Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blazer Links From Around the Web

I am sure just like me, you guys are still enjoying that win last night. Well coincidently there was a big article on Aldridge released today from the new ESPN Magazine. The article touches on Aldridge’s mentality rather then strictly on basketball. If you have some free time I highly recommend reading it.

Jason Quick from the Oregonian also wrote an article on Aldridge after the game. It is also an interesting piece and is fairly short.

Here is an interesting little piece on what happened at the end of the half of the Boston game last night.

David Thorpe released his weekly rookie update. He has Rudy ranked 5th and Oden 6th. He did not update his thoughts on Rudy but had this to say about big men and Oden in particular:

Watch an NBA game, and you'll often hear the words "rookie mistake." Miss a layup? Rookie mistake. Illegal screen? Rookie mistake. Weak foul leading to the "and 1"? You guessed it, another rookie mistake.

But, in most cases, that's rubbish. Basketball is a game full of mistakes, and you probably can find at least one made on every possession by either team or both, by rookies and veterans alike.

Yes, there is a learning curve to the NBA game. But real rookie mistakes are not knowing the talent of your opposition, not being able to guess what play is coming or what move is coming by the guy he's protecting, and not having a feel for what the opponent might do when he's guarding you.

Only experience and a desire to spend extra time studying game films and statistics will help rookies learn this nuanced part of the game. But to think these guys make certain mistakes just because they are rookies is simply not true. Most of these guys have already played hundreds of important games in their basketball careers. They've even played many games against the same guys they are seeing now, whether in college or AAU tournaments. The game has been mostly the same for them every time.

I'm especially irritated by the way rookie bigs are treated. They are held under more scrutiny, as if they aren't allowed to make mistakes. And if they do, it's because they are playing their first season in the NBA. Please. If you look at the rookie bigs, you will find no fewer than 13 guys who have a better-than-solid chance at being good NBA players. Some of them already are outperforming a good number of veteran bigs.

So, let's check on the good and bad from our rookies this week, with a special eye on some big men turning heads with their play.”

On Oden “Early in the first quarter against Toronto on Saturday, Oden backed in Jermaine O'Neal and attempted a right-handed hook. (His hook tends to come off a right arm that isn't fully extended.) O'Neal snuffed it out with ease, but Oden stayed with the play, grabbed the ball back and viciously dunked it with two hands over JO. The fans loved it. But that wasn't my favorite Oden play of the night. This was: In the third quarter, Oden ran down the floor as the trail post and initially set an influence screen at the top to free up Steve Blake. Then he released to the weak side as LaMarcus Aldridge had the ball in the midpost. Oden set a flare screen for Brandon Roy in the corner, but LA passed the ball back to Blake at the top. With 10 seconds on the shot clock, Oden realized that Blake was not likely to break his guy down and create a shot, so he raced up to set a ball screen. Then he rolled to the rim, put his hand up and caught a pass from Blake that he flushed. What I loved about that play was his hustle to set the screen, realizing that every second counts.”

Lastly, check out Blazers play by play guy, Mike Barrett’s Blog on the game...


  1. Hey Kyle, this is Jim (Steph's dad). Just basking in the glory of a Blazer win at the hands of the Celts and a Beav "crushing" of Pitt in the Sun Bowl. A couple comments:

    1. The game breaker came at the end of the first half when Coach Nate requested the 6 vs 5 "power play". This was a stroke of genius, it yielded a 100% more points on the exchange, 2 for the Blazers and 1 for them. From that point on, the refs were consumed with checking how many players we fielded (similar to a ref counting heads on a kickoff), rather than calling other fouls. I'd like to see Nate integrate this "play" into his book when games are on the line again, however I'm sure the words out to the other refs around the league!!

    2. Foul for Possesion....your esteemed collegue (Goosen) disagrees with me on this one. When you have a 3 point lead with the clock winding down why not foul and send your opponent to the line for at best, 2 charity shots. You then get posession with a 1 pt lead.

    3. As far the Sun Bowl goes... it wasn't pretty. Mike will have some work to do to prepare for Pasadena next year........a) get the R-Bros back and healthy, b) find a real QB (Lomax, starting as a true freshman???) c) straighten out Justins leg, shore up the D.

    Well, gonna go mix a double Bombay martini, dry w/2 olives and head off to a New Years party, you guys keep up the good work with the blog and happy and safe new year. JH

  2. Did I call it or what!!! Almost got the score perfect. It was a good win, especially without the presence of Roy. I love the pictures on the new post. Happy New Years!!

  3. Haha, thanks for the post Jim! I especially enjoyed the part about the Beavs "Crushing" Pitt. But hey, a wins a win!

    As far as fouling when up by 3, I think it is a case by case scenario. On a team with say a Kobe Bryant or Dwayne Wade, I would definitely consider it more then a team like the Jazz. What I think would be ideal in my eyes is the players are savvy enough to make the call on their own. For example, if they inbound to someone like Dwight Howard (50% FT shooter), go ahead and foul, but if it goes to Turkoglu, play him strait up. It also depends on how much confidence you have in your own free throw shooters. Because giving them 2 free ones, then only make 1 of 2 on our end, is a waste.

    Basically I think it just really depends on the scenario and there is not cut and dry method.