Your daily (Mon-Fri) roundup of links from around the blogosphere, typically Trail Blazers related.
• Dwight Jaynes wants to see Batum and Webster in the starting lineup while Roy is out. He’ll get his wish tonight.
• Marc J. Spears from Yahoo! Sports has a great article talking about James, Wade, and Bosh in light of the last three huge free agents Duncan, Hill, and McGrady. Interestingly enough, the superstar who stayed is the one who won titles.
• Neil Paine of Basketball Reference contemplates the hired gun superstar. I think the closest we’ve come to a “hired gun superstar” is Shaq. Non-superstar, you have to give that award to Robert Horry.
I would have never guessed this day would come so soon. The Portland Trail Blazers take on the Oklahoma City Thunder…and the Thunder have a better record. Pretty disappointing but let’s put it in perspective. OKC is at full strength with Durant playing at an extremely high level. The Blazers are missing multiple key components and are trying to stay afloat.
• The Oregonian’s Geoffrey C. Arnold says to expect playoff-like intensity tonight.
“Petteri will play in the NBA next season, whether in Portland or not.”
• NBA Playbook breaks down a couple great plays from the Spurs/ Lakers game. Now, the part I find relevant to Portland is the first play, the Parker/McDyess pick and roll. When you have a guard that can penetrate and a big who can shoot, it makes it very hard on the help defense. Imagine Oden/Przybilla setting the pick—a la’ McDyess—and Aldridge/Outlaw playing the role of Duncan. With the shooting ability of Portland’s power forwards, it forces the help defenders to stick close, almost all the way to the corner three point line. This spacing allows the guards more room to operate. It is my belief that Pritchard and MacMillan have shown a clear preference for power forwards who can shoot the ball to help take the pressure off Portland’s guards. Keep this in mind as the team heads toward the trade deadline and later on, the draft.
• LaMarcus Aldridge was on Jim Rome. Casey Holdahl has the video.
• I’d like to personally welcome Bill Ryan to the PRS. As a Blazer fan in exile myself, I appreciate his article.
• As I’m sure you’ve heard, the League has sent a proposal regarding the 2011 CBA negotiations to the players association. However, you haven’t heard a whole lot about it from us here at Portland Roundball Society. The reason for that is there really isn’t much to say, the owners put forth an offer that was, in the words of Adonal Foyle “ludicrous.” This proposal will obviously not be the final incarnation of the CBA, this is just the first offer. Right now, this far away from the deadline, the league has no incentive to do anything other than ask for the moon. Think of it like a game of “chicken” where both cars are at the starting marks. Right now all that is happening is both drivers are revving their engines in the hopes of intimidating the other driver. As far apart as the two cars are, neither driver has any incentive to swerve or to tap the brakes. As we get closer to the deadline, there may indeed be much more swerving and screeching of tires, or at least we all hope so, because in negotiations of this nature, as in the game in real life, nobody wins when the cars collide.