Monday, October 23, 2006

NBA : News & Notes

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Raef LaFrentz debut
Tonight against Utah will finally see the debut of LaFrentz in Blazers colours as he slowly returns from a torn calf muscle. According to the Oregonian, he is not at full strength and will no doubt take things slowly. However his return comes at an opportune time given the injuries to Darius Miles and LaMarcus Aldridge (both still yet to play in preseason action) and Martell Webster's recent soreness.
LaFrentz gives the Blazers a different look off the bench at the four and five spot, given his ability to knock down the three. He will compliment well the inside banging of either Zach Randolph or Jamaal Magloire when on court.
Jay Williams fairytale cut short
Sadly former Duke star Jay Williams' attempted comeback to the NBA with the New Jersey Nets has been cut short, as the Nets cut him from their roster. Williams had been looking for a role as backup point guard after sustaining major injuries in a 2003 motorcycle accident.
Eric Musselman DUI saga
Over the weekend, Sacto Kings coach Musselman was caught driving under the influence. A "teary-eyed" Musselman has apolgized over the incident.
Broadcast changes
There will be plenty of changes to ESPN/ABC broadcasts of NBA games this season.
Chris Andersen
The Birdman flies at SLAM Online! My favourite quote in the article from the Birdman regarding drinking alcohol, "I can put it down."
Celtics News
Sebastian Telfair had his $50k necklace stolen outside of a nightclub and Fabolous, who was shot on the night, is hiring a private investigator to find out the true story of the night.
Meanwhile our good friends at Loy's Place are trying to keep up with all of the Celtics roster positional changes -- very similar to the battles in Portland for playing time.


derrenmatts said...

Hello there Blazers fans. Raef can offer more than what he gave us in Boston. He's more than just a spot up three point shooter, but in our offense, that's all we let him do. He's got a decent turn around midrange jumper he uses when he backs up his man, and hopefully Nate will utilize that. Being that Randolph dominates the ball and Magloire will probably play inside, Raef may once again find his niche as an outside shooter.

He was pretty durable last season (played in all 82 games) so his moniker of always being injured is not necessarily accurate. Hopefully you'll have a healthy Raef on your hands. When healthy he is a solid rebounder and shot blocker. If given 20 minutes a night, he may put up 6 boards and a block.

Telfair is starting to come around, looking more comfortable and not forcing issues as much. The rave around Beantown is Rajon Rondo and he's stealing Telfair's thunder, but I still have hopes for Telfair.

Well, season starts in a week, so good luck.

mookie said...

Thanks for your comments Derren -- always good to hear from you!

LaFrentz has always been a bit of a non-consideration for Blazer fans. I think this is primarily for 2 reasons:

1) The perhaps false assumption that he's weak
2) The multitude of players at the 4 and 5 spots. In particular, Przybilla and Magloire are in a massive struggle for the starting C position, Zach is the undisputed PF and they will want to give some time to star rookie Aldridge.

However, to hear positives on LaFrentz like that is great. It means that should something break down with regards to the other guys, he can step in and take over. I must admit that I had overlooked his 82 games played last season -- a definite positive.

I can't wait for that season to start either.

derrenmatts said...

Since you guys have enough quality bigs (Randolph, Magloire and Pryzbilla, Raef won't get into many games. But hopefully he'll be of some use because he can be an effective player, even as a backup. But he also has a tendency to blend into the crowd and be a non-factor, so he must be given a role or else he'll just drift around. Not that he's a lazy player, but he just needs to be given specific instructions if he's just going to be used as a role player.