Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Contests, Recaps, D Miles, & Trade Talk, Oh My!

Got a lot to talk about today, but don’t worry if you don’t like reading a ton, I will break it down into sections and you can read only what you think is important. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings or anything, I swear I don’t care (single tear). For those loyal fans who read every word that I pour my heart and soul into, thank you. Anyways I hope you got home safely from that guilt trip so we can move forward!

New Contest!

When I started this blog I envisioned a place where people could come to read, then praise, my thoughts, feelings, and knowledge bombs. A wonderful place that would not only inflate your Blazer knowledge, but my ego as well. But over time, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that you guys are much smarter then me, and have some pretty good ideas. Well, one of those great idea’s was from D-Block, who suggested that instead of having you post the potential score of the game, you post like Goose and I do on the line and over/under. SO, starting tomorrow (01/14/09) please post on the line and over/under and if you want leave a little quip on your reasoning behind your picks. I will keep a tally of the records in the sidebar, and the winner at the end of every month gets to make an honorary post on one of the, if not the, best blog on the web. For those of you who have already won a few games the “old fashioned” way, I will translate those to wins, so Yost will start out 3-0. Hope to see more of you participating now!

Bulls Game Recap

Great win to start our 4-game road trip. It was sloppy early, but as soon as the Blazers stopped turning the ball over and played some D, we quickly took the lead and never looked back. What was impressive, was the other Blazers picking up the slack on a night when Roy and Aldridge couldn’t find their touch. Maybe the Roy injury was a blessing in disguise? Notice that on each of the previous two eastern road trips that we have had success on, we started with a win? (once over Orlando at home, which is only 1 of 3 losses the Magic have at home, and Detroit). We ended up going 4-1 and 3-2 on those trips, I hope we can replicate that on this trip.

Individual Performances

  1. Travis Outlaw - Gets the game ball for shooting lights out tonight. Easily one of his best performances of the year. He scored 33 points in a variety of ways, and also had 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed Outlaw’s effort tonight, but where is that every night? I am not saying that Outlaw can score 33 every game, but why can’t he give us the effort of 7 boards and 3 blocks? Those are pure effort stats, and I am beginning to wonder if he cannot provide the effort every night in his 6th season in the NBA, will he ever?
  2. Greg Oden – Greg also played one of his best games of the season. Despite somewhat being in foul trouble, he still posted 17 points and 13 boards. I obviously like the points, but the rebounds is what I really like. He needs to provide that every night for us. Oden did a great job of scoring tonight, and as I am sure many of you have noticed, he hardly ever is getting stripped anymore. It was only a month ago, it seemed like every time he touched the ball he either got it stolen or traveled. It’s little things like this that you like to see from Greg.
  3. Steve Blake – Steve started off rough early, but came back to give us a solid game. He had 10 assists to go along with 16 points. He did a good job of hitting the open shot tonight when it was presented to him.
  4. Brandon Roy – Looked a little rusty tonight. He was 3-13 from the field, and jumpers that normally fall for the Natural, just weren’t. I think part can be attributed to rust and part to just having an off night. Remember, just because most nights Roy is amazing doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have off nights. I look for him to pick it back up soon.
  5. LaMarcus Aldridge – Aldridge seemed to be deferring to Oden on the block, which was a good move, because that is what got us back into the game. Aldridge has difficulty scoring when plays are not run for him, and that is exactly what happened tonight.
  6. Jerryd BayelssJay Bay, got in and played very well in limited minutes. He attacked the rim, and even hit a pull up jumpshot. He had 7 points in only 9 minutes. What I did notice about Bayless is once he is in “attack mode” he doesn’t see the floor very well. And even though I love Bayless and what he brings to the table, this is one of those skills that you can’t really teach. It will be interesting to see how he develops this part of his game.
  7. Rudy Fernandez – Rudy left in the 4th quarter to go back to the locker room with trainer Jay Jensen. It appeared that he was being bugged by the same sore left foot that made him a question mark against Golden State on Saturday. Let’s hope he will be good to go for Wednesday night’s game.
  8. Joel Pryzbilla – Found himself in foul trouble the entire night, otherwise he probably would have been dunking all over Joakim Noah and co.
  9. Nicholas Batum – Same as Pryzbilla, found himself in foul trouble early and often attempting to guard the likes of Ben Gordon, Derrick Rose, and Loul Deng.

Overall, great win to start a road trip, so lets keep it going!

Darius Miles Update

Some interesting news was broke last night from Yahoo sports. Apparently before the Blazers sent out the threatening email to the rest of the league they attempted to sign Darius Miles off of waivers. Obviously, they would have just signed him and stashed him for the rest of the year, but the NBA vetoed this. This helps shed some light on the email, and to me it makes more sense. This only strengthens the Blazers case against D Miles coming back on the cap. If the NBA declined the Blazers ability to sign Miles because they believed it was going to have salary cap implications, then why is it any different if another team signs him to do the opposite? Who is to decide each teams intentions? Who is the NBA to say that the Blazers weren’t going to play Miles? Who is the NBA to say that the Memphis Grizzles (who have significant cap room of their own this summer), are signing Miles because they are truly interested in his basketball skills?

Do you see my point? Why is the league able to pass judgment and speculate on the motives by different teams personnel moves? So now does the email make more sense to you guys? It sure does to me, and it looks like we might actually have a case (not in real court, but to the NBA and our salary cap room). This will be interesting to monitor going forward….

Blazer Trade Rumors

Moving closer to the trade deadline, there is going to be a lot of trade talk involving the Blazers. Below is from Chad Ford’s chat today on ESPN.com

Jake (Israel): Lovin the chats Chad. How seriously does the Darius Miles situation affect the Blazers? assuming he plays two more games.

Chad Ford: Seriously, which is why the Blazers ended up making that desperate, pathetic threat over the weekend. The plan was to be a major player in the free agent market this summer. While the Blazers will still have room this summer, their better bet, now, is to use Raef LaFrentz's expiring contract (which is really a sweet deal since insurance picks up 80 percent of his salary) and some of his young talent to try to get another big piece or two. Ideally they'd to get a franchise point guard and they need a small forward. There's been interest in Mike Conley and I know they love Luol Deng. All in all, expect the Blazers to be very proactive at the trade deadline. It's the best chance of landing another impact player.

Do you think Loul Deng would be a good fit in Portland? Here is a little trade I put together on ESPN’s trade machine. Just a hypothetical, what do you guys think? Would you do this? I think you would have to if the Bulls would.

Let me know what your guys thoughts are on any of these topics! Thanks for reading!



  1. I think if the bulls would do that trade you set up the Blazers would deffinitely do it, I just dont think the Bulls would be willing to give up that much. As for the whole miles' situation, I think its BS that they would not let us re-sign him but they will let Memphis pick him up. If you are going to sepculate that we are going to pick him up just to stash him then why are you letting another team pick him up just to play him two games to get his salary back on our books. Weak move by the NBA but I like Miller's e-mail of doing his best to deter other teams even if it ended up not being successful.

  2. I agree that it is BS they wouldn't let us pick up Miles, and speculated on our intentions. So how come we can't speculate on Memphis' intentions? It's the same thing. But just because the league is the one judging it, it makes it right? I think Portland has a valid argument in court for this one. See, it didn't take that long to reveal our management's reasoning behind the email!

  3. I got a few things......One, I am not a fan of that trade actually. Deng would be great for our team, but why do we need a stud SF. I know we start Batum but we have Outlaw, and Webster (He will get healthy!) I dont like us getting Hinrich. He has had back to back down years. I dont see him turning it around. That would also give us a surplus of PG (Blake, Rodrirguez, Bayless, and now Hinrich). I will start Blake over Hinrich any day. And that means a lot coming from me, who is not a Steve Blake guy. Third reason why I dont like this trade is because Outlaw is my favorite player and taking him is like taking my pancreas (joke would be on you because it doesnt work).

    The second thing I want to say......Rest of January is when we need to make our run. Of the next 9 games we play 2 teams that have a winning percentage greater then .500, one team that is .500, and 6 teams that are below.500. At worst we should go 6-3. These are teams that aren't playing great basketball. Lets make a run and be the #1 Team in the NW Division come February.

  4. Yost I understand your concerns about Hinrich, but he does have the ability to be a great fit for our team. In his prime he plays similar to Blake but with a better jump shot, more aggressive, and more confident. I feel like he is young and still could turn it around. Also I feel that Deng would give us an elite SF instead of an average SF with Batum and Martel, and still have Martel come off of the bench and be a huge spark coming off of the bench. Just my thoughts on the trade.
    Also, I deff agree with the next nine game stretch. I eluded to this in the bulls preview about what an opportunity the Blazers have to get a nice streak of games going. The only real tough game is Cleveland but I am hoping to come up with W's on almost every other team, tht would be huge!