Tag:Wesley Matthews
Posted on: December 28, 2010 12:49 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:52 pm
  •  
 

The Game Changer: Blazers finally win in SLC

The Portland Trail Blazers finally won in Salt Lake City, Jason Kidd was one rebound shy of a triple double, Gilbert Arenas hit an incredible buzzer beater, Serge Ibaka had a block-of-the-year candidate, and much more. Posted by Ben Golliver

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: BLAZERS STEAL ONE IN UTAH

Not since Dec. 2007, when an upstart team led by superstar-in-the-making Brandon Roy was in the midst of a 13-game winning streak, have the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Utah Jazz at Energy Solutions Arena. On Tuesday, in Roy's continued absence due to knee pain, no less, the Blazers secured their best victory of the season, 96-91.  The Blazers admit ESA is one of their least favorite places to play, but plenty of teams have struggled in Salt Lake. Over the last two seasons, the Jazz were a combined 66-16 at home, losing just eight games at home during both the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. Portland's win was Utah's sixth home loss in just 17 home games so far this season, and while the Jazz currently lead the way in a packed Northwest Division race, they'll have to reassert their dominance at home should they want to maintain on their path to a division title. Monday's loss to Portland wasn't heartbreaking, although it did spoil a splendid night from Deron Williams, who finished with 31 points and seemingly couldn't miss. Down the stretch, the Jazz struggled with turnovers and an extra-aggressive Portland defense, which hasn't often been seen this season, made a number of late block shots and deflections. For the Blazers, LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 26 point, seven rebounds and two blocks, and he continues on a torrid streak in Roy's absence. His game is expanding due to increased touches and, while there have been fits and starts, Aldridge has started to show a new resolve late in games to attack the paint and get buckets. A sweeping hook in the fourth quarter on Monday night had him pounding his chest, and left Blazers fans that have watched him for years enjoying the moment in pleasant surprise.   This was Portland's best win of the season, the first time they have beaten a team that now has 20 or more wins. That it came on the road in a tough environment only makes it that much sweeter. 

GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:

Andray Blatche: 17 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, three steals, two blocks in 37 minutes in a Washington Wizards road loss to the Houston Rockets. It was Blatche's first game back from a suspension for fighting with teammate JaVale McGee. Jason Kidd: 10 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists, and four steals in 36 minutes in a Dallas Mavericks road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Chris Paul: 22 points, six rebounds, 13 assists, and five steals in 41 minutes in a New Orleans Hornets road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Deron Williams: 31 points, six assists, three rebounds, one steal in 38 minutes in a Utah Jazz home loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

DON'T MISS:

OLD FRIENDS:

Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams and former teammate Wesley Matthews, who signed a mega-contract with the Portland Trail Blazers last summer, catch up during Monday night's game in Salt Lake City. It was Matthews' first regular season return trip to Salt Lake City since signing with Utah's division rival and he was met with a standing ovation. williams-matthews

WHIMSY:

Gilbert Arenas hit an unreal 3/4 court buzzer beater off the scoreboard. You must watch it.

GET THAT OUT OF HERE:

Oklahoma City Thunder big man Serge Ibaka rejects Dallas Mavericks big man Tyson Chandler in stone cold fashion. Cue the tape, via 20sadecebirmahluk on YouTube.

FINAL THOUGHT:

Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson were named by Sports Illustrated as this year's best three-man booth. Mama, there goes that man to the podium with his acceptance speech.
Posted on: December 24, 2010 12:08 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:50 pm
 

NBA naughty & nice: who gets cash, who gets coal?

Everyone wants to receive cash for Christmas, and everyone hopes Santa Claus doesn't leave coal. We hand out cash and coal to the NBA's teams, cash-coal players and executives based on their pre-Christmas performances. Posted by Ben Golliver Christmas Day: when your greatest hopes either come true, or come crashing down on top of you. You either get what you want, or hate what you got. Christmas expectations can be a mother, just like expectations in the NBA. The NBA Facts & Rumors staff sat down and tossed out this question: Who in the NBA deserves cash (what we all secretly want) and who deserves coal (what we all not-no-secretly fear)?   Who was nice and who was naughty? The results are in. Check them out below.

CASH

Matt Moore -- Indiana Pacers: Darren Collison isn't the man in Indiana, not yet. He doesn't need to be. But what was an incomplete and inconsistent team last year is much more solid thanks to the contributions of the players the front office decided to add, and the ones they decided not to get rid of. That the Pacers are within range of the playoffs demonstrates that their moves were sound. James Posey provides leadership, Collison provides another PG weapon along with T.J. Ford (how many teams have point guard surpluses?), and Roy Hibbert has continued to flourish. Good job all around by Larry Bird and the Pacers front office.  Royce Young -- Amar'e Stoudemire: When the big summer free agency bonanza started, not many had Amar'e Stoudemire as a big prize. Most actually felt like Chris Bosh was the real power forward that should be on everyone's wish list. However, it's turned out Stoudemire has been everything the Knicks wanted and needed. He's exciting, has the star power to last in New York and most importantly, has led a pretty good turnaround for the Knicks. Plus, don't ignore what Raymond Felton has meant to the team. His offseason signing was seen as something to bridge the gap until the Knicks could get something better, but he's turning in an All-Star caliber season so far. Ben Golliver -- Wesley Matthews: Not like he needs the money after inking a five-year contract this summer, but Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews has earned it, thanks to rock solid play in the first third of the season. Stepping into the starting lineup in place of small forward Nicolas Batum, and then sliding over to two guard when Brandon Roy went down to injury, Matthews has proven to be a versatile dynamo on both sides of the ball. His relentless optimism and hustle, along with renewed spirit from LaMarcus Aldridge, have been the main reasons Blazers fans haven't totally abandoned ship during another injury-plagued season. From unknown to overpaid to properly valued, it's been a rollercoaster ride for Matthews, but he deserves all of the recent praise, and more. 

COAL

Ben Golliver -- Paul Westphal: The Sacramento Kings are the league's worst team, and it's not by accident. The list of Westphal's sins is a mile long. He hasn't harnessed promising rookie DeMarcus Cousins, and he hasn't even provided him with very good direction. He's failed to honestly assess and remedy the team's offensive failings. He's watched as star guard Tyreke Evans has taken a step back after a Rookie of the Year campaign. He's reportedly "lost the locker room" after juggling his lineups so often. He's lost lots and lots and lots of games. No one, save his immediate family, would be upset if he was ousted in Sacramento in the near future, and that's the definition of a man that's earned himself some coal.

Matt Moore -- Joe Dumars: There's a song "A Change is Gonna Come." Apparently Joe Dumars has never heard this song. In the midst of a failing economy with too much money on the books and a disastrous season before, Dumars elected to stay the course. And that's led the Pistons right into the rocks, even worse than last year. Rip Hamilton is clashing with teammates, John Kuester's clashing with everyone, and the Pistons are struggling, even as they have recently shown signs of life. The Pistons don't just need to make moves, they have the ability to with the talent they have and the contracts on roster. Joe Dumars gets coal not for doing something naughty, but for not doing anything nice at all.  Royce Young -- New Jersey Nets: The Nets figured to be players in the market last summer but missed out on all the big name players. They felt obligated to do something, so they made a couple moves to try and bolster the roster. Potential scorer Travis Outlaw, Jordan Farmar, and Anthony Morrow were signed, plus they traded Courtney Lee for Troy Murphy who appeared to be someone to help inside. Instead, the Nets are 9-21 and Murphy has been on the end of the bench for most of the season. The Nets whiffed on the big names in free agency and look to have missed on the players they did get. 
Posted on: December 21, 2010 9:48 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:45 pm
 

Blazers' Brandon Roy out longer than expected

Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy will miss another week due to knee pain. Posted by Ben Golliverbrandon-roy

Last week, we noted that Portland Trail Blazers all star guard Brandon Roy would miss three games with ongoing soreness in his left knee, pain that has limited him significantly so far this season.  On Tuesday, Portland Trail Blazers president Larry Miller announced on a Blazers.com streaming video program that Roy's absence will be longer than expected, as he will not travel on Portland's upcoming road trip.  Later in the program, Blazers GM Rich Cho echoed the news, saying, ""We have to be patient. Brandon is going to take another week off, he's not going to go on this road trip to Golden State, Utah and Denver. We have to be patient." Portland is off this week, but plays three games in four nights on the road beginning with a Christmas Day date with the Warriors in Golden State. The Blazers then have a back-to-back against Northwest Division rivals, facing the Jazz in Utah on Monday and the Nuggets in Denver on Tuesday. Roy's production is down across the board this year, as he is averaging 16.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, below his career averages of 19.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists.

The Blazers will continue to start guard Wesley Matthews in Roy's place and will hope that reserve guard Rudy Fernandez continues to provide solid production off the bench as well. Matthews and Fernandez have blossomed a bit in Roy's absence, but both still need to prove they can bring the consistency that Roy was known for during the first four seasons of his career.

The Blazers surely miss Roy, but managed to sweep the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks in his absence this week. On the year, the Blazers are currently 5-1 on the season when Roy doesn't play, fueling speculation that his role may be diminished when he does return.   As of now, though, the Blazers have not yet firmed up a return date for Roy. The Blazers next play at home on Dec. 30 against the Jazz.
Posted on: December 17, 2010 4:31 pm
Edited on: December 17, 2010 5:13 pm
 

The wheels are coming off in Portland

As news comes of Roy missing games, we explore how Portland is headed for major change. 
Posted by Matt Moore

I see a bad moon rising. I see trouble on the way. I see earthquakes and lightning. I see a bad time today. And it's all in Portland. 

Earlier this week, Brandon Roy spouted off to the media about Andre Miller, and not in the "I love my teammate" way. He threw his teammate under the bus. From the Oregonian  earlier this week:
"I dont know how people want us to play, because this is the personnel we have," Roy said. "I wasnt that slow until you put a guy who is kind of slow next to me. Ive always been kind of slow ... not to be controversial at all, but I was slow my rookie year, and now its ..."
Frustrated, Roy shook his head.
via Memphis 86, Portland 73: Late swoon sinks Blazers again | OregonLive.com .


In case that wasn't clear, the "slow" guy is Andre Miller, starting point guard and the Blazers' big free agent acquisition. That's a pretty clear shot across the bow for a guy who's always been known as the stand-up star in Portland. But as Roy's health has deteriorated, he's become progressively more abrasive. He's not okay with who he is at this point, which is natural. He's been robbed of his game, his explosiveness, of his abilities, and that tends to set you back, emotionally. He's still able to hit that step-back jumper, can still be an assassin. But it's every time down the floor, the percentages keep dropping. 

Now, we find that Roy is out three games and will be evaluated after that. This comes the day after an ESPN report of a conversation between Roy and management about it not working  with Miller. It should be noted that report is about as hearsay-ey and a report can get. Taken alone, it's just one of the usual blips in a season. But this is not an isolated incident. There's a pattern forming here. One that spells the end of this Blazer team as currently constructed, and leads to the idea that this team is likely headed for a pre-deadline blow-up. 

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the team is considering ditching its veterans and going young, moving Marcus Camby and Andre Miller. It would mean a total and complete blowup of a team that just a few years ago was considered to be on its way towards a championship. Since that time, Greg Oden has gotten hurt 1,700 times, Kevin Pritchard has been fired along with Tom Penn, and now Brandon Roy is on the shelf, for what rumors say may be a longer stint than expected. This was a team that with Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster, Nicolas Batum, Oden, Roy, and Przybilla was legitimately looked at as a team that would contend in a few years. Oden was the first domino to fall, and in a mixing of metaphors, Roy may be the nail in the coffin. Even with a scrappy playoff appearance last year and a push of eventual Western Conference Finalist Phoenix, the book has been out on Portland for a while. They simply have not had the fortune you need to build a contender. You can have the talent, the vision,the coaching, but you have to get lucky with injuries, and Portland has not, to say the least. 

In the meantime, Portland and its fans are left to wonder how this all went down this way, and how it all came undone so quickly. That Roy is outspoken is not such a concern, but that he's been so forthcoming and emotional is a bad sign. It's not just that Roy's going through a hard time right now, it's that he's going through such a hard time he can't hide it from the media or people in the community. And while people there have a soft spot in their heart for him for his terrific play, at the end of the day, the team and its fans want to move towards a championship. And if Roy's unable to get it done, complaining about his backcourt partner isn't exactly going to endear him to either of those contingents. 

So this is Roy, from franchise savior to malcontent, from cold blooded assassin to bench warmer. The body, this sport, is cruel and that's the way it goes. The only question will be if Roy remains in Portland once the foundation is reformed.  With Wesley Matthews taking on the role of the franchise's go-to scorer, and a management group looking to go younger, not only could Roy conceivably be moved to someone willing to take a chance on his knees (consider Philly with Elton Brand or either team that signed Grant Hill after Detroit), but also gone could be his biggest advocate, head coach Nate McMillan. 2007 is now ancient history. And Brandon Roy's not quite ready to catch up to the times.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 5:05 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2010 5:10 pm
 

Video: Wesley Matthews on family and contracts

Posted by Royce Young

Portland's Wesley Matthews recently sat down with Ken Berger to discuss everything from his new contract to his father's temper. Matthews might be following in his father's footsteps by playing in the NBA, but he's writing his own legacy.

One interesting thing Matthews said was when talking about his big contract with the Blazers when Berger asked if he was worth it. Matthews said, "I don't even know if I can make a case. Overpaid, underpaid, whatever they want to say. Paid correctly. I don't know. The only claim I can really state is that I work."

It's true too. As a guy that was undrafted out of Marquette, Matthews made a huge impression in a role with the Jazz last season and ended up being in the unique situation to be a restricted free agent last summer. But as someone that was overlooked and then criticized, Matthews has become a vital part to the Blazers' future.


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 30, 2010 9:57 am
 

Shootaround 11.30.10: Riley doesn't want back

Posted by Royce Young
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "The Heat knew going in that LeBron James would be high maintenance. Superstars almost always are. But pair that with a young, intellectual sideline purist and you have what you have right now, a leadership void that allows the ancillary to dominate. So reports emerge from within the locker about unease with the sideline guidance, with the same coach who first found a way to get two rotation rookies to the No. 5 playoff seed in 2009 and then a cap-conscious team to that same seed a year ago. And to the coach's aid steps ... Not a word from Pat Riley, even though a source close to Riley and his family insist that the last thing Riley wants to do right now is return to the sideline."
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: "Unless --- knock on wood --- he is felled by a catastrophic injury, Dwight Howard is destined to join basketball's hall of fame. 'He's a sure-fire hall of famer' if he remains on course, agrees Magic coach Stan Van Gundy of his 24-year-old center. Oddly, 16 games into Dwight's seventh season, that heady forecast is more sure-fire than Howard ever being awarded MVP."
  • And on cue, Stan Van Gundy says Howard doesn't get fair treatment in the media : "Maybe it's a size thing. Maybe people are harder on that. But he's a guy who clearly is the best guy in the league at his position, and has been. He's still very young, he's improving, he's won, he's a damn good person. I don't understand why there are so many negatives on him in comparison to the other guys. I've always felt since I've been here that he's taken more of a hit than the other people."
  • Stephen Jackson was ejected again a few days ago but his coach says he doesn't think Jackson ever change: "I don't know how things are going to change. I understand from his perspective what's going on, but that's the way it is: As hard as it is for a player to understand that, you've got to play through (emotion). You're too important to our team. We need you on the court."
  • John Rohde of The Oklahoman: "The novelty of Oklahoma City serving as the New Orleans Hornets' temporary home from 2005-07 seems to have all but disappeared. Crowd reaction during pre-game introductions drew only polite applause for Chris Paul and David West. Monday would have qualified as one of the most lethargic crowds in Thunder history, but the eighth sellout (18,203) gathering of the season finally came to life with 4:17 left in the third quarter when Jeff Green sprinted down court and blocked Paul's wide-open layup attempt."
  • Hornets24/7 on last night's loss to OKC: "Dear Coach Williams, West is moderately efficient as a scorer, but he is not brilliant.  Paul is a brilliant scorer and distributor.  Crunch time should be Chris Paul time, not David West time.  Actually, let me change that.  It can be David West time, but ONLY when he’s shooting after Chris Paul has broken down the defense.  The ball needs to start in Paul’s hands.  It can end wherever, but Paul needs to be creating the shot. Thanks.  Great job so far, by the way."
Posted on: November 17, 2010 10:20 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:51 pm
 

'No surgery' for Blazers guard Brandon Roy

The Portland Trail Blazers have informed the media that Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy will not undergo surgery on his ailing left knee.  brandon-roy-knee-2Posted by Ben Golliver

In a text message to Portland media sent Wednesday night, the Portland Trail Blazers said that an MRI of all star guard Brandon Roy's left knee conducted on Wednesday revealed that Roy does not need surgery. The message read, "No surgery is contemplated. He will miss the next two games vs. Denver and Utah and will be reevaluated in a week." The news comes as a huge relief for Blazers fans, who have the specter of a dreaded microfracture surgery hanging over Roy's season. Roy has been limited by the knee in recent weeks, injuring himself against the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday and sitting out against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Blazers play the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night and the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. Both games are at home. In Roy's absence, backup guard Wesley Matthews figures to get the starting nod, as he did against the Grizzlies, where he delivered a career-high 30 points in his first start of the season. Starting small forward Nicolas Batum and starting point guard Andre Miller, as well as reserve guard Rudy Fernandez, also figure to log heavy minutes against the Nuggets and Jazz, two of Portland's major division rivals.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com