Tag:Nate McMillan
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 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.
Posted on: August 24, 2010 9:31 am
 

Shootaround 8.24.10: Heisley goes Vesuvius

Heisley blows up, Bosh says no to loyalty, and Nate McMillan's on the hot seat in today's Shootaround...Posted by Matt Moore

Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley went on the radio yesterday and had himself quite the little adventure. Among his more interesting answers, besides calling host Chris Vernon "partner," and "son" several times, Heisley admitted that he has not read the CBA, and was therefore previously unaware of the clause that allows for negotiating with rookies on incentive-based bonuses. This is toally okay for an owner who simply signs the check and directs the front-office, but not so much one who makes the majority of basketball decisions. Having listened to the whole interview, I can tell you it was, in fact, an abject trainwreck.

SI's been close with Chris Bosh, and did another interview with him this week. The soundbyte you'll want to take note of is that he thinks loyalty has no place in free agency. Which was, you know, kind of apparent to begin with.

Nets Are Scorching looks at how Derrick Favors could make the difference in the Nets breaching the playoffs. This is akin to looking at how your place kicker can help win you a Super Bowl.

Is there any player with a wider range of possible results this season outside of Greg Oden than Hakim Warrick? In Phoenix, in a system that produces great players beyond their talent alongside Nash, with a host of magical trainers, Warrick could make significant leaps forward. Or, he could be Hakim Warrick. At least he's excited and ready to work .

Blazers edge says this is a "make or break year" for Nate McMillan.

Beyond the Beat takes a look at players' reactions to the famous masks they've had to wear for facial injuries. That's nto a metaphor. We're talking actual masks.

Bucksketball is worried about chemistry with the Bucks. They have the talent, but the personalities is the concern.

Is Will Bynum going to wind up starting ? Really?
 
 
 
 
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