Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mavericks Preview & More Trade Thoughts!

Talkin' Trades (A Ripoff of Talkin' Ball)

We are now officially two weeks away from the trade deadline, so the rumors are coming hot and heavy. As most of you know the Blazers have a ton of assets that make them an appealing trade partner. Well the latest to pop up is proposed by ESPN’s Chad Ford as a way to help the Magic deal with Jameer Nelson’s recent injury. This is what Chad has to say.

Trail Blazers trade Steve Blake, Channing Frye and Sergio Rodriguez for Hedo Turkoglu and Anthony Johnson

While neither Blake nor Rodriguez is a star, they are solid players who would give Orlando an instant point guard rotation. (Blake is currently out with his own shoulder injury, but he's expected to return within a week.) Rodriguez has more upside than Blake but is younger and more erratic as well. Both players could come off the books for the Magic next year -- meaning no long-term hit on their cap

Just as important would be the acquisition of Frye, whose size and rebounding ability would give the Magic some much-needed help on their front line.

The cost would be high for the Magic. Turkoglu has been solid and sometimes spectacular for the Magic the past two seasons. But they have enough talented wing players, particularly Mickael Pietrus and Courtney Lee, to fill the shoes of Turkoglu, who is a risk to opt out of his contract and leave Orlando this summer anyway.

The Blazers have been looking for a small forward, and Turkoglu would be a good, low-risk option. Portland might have to pay him to keep him, but a trade now would give the team a few months to see how he fits as he contributes to the Blazers' drive to make some noise in the playoffs this spring.

What do you think about this trade? Personally, I am against it. Turkoglu doesn’t really solve our SF problem (perimeter defense), and leaves us with Anthony Johnson and Jerryd Bayless at PG. I am a Bayless fan, but you can’t tell me that he is ready to run this team full time. Also, of the few Magic games I have watched this year, Turkoglu might be the most important player not named Howard on that team. He handles the ball almost, if not more, then the PG’s. I just don’t see this deal making much sense for either side. What do you guys think?

Blazer Rookie Update

In Blazer Rookie news, ESPN’s weekly column evaluating rookies came out today and talked about 3 of the 4 Blazer rookies. He has Oden, Fernandez, Batum, and Bayless ranked 6, 8, 18, 23 respectively. Below I put some excerpts, but if you want to read the whole thing, check it out here.

Greg Oden, Trail Blazers
Emeka Okafor learned firsthand just how big, strong and agile Oden is. Oden scorched Charlotte for 14 and 14 (8 offensive boards) and added 2 steals and 3 blocks. His sheer size and length -- and his willingness to compete hard -- are making a huge difference against other teams' bigs.

Rudy Fernandez, Trail Blazers
Fernandez is not just a terrific shooter, shot-maker and athlete. He also plays a very thoughtful and unselfish game. This was on display the other night, as Portland led Charlotte by 16 late in the game. Greg Oden deflected a guard-to-wing pass up the floor, which was picked up by a hard-charging Fernandez, who had only one defender to deal with. It looked as if an easy layup or foul was coming.

Nicolas Batum, Trail Blazers
Batum is a hard guy to evaluate because of the role he plays in Portland. More than half of his attempted shots are 3s, similar to Rudy Fernandez. However, he currently does not have the overall shot-making skills of his friend from Spain. Batum is a decent shooter from 3 (35 percent), getting most of his shots off good spacing and unselfish teammates who find him after ball penetration.
Game Preview

Our last meeting with Dallas was on Christmas day, and we did not fair so well even with yours truly in the stand to add some extra support. I am hoping since I am not going tonight that will be the difference in the game. But seriously, the Mavs have been playing some pretty good hoops lately, and it will be a tough test for the Blazers to take them out at home.

Last game we were killed on the pick and roll by Jose Juan Bera and Brandon Bass. Hopefully we learned from that and come out with some attitude and a chip on our shoulders to prove that we won’t lose to the Mavs because of those two again. However Dirk still dropped 30 on us and Jason Terry had 19 off the bench. If we can contain Terry and Josh Howard, and make Kidd and Brandon Bass score, then we will be in good shape. The Blazers were also out-rebounded by Dallas (which is rare for this Blazers team), so if we can win that battle and play decent D against the pick and roll I think we will be ok. Steve Blake is out again for tonight’s game (he didn’t even make the trip).

Keys to the Game

1. Defend the Pick & Roll
I touched on it earlier, but we NEED to stop this, hopefully the addition of Bayless to our rotation will help this.
2. Hit the Boards
We need to hit the boards hard and make sure we are not outrebounded again. There is no reason a frontline of Dirk and Dampier should outrebound LA and Oden.
3. Control the Tempo
Although Dallas doesn’t play at a blazing fast pace, we still need to dictate the tempo. That means making shots, and rebounding well.
4. Score More Points Then Them
If we score more points then Dallas tonight I think we will get a W.

Gambler’s Corner

Blazers +3.5
Over/Under 195.5

I am taking the Blazers and the Over. I think that the Blazers will come out fired up and steal a win in Dallas. They have some great momentum going right now (5 game win streak), and if we get a win tonight have a great chance of reaching a double digit win streak with our next 4 games versus Oklahoma City twice and the Knicks and Warriors both at home. They know this and would like to take advantage with a win tonight.

1 comment:

  1. Ill take the Blazer and the over. Dont like the trade.