Rookie vs a Vet

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 18, 2008 by blazersog

Last night two writers of this blog had a very interesting conversation about the draft.  The topic, do we take a PG like Westbrook or trade to get a veteran?

Most in Blazerland have said that we need a vet PG to take the reigns of this team and move it into a championship status.  However, the allure of Westbrook, a strong defender, solid shooter, and a guy who can play with and without the ball make an intriguing situation.  Don’t forget DJ Augustin, and waiting in the wings Petteri Koponen.

If we decide to go with a rookie, lets just say the two we would take would be Westbrook or Augustine, or bring Koponen on board we would have the benefit of our entire starting unit being young, talented, and ready to grow together.  Westbrook provides to most solid of the three, Koponen the most unknown (remember we already have one European sitting the bench). 

A vet brings all the obvious, experience, talent, steady play, etc, etc, etc.  But depending on who you get their lifespan on our team is limited.  Lots of talk has been going around about Billups, but he is old, and will he be around when Oden and company come into their own?

DJ Augustin

 

This guy can flat out fly.  He is a solid PG, will do what we need.  But will he be around at 13?  Is he worth trading for instead of Westbrook?

Petteri Koponen

Everyone in the NBA gets excited about a foreign born player.  Probably because they have the ability to become Tony Parker, or Manu Ginobili.  Is Koponen that guy?   Or is he just a fresh face that will fade like Sergi Monya?

Russell Westbrook

By far the most complete of the PGs available to us.  Pac 10 Defensive Player of the Year, plays on and off the ball.  He wont be around at 13, so do we make a move?

Remember we are looking for a dynasty here….not a single championship!  So what do you think?

We have a poll going….check it out and vote!

 

Draft Workout Schedule

Posted in Uncategorized on June 3, 2008 by blazersog

 

The Blazers have released their Pre-Draft Workout schedule and it goes a little something like this:

Tues., June 3

Rodrigue Beaubois (France/PG) *underclassman
Rudy Mbemba (Congo/PG)
Mike Green (Butler/PG)

Wed., June 4

Giorgi Shermadini (Republic of Georgia/PF)
C.J. Giles (Oregon State/PF)

Sat., June 7

Sasha Kaun (Kansas/C)
Steven Hill (Arkansas/C)
Gary Forbes (UMASS/SG)
Victor Claver (Spain/SF) *underclassman
Stanley Burrell (Xavier/SG-PG)

Mon., June 9

Lester Hudson (Tenn-Martin SG-PG)
Jaycee Carroll (Utah State/SG)
JJ Hickson (NC State/PF) *underclassman
James Gist (Maryland/PF)

Tues., June 10

Bryce Taylor (Oregon/SG)
JaJuan Smith (Tennessee/SG)
Marcus Dove (Oklahoma State/SF)
David Padgett (Louisville/C)
Darian Townes (Arkansas/PF-C)

Thurs., June 12

Russell Westbrook (UCLA/PG)
Tywon Lawson (North Carolina/PG) *underclassman

Sun., June 15

Jeremy Pargo (Gonzaga/PG) *underclassman
Bo McCalebb (New Orleans/PG)
Luc Louves (France/SF) *underclassman
Pat Calathes (St. Joseph’s/SF)

Mon., June 16
Davon Jefferson (USC/SF-PF)
Shawn James (Duquesne/PF)

Tues., June 17

Joe Alexander (West Virginia/PF-SF) *underclassman
Donte Greene (Syracuse/SF)
Marreese Speights (Florida/PF) *underclassman
Deron Washington (Virginia Tech/SF)

Wed., June 18

DJ Augustin (Texas/PG)

Thurs., June 19

Robin Lopez (Stanford/C)
Javale McGee (Nevada/C)
Kosta Koufos (Ohio State/PF-C)
Malik Hairston (Oregon/SG)
Darnell Jackson (Kansas/PF)
Richard Hendrix (Alabama/PF) *underclassman

Fri., June 20

Luc Mbah a Moute (UCLA/SF) *underclassman
Will Daniels (Rhode Island/SF)

Sat., June 21

Brandon Rush (Kansas/SF-SG)
Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky/SG)
Mark Tyndale (Temple/SG)

Sun., June 22

Maarty Leunen (Oregon/PF)
Juan Palacios (Louisville/PF)

Mon., June 23

Darrell Arthur (Kansas/PF)
Anthony Randolph (LSU/PF-SF) *tentative

Tues., June 24

Nicolas Batum (France/SF)
Sonny Weems (Arkansas/SF-SG)
Marcellus Kemp (Nevada)
Shan Foster (Vanderbilt/SG)

Is their anyone you guys think got left off?  Let us know.

Blazers 2nd Round Draft 2008

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2008 by blazersog

While the rest of the NBA world speculates on the first round of the NBA Draft, we here at the OG feel little to no time has been spent looking at the possible 2nd round picks the Blazers have.  2nd round picks are usually gamble picks, a guy you can take a chance on and possibly bring on once camp is done, or a guy you can stash away in the D-League, or Europe for a few years.  Since KP has taken over the helm of the Blazers he has used 2nd round picks to: keep on the team (Josh McRoberts), trade during the year (Taurean Green), to acquire and then quickly trade away in the same draft (James White, 2006), and on and on…..Basically the second round pick can be a gem (Manu Ginobili, Michael Redd, Rashard Lewis, Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Boozer) or a bust (Khalid El-Amin, God Shamgod).

While we own the 13th overall pick in this upcoming draft, we hold 3 second rounds picks.  All of our 2nd picks are courtesy of trades KP has made in past years.  We actually do not hold our own pick, it was part of a previous trade, but hold 3 picks from other teams (33 from the Grizzlies, 36th from the Knicks, 55th from the Suns)…funny how these things happen. 

For sake of argument lets say the Blazers use all three picks, or at least one of them.  Who would we take?  Most times GMs use the “best of the rest” principal in the 2nd round.  This makes sense since it is a gamble you might as well not draft on need as much as talent.  Former GM John Nash liked to use the “gamble on size” in the second round.  That landed us Ha Seung-Jin….thanks John no wonder you got fired the day before ’06 draft.  Whatever you plan in the 2nd round may be it is important to do your homework because you can look like a genius when you select Manu with the second to last pick in the draft.

Here are some options, assuming the Blazers take a second round pick:

Kyle Weaver SG/PG Wash. St. Sr. 6-5, 201

“Big guard withthe versatility to play both guard positions … Plays PG for Washington State and handles anddistributes the ball very well … His ability to run the point guard position at least within the rotation on the next level makes him intriguing … Very long, his wingspan gives him added length andmakes him a tough assignment on bothends of the floor … An excellent defender with a chance to get a lot better if he continues to work at it … Has a quick first step and a solid handle enabling him to get into the lane for shots or dishes to teammates … Has good vision and passing ability … Competitive, tough nosed player who raises his level of play in big games … His overall quickness and athleticism allows him to get by opponents and make plays that players his size aren’t normally capable of … Hard worker who showed a great deal of improvement in his junior season … Solid free throw shooter at 77%.” (NBA Draft.net)

Omer Asik PF/C Turkey 7-0, 220

“Consistency is his calling card as he always gives his team some points and an equal share of rebounds while being a capable shot blocker at the Euroleaguelevel (should be able to be a solid shot blocker at the NBA level as well) … Center seems to be his natural position as he loves playing with his back to the basket possessing a good assortment of moves to get his shot off … He is a tenacious rebounder going for the offensive boards as well as wiping the defensive glass … A late bloomer who has progressed considerably over the last 2 years. He possesses a good reach and good hands, and his frame appears to be able to add weight.” (NBA Draft.net)

Ronalds Zakis SF Latvia 6-9, 230

If you can speak Latvian then you can know more about this guy….http://www.basket.lv/jauniesu_izlases/speletaji/ronalds_zakis

Ryan Anderson PF Cal, 6-10, 240

“A highly versatile big man who can score near the basket or outside the three-point arc, Anderson emerged as one of the top freshmen in the country last season … paced the Bears in both scoring and rebounding as a rookie, shooting 38.2 percent from three-point range (58-152) and79.8 percent from the free throw line (103-129) … produced eight games with at least 20 points, including a high of 27 points vs. Oregon State in the Pac-10 Tournament … a member of the 2006-07 Pac-10 All-Freshman team and was honorable mention All-Pac-10 … also chosen a second-team Freshman All-American by Basketball Times … named All-District 14 by the NABC … most natural position is power forward, but was forced to play center much of his freshman campaign after starter DeVon Hardin hurt his foot in the year’s 11thgame … should benefit from increased depth at the post position this season … attended the Pete Newell Big Man Camp over the summer.” (CalBears.cstv.com)

Mario Chalmers PG/SG Kansas 6-1. 190

“A two-year starter who broke a 26-year KU record by recording 97 steals in 2006-07… Was named 2007 co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, the first year the award was selected… Has led the Big 12 in steals his freshman andsophomore seasons… Has been named to the Big 12 All-Defensive team each of the last two seasons… One of 30 players invited to try out for Team USA at the Pan Am Games in summer 2007… Will contend for postseason accolades as he received many following his freshman and sophomore campaigns… Has a great court sense and can play either guard spot.” (kuathletics.cstv.com)

Sonny Weems SG/SF Arkansas 6-6, 201

“An intriguing prospect with developing skills … A ridiculous run/jump athlete who thrives in the open floor, up tempo game … High riser who regularly converts on highlight dunks … Shows nice touch on his shot … Slashes to the basket well with long arms and good body control … Playing alongside a good point guard really enhances his strengths as he is very good at running back door and converting ally oops … A solid free throw shooter (80%) … Has really improved as a three point shooter … Shows a great deal of potential as his skills are steadily catching up to his athleticism … Quick hands and feet make him a quality on ball defender … Solid defender who gathers a good deal of steals with his long arms and anticipation … Explosive leaper who jumps better off two feet.” (NBA Draft.net)

The one to watch for: Mike Taylor PG/SG Idaho Stampede 6-2, 190

We don’t see the Blazers taking this guy since he has had major problems with the law.  But trust us, this guy will be the one guy who makes it, or the best 2nd round pick this year.  He was the best player on the Stampede last year, and the reason they won the DL Championship.  His time in the NBA DL gives him a much better advantage playing among more NBA caliber players then most 2nd round picks.  He is lightening fast, can score, rebound for his position, and will be a player in the rotation next year…mark this and remember us when you see it happen during the season (just read the link about his pre-draft workouts). 

The One To Stay Away From: DeAndre Jordan C Texas A&M 7-0, 250

Every year NBA Scouts, GMs, and bloggers get jacked up about some “promising big man with potential.”  You hear the mantra “you can’t coach size” and you see these big men fail year in and year out.  This year’s draft bust is DeAndre Jordan.  Some foolish team in the lottery is going to gamble on this guy and he will end up like Chris Anstey (oh wait we drafted that guy, good thing we traded him).  Again, mark our words and hold us to them when the season wears on you will see the truth in our words.  So, why do we mention this potential lottery pick in an entry about 2nd round picks?  Because this guy belongs in the 2nd round.  He is no better than Ha is, or was.   In the last 5 games of his NCAA career he had one DNP, played 5 minutes vs Kansas St, 4 minutes vs Kansas, 5 minutes vs BYUin the first round of the tournament, and 15 minutes vs UCLA in the second round loss.  If Mark Turgeon wont play him many minutes in important games what makes anyone think he can play in the NBA?

So, who do you think we will take with a second round pick?  Remember, we are assuming we will take one!

Lets hear it!

 

PG of the Future?

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

All the fuss recently about Jose Calderon NOT being an option for the Blazers has opened up the new, (well, actually, old) question: who is our point guard of the future?

Blake is good, but probably better as a backup.  Chris Paul should be on our team (remember we didn’t take him because of Telfair…thanks John Nash) but New Orleans is not stupid enough to let him go.  Deron Willims (again, could have been ours) is planting roots to be the next John Stockton.  So what does that lead us Blazer Fans to hope for?

Option 1: Kirk Hinrich.  The OG has a reporter stashed in the Windy City and he reports that Hinrich WILL be available.  How does he know this?  Well, the worst kept secret in the NBA is the Bulls will take Derrick Rose with the first pick.  With Rose on board, Kirk becomes expendable.  He is relatively young, but he does has a semi-large contract.  The nice part is that his contract does go down as it progresses.

Option 2:  Free Agency.  Here is the problem with option 2….Jeff McInnis, Gary Payton, Eddie Gill, Randy Livingston, and John Lucas are our options.  Besides half of them heading for Fort Lauderdale, I don’t think many could even crack out top 15.

Option 3:  Trade Ideas?  What do we do here?  Do we keep Blake as the starter, trade Jack for something else and hope Sergio comes on strong?  Sergio is an uptempo PG, and with Oden back our team will be more up-and-down.  So what do you think?  Is there someone else out there we should target?  Who should we trade?

The Hand that Feeds?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28, 2008 by blazersog

So assuming you’ve heard about Rudy Fernadez’ hand injury, what are you thinking?  It doesn’t sound major, but they’re sending him back in two weeks for another MRI and further testing.  After last season’s shocking Greg-Oden-Our-Savior-Out-All-Year newflash, this doesn’t really even compare.  Don’t misunderstand – Rudy is great, we want Rudy here, and can’t wait to see him walk onto the court alongside Greg, LMA and Roy.  That said, he just doesn’t feel like the game-changer that GO does, at least not initially.  But maybe we just haven’t had time to get our hopes up as high as we have for GO. 

Do you agree?  Here’s some Rudy Fernandez video below, just to show some love.  And I love the nickname/music combo.

 

 

Notes on a Scandal

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28, 2008 by blazersog

First, we’re sorry we haven’t been posting as regularly lately – we’ve had distractions (like work, wives, short jail sentences) that pulled us away from the blog temporarily.  That’s over now.  We’ve quit our jobs, left our wives and served our 22 days for pulling an Isiaih Rider under a bridge with coke can.  We’re back.  And we’ve got some great ideas to cover the lull in coverage over the summer.  So keep coming back, there will be new posts and commentary on a regular basis going forward. 

In watching the Spurs-Lakers game finale last night and the replays of the final shot and non-call, there were a million things that the commentators (EJ, Reggie Miller, Kenny and Charles, then Tim Legler on ESPN) didn’t mention that seemed worth mentioning.  First, for Reggie Miller and Kenny to say that Barry should have jumped into Fisher (rather than have Fisher come crashing down on him) implies that a player should guarantee his shot being blocked and should rely on the referee to call a foul, when there is no indication he would’ve gotten one either way.  Barkley had just said that a referee shouldn’t decide the game and I can appreciate that, but when a non-call is as important as a called foul, the referee is deciding the game either way.  Let’s not forget that Barry is a great three point shooter (hence Fisher’s wild close-out) and that he would’ve had two, if not three free throws coming.  I don’t care if Pop and Barry won’t complain about the non-call, or that Phil wanted to talk about Fisher’s shot hitting the  rim the previous possession – there is no question that Barry was fouled on the last play.  Imagine for a moment if Kobe had been hit by Bruce Bowen in the same way and attempted the same shot.  Do you think there would’ve been a whistle?  And I love Joey Crawford, but let’s not forget that this is the same referee who challenged Tim Duncan to fistfight after a game last season and then ejected him while he sat on the bench.  This wasn’t just a bad non-call, it was a terrible non-call by a referee where he has a history.  Nothing wil change, but it sullies the game when things like that happen.

Da Coach

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 7, 2008 by blazersog

To go along with Oregonlive’s You Be the GM post on Nate McMillan today, we wanted to take a minute and offer a little more insight into Nate’s past, present and future.  First, you’ve got to give it up to a guy who spent his entire 12-year career playing for the same team, during which he became their all-time leader in assists and steals.  Only Downtown Freddy Brown played longer for the Sonics and the Sonics retired McMillan’s #10 jersey in 1999.  His tenacious defense made him a respected enemy for our beloved Trailblazers during the golden years of Clyde, Terry, Buck, Jerome and friends. 

He was an assistant for two years to Paul Westphal and went on to lead the Sonics for five years, posting a respectable .537 winning percentage, culminating in a 52-30 season in 2004-2005 and a division championship.  In Portland, he’s had a little tougher luck, with 21-61, 32-50 and 41-41 seasons adding up to a .382 winning percentage over the last three years.  While Nate has been praised for his remarkable ability to focus his team during a timeout, he has also engendered a consistent run of criticism for his backing of an inconsistent Jarrett Jack and the long benching of the once-promising, now-disillusioned Sergio Rodriguez. 

None of this is to say that we don’t love Nate.  Because we do.  More than you can know.  Just like in highschool, Mo Cheeks was the teacher who coached golf, taught a few classes, joked around and let you wear a hat while chewing gum in class.  Nate ain’t that guy.  In Nate’s classroom, no one talks while he’s talking and if you tried turning in an assignment late, he’d tell his policy is No Late Work Accepted, No Exceptions.  In a way, Nate’s timing was perfect for the 3rd youngest team in NBA history and, if we’d been able to keep the pace of December and January for another month or two, we would’ve made the playoffs and Nate would’ve been getting serious COY consideration (he finished 9th in the voting, receiving 3 3rd place votes).

Obviously the Blazers’ front office is very happy with Nate and the players love him.  But here’s a question to put your Nate-love to the test: what if Brandon Roy or LMA were being treated like Sergio?  What if these two were unhappy with Sarge’s discipline and started talking publicly about it?  How would you feel then?  With names like Avery Johnson and Mike D’Antoni on the market, you have to wonder what it would be like with them at the helm.  How would these young guys respond to the General?  Is D’Antoni really as bad at developing young players as they say?  These are the fun questions we can ask and debate in the off-season, so give us your thoughts below.