Tag:Portland Trail Blazers
Posted on: October 11, 2010 9:36 am
Edited on: October 11, 2010 9:36 am

Shootaround 10.11.10: Ins and Outs

Turtlenecks are in for SVG, Splitter is out for the Spurs, Ron Artest's second ring is already on its way out, and Ryan Anderson is in gear for the Magic, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

When the NBA announced a rule regarding coaching dress codes, which presumably would outlaw turtlenecks, everyone immediately thought of Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy himself actually said they should name the rule after him. But the Orlando Senitinel went out and discovered that SVG will be able to wear turtlenecks this season due to how the rule works. I don't know whether SVG should be happy or sad about his development.

Greg Oden says he can be an All-Star , when healthy. Honestly, no one doubts that out of Oden. He's tall, a huge advantage in the sport of basketball, and bulky, a big deal in the NBA. But he needs to not say things like this because it only attracts more attention to the fact that he hasn't proven he can stay healthy, or rehab effectively, or that his head's in the right place. He just needs to not talk about it, go out, and do it. Anything else is just going to bring the vultures.

Tiago Splitter continues to miss time with a leg injury . In the myriad of ways that his NBA career could have started, this isn't the worst, but it's up there. Nagging small injuries aren't just obnoxious and painful, they're hard for coaches and players to sympathize with, and call into quiestion a player's toughness. That's what Splitter's facing in preseason with a tough veteran Spurs club.

The Blazers are adding Steven Hill due to their lack of big men, which is awesome, because he's from Branson, Missouri. Hill should instantly be the leader in mini-golf handicaps .

Anthony Mason Jr. son of the former Knick star has been cut from the Heat. Too bad, he showed some flashes in limited time, but that roster's kind of full-up if you haven't noticed.

Ready for a storyline you can bank on this year? Raptor fans are going to go from feeling disdain towards Andrea Bargnani to outright hatred. He's going to get all the blame for the Raps , even while he probably leads the team in scoring. He's overpaid, but that guy needs a fresh start somewhere else more than anything.

The New York Daily News reports that the Bulls are investigating Carlos Boozer's fall to see if he really did injure himself tripping over a bag . Bulls by the Horns says that the investigation is neither surprising nor troubling , just business as usual. It's still not the way the Bulls wanted to start the era of their marquee free agent from the biggest FA summer in history.

Ron Artest is offering his second championship ring to whoever writes the best essay on how to improve the country. In case you're confused, no he has not won that second ring yet. Ron is not lacking for confidence on this team.

Vince Carter is beaming about Ryan Anderson, which is a good sign for the Magic. It really looks like Orlando will be in a position to use him more this season.

This is probably the last season for Antonio McDyess, and might be the last one for Marcus Camby. Bizarre to think of an NBA without those two vets, and sad to think they'll probably wrap up their careers without a ring.

Posted on: October 8, 2010 6:55 pm

Jeff Pendergraph out for season with torn ACL

Blazers center... yes, another one, tears ACL and will miss season.
Posted by Matt Moore

Is it something in the water? Is there just some sort of heavy dark cloud of badness that hangs over the team, destroying knees? Is it just plain old simple bad luck, that just so happens to selectively target one team? Whatever the cause, the Portland Trail Blazers are out a center. Again. Jeff Pendergraph, after a promising rookie season, is out for thye year with a torn ACL. This after Greg Oden's fractured patella, Joel Przybilla's fractured patella.


As mistifying as the curse against Portland is, the fact of the matter is that Jeff Pendergraph is a young man in a tremendous amount of pain, who will have to endure surgery and months of rehab on a joint that it's pretty hard to get around on when it's not right. But that's how it goes. As it stands, the Blazers currently have one healthy center, Marcus Camby. He's currently day-to-day with a groin injury. Of course.

You have to think the Blazers will get more involved with free agent Erick Dampier, if nothing else, out of necessity.

Maybe they should rename it the Portland Trail Blazer's Murphy's Law. Wah-wah.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 10:10 am

Shootaround 10.8.10: Denver scouting Favors?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: "I watched in open-mouth amazement after Thursday's practice as Howard drained bank-shot after bank-shot, then made some turnaround jumpers. He worked for about 20 minutes with assistant coach Patrick Ewing and center Daniel Orton, catching and shooting. I'm not crazy about his turnaround J. But anything that doesn't make him as predictable as he has been in the crowded paint and draws in defenders can't be all bad."
  • Jeff Pendergraph had a pretty nasty injury last night and today he tweets: "Thanks for the well wishes everyone. Gonna b heading back to Portland tomorrow to get checked out by doc but so far word is nothing major... Keep praying y'all. We will get through this. God doesn't put you through anything he knows you can't handle."
  • Blazersedge looks at Portland's options: "Another option would be to grant Rudy Fernandez's release request, which Cho has repeatedly said he will not do.  He could also release another player. Rookie Armon Johnson, picked in the second round and earning just $473,604 this season, would be the cheapest player to release, but this would be extremely unlikely to happen given how high the team's brass is on Johnson's future and how well he has looked during training camp."
  • Larry Brown on OKC: "I look at him and some of our young guys in the NBA and I think our league's in pretty good shape," Brown started. "And this team (the Thunder) probably is a testimony to that. Look at their young kids. Their not only terrific talents, they're better kids. They've done the greatest job of bringing in good kids that represent the league well. When they're talking about respect for the game, that team's a poster child for that. So the West better watch out."
  • Brian Robb of CelticsHub: "Luke Harangody has yet to show me something besides hustle. We should have just kept Scal if we needed that." Ah, missing Brian Scalabrine. What are the chances you thought you'd see someone say that?
  • What will the Hornets rotation look like? Ryan Schwan of Hornets24/7 says Willie Green has the edge to back up CP3: "It appears Willie Green has locked up the backup position at the point.  Color me surprised.  Every statement out of training camp has indicated he is leading the charge as the backup point guard and relegated DJ Strawberry and Mustafa Shakur to purely end-of-the-bench roles.  I won’t lie.  I worry about Green being able to pull this off.  He’s been a swingman for 95% of his career."
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: October 7, 2010 9:28 am

Shootaround 10.7.10: Thinkin' 'Bout Things

Bulls thinkin' 'bout Dampier, Wizards thinkin' 'bout a name change, and Kidd thinkin' 'bout playing till he's 40, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

Peja Stojakovic says health will determine if he plays past this season , the final year of his contract. He wants to get through just one year pain free. It's something we rarely consider with these players, treating injuries like they're some sort of outside clamp that prevents them from playing instead of actual pain the players are experiencing.

With Boozer on the shelf, the Bulls are taking a long look at Erick Dampier, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com . The Bulls waived Chris Richard this week, which is surprising considering their lack of frontcourt depth and the job Richard did in limited minutes.

Marcin Gortat is not going to suddenly get quiet about the issue: he wants a bigger role, now. Unfortunately for him, the Magic are pretty much like "Deal with it, baldy ." Gortat signed a huge contract with the Mavericks last summer but the Magic matched it in restricted free agenc and here we are. For some reason the Magic think having a severely disgruntled Polish guy called "The Hammer" on their team is a good idea.

So this is pretty awesome. Ted Leonsis, the new Wizards owner, posted 101 things the Wizards have put in play to try and improve the fan experience at Wizards games. Some of the smallest details are covered, like how fresh the hot dog buns are. But hidden in there is the following: Changing the name back to the Bullets. Status? "Under consideration." Hold your breath, Bullets fans.

The Hawks exercised their option on Jeff Teague, which should surprise absolutely no one. Teague's locked up through next year, if there is a next year.

Kevin Garnett "went to a dark place " after last year's Finals, which is just classic over-the-top Garnett talk. He was pretty much a wreck after losing that series, leaving you to wonder how he deals with life in any sort of way whatsoever.

Rudy Ferandez' agent went absolutely psycho-hose-beast on local radio, basically pulling a "Leave Britney alone" speech for Fernandez. The kicker is when asked why Rudy wants to go home: "There's friends, there's family, he's a shy guy. He's special." And also a Fraggle, apparently.

Josh McRoberts had an outstanding line last night and the bandwagon is starting to Heat up. McRoberts has already filled into the starting PF spot for the Pacers, and with little competition, will probably hold onto it. A star is born? Maybe?

Jason Kidd wants to play until he's 40 , which is just ridiculous and yet completely believable on all fronts. Oddly, he's already a defensive liability, but the Mavs are thinking about moving him to shooting guard. Which could end up disastrous, but hey, you never know with Kidd. Dude's a survivor. He's going to make it. He's going to work harder. Keep on survivin'. What ?

This Nets-Knicks rivalry gets more entertaining every day .
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:38 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 1:45 pm

McMillan going without extension

Blazers coach flying without extension net this season.
Posted by Matt Moore

Almost everyone wants job security. You want to be know where you'll be next year, two years from now, four years from now. It's best for you and for your family. But apparently Nate McMillan is totally okay with being out on the ledge without a vine. The Portland Tribune had a discussion with McMillan about his contract expiring after this year and found something surprising. McMillan is totally fine with it. The Blazers exercised their option for this season on McMillan last year. But McMillan himself is the one who decided to go ahead and let his contract expire at the end of this season.

Get this. He says the team should be able to judge his performance after this season and decide if they want him to continue coaching in Portland.
“I believe the organization should be in a position to look at where this team is going and make that decision. Me not talking about an extension, please don’t read into it that it’s a sign I don’t want to be here. I do.”
Does. Not. Compute.

So McMillan wants to stay in Portland, but wants to give the Blazers the year to evaluate his job and see if they want to retain him. That's nuts.
“My agent (Lonnie Cooper) asks the same thing,” McMillan says, grinning slightly. “He says, ‘You talk crazy.'"
While it's certainly a noble enterprise McMillan has taken on, you also have to wonder if the removal of former general manager Kevin Pritchard and assistant GM Tom Penn have anything to do with McMillan's approach. There's a lot of instability in an organization that looked rock solid just a few years ago, and it's not hard to imagine McMillan wanting to prove to owner Paul Allen and Vulcan that he's worth the money, without question.

McMillan is definitely focused on this season, and as good as he was last year, navigating injury and chemistry concerns, it's possible he could outdo himself with a fully healthy roster (fingers crossed!). That would settle him in Portland for the long-run. On the other hand, he's leaving himself open to the possibility if things do fall apart that the Blazers have an easy out to ditch him. Gotta love NBA coaching gigs.
Posted on: September 28, 2010 12:12 am
Edited on: September 28, 2010 12:14 am

Rudy Fernandez still wants to return to Europe

Posted by Royce Young

Before Portland's media day even started, there was a question of Rudy Fernandez would leave his hotel room and show up.

Eventually he came out of hiding and made an appearance at media day where of course he was asked about the highlights he put in his hair. Oh, and that other thing. The wanting-to-be-traded thing. Fernandez's response? He still wants out.

Fernandez said he "prefers the European style" and wants to return to Europe to play professionally there. "I don't feel good in NBA," Fernandez said.

The Blazers have been pretty clear that they want to keep Fernandez. General manager Rich Cho has given no indication of releasing Fernandez though there are definitely reports of Cho trying to trade him. Nate McMillan has said he wants Rudy on the team and intends to try and find court time for him if he's there.

But that doesn't appear to be changing Fernandez's mind. Over the summer, he made his position clear many times, so much so that the league fined him $25,000 for all his talk. Then right before camp started he wrote on his blog that he was excited for a new season and looked forward to playing. Yet when he actually arrives in his city he can't decide if he wants to leave the hotel and when he does, he still asks out.

With how vocal Rudy has been, it's hard to imagine him actually landing on the court for Portland. Cho is surely still shopping him but Fernandez is too much of an asset to give up for peanuts. But with Fernandez making his wishes so clear, things get a little more complicated. And as if they didn't already have enough to worry about.

Posted on: September 27, 2010 8:07 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 8:09 pm

Greg Oden: 'I won't be there opening night'

Posted by Royce Young

As suspected, it doesn't sound like Greg Oden will be ready for the beginning of the NBA season. At Portland's media day, he said simply: "I won't be there opening night." Bummer.

Oden talked at Blazer media day about having "good days and bad days" with his injured left knee. If you forget, he underwent surgery on a fractured left patella last December. And I guess you could say recovery has been somewhat slow.

Rich Cho previously said Oden was "pain-free" but Oden talked at media day about experiencing pain in the knee. Dwight Jaynes enlightens us as to what's going on: "That's before he got patellar tendinitis," Cho told Jaynes. Bummer, again.

Remember, recently a Blazers' scout said the team hoped Oden would be available for maybe 65 games this season . And while that's still obviously possible, opening night just won't be one of those games.

For whatever reason, Oden just can't seem to get healthy. Whether it's just something like patellar tendinitis or there's a larger issue involved, Oden's got knee problems. And that's not good for a seven foot big man.

It's definitely not over for Oden and he may just need some extra rest and rehab. Remember, he's just 22 and plenty of players have come back through leg and knee injuries. The fear is that there's something substantial, something with long-term effects in there. The Blazers are doing the right thing and taking everything slow. Oden says he won't be ready for opening night, but the reality may be he's not ready until December or January.

Patellar tendinitis is sometimes referred to as "jumper's knee" and is common to players in a sport that demands lots of jumping. You know, kind of like basketball. Or compeitive jump-roping. But jumper's knee can be caused by overuse, muscular imbalance, misalignment of leg bones or being overweight, among a number of other things.

For Oden, some of those issues are probably in play, but it didn't list one that applies: bad luck.
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