Three Points – Ring it up!!!
- Joel Przybilla is rapidly becoming a Blazersog favorite. He plays with a toughness and grit that we haven’t seen in years. And he’s average 16.6 boards per game over the last 5 games (including 8.8 rpg in February – actually 9.9 rpg after the first three games of February – and 11.0 rpg in March). Did you see the elbow he took to the face from Deke? What about when Bobby Jackson fouled him under the basket and scratched his armpit and side so badly you could see it on TV (Ah, the beauty of HD)? And we love it when Joel gets technical fouls – it’s always for going after somebody. Talking and whining to the refs is stupid – leave that to Kobe (anyone want to take bets that he doesn’t get another technical this year (and get suspended a game for being over 15) no matter what he does?) But getting in someone’s face and getting T’d up for it is definitely worth the point.
- Something is wrong with James Jones. He is in the middle of a terrible shooting slump and doesn’t show signs of coming out of it. In the last two weeks, he’s gone 0-3, 1-3, 0-0, 3-9, 1-2, 0-6, 1-3, and 0-3 from downtown. At one point last night after he clanged his third three attempt (he missed all three and didn’t score), Steve Blake looked to pass him the ball and Jones threw up his hands in protest as if to say, “Me? No way!” While we appreciate him not just shooting over and over every time he gets the ball, he has to be ready and willing to keep throwing them up there. Given his normal easy stroke and great shot selection, you have to wonder if his knee is bothering him or if something else is going on. We’re worried about the guy. We need the Gunslinger back and draining those corner treys!
- Changing Expectations: It isn’t just Portland fans that have changed what they expected out of this team, but Doug Collins, Marv Albert and the rest of the national announcers. They talk about Roy’s talent and LMA’s bright future and continued improvement. But there hasn’t been much talk about how young this team is or about what they’ve achieved this year, in spite of the low expectations from the outset. If every time they kissed T-Mac’s ass and said how clutch he is (how many rings does he have again?), they said something relevant about the Blazers roster, we wouldn’t throw up during most nationally televised games. We watch league pass and hear opposing team announcers say better things about this young team. We expect more of national press (and Doug Collins is an idiot – he mentioned Aaron Brooks not really having a three point game… a college .374 average, .404 his senior year, and .303 as a rookie in the NBA). You just know that next year is going to be all hype or disappointment. It is going to be “Greg Oden is the next Bill Russell and the Blazers are going to win the West” or “This Blazers team is never going to compete with Kobe and the Fakers with Bynum and Gasol.” All we ask is for intelligent thought and honest opinion. Let’s not forget where we started. And remember that for next year, too.