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Doing Lines: Bizzaro Night in the East

by January 5, 2009 @ 8:38 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 5th 2009 8:38AM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Clippers, Knicks, Trail Blazers, NBA Last Night

Rule: if you drop 30 points on Boston, you get special consideration for Doing Lines. Welcome to the club, Wilson Chandler. The spiritual guide to D'Antoni Ball in the Big Apple dropped 31 points on 19 FGAs, and added eight rebounds and no turnovers. The hardest things to do against Boston: shoot efficiently and protect the ball. You're a man, Mr. Chandler. (Al Harrington also dropped 30.)

Nicolas Batum has been cold as a starter in Portland, but Sunday's loss to the Lakers featured a break-out of sorts: matched up against clone Trevor Ariza, Batum had 17 points on perfect 6-6 shooting, along with five rebounds, four assists and no turnovers. Batum's starting because of his defense and his willingness to stand in the corner and hoist up open threes. It's a boon when he can make those shots.

(20 rebounds, averaging 21/game over last four)Maybe soon they'll replace Camby's cousin as the rebound arbiter. Seems a little unfair.

Would David Lee Make Sense in Portland?

by January 4, 2009 @ 4:45 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 4th 2009 4:45PM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Knicks, Trail Blazers, NBA RumorsVia P&T, reputable Tommy Dee of The Knicks Blog cites sources reporting that Portland is after New York forward David Lee. This isn't a particular surprise as every team in the league (including the Knicks) loves Lee. The last rumor had New York refusing Denver's offer of Chucky Atkins (expiring contract, decent back-up PG on a trigger-happy team) and two first-round picks for Lee. Two picks, even in the 20s ... that's a big of a haul, no? Given that reported rejection, actual players would need to be involved from Portland's side.

Dee mentions Jerryd Bayless and Sergio Rodriguez, either of which could fit in to New York's program. Better, the trade of either secures the back-up point guard position for the other, and that can't hurt in terms of confidence. (It's like Harry Potter's prophecy, or something.)

The concern with Lee for Portland would be this: isn't he superfluous? The Blazers have little trouble on the glass and have a surprisingly efficient offense. Lee's strengths are ... rebounding and efficient scoring. Portland needs help on swing defense and bench shot creation. That's not Lee. At all.

Further, doesn't Portland have enough offseason salary issues piling up without the quixotic restricted free agency of Lee mucking things up? Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge are eligible for extensions; Ike Diogu and Channing Frye will be restricted free agents and the Blazers have some cap space available, depending on the Darius Miles situation. Since the Blazers must give up something to get Lee, the team won't want to let him slip for nothing. I don't mean to question Kevin Pritchard's ability to get things done, but it seems like an added trouble with little real benefit for this particular team.

Brandon Roy Out 7-10 Days

by January 3, 2009 @ 7:55 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 3rd 2009 7:55PM by Matt Moore (author feed)
Filed under: Trail Blazers, NBA InjuriesOkay, good news, bad news, Blazers fans.

Good news: An MRI showed "no significant changes" to the knee of Brandon Roy which has sidelined him recently. So you can go ahead and exhale into the bag.

Bad news: He's out 7-10 days, according to an official team release via Blazer's Edge. That would of course include Sunday's game versus the Lakers.

The upside is that after L.A. and Detroit, the schedule isn't brutal for the Blazers during that time. They've got a series of middle-of-the-pack easter teams on a four game road trip with a game against struggling Golden State next Saturday. They also only have five games max in that time.

It's possible this could end up being a good thing for the Blazers. They desperately need someone on their team, perhaps Rudy Fernandez as BE suggested, to step up and provide some support. More and more close games have become the Roy Show and the Blazers will need more come April.

Yeah, that's just me trying to put a positive spin on the fact that the Blazers have lost their best player for a week with a wonky knee, and they haven't exactly shined without him, especially after getting blistered by the Hornets post-Tyson-Chandler ejection the other night.

Buck up, little Blazers!

Friday's NBA Guide: Hornets-Blazers, Jazz-Lakers and Miami's Potentially Awesome Week

by January 2, 2009 @ 12:30 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 2nd 2009 12:30PM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Hornets, Jazz, Lakers, Trail Blazers

Every team in the league plays tonight after the NBA took New Year's Day off. But it's a League Pass party with ESPN ditching its typical Friday double-header for more college football.

New Orleans at Portland, 10PM EST

The Blazers feel feisty after knocking off the Champs earlier this week, while the Hornets need to make up some ground on the Lakers to contend with L.A. for the Western top seed. It doesn't hurt that this is a nice little match-up between teams with similar offensive goals.
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Tuesday's NBA Guide: Happy LeBron Day!

by December 30, 2008 @ 12:45 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 30th 2008 12:45PM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Cavaliers, Celtics, Heat, Trail Blazers

I have little doubt my friends in the District of Columbia and Motor City have the birthday cakes and noisemakers ready for NBA TV's 24-hour celebration of The Chosen One, LeBron James. Check here for the LeBron Day programming schedule, which leads up to ...

Cleveland at Miami, 7:30PM EST, NBA TV

Home-and-homes might be the best scheduling quirk, and (given the right teams) carry a sort of playoff-type mood. The Portland-Denver home-and-home last week added some flavor, and this Cavs-Heat match could do the same. Of course, Dwyane Wade and LeBron are good friends; this isn't a rivalry with any off-court smoke. But Wade almost caught LeBron on Sunday, and given the type of competitors we know Wade to be you'd imagine he'd love to make a statement by upsetting The King on his special day.Continue Reading

Greg Oden's Fragile Psyche Might Be Hindering the Blazers

by December 29, 2008 @ 2:15 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 29th 2008 2:15PM by Brett Pollakoff (author feed)
Filed under: Trail Blazers, NBA Media WatchAt the beginning of a weekend column in , John Canzano tells the tale of Greg Oden occasionally isolating himself from teammates in the back of the plane, which is something he used to do to stretch out his injured leg on long flights. The problem? He's healthy now, so it appears to be more of a reclusive move by last year's top draft pick than it is anything else.

The point of the column is to point out that Joel Przybilla should be in the starting lineup and that Oden should be coming off the bench. But Oden's intitially gregarious personality has seemingly disappeared, and the fact that he's become more withdrawn seems to have the franchise afraid to pull the trigger on that decision. Canzano points out that at the moment, they're treating Oden with kid gloves, to the detriment of the franchise.Continue Reading

NBA Essentials: Bonzi Conquers China, AK-47 Conquers Azeroth

by @ 1:45 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 29th 2008 1:45PM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Celtics, Jazz, Nets, Trail BlazersFormer NBA bad boy Bonzi Wells scored as he continued his spectacular start in Chinese basketball's top league, leading Shanxi Zhongyu to an overtime victory." - AFP, via You Been Blinded.

"[Channing Frye's] primary World of Warcraft character is -- though he maintains he's not as serious about the game as Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko, who has a '.'" -- Williamette Week, via TH.

Bob Cousy: "This [parade] thing, as I said I had no idea what to expect, I have never seen anything like it. There had to have been a million-and-a-quarter people on a Thursday morning throughout that whole route! They were hanging from the trees and the poles." -- Hoops Addict.

"Once an energetic spark off New Jersey's bench, [Sean] Williams may need MapQuest to ." -- Hoopsworld.

Chris Paul's little things, a new Carnival of the NBA, and Mark Cuban's insane idea to take over sports pages everywhere.

Slam Dunk Contest Field Set ... Almost

by December 26, 2008 @ 11:25 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 26th 2008 11:25AM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Bucks, Grizzlies, Knicks, Magic, Mavericks, Trail Blazers, NBA All-Star Game, ThunderThree-quarters of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest field has been set, and the confirmed are familiar faces: reigning champ Dwight Howard, former champ Nate Robinson and underwhelming 2008 competitor Rudy Gay. For the fourth slot, the league is holding a fan vote between three rookies: Joe Alexander, Russell Westbrook and Rudy Fernandez. There is no way Rudy loses this, between his rabid Portland base and the legions of devoted Spanish fans who will pump the vote. And while Joe was born with moon shoes on and Westbrook could be the best point guard dunker in a decade, I'm not mad at a Rudy candidacy. Howard, I suspect, might be.

It may be surprising that Gerald Green isn't involved, given that he is a living champion and possibly deserved more consideration for last season's Birthday Cake dunk. Like others before him, though, Green has separated himself from Dunk Contest immortality."I don't want to do it," Green said. "They can keep it."Sorry G. You can't quit the dunk contest ... the dunk contest quits you. (Unless you are Gerald Wallace.)

Guide to NBA Christmas: Come All Ye Faithful

by December 25, 2008 @ 9:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 25th 2008 9:00AM by Tom Ziller (author feed)
Filed under: Cavaliers, Celtics, Hornets, Lakers, Magic, Mavericks, Spurs, Suns, Trail Blazers, Wizards

Guess what will be dominating TVs all across America on Christmas Day? OK ... guess what non-, non-Yule log programming will be dominating TVs across American on Christmas? Pro basketball. As you might have heard, the networks have five nationally televised games today.

Everyone's been patiently awaiting this match-up since June, when the Celtics danced all over the Lakers' hearts in a Game 6 pounding to win the championship. It also doesn't hurt that Boston has run off to a remarkable 27-2 start -- that's a NCAA win-loss record, not an NBA one -- and that the Lakers are clearly the class of the West.

It could be argued that the have been looking forward to this game a little too much: with two losses in Florida and a close class in Tennessee over the past week, L.A. has been limping a bit. Of course, the team still has the league's No. 3 offense and No. 4 defense on paper. Twenty-seven teams would kill for L.A.'s record.
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Kobe, LeBron, Nash, Roy and Paul Pierce All Prepare to Drop New Kicks on Christmas Day

by December 23, 2008 @ 2:30 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 23rd 2008 2:30PM by Will Brinson (author feed)
Filed under: Bobcats, Cavaliers, Celtics, Lakers, Suns, Trail Blazers, NBA Fans, NBA Gossip, NBA Media Watch
The NBA on Christmas Day is a tradition at my house. (Well, I like to watch it -- the rest of my family either shoots guns or goes to the movies.) And as a result, I'm highly intrigued by the various storylines that emerge for each of the games that are set to go down.

And this year, there's a spicy little twist to the storylines: tons and tons of new shoes. Well, five pairs to be exact, but they're coming from the game's biggest stars. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Brandon Roy and Steve Nash will all drop new kicks on the public come Christmas Day. And since the folks at Nike.com have been kind enough to share them with us (and a sick new Kobe commercial) we're going to do the same with you.

LeBron's, featured above, are the "Zoom LeBron VI (Chalk Edition)":

"In keeping what has become a tradition in the Zoom LeBron series, the Cleveland Cavaliers star will unveil yet another special Zoom LeBron VI on Christmas Day. This year, LeBron will break out the "Chalk" edition of his signature sneaker when he takes the court on Christmas Day. The Zoom LeBronVI "Chalk" shoe takes its inspiration from LeBron's pregame ritual of tossing talcum chalk in the air before each game. The tongue of the shoe features a silhouette of LeBron tossing chalk in the air. The shoes' colors matches the Cavs alternate blue uniforms. A limited number of the Zoom LeBron VI "Chalk" shoe will be sold at the Quicken Loans Arena on Christmas Day."

More kicks and information after the jump.Continue Reading

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