Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mariah Carey sings, the Blazers watch

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Here is some retro vision of the Portland Trail Blazers for you. This comes from the 1991 NBA Finals against the Detroit Pistons and features Clyde Drexler, Buck Williams, Terry Porter, Jerome Kersey and big Kevin Duckworth.

Mariah Carey America The Beautiful NBA Finals Detroit 1991

Friday, December 21, 2007

...a stern warning

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For a new perspective on the NBA, without as much of a Blazers slant, check out ...a stern warning.

Monday, July 30, 2007

David Stern must be happy with KG

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For the past week or two, the sports media and the blogosphere has been blowing up with reports, unsubstantiated rumours and rampant speculation about a certian NBA referee's alleged gambling on NBA games and links to the mob. David Stern's NBA office has no doubt been in complete damage control mode, on a level never seen by Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson.

The media has done nothing but fuel the flames of speculation. "Will this mean the end of the NBA as we know it?... Will fans be able to trust the results of games ever again? ... Was Mark Cuban right after all?"

It's clear that this referee-gambling saga has been blown out of all proportion. The facts as they currently appear are that ONE referee may have attempted to influence the result of a number of games. The last time I checked, this did not mean the downfall of the world or the end of integrity in sports. Bad things happen. The NBA will get past this.

Meanwhile, news suddenly hits the horizon of renewed talks between the Boston Celtics and the Minnesota Timberwolves to bring Kevin Garnett to Boston. You can bet (illegal as it is) that this news brought a small smile to David Stern's face as suddenly a story had emerged to shadow all others. At least for a couple of days anyway...

I hope he sent Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale a bottle of something nice.

KG to Boston : titletown? Don't count on it...

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The Boston Globe has published varying reports today indicating that the Celtics and Timberwolves will indeed move Kevin Garnett to Boston in a multi-player deal. The lastest version of the trade, being reported by the Globe involves (now wait for it...) Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair and two first round draft picks to the Wolves for Garnett.
In short, the Celtics will give up every promising player they have remaining on their roster (with the possible exception of Kendrick Perkins and Leon Powe) in order to gain one of the best all-round talents of the past ten years in the NBA.
When Danny Ainge decided to make the draft day trade which brought Ray Allen to Boston, he had to have one thing in mind: win now. With the win-now philosophy comes the necessity to trade young promising players for those that can get the job done right now. Jefferson, Gomes and Green are not yet in a position to contribute to a playoff team. They have a long way to go to reach their lofty potentials. Adding KG to a core of players that includes two other stars in Paul Pierce and Ray Allen makes for a promising team, with little in the way of excuses.
The big question is however, can this team make NBA championship-type noises with this team? I think not.
Certainly, this team will make short work of most teams in the weak Atlantic Division. After finishing last in the division last season with an ugly 24-58 record, Boston will no doubt push past perennially in disarray New York, depleted Philadelphia, stagnant New Jersey and will only have problems with the young and rising Toronto Raptors.
However the threesome of Garnett-Allen-Pierce ("GAP") can not win games all by themselves. Unfortunately for the Celtics, basketball is played with five players on court (just ask LeBron James) and even if Boston does make it out of the East, they still must face either San Antonio (just ask LeBron James), Phoenix or Dallas in the Finals. All of these teams are stacked with their own groups of individual talents, as well as well-tuned supporting casts.
Are GAP better than Parker-Ginobili-Duncan, Nash-Marion-Stoudemire, Nowitzki-Howard-Terry? They're clearly better than that last trio, but as for the other groups, who have played together for years, the debate gets a lot more complicated.
I appreciate what Ainge has done in making the decision to throw all of the green eggs into the basket marked "Right Now", but I will forever question why teams like Boston and New York refuse to rebuild in the tradional way, rely on young talent to develop and make wise draft choices along the way. Hey, it's worked for the Trail Blazers.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Blazers pre-Summer League workouts

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Summer League kicks off tonight for the Blazers vs Boston. Unfortunately no Bassy Telfair to be seen, but I don't think that is anyone's main concern. The big man Greg Oden will be out there, stuffy nose and all, and all eyes will be in his direction. The chemistry between LaMarcus Aldridge and Oden, as well as to a lesser extent between Oden and Brandon Roy, will be key to this competition.

Of course, a sideline to all of this is whether we see a maturation of Martell Webster and Sergio Rodriguez, who will be the starting guards. The nifty passing of Finnish sensation Petteri Koponen will be on display, as will the interior abilities of Josh McRoberts and Chris Ellis (who seems to have impressed Greg Oden - see below). Stefano Mancinelli is starting at the three spot, which should be interesting -- I have to admit to not knowing much about the Italian small forward.

Great video here of the Blazers working out in preparation for the Summer League in Las Vegas.

Notable Quotes:

Jack (on Oden): He's really big.
Sergio (on Oden): He's really big.
Aldridge (on Oden): He's got a much better sense of humour than some guys we've had here in the past...

Hmmm... take that last quote to refer to whoever you may want to guess at. I wonder if it's a recent departee?

Yi ain't no bust

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I'm just watching online updates of the China vs Memphis Summer League game and I couldn't help but think... No wonder the Milwaukee Bucks are so keen on securing the services of Yi Jianlian, no matter the circumstances.

He's only had a short while to prove himself in the NBA Summer League, but already he's proven that he's on target to average a triple double!

Check it out:

vs DAL: 14pts 6PF 5 TO in only 14 mins action!
vs MEM: 20pts 7PF 7 TO in 22 mins so far (game in progress)

That's impressive stuff. Now I know why he can call his own shots regarding which city he plays in.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Draft Day brings excitement as expected in Portland

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Kevin Pritchard wasn't going to let this go to script. It has been an exciting draft day so far. I'm sitting here listening to the draft as we have just hit pick number 25 in the 1st round.

1. Greg Oden joins us, as expected. This guy will be our anchor for a long time. I can't say anything right now that hasn't been already said.

2. Word is that Zach Randolph has been traded to the Knicks, along with Fred Jones and Disaster Dan Dickau for Channing Frye and Steve Francis. I don't know if I like this move. I feel we could have possibly gotten more for Z-Bo. Frye is a solid player, but he hasn't proven himself as more than a LaMarcus-lite to back him up off the bench. Francis is a cancer (wasn't that why we were trying to get rid of Z-Bo?) who apparently will be bought out (here's hoping) and give us some cap room. I hope this all works out. That said, I trust Pritchard's judgement - he's one of the best minds out there.

3. We bought the 24th pick in the draft from the Suns for cash and selected Rudy Fernandez, a 6'6" combo guard from Spain. Looks like we will have a pair of wiry Spaniards coming off the bench at the guard spots.

Now I'm wondering what will happen with all of those 2nd round picks. I see some trades coming. We knew draft day would be an exciting one in Portland...

More to come.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dirk Nowitzki to be MVP.. or not?

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Supposedly Dirk Diggler is going to be named MVP tomorrow. I'm not going to get into a debate right now about whether he deserves it or not. What I want to know is, how do people come up with this information as if it is fact on such a regular basis?
The voting for Most Valuable Player, as with other league awards, is polled from broadcasters and writers across the league. The only way that the result could be known so conclusively is if someone has informally interviewed every one of these voters to find out their selection. I highly doubt that this has been possible.
The only conclusions that can hence be drawn are that either someone in the league office is leaking information or that the rumour is potentially incorrect. If the former is correct, David Stern needs to grab a tighter hold of the reigns which he normally grips so strongly, in order to bring some mystery and magic back to the league. If the latter is correct, won't it be funny to see all of the major news organisations proven wrong?

Bruce Bowen reviewed by the NBA

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The net has been blowing up about Bruce Bowen and his perceived dirty tactics.

Bowen has been known for a long time as a guy who pushes the boundaries of fair play. Now the NBA has decided to act. Bowen's "interaction" with Steve Nash in Game 3 has been reviewed by the league. The league did not go so far as to impose any suspension or fine, but merely upgraded the foul to a flagrant. Watch the video of the incident and judge for yourself.

However, I don't think this is the worst or most dangerous play that Bowen has made, it's merely a case of 'enough is enough'. The NBA has acted, purely because it HAD to. Bowen's kick to the achilles of Amaré Stoudemire (see below), was one of the dirtiest plays I've seen in a while (probably since Reggie Evans' grab of Chris Kaman).

A perusal of YouTube will bring up plenty of Bruce Bowen-Collector goodies. It seems he's not too well liked around the league. And with good reason:

- Bruce Bowen undercuts Anthony Parker.

- Bruce Bowen's "foot defense" of Steve Francis and Jamal Crawford.

Some will say that, hey, it's the playoffs and a bit more roughness is all part of the game. This is true. However, when a player crosses the line between tough play and foul play, the league needs to step in, in the same way the NFL has done to protect its players. The NBA is known for promoting its marquee attractions, being its individual showmen. Bruce Bowen is quite often the one defending these same marquee attractions. If guys start to go down with serious injuries, that could be a big hit to the league.

Picking up this sort of play mid-game is tough. The referees can not be held to blame the majority of the time. However in post-game reviews, there is no reason why the league can not make a judgement and make appropriate suspensions and fines to stop dirty play from entering the game.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tim Hardaway, Gay People LOVE You

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After Tim Hardaway went crazy with his outburst that he "hates Gay people" following John Amaechi's revelations that he went through his career in the NBA as a gay person (being the first to do so publicly), Hardaway tried to gain redemption.

Then, former Star Trek star George Takei came out with this hilarious response to Tim Bug: