Your daily (Mon-Fri) roundup of links from around the blogosphere, typically Trail Blazers related.
It’s the only consolation for an otherwise damning season for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Last night’s youthful point guard exhibition left fans feeling indifferent. Nolan Smith started his first game as a pro and finished looking like an amateur, shooting 1-9 for three points and recording three assists during a career-high 26 minutes. Fellow backcourt newcomer Jonny Flynn finished with 10 points and five assists. Throughout the game both were exposed on defense numerous times.
All-NBA guard Russell Westbrook, unsurprisingly, feasted on the young bucks on his way to 32 points and eight assists, while leading his Thunder to a 109-95 victory.
Although the victories aren’t coming easily during a slummy season for the Blazers, hope is being reinstated with news that the decrepit vacancy of general manager may be changing sooner than later.
Team President Larry Miller announced the Blazers have reopened their quest to find the next Kevin Pritchard. Viable candidates include Steve Kerr, known most for making Steve Nash’s Suns relavant, and Danny Ainge, the craftsman that orchestrated moves to bring two Hall-of-Famers to Boston.
Let’s hear your thoughts on the Blazers youngsters’ play and the GM search below in the comments section.
- Jason Quick at the Oregonian has details on the GM search.
- Westbrook and Kevin Durant did their thing against the Blazers last night, but J.J. Hickson and Flynn had decent games. Joe Freeman at the O took a closer look at the newbies.
- Nolan Smith made his first career start last night. Even more peculiar, it came against the coach he’s had a personal tie to since infancy, according to Mike Tokito at the O.
The association came through the relationship Brooks built with Smith’s late father, Derek Smith. When Brooks was an undrafted rookie with the 76ers in 1988, he joined a team that included Derek Smith, who was in his seventh NBA season and had a young son named Nolan. Derek Smith and Brooks became close friends.
- In John Rohde’s recap in the Oklahoman, he points out how the Thunder didn’t need to play team ball on offense to come away with last night’s victory.
The Thunder had 14 assists in the first half, but just two assists after intermission, yet still won handily thanks to driving the basketball and defense that frequently resulted in easy baskets.
- If you haven’t seen Alexis Harper’s take on last night’s game, check it out.
- Also, get the other side of the story from Truehoop Network affiliate’s Patrick Young at Dailythunder.com.
Thoughts, ideas and challenges to 1-on-1 games, are happily accepted in the comments section.