Full Court Press

Here's what you might have missed on Blazersedge this weekend...


If flexing your muscles on behalf of this site is something you're interested in, why don't you head over to Basketball Fiend and cast a vote in their Best Individual Team Blog contest? Shut it down.

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Prep Basketball Plugs

The good folks at Courtside Entertainment put on a nice tournament out at Concordia this weekend, bringing together some of the west coast's best high school basketball teams, including Federal Way (incredibly impressive and balanced squad), Long Beach Poly (well-coached, great prospects) and Portland's own Jefferson High (A one man show on Saturday).  Tim Brown has some solid video highlights from the tournament's headlining game, Jefferson versus Long Beach Poly. Jeff's Terrence Jones -- the #1 player in the state and a top 10 recruit in the Class of 2010 -- scored 30 of his team's 52 points in a losing effort.  

The tournament was the perfect prelude to next week's Les Schwab Invitational, which features Oak Hill, Westchester and a number of other national powers.  The LSI runs from Saturday to Wednesday next week. I'll see you out there.
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Back to the Blazers. Here's the stat of the week, courtesy of Blazers PR man Collin Romer
Roy last week: 28.3 ppg, 5.3 reb, 5.8 ast, 1.0 steal and Blazers go 3-1 despite injuries
Click through to go around the internet.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

Brother Wendell Maxey quotes Nate McMillan on playing with pain...

"That's the main reason I retired, because you are taking things to relieve the pain. You are taking medication and painkillers to relieve your pain and I didn't want to do that anymore. It was just too painful to train and your days off, you couldn't do anything. I started taking a lot of things to relieve the pain and a lot of players do."

Dwight Jaynes writes...

The Rockets survive night after night with solid defense and a disciplined offense that moves the ball and moves bodies. There's nothing magical about it - it's just the concept of players accepting the responsibility of looking for each other and of doing the things that allow themselves and others to get open.

It's better, long term, than that old "live by the three, die by the three" stuff that the Blazers have been using for the last few seasons. And until Portland figures out a way to scrounge a few more points in the paint - either by offensive rebounds, fast breaks or post play - it's going to be an up-and-down season.

More Dwight Jaynes...
Aldridge isn't going to foul out. He doesn't play with enough intensity to foul out.     
Tim Potvak of NBA Fanhouse looks at Anthony Tolliver...
Tolliver could have been making considerably more money if he taken that offer to play in China, or returned to the Turkish Basketball League, where he played for a part of last season.

Instead he went to Boise, Idaho to play with the D-League's Idaho Stampede. 

"If I had gone overseas to play, no way would I be here today,'' said Tolliver in the Blazers locker room before he dressed for the game against the Magic. "You go overseas, and it's too easy to get lost in the shuffle. The D-League is a great tool for a guy who thinks he's close to cracking the NBA. Every single guy now in that league is hoping and praying for an opportunity like this.''    
Joe Freeman with a great quote...
Roy was magnificent in the fourth -- and, really, all night -- as he scored 11 points during the final 4:28. The highlight basket came with 28.7 seconds left when he gathered a pass from Andre Miller at the top of the key, hesitated, and swished a high-arcing three-pointer in Wade's face as the shot clock approached zero. The play drew gasps from the Blazers and frustration from the Heat (13-12). 

"I know for a fact that the last three he hit, D. Wade was in his face," Heat forward Michael Beasley said. "I'm talking about being centimeters away from the ball. And it just dropped. There is not much you can do about those."     
Howard Beck of the New York Times notes...
Nate McMillan, the Trail Blazers' head coach, consulted with Czeisler last year, before wiping out all shoot-arounds and morning practices. At Czeisler's recommendation, McMillan took the effort further. He gave his players permission to stay out until 2 a.m. on the road, to keep their body clocks on Portland time.
 Coup from Rip City Project writes...

I'm more interested in seeing what Aldridge does as a follow up to the follow up of a crappy game than I am in praising him for scoring 23 points on 23 shots. So sue me.

If you can get 15 points on 3-of-6 shooting from downtown out of Webster for every night the rest of the season, that's a success. Throw in his five boards and in the future a few more defensive stats and you have yourself a starting small forward. I am starting to wonder whether McMillan just lacks trust in Webster's defense, or if Roy is asking for the tougher defensive assignments.

Sheed from BustaBucket.com tees off...

Steve Blake is just not right for this team anymore. He's sort of like the guy who doesn't know when to leave or the friend who's worn out his/her welcome. It's not even his fault, it's really Nate McMillan's fault. But the fact is, it's time for this team to graduate into the new NBA. Teams are drafting dynamic, game changing point guards. Guards who can create and draw fouls are excelling in this league.

Right now, it is so ridiculously obvious to me that Andre Miller should start, and Jerryd Bayless should come off the bench. There are no minutes for Blake in my world.

Mike Barrett writes...
Everything that was missing came back in this game. LaMarcus Aldridge was aggressive, and got the team off to a fast start. He finished with 23 points and 8 rebounds. Martell Webster hit three three-pointers, and ended with 15 points. And, Andre Miller, who was the hot Blazer during the big third-quarter run, finished with 17 points.    
Brian T. Smith on Jerryd Bayless...

Bayless' game is predicated on scrappy, energetic play. And McMillan has often turned to Bayless in the past when he wanted to shake up his rotation, or felt his team was going through the motions.

But Bayless used his downtime wisely, and his assets have multiplied. He can now pop out, pull up and sink jump shots, as well as knock down long-range 3-pointers. And while his ability to burn opposing defenders off the dribble and finish near the basket is still his strongest asset, Bayless' still-evolving game is giving the Blazers the best of both worlds: Miller's penetration skills and Blake's soft touch, all wrapped up in a 21-year-old guard who has suddenly gone from trade bait to possibly untradeable.

David Aldridge gives out his decade awards..
Assist of the Decade

April 25, 2003
BY: Mo Cheeks, Coach, Portland

I was covering the Mavericks-Blazers first-round series when 13-year-old Miss Gilbert, in a beautiful black and white dress, came out to sing the national anthem. Unfortunately, about 20 seconds in, it became excruiciatingly clear that she had either lost her place, or forgotten the words. (It's a tough song.) She started looking around, and all of us at the Rose Garden thought the same thing: poor kid. Which is when Cheeks walked over from the Portland bench, put his arm around her and started singing, a little off-key, but got her back on track. By the end, we were all singing, a little teary-eyed.

Seth Johnston of BustaBucket.com recuperates...

I have a hard time ignoring problems just because they have been nudged down the timeline a little. If anything that makes it worse. The problems just hang there, some dark mass of energy in the background, waiting for the right time. We came so close to actually having to sort things out. We nearly got to see if this roster will work as is or if hard decisions should be made. The team may have been losing, but in the grand scheme of things it still felt like the franchise was moving forward. Now? Not so much. That is why Oden going down really, really sucked.

At least I can bring myself to watch the games again.

Quick Hits
Power Rankings
Drop anything I missed in the comments. And, please, frequent the Fanshots.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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