Archive for March, 2008

The Good of a 24 Hour Fitness Pick-up Game?!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 30, 2008 by blazersog

The Oregonian dropped a bomb on all Blazer fans recently about Greg Oden participating in two pickup games at 24 Hour Fitness.  To the shock and horror of all Rip City faithful and the Blazers brass, we learned a few things about Mr. Oden. 

In our opinion what Oden did the other day was stupid, but in a greater aspect is good for him and the team.  Here is why:

1.  Oden WANTS to be on the floor.  Think about this – Darius Miles had the same surgery as Oden, never sniffs the practice floor, and is being shipped off the NYC to get off the books of the Blazers.  Some 15 months later Miles will never be a Blazer again (thank god), but we see what can happen when a millionaire basketball player is guaranteed money and does not HAVE to get back on the court.  Oden wants to play so bad that he feel into a situation where he used dumb judgement, but alas he has desire.  Isn’t that what you want out of your first pick who has not played and is still guaranteed about $4 million for two years?  In our opinion this is a great sign, you don’t see the “CTC” of Sheed here.  You see desire and we like it.

2.  He lost a game????!!!!  Oden said he played in two games because he lost the first one.  How is that possible?  I won’t lie, hearing him lose a game scared me a little…how does this guy lose a game at 24 Hour Fitness?  Well, the answer is that he was being honest when he said he was not playing all that hard.  God knows if this guy wants to dominate the likes of Shaq, Duncan, and Howard can’t stop him.  So he really was playing within his rehab, even if was a stupid idea in the first place.

3.  This is the biggest one, he is fine!!  He has no ill effects from playing both of these games.  We all get excited when we heard Oden can walk a big hill, or is rehabbing in a pool, or is running 5 times up and down the court, or Blake is throwing him entry passes.  Lets get excited about something a little bigger.  This guy just played two games and is not hurt, sore, tired, or in any type of pain.  In all reality this is his biggest and best step since rehad started.  We just ask that next time he does it with the Blazers blessing.

When looking at the Oden situation it is easy to seek out the negative.  It is simple to say that is was a dumb decision and that Oden should know better.  But at the same time we need to temper our attitudes about this because Oden is a kid, he is coming off the biggest situation in his young life and he is eager to show what he can do.  So lets look at the positive.  Lets realize that out of any situation there is a silver, black and scarlet lining.

The Moniker Project: The Wily Veteran

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2008 by blazersog

 

  •   It’s crazy to think that James Jones, at 27, is considered the veteran on this team.  Playing in his 5th NBA season, he’s playing on his 3rd NBA team (after studying under Reggie Miller and Steve Nash) and seems to have found a home here in Portland, like so many other lost souls.  What makes James Jones different from anyone in recent Rip City history, is his drop-dead accuracy.  He’s currently shooting 46.8 from downtown on the year and is a career 40.2.  Compare those numbers with Steve Kerr’s career average of 45.4 and 39.4 with the Blazers, Terry Porter’s 38.5 career average, Steve Smith’s 36.9 with the Blazers (great article on the top 25 Blazer sharpshooters here).  Those are some big names.  
  • And Jones is definitely staking his claim as a marksman, especially from the corner. This is to say nothing of his leadership, great team defense and playing all-around smart basketball.It was a travesty that Jones was left off the 3pt contest, but, thankfully, he seems to realize the decision is more about publicity and less about who’s really the greatest 3pt shooter in the NBA. 
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  • As you think about what nickname works best for James Jones, keep in mind names like Wesley “The Rifleman” Person, Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson and Robert “Big Shot Bob” Horry (we never like to reference any former Lakers, but the nickname is just too good). So here are our thoughts, let us know yours.  
    1. The Gunslinger (see video)
    2. James “All Day” Jones (same video
    3. JR – this is actually his nickname, but doesn’t say anything about basketball.  So he gets another.
    4. Both Barrels – referencing the double-barrel shotgun, hitting with both barrels.  (see Tombstone scene here).
    5. Jackpot- both as a reference to the great deal we got him in, but also his uncanny ability to complete 4pt point plays.

  • Best Seat in the House? Where Would You Sit?

    Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 28, 2008 by blazersog

    This is the message that was laying on my seat at a recent Blazer game:

    Blazermania is back.

    The Rose Garden is Rocking

    With more than 20 sellouts and still counting,

    An NBA All-Star,

    The most promising team in the NBA,

    And the anticipation of Oden’s return,

    The time to buy season tickets is now

    RISE WITH US

    Yes, it is that magical time of year where we dream of future glory in order to offer over hand-earned money to the Blazer organization for next seasons tickets.  I can’t find many takers out there who think next year will not be an improvement over this seasons impressive efforts.  I’m not here to try to convince you to buy season tickets, I’ll late the Blazers do that.  This entry is a more, if I was going to buy season tickets, where would I buy them.  In other words, what seat gets me the greatest value?

    If you look at the current pricing scheme it ranges from $5,720 to $299.  So, which ticket is worth the most value?  Lets start our journey by looking in to what is the best seat in the house?  Don’t worry about price; what is just simply the best place to watch a game?

    Check out this site on the Blazers Home Page to get a 3-D view from any seat in the arena.  Its a pretty cool function

    http://www.seats3d.com/nba/portland_trailblazers/

    Down Low

    Many would simply say the closer you get to the action, the better seat you will have.  “You are not in a great seat unless you can see the sweat drip off of Martell’s head, and hear the obscenities” one might hear.  But is this true?  Sitting close to the action is definitely an experience.  You have the opportunity to feel the electricity of the game that doesn’t exist in other parts of the arena, and you get to see just how athletic and powerful the individuals who play in the NBA are.  Something you can imagine sitting in the 300 level, but never actually witness.  The downside of sitting close to the action, you don’t get to watch the game develop.  What you see is right in front of you, as sitting up close you simply miss out on the birds eye view of the court where you can see all the players and all the court in your vision.  With this reality, is it true to say that the best seat would be courtside?

    The 300 Level

    Taking the opposite view, you could say if really want to watch the game develop and flow, take the 300 level seat.  Not the very top row, but if you sat on the sideline, in the first couple rows of the 300 level, you would have a great view of the game.  Do you miss the experience of sitting up close?  Absolutely.  But you have the advantage of having a great view of the court.

    The Top of the Lower Bowl

    If you notice where the luxury boxes are located, it is at the top of the lower bowl.  Does this equal best view?  This is also the location of the TV cameras.  With this seat you get the entire view of the court, and you are still relatively close.  Does this mean you have the best of both worlds, or simply a watered down version of the low seat and 300 level.

    Well, what do the Blazers think? 

    Based on pricing for seats, we can determine what the Blazers think are the ideal seats in the house.  The top price range at $5,720 is the Lexus Club Level, which is the top of the lower bowl.  Now, when sitting in the Club Level, the ticket holder also receives food and parking.  So maybe this price doesn’t necessarily represent the best seat.

    Lower Bowl sideline seats below the Lexus Club Level go for $4,840.  This is for any seat below the tunnel entrances to the lower bowl.  Does this represent that a seat and row P is as valuable as a seat in row D?

    Sideline seats in the upper bowl go for $880.  Again, a good view of the game, but not necessarily the excitement level you get sitting close to the court.  So, it costs $4,000 less.  Is it worth $4,000 to sit in the lower bowl, where you might not get a view of the entire court?  And if you sit on the end zone of the lower bowl it goes for $3,740.  Almost $3,000 difference.

    Now, I’m not trying to say that sitting in the 300 level is the best seat in the house.  My season tickets are dirt cheap, but I do enjoy the view.  Occasionally I have had tickets in the lower end zone this year, and I’ll readily admit that it is exciting to watch a game at that level.  I will also say that I did not have a great view of the court.  And for $3,000, I would definitely take a seat in row B of the 300 section, sitting right on the sideline.

    What do you think?  If you were buying season tickets, what would you go for? 

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    Mr. Parrish, can I have a hall pass?

    Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2008 by blazersog

     

    Earlier this week, David Thorpe of ESPN did a great break down of the rookies in the NBA this season, recommending they take some lessons from NBA veterans on how to improve their game. Included in Mr. Thorpe’s recommendations was a request that Greg Oden study Tim Duncan. Mr. Thorpe states:

    “When Oden returns next season, we’ll all be reminded of just how athletic and big he is. But he’s still somewhat raw offensively. So learning the low-post game from the fundamental master, Duncan, would go a long way towards getting Oden closer to being the offensive force he’s destined to become. Oden should also mix in some Amare Stoudemire tapes, reminding him that sometimes he can just dominate people with his physical talent.”

    Now the greatness of Tim Duncan is undisputed and many players could stand to learn a thing or two from him. But Duncan is not the ideal choice for Oden to model his game after. Tim Duncan’s game has always been predicated on the ability to out think his opponents. Duncan’s ability to dominate a game is and never has been predicated on his ability to physically dominate his opponents, but rather overcome them by applying the soundest fundamental basketball skills the NBA has seen in some time.

    By all accounts Oden is a much more athletic and quick player than Duncan ever was. Today Oden looks to be a player who, at least for this time in his career, will physically dominate his opponents and use these skills to his advantage. Not to suggest Oden is an unsound or low IQ player, but that with his inexperience he will likely rely on his physical attributes. With that being said we at the BlazersOG would like to recommend an alternative choice for Mr. Oden to study this off-season: Robert Parrish.

    For 21 seasons the Chief served as the prototype NBA big man who could be counted on to do everything well on all ends of the floor, night in and night out. What stands out about Parrish’s game is how versatile of an NBA center he was. All the usual weaknesses associated with centers were missing from Parrish.

    Depending on his opponent Parrish could bang down low, getting key offensive and defensive rebounds while racking up inside baskets. However, just as easily he could move to a mid-range game were he would make his opponents move out to mid-court to guard him, thereby clearing out the middle for his teammates while consistently hitting the mid-range jumper. Many consider Parrish the greatest shooting big man to ever play the game and, coupled with his ability to block shots and finish fast breaks, Parrish stands as a idea model of a “do everything” NBA big man.

    Like Parrish, Greg Oden looks to have the physical skills capable of being an imposing player on both ends of the court. If early play is any measure, Oden is capable of playing smothering defense with a special talent for blocking shots. On the offensive end, Oden is a masterful rebounder and has a raw but impressive back to the basket game while also being able to run the floor with gazelle like speed.

    It may be too much to ever expect Oden to have the mid-range game of Parrish but that should not stop him from trying. Like Parrish, Oden is a long player that has the distinct advantage of being able to release the ball at a point few, if any, in the NBA could block. Aside from even looking like the Chief, Greg Oden would do well to head to the lab with a pen and a pad and play some old Celtics games so he can get ready for his own dynasty.

     

    The Moniker Project: The Little Guy

    Posted in Uncategorized on March 26, 2008 by blazersog

     

    From the biggest, bruising player to one of our smallest, it just seemed natural to move from The Vanilla Gorilla to Steve Blake.  It’s great to have Steve back in Portland after his brief hiatus with that “other” team and we’re excited he signed a 3-year deal as he seems to add a lot of consistency when he’s on the court.  He’s a good, if not overly physical, defender, very good 3pt shooter when he’s open and takes good care of the basketball.  A Miami native (who was banned from playing in Florida after a recruiting scandal in highschool) and NCAA champ at Maryland, Steve seems very happy in the City of Roses.  He had a great college career and has consistently improved when he played enough minutes because he doesn’t need to shoot in bunches and he plays good, solid and aggresive defense when he’s out there. 

    And, recently, he’s been growing out a sweet Zangief-esque beard.  Now, what he doesn’t have is a good nickname.  That’s where we come in.  Give us your thoughts in the comments.  If we don’t do something now, there’s a decent chance that Mike Rice will continue to call him “Blakey.”  We love Mike Rice and MB.  But “Blakey” just doesn’t do it for us, so we didn’t list it below.

    Snowflake: a common name for a smaller, fair-skinned player, but nothing in particular about Blake.  And it seems a little weak for a guy that plays this hard.

    Turtle: an allusion to his alma mater and resemblance to its mascot.  Apparently, this isn’t a secret…

         

    Zangief: 

    Greg Oden v2.0

    Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 25, 2008 by blazersog

    So, it’s been six months since Greg Oden announced he would be having season ending microfracture surgery or, as we here at BlazersOG call it, “The Day the Music Died”.  It was a devastating blow that many thought the Blazers would struggle to handle. 

    capt_02e01261cb504fa1bb6b167ef069b955_spalding_signs_greg_oden_and_gilbert_arenas_bw26.jpgBefore Surgery

    odenmohawkvy9.jpgAfter Surgery

    Since that fateful day, Greg has put in many hours of rehabilitation and here are just a few glimpses of his road to recovery so far.

    Dec 28, 2007-Straight from Greg’s own personal blog comes a short video of his rehabilitation routine

    March 13,2008-Greg participates in his first practice with the team since surgery.  It was a quickie, lasting only 10 minutes, but Greg was able to run through a series of moves that showed off his rehabilitation.

    March 23,2008-Greg shows off his progress by doing workouts up a steep hill outside of Portland.  Sarge is so impressed that he shows up and joins him.

    So far so good.  We just hope the next six months are as productive as the last.

    All Time Blazers Team Part 6: Point Guard

    Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2008 by blazersog

    In two seasons KP and the Blazers brass are going to make a huge push to land either Chris Paul or Deron Williams in free agency.  The reason?  Well, its two fold: 1.  Williams and Paul are studs who can change the look of any team and 2.  Currently we do not have the prototype PG we want.  No disrespect to Blake, we all love him, but he is better suited as a backup then a starter for this team to make a serious championship run. 

    When looking at any point guard in Blazer history the gold standard is Terry Porter.  His steady play, ability to run either the half court offense or fast break, and all around ability to keep Clyde, Jerome, Buck, Duck, and Uncle Cliffy happy is unparalleled in franchise history. 

    The Blazers have also had some very solid point guards in recent history such as Rod Strickland, Damon Stoudamire, and Kenny Anderson.  Each of these players have been a shot in the arm to the Blazers when needed.  But none of them compare to the All Time Blazers Point Guard Terry Porter.  Just look at these Blazer stats:

    Drafted in 1985 24th Pick overall out of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  Played with the Blazers until 1995. 14.9 ppg. 6.2 AST per game.  7 triple doubles. J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winner ‘92-’93. 6th and 9th in NBA FG percentage ‘89-90 and ‘90-’91. 4th and 7th in NBA 3pt percentage in ‘90-’91 and ‘92-’93. 5th in ‘86-’87, 4th in ‘87-’88, tied for 7th in ‘89-’90 in NBA assists. 10th in NBA steels in ‘86-’87. NBA All-Star ‘91, ‘93. Team leader in 3pt field goal percentage in a game (1.000, 7-7 in ‘92). Team record for most points in a quarter (25). Team record for assists in a half (13) and a quarter (10). Scored 40 points 3 times as a Blazer, once during a playoff game. 3rd all time games played (758). Second all time in minutes played (23,978). 2nd all time in points scored (11,330). 1st all time assists (5,319). 2nd all time in filed goals made (4,101). 1st all time 3-pt field goals made (773). 2nd all time free throws made (2,555). 3rd all time free throw percentage (.846). 2nd all time steals (1,182). 2nd all time consecutive games played (198).

    Terry was the Robin to Clyde’s Batman.  He holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the Blazer faithful.  It always seemed as if Terry was in the right place at the right time.  Either to take a charge, pick up a loose ball, or to buy the team when Allen put them up for sale.  Whatever it was Terry always has been, and always will be here for Rip City.  Of all the choices for the All Time Blazer Team, Terry Porter stands next to Clyde as the easiest.

    Congrats Terry Porter All Time Blazers Point Guard!

    As the team stands now:

    SF:  Jerome Kersey

    PF:  Maurice Lucas

    C:  Bill Walton

    SG:  Clyde Drexler

    PG:  Terry Porter

    Coach: Dr. Jack Ramsay

    Next week we wrap this up with 6th man.

    So what are your thoughts about Terry?  Do you have any good Terry related stories from his time in Portland?