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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Internet advisory

If you don't like ugliness, it might be best to stay away from internet discussion of the Blazers for a couple of days. In tonight's loss to Denver, Greg Oden had two foul shots with less than five seconds left in the game and the Blazers down 1 point.

He missed both free throws.

For a minute or so late in the fourth quarter, Coach Nate had pulled Andre Miller and substituted Steve Blake. The Blazers gave up 6 points during that short stretch, at which point Miller was reinserted in the lineup.

Between the Oden-bashing, the Nate-bashing, and the Blake-bashing, it's not going to be a pleasant few days for Blazer fans on the old intertubes. They play the patsies of Houston again on Saturday evening.

Comments (20)

Tellin' ya, a Nate-ometer is the shizzle for this year.

How about an Oden Choke-o-meter? When games are on the line, our 1st round pick needs to be pick'n a spot on the bench!

Couldn't help but think about your post about the cheatin' refs...they weren't too kind to the blazers tonight.

I didn't see the whole game. The officiating I did see didn't seem one-sided.

This is the same team that picked Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA Draft, the same team that passed on the 3rd pick who was Chris Paul in the 2005 NBA Draft for Martell Webster, and the same team that chose Greg Oden in the 2007 NBA Draft over Kevin Durant.

Who are all these inane sports writers who laud this pathetic front office?

Granted, Kevin Durant is on a team with the personnel about a third as good as the Portland Trailblazers, a very slim chance to make the playoffs, and yet, Kevin Durant is looking like he will make the All Star game this year or next.

I will not even compare stats because that would be "unfair" as some would say. Needless to say, in his second year, Durant averaged 25 points per game while shooting 47.6%. Durant's lack of a supporting cast may be the best explanation for his 20+ ppg, but imagine that if he was on the Trailblazers playing with Roy, Aldridge, Pryzbilla, and company? A Portland Trailblazers contending year after year is what it would be.

Portland has passed on too much greatness and I honestly do not believe that Greg Oden will buck the trend of loser picks.

Time may prove me wrong, Portland's history of draft picks has me confident in my current assessment.

Come on, man. Roy and Aldridge were great draft picks. 1984 was 25 years ago; it's time to let that one go. Webster, I'll give you -- that one was Paul Allen's dumb idea.

As for Oden, hindsight is 20-20. Wherever he winds up in the end, the Blazers currently have stockpiled an obscene amount of talent, but they don't seem to be employing it too well. If they are not going to turn Oden into an offensive force, and if they're going to allow Aldridge to go the Rasheed Wallace route and become a jump-shooter, then believe it or not, they need a new big man -- one who can play the low post and get easy baskets. They won't contend for the NBA title playing Euro ball.

And why aren't they running? Miller can run, Webster can run, Aldridge can run, Rudy can run. They're not running because Nate doesn't really want them to. He wants Roy to be involved in every possession. It's foolish.

"I put this loss on me," said Oden, who shot 63.7 percent from the free throw line last season. "I need to step up and make those."

Everyone jumps all over this kid every time he sneezes. Get over it. Last season he was coming off micro-fracture surgery and had to be brought along very slowly. There was no real chance for him to work on his game due to the injury, and what we did see was his raw talent and size being turned loose on the court in a fairly haphazard manner. He is just now getting his first "real" chance to have a decent season, and it's going to take more than two games to see what he's got to offer.

The TEAM lost this one by shooting a lousy 35%! The game shouldn't have been that close at the end, and it was a fluke that Oden was on the line with a chance to bring a win to the team. Blake choked at the end of a game last year and missed two free throws...it happens to the best of them from time to time.

Oden has a track record of being pretty darn good at the line (for a big man). If he was walking up there and just chucking it at the basket like Shaq then I would understand the criticism. He has good shooting mechanics, and my bet is that he will continue to improve at the line.

In my opinion, picking on Oden for missing those free throws marks one as a bully who has poor insight into the game of basketball. It hasn't been a pattern with him to be a bad foul shooter in the past, and there is no justification piling it on when he fully acknowledges that he needs to step up and make the charity buckets when the game is close in the final seconds.

Here's the problem as I see it - no big man that can score easy baskets underneath. Oden doesn't have the touch...Aldridge is soft and prefers to take jump shots. So, if the Blazers' shots drop, great. If not, they lose...like last night. And most importantly, it is hardly a formula that gets you far in the playoffs. Bottom line-tone your expectations WAY down Blazers fans.

They really need another story for C/PF as a back up and they could've stolen DaJuan Blair.

Oden will be what he is, Dennis Rodman without the tats and bad attitude, but don't expect scoring.

Usual Kevin, you are totally right. ANY player who missed a bucket last night is just as responsible for the loss as Oden, who just happened to miss at a more visible point in the game. I'm not a huge Oden fan yet, since he hasn't had a chance to do much yet, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I'm not willing to blame Oden for losing the game, but I would like to see him lose the "what do I want with this?" look he seems to display whenever he touches the ball.

I laughed at the Oregonian story saying how losing to Denver was going to haunt the team come playoff time -- which, being a mere 80 games away and all, is right around the corner.

But as I've been saying for years -- or at least since Tuesday -- "As Travis Outlaw goes, so go the Blazers."

Couple other points.

First, I was glad to see Jack mention this team's tendency to walk the ball up the court. That's a complete reflection of Nate's philosophy. The problem I have with it is that if you're the youngest team in the league, you should have the freshest legs and consistently be beating people up and down the court.

So we don't get many easy baskets. The argument for this, I suppose, is that you win in the playoffs by grinding it out.

Second, about Durant: We've already seen some signs this year that we may have more than enough guys who think of themselves as scorers. Miller needs the ball, Roy needs the ball, Aldridge expects to see the ball. Fernandez is a scorer. Put Durant in that mix, and there's about four shots per quarter left for everyone else.

Really hard game to watch last night ... even though it was the first Blazers game I got to watch in HD on the new TV. 35% shooting is definitely the biggest reflection of what killed us. An ugly win in the first game, and an ugly close loss in the second is not the way to start the season. Hopefully, the Blazers will buckle down. I love this team and desperately want them to succeed.

Bill Simmons of ESPN had something interesting to say about the Blazers in his NBA preview--he said that Nate was probably the right coach for the Blazers two years ago and even last year, but he's the wrong coach now. When players are young they'll accept a tough-talking micromanager like Nate, but as they (and their egos) become more mature, they'll start to tune him out. Simmons said that he was hearing rumors about this starting to happen with the Blazers, and the sloppy play in the first two games makes me wonder if that's true. I feel like Nate is a great coach to have around when you're rebuilding a roster with 20 year olds, but when those guys are 25 and ready to take it to the next level, he might not be the right match.

Huh? Is this (thread) all like, uh, serious, as in 'serious sports fans' I guess, or ...
I don't know what?

Blazers: fail. NBA: fail. There's no ware there.

Please stop making excuses for the first round first pick draft bust.... This is now the beginning of year 3 for those same excuses for Oden.... He should be in the D-League for some time....

The coaching of Oden has been incompetent since he got to Portland. He needs a specialist and Lucas is not it in this case. Greg doesn't have enough self-confidence (yet) -- it was plain to see when he was called for a foul on Nene at around the 4:50 mark, and more so as he was on the line for those foul shots.

What's Aldridge's excuse for missing one of his free-throws to tie the game seconds earlier? Plus he was 4-15 FGs & a minus 13 in 40 mins.

Portland beat themselves with persistently poor shot selection and consistently poor FGM (34.6%) performance -- again, lousy coaching, esp. in-game.


They lean too much on Roy.

Fernandez was a shining bright spot last night. He should start.

Usual Kevin is right on!

Denver won the game more than Portland lost it. Denver is a veteran team that has its act together a lot more than Portland, at least at this stage of the season. I don't think there's much that coaching can do about that--it's the personnel.

That said, couldn't Nate have ordered some double teams on Carmelo Anthony when he started going off in the 4th quarter? Nate does seem a bit tone deaf about the rhythm of the game. At this point, Rick Adelman would be an ideal coach for the team. In fact, giving Adelman the boot may have been the worst decision the Blazers ever made.

Selling the team to Paul Adams was doom. Adelman blew major several playoff series and finals games. The Blazers suffer from multiple chronic problems organizationally, and the team on the floor manifests those problems.

Er, Allen. Got my goofy Portland celebs mixed up, I guess.

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