Your daily (Mon-Fri) roundup of links from around the blogosphere, typically Trail Blazers related.
• Following last night’s thrilling 105-100 win, Mike Barrett said it best:
The Suns, who closed the season winning 14 of their final 16, and 28 of their final 35, were listed as a huge favorite in this opening round series. They would have been a favorite even if Portland would have had it’s leading scorer, Brandon Roy, in the lineup. Without him? Forget about it. Right?
Andre Miller, Jerryd Bayless, Marcus Camby, and company, clearly don’t give a damn what anyone else has assumed.
• Wendell Maxey liked what he saw from Jerryd Bayless
Right now though, you have to believe Bayless has worked his way back into McMillan’s good graces after that performance in Game 2. And boy has he fallen out of the offensive favor the past month. In fact, there were times in the game where Bayless certainly looked out of rhythm in Game 1. We’ve seen that a lot lately. But once he found his groove, Bayless stayed there.
• Geoffrey C. Arnold of The Oregonian talks adjustments.
• Speaking of adjustments, Henry Abbott over at the TrueHoop Motherblog thinks that Louis Amundson’s pony tail needs more playing time.
• Kevin Pelton says The Suns may want to reconsider starting Jarron Collins.
• ESPN’s own John Hollinger thinks Portland just might have what it takes to steal this series from Phoenix.
• Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports that Bayless stole the spotlight from a listless Rudy Fernandez.
“I knew during the playoffs I had to be more aggressive,” Bayless said. “The last couple of weeks … I’ve been trying to get more people involved. With Brandon being out, obviously, I have to be more aggressive. I’m going to keep playing the way I play and hopefully everything keeps going well.”
• Bob Young of The Arizona Republic reports that Bayless took it to the Suns in front of his home town crowd. Point guard, shooting guard, combo guard; it doesn’t matter. Bayless is tough and he can play ball. If he gets that outside jumper fixed, I see no reason Bayless couldn’t at least be Leandro Barbosa.
• Nicolas Batum is getting some love from Luke Byrnes over at HoopsWorld. Add that to the praise heaped on Batum from the TNT announcers and it seems that Batum’s national profile is rising. Hopefully, he will gain that reputation as a great defender and maybe get the benefit of a doubt on a whistle or two. Or perhaps become the token French citizen loved by Americans. See you later, Gérard Depardieu.
• Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic says if Portland vs. Phoenix wasn’t an intriguing matchup before, it is now.
• Coup from Rip City Project says that Portland won the game in a sustainable fashion. It’s a really good point, if Portland had won the game by getting super-hot from three point land or by Juwan Howard dropping 40 on Phoenix, I’d think the Blazers were lucky. However, by playing in the paint, getting to the line, and abusing Nash on defense, Portland showed that they can win on the merits.
• TrueHoop Network sister site Valley of the Suns discuss the impact of Marcus “The Amare Stopper” Camby. That is a better nickname than Marcus “The Dunk Misser” Camby.
• Dave Deckard from BlazersEdge is NOT happy with the TNT broadcast. Man, cutting out Dos Equis? That’s a bit far…
• Via The Onion, All sports to cease so Skip Bayless has nothing to talk about.
• Portland lost draft order tiebreakers and fell from the (potential) 19th pick to the 22nd. That’s cool. John Wall is going to drop to 22nd, right?