The positive outlook this offseason for the Trail Blazers continues. As reported by the Oregonian, coach Nate McMillan has been pleased with the number of players who have voluntarily turned up early to training camp. In particular it is heartening to hear that young guns Martell Webster, Jarrett Jack and Travis Outlaw are amongst those pounding away.
What is disappointing, but sadly expected, is that Darius Miles is not one of those players working out. Perhaps Miles has a valid excuse -- perhaps not -- either way, given the trade rumours all off-season and Miles' attitude last season, I didn't expect to see his name as the first on the list working out.
After his tireless workouts in the off-season, it is good to hear that Zach Randolph is in camp. As the guys at SLAM pointed out in their recent write-up of the Top 50 players in the NBA today, Zach may get himself into some stupid positions off the court, but there is no doubting his work ethic on the court.
McMillan also pointed out that the Blazers have to be "a physical team" this season. The arsenal that the team has up front, with the drafting of LaMarcus Aldridge and the acquistion of Jamaal Magloire certainly would dictate that. This inside presence, coupled with the outside abilities of rookie Brandon Roy and Martell Webster are positive signs for the Blazers.
In other news, the NBA has launched compulsory cardiac screening for all players after the sad death of Jason Collier and other recent scares. This can only be a good thing and something other sports should consider following.