Jack, Sergio, or Rudy??

First off, what a game last night versus the Hawks.  I don’t know how we do it, but damn I like it!  This team reminds me of a quote, “It takes us all to make the one.”  I can think of nothing more fitting for this team.

 I have been thinking for a while what we are to do with our backup PG spot?  Right now we have Blake, Jack, Sergio, Green.  Last year we drafted Koponen, and Rudy.  IF both of those guys come next year someone has to go.

 We signed Green for 2 years, but only 400K and change, which means cutting him is cheap.  We have invested 2 years into Sergio, and I think he will continue to be better…where his ceiling is I don’t know!  Jack in my opinion was great last year as a first time starter, and this year he is just plain solid….so what do we do?

 It is obvious that Jack is now a combo guard, he plays with Sergio in the White Unit, and is used to score most of the time.  But he also handles the ball a lot (just look at the Chicago game) in the 4th quarter as the compliment PG with Roy.

 Here is my take of each guy:

 Jack:  He is a “glue guy” one of the most liked guys on the team, won the award for the most workouts in the off season.  He can get to the hole with the best of them, he can play PG and 2G, he is just a solid guy on the court and an important part in the locker room.  He lacks a good jump shot, but makes up for it with his drives.

Sergio:  Is probably the most “true” PG we have.  His court vision is amazing, passing skills superb.  But, he only shows flashes of that.  He has little to no shot, he takes ill-advised shots many times, and just does not seem to get in the flow often.  The comment was made the other night that maybe Sergio is not in the right system, and that could be right.  We are not a true up and down team, and with Roy taking PG duties a lot what does Sergio offer to compliment that?

 Blake:  Just all around a stud.  His 3 point shot is top 5 in the league, assist to turn over ratio top 5, has learned to play the 2 when Roy has the ball.  Just all around a true professional and player.  I like this guy a lot.

Green:  The guy has a shot, seems like a fun loving guy…but has not shown enough to beat our Sergio yet.  He is a true winner at Florida, being a rookie he has little time to show us what he can do.

I don’t know much about Koponen, my fear is that he may be like Sergio and take some time to develop.  If that is true why not stay with Sergio who has 2 years now invested?  As Rudy goes what I read and hear is he is a stud.  Rumors have been made that he will be the starting 2 and Roy the PG.  I see Rudy as the main competition to Jack.  If Rudy is as advertised (by Pritchard and other outlets) then he will take the backup 2 from Jack.

The funny thing is that all of these guys are KPs guys.  Which means they are quality and can all play.  But which 2 or 3 are the real studs?

In my opinion I think we keep Jack.  All around on the court, in the locker room he is just the man.  I love Blake and don’t want to see him go.  I think you can’t ask for more from a starting PG.  I think if we could stash Koponen in Europe for another year that would be great.  Bring Rudy over and let him fight out that backup 2 position with Jack.  We still run Blake as starter and Jack as backup PG with Sergio fighting for time.  All this until we can make a bid for Deron Williams or Chris Paul.

 What’s your take?

 JP

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18 Responses to “Jack, Sergio, or Rudy??”

  1. Everyone says Green is going to be a legit NBA player and you can’t get rid of someone so young. In my mind, Sergio’s upside is really his energy. While that’s great, it can be replaced as players mature and become more consistent. I don’t think he has a place on the team long-term. According to Mike Rice, Steve Smith loves Sergio and says he is Steve’s favorite blazer. That’s a pretty serious endorsement. I think you keep things pretty steady, though, just to preserve the chemistry. That’s why you have to keep Jack happy – he’s part of the heart of this team.

  2. Nice new blog. Here are my thoughts on the PG situation:

    Roy is the given. Clearly he needs the ball in his hands at certain times during the game. As such, a guy like Blake is the perfect complement–a guy who can play solid defense on the opposing PG and spot up and hit the 3 when Roy draws the double team.

    It’s hard to say because we haven’t seen him yet, but I think Rudy will also be a nice complement to Roy. Roy can draw the double team and kick out to Rudy, or Rudy can slash through off back screens for the quick pass.

    I like Jack, but he has to get better. This team is obviously going places, and when we start playing tough teams in the playoffs, a bad pass here and a step on the sideline there can mean the difference in a game. His new combo-guard role is a good fit, but he simply needs to be more consistent. I think he’ll be with the team long-term because, as you said, he is a glue guy and everyone loves him. But I think his playing time will dwindle as the years progress.

    Sergio obviously has potential, but I think his days as a Blazer are numbered. Of all the young Blazer guards, right now he has the most trade value. Furthermore, I just don’t think he’s in the right system to develop as he needs to. He needs to be in a Phoenix type of system for his skills to be completely utilized. Nate’s reaction to last night’s game was telling: Of all of Brandon’s terrific plays down the stretch, the one that Nate described as a “beautiful” thing to watch was his defensive stand on Joe Johnson. Nate loves defense, and I don’t think he’ll ever be able to stomach long stretches of Sergio on the floor because he just doesn’t play defense. I think we’ll see him moved at some point, perhaps as early as this offseason. Hopefully the Blazers can rid themselves of Miles’ contract in the process.

    At this point, Taurean and Koponen are still unknowns, the Taurean has shown himself to be a “Nate guy” with his pesky defense. The fact that he can hit an open jumper puts him in the same category as Blake in my opinion–someone who would fit nicely next to Roy, and so someone we should keep around.

    No sense really talking about Koponen because he’s not on the team and nobody knows what he can do. I get the sense that he’s more in the “Sergio” mold than he is the “Blake/Green” mold, though, so keeping both him and Sergio seems a bit redundant. He’s so young, though, that I think they’ll hold onto him for awhile to see what he becomes in Europe. If he looks like he can play next to Roy in a couple of years, then I think that’s who replaces Jack.

    Ultimately, most teams go with an 8 or 9 man rotation when it comes to the playoffs. Oden, Joel, LaMarcus, Outlaw, Webster, and Jones makes 6 (sorry Channing). In the end I think we’ll have a 3-guard rotation between Roy, a Blake-type guard (probably Blake himself), and Rudy, with someone like Jack around for mop-up duty and to cover for foul trouble. I also believe they’ll keep Taurean around for insurance because he’s cheap and he’s a “Nate guy.” If they need to cut a guy to clear a roster spot, at this point I think McRoberts is more likely to get cut than Green.

    Another guy out there who has struck me as a player who would fit really nicely next to Roy (someone who can play pesky defense, doesn’t need the ball, and who can hit open shots from distance) is Jordan Farmar. As we look to the future, this is the type of player I think you will see the team go after. He’s kind of a combination between a “Pritchard” guy and a “Nate” guy. I don’t know if he’s the guy for sure, but somebody like that to replace Blake at some point would be nice. Maybe that guy is Koponen, but who knows ….

  3. I don’t hink any of the 4 players is our point guard of the future.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I hear Rudy is more of a combo like Jack….does he handle the ball well? How would we fare with Roy as the PG and Rudy as the 2? Do we have enough hands on the court to handle that?

    I think Sergio is also gone, he is just better in up and down game…we have that a little, but are more of a half court team. I think he is odd man out.

  5. They’re more of a half court set offensive team right now, but next year with a healthy Oden blocking shots, dominating the glass, and running the floor everything will be different.

  6. Dave, you make a good point that with Oden and a sound center to block shots we will be more uptempo…but do you think it is enough to keep lets say Sergio over Jack?

    That is what I struggle with…is Sergio ever going to be more than a 15 minute player?

  7. i think rudy

  8. This by far is the hardest decision to make about the future of this team. I am glad KP is handling it and not me, as it would be extremely tough, but he seems to always make the right decision.

    That being said I will add my two cents.

    From my perspective you have to take in to account a couple of things.

    1. Chemistry (we all know this is the story of this team)
    2. Talent (Meaning talent right now)
    3. Upside (self explanitory)

    Steve Blake is what he is. A journeyman PG who fits the term “role player” to a t. He calms the storm handles well and does not make mistakes. As far as team chemistry goes he is popular with his teammates but from everything I have read he would not be a huge loss to the locker room (no offense just an honest assesment). He has pretty much fully matured, and while he may increase in veteran saavy he has hit his cieling.

    Jack Is as we know vital to the chemistry of this team. He is a great back up and I would love to see him stay in that role as it seems to suit him well. His upside is more than Blake’s but less than sergio’s. To see him go would be a blow to the locker room, but increased playing time for sergio would help him immensly.

    Sergio seems to be very popular with the team kind of a goof. And while he does take same bad shots, he has steadily been improving with the stint he gets in the 2nd quarter. He has definate all star potential, and that is not an over statement. He can get by anyone at anytime, if he can just cut down on mistakes he WILL be the starter of the future as his raw ability is much higher than blake or jack.

    Fernandez I have no clue, but can see him stepping in as the backup two.

    So depending on what is most important to you, there are pro’s and con’s to every player staying and going.

    If the decision was mine i would not let anyone touch sergio for the next 3 years. If he matures in that time, he is our starter no doubt. Blake is happy where he is and I think any role would suit him. If sergio becomes the player he could be I think blake is the one to go, dont feel too bad he will find another home. But Jack I think needs to stay in that 2nd unit as a scoring option. Him and Rudy and Travis would match up with almost any starting unit in the league.

    So pending the development of Sergio, that is how I would make my call. Luckily we have some time before we have to make the decision and when the time comes, i think it is safe to say it will be easier than right now.

  9. I so totally disagree with Gudmund. Jack, will be traded, I feel, simply because his game is deteriorating and he is too much of a head case. On the other hand, I totally agree with Jeff regarding Sergio. I think, if given the time, he will be our pg of the future. He has a great chance to lead the league in assists and I think he will. Next year, I think a back-up team of Sergio and Rudy will be electric for the Blazers. I think KP feels the same way judgining from what he says in regard to both players. Taurean just simply is too small and I think he will be bought out or not played next year. I also do not see Roy as a pure pg, just now and then. He and Sergio, by the way, play well together.

  10. My take….Roy wll play 36 minutes a game; that leaves the 12 he’s on the bench for Rudy; while many of you say Rudy needs to prove himself, remember he is the consensus ‘best player in Europe’; no other Blazer guard will ever be mistaken for that.

    Rudy will also play another 12 minutes beside Roy. That leaves 36 more minutes for guards. Assume 24 for Blake and 12 for Sergio, probably with Rudy while Roy is on the bench.

    Does this mean Jack is a bad player? No. It means Rudy is better. And Blake is more effective. And Sergio will be extra valuable because he speaks Spanish, knows the league and will make Rudy better.

    Jack is a ‘great guy’, but will he remain that upbeat playing little or none each game? I don’t think so. Bad for team chemistry. Plus, KP’s a good guy and I don’t think he would bury Jack.

    The same problem will exist in the front court. Center will be split between Oden, Przy and Aldredge. Power forward will be split between Aldredge and Outlaw. Shooting guard between Jones and Webster. That leaves little or nothing for Fry. Again too good a player to leave rotting on the bench.

    So, I see us trading Jack, Fry and a couple of picks. We don’t have roster space for 4 picks, so unless we draft Euro’s and leave them over there, we are just throwing them away.

  11. Ron,
    Jack is too much of a head case and his game is deteriorating?
    Where is this coming from? Jarrett Jack has never shown any of the qualities that could be classified as being a “head case” and he is one of the hardest working players in the NBA. He has improved significantly over the last three years and is having an extremely good year coming off the bench. He has made key plays that have resulted in several of the Blazers’ wins. Meanwhile, your PG of the future Sergio, is probably the most inconsistent player on the team, possibly the Blazer’s worst outside shooter, and plays a style of basketball that doesn’t fit this team or its coach. And how is Taurean Green too small, but Sergio, at 160 lbs, isn’t?

  12. Call me crazy, but I feel that a title for the championship can be had by next season. Yes, next season. With all this point guard talk, we might want to include a old Jason Kidd in the trade mix. Yes, his salary is ridiculous and we would have to trade a couple of promising players (i.e. Jack or Sergio and Martell with Raef or Darius for salaries to match), but the upside is Jason Kidd, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and FREAKIN Greg Oden. Jason Kidd can play for two more years and when we are ready to rid of ourselves of him, then comes Mr. Chris Paul. Tell me that is not a great plan. Please don’t tell me the Kidd can’t play, because if triple doubles aren’t doin it for you, you might want to leave basketball alone.

  13. RoysBlazers Says:

    Going into this seaon I was ‘not’ a fan of Jack. I love the fact that he is great for the locker room, I love the fact that he’s able to get to the lane with more ‘and1’s’ than the rest of the team combined… but going into the season the reason I disliked Jack was because you could give him the ball leading a 3-1 fast break and he would find a way to mess it up… we all saw that from him last season. This season, with limited playing time I’ve seen a more heady Jack when he’s been in there, he’s obviously been given a job by Nate, and I think he’s done an exceptional job filling that role.

    As far as Sergio goes, I think he’s got a great eye for the court, but he seems so one dimensional to me lately. When he gets the ball, he goes right…. and he does one of the following three things.
    1)Rolls to the basket and fails to take a wideopen layup when it’s given to him only to throw the ball back out… ( not always bad )
    2)Rolls to the basket and gets called for a charge…
    3)Rolls to the basket and once he’s almost to the rim throws a pass back out over our players head… lol (not every time but enough to remember)
    I like sergio but I feel Jack gives us the strength we need to shut down an offensive threat when Roy is not in to do the job himself.

    Steve Blake is a great guy, he’s smart and will not make many mistakes… unfortunately he’s as good as he will ever be and when your trying to put a championship team together you don’t do so with Steve Blake as your Starting PG. I see him being an important part of this team for the next couple of years, at least… but his minutes will begin to decline as the new blood is pumped into this young team.

    Rudy Fernandez- I was reading the other day that Rudy is one of the top scorers in his league (spanish) with 18.5 pts which is considered to be one of the top leagues in all of europe. He is averaging 4.5-5 assists per game and from what the article I read said, that is the equivelant to 8-9 assists in “NBA Terminology” You can find plenty of videos on Youtube regarding Fernandez and his offensive game. One thing I like about him is his ability to get to the rim, and his size at 6-6 (definately would be nice to have a Manu Ginobli type player with the Blazers for years to come.

    I think that we will be making some moves in the coming offseason. We have a lot of talent waiting in the wings, and even more bargaining pieces sitting on our bench. Throw in the fact that we will certainly look long and hard into bringing back cluch 3pt Specialist James Jones and that leaves a lot to interprit on KP’s part. This team will be differant next year whether we agree with it or not. We will have draft picks, and unless we plan on becoming the 2005-7 Phoenix Suns we are not going to have the openings available for much new talent.

    I see Brandon and Rudy in our Backcourt next season. Jack/Sergio decision will need to be made… either player should fetch us some $ or picks in return. Martell Webster is still a solid plan for our future and I truely feel his game is only beginning to come together. Travis gives us our instant offense, although somtimes Its unpredictable…

    I’m just damn glad to be a season ticket holder 🙂

  14. Take sergio and rudy, discard jack and green. If you want proof in the pudding, check out this alley oop from spanish chocolate to rudy fernandez. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO94IU8jUGg I’m telling yall, they skillz, hopz, and chemistry. They could easily own the white unit. Keep blake and roy as starters.

  15. PG’s tend to take more time to develop, and, other than Blake, we’re talking about an awfully young group. Here are my thoughts:

    1. Rudy isn’t a PG – the comparison to Manu is probably a good one. A 6-6 SG who passes well sound pretty familiar around these parts too. I don’t know if he defends well enough to play in a San Antonio style 3 guard system.

    2. Koponen is still a big unknown – he’s taller, bigger and a better offensive player than Sergio, but has shown fantastic court vision and ability to lead a team from the point. He would fit well with our current switching defense.
    He’s young and needs higher-level experience. A better Euro team or the NBDL could help us see whether he could be the next Nash or Kidd.

    3. Jack has been outstanding at times as a SG, and disappears completely some nights. Lately, he’s been making some good things happening as a PG in the 4th quarters, but that also isn’t consistent. I’d like to see us keep him for, at least, another year to see if he can develop further.

    4. Sergio – I used to be a huge Sergio supporter, but I’m doubting whether he will fit with this team in the long run. He is still very young, and will probably improve, but he needs a more structured pick-and-roll offense. It would be fun to see how he could do with Oden, but if we have to bring Rudy or Koponen over next year, I’m not sure where the minutes come from.

    5. Blake has been a solid player, and his 3’s keep him in a starting role. He is too slow, especially on defense, to be a top tier starting PG.

    6. Green is just too small and not a great enough passer to be a starter. I still can’t understand why we drafted him.

    Everything changes next year if Oden is healthy. With Roy, Oden and LMA, plus the outstanding streak guys we have at small forward, I don’t think we’ll need an all-star PG to compete for a champoinship.

  16. ItsMrHarris2u Says:

    2007-2008
    1st team 2nd team bench outside
    PG roy rodriguez green
    SG blake jack fernandez
    SF webster jones miles
    PF aldridge outlaw mcroberts
    C przybilla frye lafrentz oden

    Roy was listed as SG, but he played the PG role with Blake at SG, so i listed it that way… here is my take on next year.

    2008-2009
    1st team 2nd team bench outside
    PG roy blake green rodriguez
    SG fernandez webster jack
    SF outlaw jones miles
    PF aldridge frye mcroberts
    C oden przybilla lafrentz

    I see outlaw moving to the starting SF role and rudy will come in and start as our only pure SG. Roy will play mostly PG and Webster will be asked to play the SG and move to the bench. I can’t see Sergio or Jack returning, there is just not room on a 12 man roster. This is a very BIG, strong roster that is built for playoff success (the reason I left McRoberts on the roster).

  17. Tim Davenport Says:

    I think Sergio is the most tradeable of the guards, because he has proven that he can play in the league. The defects in his game are also pretty apparent to those in the Blazers’ camp by now.

    Green is a rook with a small contract and a good pedigree, coming from Florida. He’s also extremely tradeable and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to find him a new home.

    Jack is a chemistry guy and a scorer. I think it’s an either/or with Sergio and Jack.

    Blake is the long-term running mate for Roy, I think. The comment about him meshing perfectly with Roy stylistically, being able to play PG early in games and drill 3s when Roy is carrying the ball and being double-teamed is excellent.

    As for Rudy — holy crap, that video is sensational. How can a guard jump like that? Looks more like a small forward… I see him and Jack providing one of the most potent 1-2 punches off the bench in the NBA.

    I would trade Sergio and Green NOW, to a tough power forward that can play situationally off the bench for rebounding, interior D, and low post scoring.

    t

  18. We’ve gotta keep Sergio. The Spanish backcourt combo would be amazing.

    (and don’t worry, KP thinks so too: http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindblazersbeat/2007/12/the_forgotten_piece_rudy_ferna.html)

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