Saturday, March 24, 2007

Brandon Roy for...

You want more?!? Click the logo below or go to A Stern Warning at

Most of us Blazer fans have been saying it since the pre-season. Brandon Roy will be Rookie of the Year.

Roy for ROY.
We're now in March. As a Blazers fan it gives me great pride to say that not too many people are disputing this... The upsetting thing however, is that there are some detractors. How anyone can dispute the fact that Roy is deserving of ROY is beyond reason.
Andrea Bargnani? After a slow start to the season, he has picked up his production in February and March -- only to go down with an injury.
Jorge Garbajosa? The veteran Spaniard has provided the Raptors with some interior toughness in a supporting role.
Randy Foye? Get out of here. He has had flashes of brilliance and no doubt will be a solid player, but to date his rookie season can best be described as patchy.
In fact, the greatest competition for the prize would seem to be coming from Roy's own teammate, LaMarcus Aldridge. The versatile big man, given playing time after the all-star break with injuries to the Blazers' big men, has shown that he will be a future star in this league.
For the sake of comparison, let's compare the statistics of the top rookies to date:

Brandon Roy - PG/SG - 16.1ppg 4.4rpg 4.0apg 1.2spg 44.1%FG 83.3%FT

Andrea Bargnani - SF/PF - 11.5ppg 3.9rpg 0.8apg 0.8bpg 42.7%FG 82.8%FT

LaMarcus Aldridge - F/C - 8.9ppg 4.9rpg 0.4apg 1.2bpg 50.7%FG 71.4%FT

Randy Foye - SG - 9.3ppg 2.6rpg 2.6apg 0.6spg 41.7%FG 85.9%FT

Adam Morrison - SF - 12.4ppg 3.1rpg 2.0apg 0.4spg 37.6%FG 70.8%FT

Rudy Gay - SG/SF - 10.7ppg 4.3rpg 1.1apg 0.9spg 42.9%FG 70.7%FT

Jorge Garbajosa - PF/C - 8.5ppg 4.9rpg 1.9apg 1.2spg 42.1%FG 73.1%FT

The only player in that group that gives a solid challenge to Roy is Rudy Gay. The Memphis swingman has put up some impressive stats -- particularly in February and March where his numbers have risen to around 15ppg 5.5rpg 1.4apg 1.0bpg and 0.7spg. The thing is, Roy has been putting up stats at least that good ALL SEASON.

Aldridge's jump to 32 minutes per game in March has seen his numbers over those 11 games as follows: 16.4ppg 8.7rpg 1.9bpg 1.0spg 53.4%FG. Pretty imposing numbers for a rookie! Had LaMarcus been starting all season (as he has been since the injuries to Joel Przybilla and Raef LaFrentz), we could have seen a strong challenge to his teammate.

Of course, numbers are not everything when it comes to basketball. When you look at Brandon Roy on court, the thing that stands out is his composure and the way he leads the team. As a rookie, this is no mean feat. Roy has been an integral part of his team all season long, which can not be said for any of the other rookies listed above. He has started 47 of his 49 games -- and been a floor leader every night.

Roy for ROY.

Zach Randolph : grieving takes on many forms

You want more?!? Click the logo below or go to A Stern Warning at

Monday: Zach Randolph is granted bereavement leave to attend the funeral of his girlfriend's cousin, in Marion, Indiana.
Tuesday: Randolph is seen at strip club Exotica late in the night, having a few drinks and sampling the usual offerings of the club.
Friday: The Blazers' Assistant GM Kevin Pritchard releases a press statement. The general premise being that the team will deal with any matters internally and that certain aspects of player performance do not need to be discussed in the media. He added that "At the end of the season we'll sit down with each one of our players and review their performance, including their standing in the community."
Further news emerged from within the Blazers that Zach was on his way to the airport, catching a red-eye home to Marion for the funeral and stopped into the club to kill some time.
Enough media hype has been made over the last half-decade about the "Jail Blazers" and their reported infractions. There are two takes that can be made on this incident.
Firstly, private life is private. It should be that simple. Zach was in a state of grieving and possibly he felt at his most comfortable visiting somewhere he was familiar with on his way to the airport. Perhaps he made a poor choice at a difficult time. Whether a strip club is the the choice that all of us would make is a separate issue -- ignoring the fact that we are unaware of his long-term girlfriend's view of him visiting such establishments. The view that many would take (no doubt including Zach himself) is that his forrays into strip clubs are his business. Criticise and critique his on-court performance all you want, but leave his personal life in the domain to which it belongs.
In reality, we know that the lives of celebrities -- including sports stars -- are anything but private. Increasingly so with the push of the internet, information on the state of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria's relationship, the financial health of Scottie Pippen and which strip club Zach Randolph visited are becoming public domain. Zach knows this all too well. We saw the controversy in the pre-season that surrounded Z-Bo merely for being "involved" with a sex scandal. He doesn't need any lessons on what type of situations he needs to steer clear of. For Zach to become a leader on the Blazers in more than just the statistical sense, he needs to start making smarter decisions.
There's only so long that we can keep labelling Randolph's decisions as young mistakes.