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Tag:Blazers
Posted on: June 3, 2011 1:07 pm
 

Report: Blazers want to trade up for Kemba Walker

Posted by Matt Moore

No matter who's running the Trail Blazers... and we're not exactly sure who that is at this point... they've made it clear they want to reshape the backcourt. That's been a priority for months, and Andre Miller has been in trade talks for months because of it. Now comes word that they may think they have the answer in the draft. The Portland Tribune reports that the Blazers are considering moving up in the draft to acquire UConn star guard Kemba Walker. 
 
According to a league source, Portland would like to get into the top seven to be in position to take Connecticut point guard Kemba Walker. That might mean packaging veteran point guard Andre Miller and the No. 21 pick for another team’s player along with a top-seven pick.

Acting general manager Chad Buchanan was noncommital on the report.

“Any possible avenue that will improve our team — moving up in the draft, a trade, whatever — we will consider,” Buchanan said.
via Blazers looking to move up in draft, take point guard.

Walker is the most recognizable star in the draft, outside of possibly Jimmer Fredette, and an explosive scoring guard. Questions abound regarding his size, defensive capabilities, passing ability and role at the next level, but with the talent still on Portland, it's a great fit. Nate McMillan can get the most out of Walker and teach him to cover his size problems with savvy. Meanwhile, Walker can provide the scoring punch the Blazers need and another young guard to build around as they go forward. It's a risky move, but with Miller approaching the end of his effectiveness as a starter, it may be one worth making.  
Posted on: May 23, 2011 7:12 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 9:40 pm
 

Blazers President Larry Miller defends Cho firing

Posted by Ben Golliver

PORTLAND, Ore – For the second time in less than twelve months, the Portland Trail Blazers have parted ways with a respected general manager. On the night of the 2010 NBA Draft, word surfaced that the team had agreed to part ways with former General Manager Kevin Pritchard. On Monday, the team announced that it was doing the same with his successor – Rich Cho – roughly one month before the 2011 NBA Draft.

Cho, known for his salary cap acumen and analytical approach, made two moves of substance during his tenure, trading away guard Jerryd Bayless and trading for forward Gerald Wallace. He had meticulously planned his draft war room structure for months, turning a conference room into a think tank with flat screen televisions and white boards adorning all the walls.

He never got a chance to use it.

“I think the big issue was chemistry between him and the owner,” Blazers president Larry Miller told CBSSports.com. “They were just never able to click. Rich is a smart guy, a really nice guy, brings some talents to the table but I think if the chemistry isn’t right, it’s hard for it to work.”

Portland’s owner, of course, is billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. In his memoir, Idea Man, released a little more than one month ago, Allen writes: “After replacing Kevin Pritchard (who struggled in the managerial parts of his job) with Rich Cho, we believe that we've found a leadership team that can get us back to the Finals."

And, then, Monday’s abrupt news.

“There wasn’t an incident,” Miller maintained. “I think we learned from last year, that sometimes it’s better when you know something, to move sooner than later. If we know this is not going to work, let’s not drag it out. Let’s not put it off, let’s just go ahead and move on it now.”

Cho declined interview requests, but did release a statement through the team's public relations department. "Obviously it's a difficult day, but I want to truly thank Paul Allen and Larry Miller for the opportunity they gave me here in Portland," Cho said. "I also want to thank the fans, players, coaches, business office staff and especially my basketball operations staff who have supported me along the way. I feel good about the work we've done here and I know the Trail Blazers are headed in the right direction."

Asked for Cho's reaction to the news, Miller said simply: "Rich was shocked."

While Cho kept a very low profile in Portland, rarely making public statements, at least two rifts emerged during his tenure. First, an apparent disagreement in how to handle guard Brandon Roy, who made critical comments about his playing time and role both during the season and during the playoffs. Second, a difference in public strategy in terms of handling injured center Greg Oden. While Miller said publicly that the team would likely extend Oden a qualifying offer this summer shortly after he underwent microfracture surgery, Cho remained tight-lipped, not offering a public statement until weeks later.

Miller said Monday that neither issue figured into the decision to part ways with Cho.

“I don’t know whether there were philosophical issues,” Miller said. “The whole deal about Brandon … that really didn’t play into this decision. That was something that was talked about with Rich about how we should handle that around Brandon. We kind of agreed that the best thing was for Rich to talk to him and let him know if something happened again, there would be a suspension. That was the extent of that. It wasn’t like there was any issue around that.”

As for Oden’s future, Miller said the management team was and is in lockstep. “I think we were on the same page, although I may have expressed it one way and Rich may have expressed it another way. From an organization perspective we were on the same page. If Greg does the things that we need him to do or that we expect him to do, then we are going to issue a qualifying offer to him. Rich may have just said the same thing differently than the way I said it. The reality is, even up to Mr. Allen, we’re on the same page.”

That timing of the firing and the quickness with which it came left many Blazers fans scratching their heads and others outraged at organizational incompetence. Indeed, Miller’s explanation about a chemistry rift is a 180 degree turn from previous statements. The team had publicly vouched for Cho’s ability to hit it off with Allen during his job interview and officials had regularly spoken about the new management group’s relationship together.

Miller acknowledged those concerns but chalked it up to a casualty of doing business. “I can understand how fans and people would say, ‘But you guys said this was the right guy.’ The reality is we thought this was the right guy or we wouldn’t have hired him. The fit is just not right. I’ve seen this in other business situations where I’ve worked before. You’ve hired someone at a senior level and you think that the skillset and they’re smart people, they have all the right tools to come in and do a job. Then, you hire them at some point into it you realize that they’re not the right person for that job. The difference is that this is a public situation but to me it’s not unusual. This does happen from time to time.”

The Blazers have no timetable for replacing Cho, and Miller noted that it’s “possible” the team enters training camp in the fall without naming a full-time replacement. In the meantime, the team’s Director of College Scouting Chad Buchanan will serve as Interim GM. “I think we feel comfortable with Chad and the rest of the team out there as far as going into the draft is concerned.”

Buchanan, who has worked for the Blazers for seven years, leap-frogs over Cho’s two hand-picked assistant GMs: Bill Branch and Steve Rosenberry. Miller says both men will remain with the team and are still under contract.

“Chad has been around here,” Miller said. “Even though their titles were different, their responsibilities were not that different. They all reported into Rich at the same level. The reporting structure was the same, it was just a difference in title. I wouldn’t say he’s jumping over them.”

Still, the situation is as bad as it looks. A team beset by injuries on the court and drama off of it.

Miller defended his owner from charges of irascibility. “Mr. Allen is determined to get this right. He’s determined to try to build a championship team here. Determined to make sure this team is going to be the best it can possibly be.”

Miller also brushed aside the notion that he’s serving as the de facto GM. “I do have some things I can bring to the table to help with some of those decision but the decisions are going to be driven by the basketball operations staff. I’ll be there to help and assist those guys in any way that I can.”

Whether or not Miller is correct that the team learned from its mistakes, it’s clear the organization’s leadership doesn’t want to be here again.

“We’re going to make sure we take our time and do it right this time,” Miller said.” I don’t want to go through another summer like this.”

Maybe the third time will be the charm.
Posted on: May 23, 2011 4:01 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 6:31 am
 

Blazers part ways with GM Rich Cho

Blazers part ways with GM Rich Cho, college scouting director Chad Buchanan named acting GM in stunning move. 

Posted by EOB Staff


The Portland Trail Blazers announced today that they have parted ways with GM Rich Cho. Director of College Scouting Chad Buchanan has been named acting General Manager. Here's the Blazers' announcement: 

The Portland Trail Blazers announced today that they have parted ways with Rich Cho , the team's general manager of basketball operations.

"The fit between Rich and our team simply wasn't right," said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller. "This was a tough move because I respect Rich and he's a good person with many strong skills. But it simply wasn't a good match."

Trail Blazers Director of College Scouting Chad Buchanan will serve as acting general manager. Buchanan has been with the team for four years. Buchanan and Head Coach Nate McMillan will report to Miller until a permanent replacement is hired.

Trail Blazers Owner Paul G. Allen said the move is part of the franchise's commitment to building a championship contending team. "This decision, as difficult as it was to make, reflects our willingness to admit and recognize that things haven't worked out," Allen said. "We're going to be tough on ourselves in assessing what we could have done better, and then go out and find the executive who is the best fit with the needs of our franchise. That chemistry and connection is critically important." 

Cho of course was hired after popular and highly regarded GM Kevin Pritchard was fired after last year's draft. Now, with a month to go before this year's draft, the Blazers have once again changed directions. The Blazers made the playoffs both seasons despite dealing with significant injury issues but were eliminated in the first round each time. The instability is stunning for a franchise that seemed headed for certain prosperity and championship contention. as recently as 2008.

Reactions (Updating): 
  • Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reports rival executives believed team president Larry Miller was the key decision maker, not Cho. 
  • Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus notes the Blazers passed over two assistant GMs Cho hired. This looks like a clean sweep.
  • Interestingly, the Oregonian reported two days ago that Cho "pushed" to suspend Brandon Roy over his comments about playing time during the playoffs. The move was blocked by upper management, and two days after that report surfaced, Cho and the Blazers parted ways.

More on this story soon from CBSSports.com.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 2:13 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 2:29 pm
 

Wesley Matthews loves his mom, but ...

Wesley Matthews isn't sure his mom is totally accurate about her supposed 50-50 game in high school, but he loves her anyway. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Wesley Matthews is the new hope of Blazers nation as Brandon Roy struggles to stay on the floor with significant knee injuries. His ability to close games has been especially impressive and if there is a bright spot in the Blazers' season, it's Matthews. 

My mom can't play basketball. At all. But if my mom said she dropped 50 points and 50 rebounds in high school, I'd believe her. She's my mom. Wesley Matthews? He's got a much more fierce devotion to the truth. 

If you ever wonder if players are really changed by the money and change of circumstances that come with being an NBA player, listen to Matthews describe being able to support his mother after she worked multiple jobs when he was a child to make ends meet, now that he signed a five-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. "It's the best feeling in my life," Matthews tells CBSSports.com's Ken Berger. "Being able to let my mom relax. She's still not relaxing, she's trying. She's not very good at relaxing yet. She doesn't have to get up and go to work. All she's doing is helping take care of my business, what's going on with me, and she loves doing that. It's been a blessing, being able to do that for her."

Watch Matthews talk about his mom's big stat night and what his new contract has meant to his family in this preview of Ken Berger's video interview with Wesley Matthews. 



The full interview with Ken Berger and Wesley Matthews will be here on CBSSports.com tomorrow. 
Posted on: November 26, 2010 12:40 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 6:08 pm
 

Your NBA Fantasy Black Friday Deals

Your NBA Black Friday Fantasy deals: come find the bargain fantasy guys you're looking for.
Posted by Kevin Goodwin

Well, folks, it's that time of year again. The day we shake off those paralyzing turkey chemicals and drag ourselves out of bed in the wee hours. The day we maraud from store to store like a pack of ravenous credit-wielding zombies. The day we do the ridiculous in the name of big deals and unparalleled savings. Black Friday hath cometh.

Fortunately, Fantasy owners don't even have to leave their couch to find great bargains … and it's the right time of year for those as well. I've got 10 super-saver steals that could put your team on the track to success in the New Year.  Don't let those other fantasy shoppers beat you to the bargains!

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Calderon's Fantasy value is sky high, and Fantasy owners are clearing out long-term roster space to snatch him up. Since Jarrett Jack was traded to New Orleans, Calderon will see the lion's share of minutes up in Toronto.  He has been producing at a high level recently, and is averaging 12.3 points and 6.5 assists over his last four games entering Black Friday. He should continue to perform for the Raptors, and for Fantasy owners from here on out.

Real Deal Equivalent: Squinkies Bubble Pack - $11.99 at Babies"R"Us
They're definitely not the most glamorous item on the list, but are widely considered to be one of the hottest grabs of the season. It's kind of like the Furby toy from a few years ago, except they're supposedly very collectable to kids, and will likely be worth holding on to for the long haul.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Flynn still doesn't have a timetable for his return, but it's getting closer. Minnesota brought in veteran guard Luke Ridnour to push Flynn for the starting job this year, but a hip injury to Flynn deflated any competition. Now, Flynn will have to prove his worth to coach Kurt Rambis. We all know Rambis was limiting Kevin Love's minutes to start the season, so it's unclear how he'll treat Flynn when he does return. But Fantasy owners who are hurting in the guard position should keep an eye on Flynn. He has more of an upside than Ridnour, and can offer you around 13-15 points and 4-5 assists per game. He also shot 35.8 percent from downtown last season, which is a nice gift for Fantasy owners around the holidays.

Real Deal Equivalent: 1/3 Carat Diamond White Gold Bypass Bridal Ring Set - $219 at Wal-Mart
Gets the job done... and looks enough like the high-end alternatives when the time comes to take it out of the box. Plus, it'll be easy to cry poverty when you're dealing with those pesky alimony hearings.

    3. Troy Murphy, forward, New Jersey Nets (Owned 85 percent/Started 10 percent)

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Murphy has been inactive for five games now, and is sitting behind Kris Humphries and rookie Derrick Favors on the depth chart. Coach Avery Johnson hasn't been able to figure out what to do with Murphy. He missed the preseason and the start of the regular season with a back injury, but is now on the shelf because of his conditioning. The Nets traded for Murphy with the hope that he could be a starter, and now he's not playing or bringing in any Fantasy points. Not what anyone wants from a Round 5 or 6 draft choice (his average in CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues). Still, in leagues where he's available, Murphy would be worth grabbing while you can. If he gets traded by the Nets, he could go back to his 15-10 stat line, and smart Fantasy owners could get him on the cheap if they can afford to keep him reserved until he sees more court time. Keep in mind, Murphy also has a history of late-season success -- Since the 2006-07 NBA season he's averaged 11.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game before the All-Star break and 14.8 PPG and 9.1 boards post All-Star.

Real Deal Equivalent: Samsung SMX-F40 SD camcorder - $119 at K-Mart
Sure, it might not be something you're going to use all the time, but when the battery is fully charged, this baby could come in pretty handy. Just think how useful it could be when one of your buddies falls asleep in the middle of a party. Youtube!  

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Okur hasn't played yet this season, and is available in almost half of Fantasy leagues. With the Jazz playing so well to start the year, owners with room on their roster may have good reason to add the veteran big man. As a career 37.8 3-point shooter, Okur is hardly a typical center, which makes him a nice player to own in category-based leagues. Utah's addition of Al Jefferson may scare some owners off, but nabbing Okur now before a timetable is set could pay nice dividends.

Real Deal Equivalent: Yankee Candle Pine & Cinnamon Jar Candles - $17.99 at Kohl's
Maybe you didn't have time to cut down a premiere 7-footer in the draft. Maybe you're just desperate to hide the despicable funk emanating from those 1997 Jordans that can't seem to find their way to the trashcan. Either way, this is a great way to Spruce up your lineup for the winter run... terrible pun, definitely intended.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Przybilla is set to make his season debut on Black Friday, which gives Fantasy owners a perfect opportunity to check him out. He'll likely be rusty coming off knee surgery, but is a center worth keeping tabs on or adding in deeper formats. He doesn't score many points, but is a good source of rebounds and shoots with high efficiency from the field -- 55.5 percent for his career. Also, take in to account that Portland needs bodies on the frontcourt, which means Przybilla will get plenty of playing time. Remember he should be targeted in deeper Fantasy formats, not standard leagues.

Real Deal Equivalent:  Craftsman 179cc 24'' Two-stage Snowblower - $583 at Sears
Powerful, but a little one-dimensional. Still, winter can be long and arduous, as can the NBA season. Finding a bargain like this could be the easiest way to clear your path to the playoffs.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Butler isn't having a very good start to the season, which means now is the time to buy. Some Fantasy owners may want to drop him, but realize he's worth too much to just throw away. That being the case, they may be willing to part with Butler for next to nothing. He hasn't fully adjusted to being in Dallas since coming over from Washington, and the one thing that would help Butler's Fantasy appeal most is being traded. So, owners that like to gamble could make the move for Butler now. Last year, Butler averaged 15.2 points and 5.4 boards with the Mavericks, so the potential is there for Fantasy owners to see a nice return on their investment.

Real Deal Equivalent:  55" Westinghouse 120Hz, 1080p LCD TV - $799.99 at Best Buy
Still a great grab if you need to upgrade. Sure, it may not shine as brightly as LED or have the pop of 3D, but, a few years ago, this was a top-of-the-line model.

    7. Brandon Roy, guard, Portland Trail Blazers (Owned 99 percent/Started 22 percent)

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Roy should be owned in every Fantasy league out there, but while he battles knee injuries, owners are definitely grinding their teeth for drafting him so high. Some owners may be looking to jump ship, since this is the lowest Roy's Fantasy value has ever been, and that means it's the perfect time to get an upper echelon guard for dirt cheap. If you can pry Roy away from another owner, there's a good chance he would make your team better immediately. Portland may limit his court time to preserve him for the year, but Roy has the ability to produce solid numbers in 20-25 minutes of action.

Real Deal Equivalent:  High-Performance Samsung Laptops - $150 off at Best Buy
Yeah, you may have to open up your wallet if you want to bring home a big toy like this, but it's definitely a great option if you want to get some high-caliber equipment without paying full retail.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Collison was undoubtedly overvalued entering this year. He was taken with an average draft pick of 40, based solely on his 18.8 points, 9.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds as a starter last year in New Orleans. This means that current owners are probably very disappointed with his 14.3 points and 4.3 boards per game through the first five weeks of the season. I smell a sale. Collison still has the potential to be a 17 and 7 guy, and owners should check their league and see if they can strike up a deal.

Real Deal Equivalent:  All adult jeans - $15 at Old Navy
Not exactly the designer dungarees you might find in a Madison Avenue boutique, but a reasonably stylish alternative for the price. Let's face it; you could easily pay twice as much any other time of year. Yeah, I used the word "dungarees". No, I'm not a septuagenarian

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Carter is currently dealing with some bumps and bruises which are keeping him out of the Magic lineup. He's also averaging career-lows in points, rebounds and assists: 13.9, 3.2 and 2.5, respectively. Clearly, Carter is no longer the high-flyer he once was, but he does have the capability to go off on any given night. Again, we've got a player who could be reeled in for cheap based on the disappointment tied to inflated preseason expectations. If you don't mind being patient with the veteran, trading for Carter could be a steal.

Real Deal Equivalent:  Radio Flyer Big Wheel - $35 at Wal-Mart
Yeah, we all remember how awesome these were when we were kids. Of course, back then, a few rocks in the tires would only help you sound cooler when you peeled out down the driveway. It's a sentimental choice, I know, but you can't look past the classics when you're in the market for a dependable option.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Andersen just made his season debut for the Nuggets, which is why he's available in 90 percent of CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues. He's coming off an offseason knee surgery, so he's a bit of a risky option, but there are definitely Fantasy owners out there who are in desperate need of a big man. Injury bug, anyone? Those owners might be happy to see Andersen fill a void in their lineups. He's not worth owning in standard leagues, but is definitely worth a flier in deeper Rotisserie formats. He's a bargain and a half right now.

Real Deal Equivalent:  46" APEX LCD TV, 1080p 60 Hz - $449 at Target
Absolutely jaw-dropping color. And, while it's not the most recognized brand on the market, it's got some versatility -- Size enough to hold it down in the living room, and could be a huge addition to a bedroom-sized fantasy lineup.

Posted on: November 19, 2010 9:05 am
 

Could Oden wind up in Oklahoma City?

Posted by Royce Young

One of the biggest questions with Greg Oden isn't just about where his basketball career goes from here, but really, where does he go from here. Blazer president Larry Miller already said he would like to see a qualifying offer extended to Oden, but that doesn't guarantee it's happening. And if it doesn't, Oden is an unrestricted free agent.

So who could take a chance on a twice repaired, injury prone big man? Anybody? Come on, someone? Buehler?

As you run through teams in your head that could use a decent big man next season - Charlotte, Houston, Phoenix - you're probably not thinking about a pretty decent fit for Oden. How about teammates with the guy that Oden can't seem to get away from, no matter what he does? How about a move to... Oklahoma City?

Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman sees it as a potential scenario.

If you’re Thunder GM Sam Presti, why not go after Greg Oden in free agency next summer? Why not take a chance on the one-time center sensation whose promise has faded because of faulty knees?

It would only be the greatest low-risk, high-reward maneuver we’ve ever seen Presti pull. And there have been plenty, most of them beyond question of the high-reward variety. We saw it with the near signing of C.J. Miles and the eventually rescinded trade for Tyson Chandler. We saw it with the successful signing of Nenad Krstic and the completed trade for Thabo Sefolosha. And, most similarly, we saw it with the flyer Presti took on Shaun Livingston, who nearly four years after a near career-ending knee injury still is navigating his full-time comeback.

...

And what better place is there for Oden to escape Durant’s shadow than Oklahoma City?  Rather than toil through life as the answer to a trivia question, Oden could redefine his career by joining forces with Durant and perhaps someday compete for championships alongside him.

It’s not like the Thunder couldn’t use even a marginally healthy Oden to aid its quest for a title. Nenad Krstic, Cole Aldrich and Byron Mullens, the Thunder’s current cast of centers, certainly won’t fool anyone into thinking they’re championship caliber. Even if Aldrich reaches his full potential, which could be a Kendrick Perkins clone but probably is closer to Joel Pryzbilla, and Byron Mullens touches his ceiling, which at best is Tyson Chandler but realistically might be closer to Spencer Hawes, the Thunder could use another serviceable big man down the line. Mystery man Tibor Pleiss is waiting in the wings. But the 7-foot-1 German the Thunder selected 31st overall in June appears to be more of a Mullens clone, a player whose strength is more offense-oriented as opposed to rugged defense.

It sounds crazy for a second, but then again, it sounds kind of crazy awesome. Not only would that be a terrific story that would likely spawn 500 feel-good features, but it makes sense for the Thunder. 

Mayberry's points out that while Oklahoma City has some nice frontcourt depth currently, it's not long-term depth and there's still some uncertainty there with Cole Aldrich, Byron Mullens and even Jeff Green's future. It could work well for Oden since the depth could allow him less stress and fewer minutes as he makes his way back.

Is this something that will happen? Probably not. It does make a good amount of sense. But sort of like Oden's first four seasons in the league, it probably won't have much of a chance to get off the ground.

Posted on: November 19, 2010 8:56 am
Edited on: November 19, 2010 8:58 am
 

Game Changer: 11.19.10: Streamers and snarls

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  

THE BIG ONE: GEORGE KARL MIFFED AND IMPRESSED

By Ben Golliver


It's not every night you see Denver Nuggets coach George Karl storming across the floor as streamers fall, but that's what happened in the Rose Garden on Thursday night after a non-call on a last gasp Arron Afflalo three-point attempt allowed Portland to sneak away with a 86-83 home win. Amid a chaotic scene of cheerleaders, streamers and celebrating players, Karl and guard Chauncey Billups pleaded Denver's case, that Portland guard Wesley Matthews fouled Afflalo on the release, but to no avail.

"Obviously everybody in the building thought it was a foul," Karl told reporters afterwards. "I thought the fans even thought it was a foul. The fans went 'huuuuuhh.' I didn't look at it so I don't know for sure, but it was a tough whistle to get, you don't usually get that on the road, but I thought that was a foul."

Karl said he would send tape of the play to the league office for review but seemed resigned to the loss. "If they just miss it, it's just part of basketball. 

Another part of basketball is injuries, and both Denver and Portland have dealt with their fair share this season. Both teams really only played eight players on Thursday night, although Denver's Melvin Ely saw the court for 30 seconds. Karl said he was impressed by the Blazers, who fought through a tough week with news that center Greg Oden is done for the season with microfracture knee surgery and played without all star guard Brandon Roy on Thursday night. "They're still a very good team," Karl told CBSSports.com. "Every team goes through injuries. [Portland Trail Blazers coach] Nate [McMillan] doesn't cry about it. They're a talented, playoff team with the injuries they have."

Karl's Nuggets held the short-handed Blazers in check defensively for most of the game, but 24 points and 10 rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge helped put Portland over the top. "I thought we did a hell of a job on [Aldridge] except for one thing: offensive rebounding. He was Pau Gasol'ing us on the tips on the rim, tipping the balls in. He's going to make some shots, but if you take away his offensive rebounds I think probably we defended him as well as I expect us to defend him."

POST-GAME AUDIO FROM GEORGE KARL

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Wesley Matthews was a beast for Portland. He notched 20 points and 10 rebounds and essentially shot the Blazers back in the game in the first half.

Despite the Suns getting pummeled, Grant Hill still scored 21 points on 8-9 shooting. The old guy just keeps playing well. Send Brandon Roy and Greg Oden to Phoenix, k thanks.

Kind of a weak night for good box scores, so let's give Marcus Camby and his 14 boards a small shout-out.

ORLANDO TRIES TO ONE-UP

It hasn't been a great trip to Florida for the Phoenix Suns. Wednesday, the Heat put a beating on them, basically sending them to a Orlando with their tails between their legs.

And then Thursday against the Magic, the Suns got more of the same.

They played without Steve Nash who sat out with a sore groin. That didn't matter too much as the Suns couldn't score, couldn't stop anybody and basically, couldn't play intelligent basketball.

Phoenix turned the ball over 18 times, went just 3-18 from 3 (remember when they hit 22?) and missed nine free throws. The final score was 105-89, but that only came from a 30-14 fourth quarter for the Suns where Orlando's starters didn't play a minute.

But enough about the Suns. The Magic looked pretty impressive. It was like they watched the Heat whoop Phoenix and said, "Oh yeah? Well watch us!" Dwight Howard was outstanding notching 20 points on 8-9 shooting and showcased a number of his increasingly polished post-game. Jameer Nelson had 12 assists and set up teammates wonderfully. And Orlando had all 11 guys that played score, with even distribution throughout.

It was a total dismantling and something the Magic needed after having a lackluster week. I guess if you need a pick-me-up in Florida, just invite the Suns over.

FACE, Roy Hibbert

Eric Gordon is becoming almost a nightly posterizer. His latest victim was the Indiana big man as Gordon went high and threw down hard.


DON'T MISS

PARTING THOUGHT

Somehow, the Clippers are awful. They lost again, this time falling to Indiana 107-80 which drops them to 1-12. Before the season, this was really kind of unthinkable. In fact, after the Clips' first game, it was unthinkable. They lost the opener, but they looked good. They looked like a team that might be able to surprise some people.

But despite solid play from Blake Griffin, the team just stinks. There isn't a go-to scorer, they don't play defense and the young guys aren't performing all that well. They're extremely young which is a good excuse, but still, one and twelve?

Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer.



Posted on: November 18, 2010 10:33 am
Edited on: January 6, 2011 8:06 pm
 

Game Changer 11.18.10: The Greg Oden Debacle

Wrapping up and expanding on the announcement that Greg Oden will have microfracture surgery for the second time, ending his 2010-2011 season and possibly his career. Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  



THE BIG ONE: THE ODEN DEBACLE


In lieu of our regular game changer, we're going to provid you with a wrap up of the Oden news. We'll have more on Chris Bosh's big night in Miami later on.

Eye on Oden

Here's a debriefing on what's going on with Oden, as seen throughout our coverage last night.

As you've no doubt heard by now, Greg Oden will undergo microfracture surgery to repair his left knee. He'll miss the entirety of the 2010-2011 season, and then you have to wonder about recovery time beyond that given the wear and tear on him just from surgeries. Ken Berger spoke with executives around the league and it's widely thought that the Blazers won't even make a qualifying offer to him this summer to keep him in restricted free agency, meaning he would be a free agent.

We covered the press conference live from the arena last night and brought you both video and audio of the press conference. Oden's injuries go far beyond just the left knee and we gave you a comprehensive look at his injury history . Royce Young provided some context for Oden's experience in contrast to the rising star of Kevin Durant, and we examined how Oden's trek back to the league compares with some injury-ridden players who came before him.

Ben Golliver went in-depth on Oden's knee and the situation the Portland trainers are now trying to deal with as they begin to come under severe scrutiny once again.

And you can be sure we'll have more coverage as this unfortunate series of events unfolds. There's a genuine sense of regret and sadness around the NBA blogosphere today. We all wanted to see the next great center. Instead we got the next great disappointment, for Oden and for us.

Around the Web

It took John Canzano to put up the tombstone on the Greg Oden era last night, in what had to be a record.

If you're a sadist, or, if you live in Portland and are a masochist, you can read the reaction from Blazers fans to the news first here in letters to Oden , and here on the Blazersedge reaction thread .

At Hardwood Paroxysm, Zach Harper touches on how this isn't an actual tragedy, but it is a basketball tragedy . (Admission: I'm the editor of Hardwood Paroxysm, but I felt this piece was so good it warranted a link.)

Noam Schiller asks us to remember the Blazers.

Here's an FAQ on the injury with Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus.

Here's another timeline of this particular injury .


 
 
 
 
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