playing D like he is this year. His defensive rotations/help D have gone to a completely different level. The light bulb that everyone was waiting for finally went on. I hope this is a sign of things to come.
-How depressing is it, that before we are all said and done Aldridge might be the best/most consistent player in our “Big 3”?
-Bad news about Roy this AM, but it does explain a lot. Knee drained twice already in 3 weeks? Gotta be making Portland’s front office nervous….
-Jerryd Bayless had a nice game last night with 15 and 9 dimes in only 19 minutes. I hope he does well, just not against us.
-Sounds like Rudy played pretty good last night, who would have thought he would revert back to rookie year Rudy after this summer? He’s definitely showing me something so far this year.
-Still no return date for Oden, I’m ok with that until about January. Then I start getting nervous.
-At what point do you have to start questioning Portland’s training staff/medical staff? I’d buy it if it wasn’t the same injuries over and over again. Fractured/dislocated patellas on Oden, Pryz, and Pendergraph with one calendar year? Webster and Outlaw both fractured their feet? Even if we think they are doing a good job (which is seriously a question) wouldn’t it be worth cleaning house and trying something new? Isn’t that worth it when you have $75 million/annually invested into these players? And you are hesitant to let the medical/training staff, who probably makes a combined $1-2 mil a year TOPS, go? Seems like a no brainer to me.
-With all this news out of the gate, do you guys still think a trip to the second round is viable? Let me know what you think.