Full Court Press

Fun announcement coming soon.  Check back at 11AM.

Leading off this week is Joe Freeman, who looks at Jerryd Bayless's style...

After one game early this season, a puzzled Diogu examined a decked-out Bayless, who was carrying a Louis Vuitton toiletry bag, and asked: "Are you gonna dress like that every game?"

"Yep," he replied. "Every game."

Freeman also has a look at the Blazers Playoff picture...

"We're more experienced; we've been through it," Roy said. "Last year at this time I was kind of like, 'Man, what are we doing? It's the All-Star break and I'm worn out.' I didn't really know how to bounce back fast enough. This year I know what to expect. And I still don't feel we've reached our full potential yet."

Totally agree with Brandon's self-assessment.  The team appears to have a lot more gas in the tank this year than last.  Which isn't saying all that much.

Dwight Jaynes speaks candidly about the Blazers' defense.

Portland slows the game down and thus doesn't allow as many points as other teams who run more. The key statistic when it comes to defense has always been field-goal percentage against. How well do teams shoot against you?

In this statistic the Blazers show themselves to be the worst defensive team among those good teams probably headed for the playoffs - and it isn't really close.

Casey has a slideshow of the Brandon Roy UW jersey retirement that I missed last week.

Brian Hendrickson does some great digging to find out a nugget about Brandon Roy's jersey number... click through for the conclusion.

When he was a standout at Seattle's Garfield High School, following on the heels of the successful career of his brother, Ed Roy, Brandon wore jersey No. 4 for the Bulldogs while Ed wore No. 3. Ed was an exceptional athlete who Brandon has often said had the potential to play at higher levels. In fact, many people who knew both boys in high school swear that Ed was the better athlete between the two. But troubles meeting the academic requirements to enter college -- partly due to a learning disability that Brandon also battled to get into college -- prevented Ed from advancing his career.

SJ at Rip City Project previews tonight's Clippers game...

You know your season probably isn't going the way you wanted it to when you're missing Mardy Collins and the only players on your bench are Steve Novak, Jason Hart and Cheick Samb. And that's not a joke. This Clipper team reminds me of a summer league team. Not even a good one. They might as well sign Bernard Robinson.(BUH-DUM-CHING)    

LoadedOrygun found this nugget from Kenny The Jet Smith.

NBA "expert" Kenny Smith looks at the 2-9 teams in the West in this video report, and projects the team who'll be looking in from the outside come playoff time...Portland? His view is that while several other teams have troubles right now, they'll get healthy/find their identity/discover their stars again and make the dance, but the Blazers are just too inconsistent. Oden is "still a year away from being a prime time player," which is probably true as far as it goes--but I think it vastly underestimates Oden's ability to impact games by the end of the season, even against more dominant bigs.

Still no respect, and I suppose until you've proven yourself it's rational to suggest that they might be the team to crumble. 

Greg Jayne at the Columbian has a look at the Blazers' attitude.

As Joel Przybilla said following the Cleveland loss: "If you have a reputation for something, you're going to get away with a lot of stuff."

No, this is not a question of being soft; it's a question of having a reputation for being soft.

And it is a question the Blazers must address.

Bustabucket.com has a great picture of a Blazer tattoo.  Totally sweet.  Do you have a Blazer tattoo?  Email me a picture of it.

Kelly Dwyer from Yahoo! disagrees with Nate McMillan, believes Kevin Durant should be an All Star.  

The stats, when you even things out per-minute, slightly favor Durant. And when you factor in the knowledge that Durant plays five more minutes a game, thus contributing at that level for longer than Anthony (just put that month off for Carmelo aside, even), Durant should get the nod.

I shouldn't have to explain this too much. Durant, averaging 24 and 6, is the guy. Somehow, even after all the hype that preceded his rookie year, he's become underrated.

I agree: KD > Melo.  

Here's Marc Stein's picks for the All Star reserves.  He's got Melo.

Here's a bunch of CNNSI writers picking the whole all star teams.

Steve Aschburner at CNNSI gives the Blazers a B for the first half of the season.

Greg Oden's slow development has been, let's be honest, one of the surprises of this season. The Blazers are still more parts than whole, and they ought to hand in some extra-credit work to make up for the Darius Miles misstep. LaMarcus Aldridge's rise has made up for some of the Oden frustration, but Portland might be waiting an extra year to take the step it envisioned. Grade: B    

Is it too early for a peek at mock drafts?  Here's one from Sean Deveney of Sporting News.

In other NBA news, Michael Redd is done for the year.  Click the link to read BrewHoop's reaction.

Power Rankings

  • Hollinger -- #9 (same as last week)
  • Stein -- #9 (same as last week)

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)

BallHype: hype it up!

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