Your daily (Mon-Fri) roundup of links from around the blogosphere, typically Trail Blazers related.
Still. Not. Goaltending.
Portland (23-26) takes on the Oklahoma City Thunder (37-12) tonight in the Rose Garden.
- Oregonian sports preview for tonight’s contest between the Blazers and Thunder.
- Joe Freeman at the O knows there will be a new starting point guard tonight with Raymond Felton out, but who will it be?
- The Oregonian’s Mike Tokito reports about the “player-development guru” Tim Grgurich stopped by at a Blazer practice over the weekend.
- Nic Batum is still haunted by his late game blunder in the previous match up against the Thunder, according to The Columbian’s Matt Calkins.
- Ben Golliver over at BlazersEdge has his practice notes from Monday’s Blazer practice. Felton won’t be playing tonight due to family reasons.
- Are the Blazers tanking? Kevin Felton at basketballprospectus.com takes a closer look at the art of tanking.
As important to this definition is what it does not include. Trading away veteran players for young ones is not necessarily tanking. That accusation was lobbed in the direction of the Portland Trail Blazers after this year’s trade deadline, when the Blazers sent away starters Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace in exchange for draft picks, injured players and little-used former 2009 lottery picks.
Portland’s acting general manager, Chad Buchanan, made clear in his comments after the trades that the Blazers still hoped to make the playoffs. While that prospect may seem unlikely with this roster, keep in mind the previous group lost three of its last four games together by at least 17 points, which can hardly be described as a playoff push. Indeed, if Portland is tanking, somebody forgot to tell interim head coach Kaleb Canales and his players, who went on to defeat the Chicago Bulls in Canales’ debut on the sidelines and have gone 3-3 since the moves.
- Patty Mills is free! … and has signed with the San Antonio Spurs.
Thoughts, ideas and challenges to 1-on-1 games, are happily accepted in the comments section.