Tag:Joel Pryzbilla
Posted on: November 3, 2010 11:55 am
Edited on: November 3, 2010 2:44 pm
 

Blazers set date for Przybilla's return

Posted by Royce Young

The Blazers will be getting their talented big man back Nov. 26. No, not that one. I'm talking about the other one. No, not Jeff Pendergraph. The other one. Joel Przybilla.

Jason Quick of The Oregonian reports the Blazers are targeting a home game against the Hornets on Nov. 26 as Przybilla's return date.

Przybilla ruptured his right patella tendon at Dallas on Dec. 22, 2009 and had surgery two days later. He re-reruptured the same knee in March when he slipped in the shower, requiring a second surgery on March 8. He returned to practice Oct. 10 and intended to play in the team's opener Oct. 26, but coach Nate McMillan felt he was still a little tentative with the knee.

Much in the Blazer way though, they're making due pretty well without Oden, Pendergraph or Przybilla. Portland is 4-1 with Marcus Camby as the only healthy center on the roster. Nate McMillan has done a terrific job of mixing lineups and moving players around. Camby at 36 years old is just seeing 27 minutes a game, but with LaMarcus Aldridge filling in at the 5, Fabricio Oberto helping and even with some small-ball lineups, the Blazers are making due.

They aren't necessarily a strong rebounding team at the moment, but they're holding their own. The Blazers are right in the middle of the league in rebounding and have a plus-3.2 differential.

So once Portland starts getting healthy, its only going to get better. Greg Oden doesn't have a timetable set yet, but the Blazers can plan on getting Przybilla back soon.
Posted on: October 7, 2010 10:31 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2010 10:32 pm
 

Blazers' Pendergraph leaves game in wheelchair

Posted by Royce Young

It just doesn't seem possible that one team could have so much bad luck with one position. But it almost seems like playing center in Portland is becoming a death sentence. It's like the basketball equivalent of being the drummer for Spinal Tap.

But according to Trail Blazers radio play-by-play broadcaster Brian Wheeler of 95.5 FM via Blazersedge, Blazers center Jeff Pendergraph fell to the floor during the second quarter of tonight's preseason game against the Utah Jazz, clutching his right knee in pain.

After getting attention from the medical staff, Pendergraph was eventually taken off the court in a wheelchair. Jason Quick of The Oregonian reported that the injury "appears to be serious" and that Pendergraph "was wheeled off with his right knee extended and Jensen holding his foot." Huge bummer sauce.

But let's count it up now. Of course there's Greg Oden, then Joel Pryzbilla, then Greg Oden again and now Jeff Pendergraph, all with knee injuries. Marcus Camby, fear for your life.

Pendergraph is entering his second year out of Arizona State and because of the recovering big men in Portland, he was set to have a chance to play some legit minutes. Now the Portland front line just got extremely thin again. Erik Dampier has reportedly been in touch with the Blazers before this, but Rich Cho might take a more active approach to pursuing the free agent big man now.

At this point, it passed the point of not being fair in Portland. It's kind of ridiculous. This wasn't even an injury 10 games in. This was a major injury in preseason that could send the Blazers into scrambling to try and fill out their banged up front line.

I don't mean to make this sound like Pendergraph was going to be an All-Star and The Missing Piece, but any time you lose a contributing big man and your other big men aren't full healthy, things get tough. But nowadays, it's just life in Portland. For shame.
Posted on: September 15, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 2:08 pm
 

Pop Quiz: How good are a healthy Blazers?

Posted by Royce Young

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

If the Blazers can get (and stay) healthy, how good can they be?

Pretty darn good. Next question.

(What's that? I need to take 800 or so more words to explain why? OK then.)

Last season's trials for the Blazers are well documented. Greg Oden , Joel Pryzbilla , Rudy Fernandez, Brandon Roy, Nic Batum - they all missed a significant amount of time. That's like, the whole team right there.

Yet they still won 50 games and finished seventh in the West. When you start looking at old box scores from last season and some of the lineups Portland played 20, 25 and even 30 minutes a night with, it really shows you what a remarkable job Nate McMillan did last season holding it all together.

Now imagine them all healthy, all clicking for a full 82. I realize that's basically impossible to picture because, you know, Greg Oden is on the team, but humor me.

Pryzbilla may be out until December, but assuming he comes back fully healthy, Portland's front line is as stout as they come. Oden , Pryzbilla , LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby for a four-man rotation on the blocks.

The addition of Wesley Matthews is no small thing, especially with the whole Rudy Fernandez situation flapping out in the wind. If anything, Matthews makes Fernandez somewhat dispensable. Brandon Roy now has a capable scorer to stand with him on the wing, plus Matthews is a nice wing defender.

Andre Miller looked re-energized last season when he had to carry the load for Portland, Jerryd Bayless has his moments and they have a bonafide stopper in Nic Batum . Rookies Luke Babbitt and Eliot Williams a nice adds, though they may not get a ton of time, unless, well, last season happens again. But this time, Portland's at least got a little more depth and it might not have to scramble to sign Juwan Howard's 65-year-old body.

The window in Northwest is still wide open. The Thunder might enter the season as the favorites for the division, but they're young and some feel might be setting up for a bit of a disappointment. Hey, it's what happened to Portland last season.

Then of course Denver could be transitioning without Carmelo Anthony, Utah has some questions and then there's Minnesota.

Winning over 50 isn't out of the question. Heck, it's probably a strong possibility.

Don't underestimate the value of a healthy Oden for a full season. Portland hasn't yet had a chance to experience that. Before he went down last year, the Blazers were 13-8 and were only giving up 90.7 points per game. After Oden was hurt, the Blazers gave up 96.2 the remaining 61 games. His defensive impact is definitely important.

Plus, this team is still young. The average age is under 25, even with old dogs like Miller and Camby on the roster. For the most part, the Blazers are a rising, building unit. Two years ago, they were the youthful darlings before Oklahoma City stole their thunder (I realize that was terrible), but the reality is, this team isn't filled out yet. Windows in the West don't stay open for long, but it's still open for Portland.

The best part of last season was there wasn't any crying. There wasn't any whining. The excuses were there and this team still won 50 games and made it into the postseason. In terms of character and willpower, that says something. At least to me.

Injuries happen. It's life in professional sports. But not every year do you see five or six significant injuries that cause starters to miss multiple games. That's what Portland went through last season.

If this team is healthy for a full 82, are they legit contenders? Possibly. Outside of one team at the top, the West's door is open. The talent is certainly on the roster and they've proven they can win. Injuries make for an easy excuse a lot of times, but sometimes it's just real.

The Blazers at full tilt for an entire season? Yep, I'd say they're pretty good.
 
 
 
 
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