Full Court Press

Kevin Pelton put together a nice piece on the state of APBRMetrics.

  • Can we boil a basketball player's value down to a single number?
  • What better describes a player's value: his individual statistics or plus-minus data describing his impact on the team?

If you would have told me five years ago that neither question would yet be answered to anyone's satisfaction, I would have been disappointed and somewhat surprised.

Like I said yesterday, the Oregonian has been on a Blazers tear recently...

Jason Quick with a must-read look behind Blazers Broadcasting...

And much like the Blazers in the game against the 76ers, the broadcasting team will be faced with intense, split-second decisions that will determine success or failure. It's part of the building tension in the truck as tipoff nears: Will Blazers Broadcasting be on its game? Or will the inevitable turnovers sneak into the broadcast?

More Jason Quick on team unity....

Maybe it sounds corny. But it's real. I've listened to Frye vent about his nearly forgotten season. I've talked with Bayless as he has slipped in and out of the rotation. I've seen Travis Outlaw's shoulders shrug without a care when rookie Nic Batum became the starting small forward. And I've watched as McMillan has twice told Joel Przybilla that although he is playing just as well as, if not better than, Greg Oden, the rookie was going to start.

Never -- not once -- did any of the players come even close to griping or moaning.

Even more Jason Quick on Sergio.... 

Rodriguez has been very diplomatic handling his latest yo-yo in and out of the rotation. Truth be told, he probably deserved to lose his backup role on that road swing. And truth be told, he probably deserved to get it back after Jerryd Bayless did nothing with the opportunity.

Yet more Jason Quick on Greg Oden... 

McMillan's revelation that Oden will "probably" end up as the starter for the playoffs came unprompted. We were talking about how this team has done a good job accepting roles and refraining from drama.

John Canzano on Travis Outlaw...

He got hazed, too. Mostly friendly stuff. Carrying luggage on trips, paying the bill at the end of a meal and living with the threat of getting tossed into the cold whirlpool at any given moment. And a few times after shootarounds, Wallace punted a bunch of basketballs into the 200-level at the Rose Garden and made the rookies retrieve them.

Joe Freeman on Brandon Roy and a Jefferson High recreational room dedication... 

"I just think it's a shame that we just put 30 kids in a classroom and you assume they all are equal, that you give them a book and tell them to read and they can do it," Roy said. "Hopefully I can be a spokesperson for this. It's happening everywhere in the country."

More Joe Freeman with some short Qs and As for the Blazers.

We are ridiculously spoiled as readers.

Dwight Jaynes says the ideal playoff opponent for the Blazers is the Houston Rockets.  

I briefly answered some questions on that potential matchup for The Dream Shake, SB Nation's Rockets blog.

Brian Hendrickson talks beards...

It has been more than a month since Roy and starting point guard Steve Blake agreed to forego shaving until the postseason became a certainty.

Roy's fiancée, Tiana Bardwell, and Blake's wife, Kristen, have mildly protested the pact.     

Brian Hendrickson on Rudy...

"Every game for me is new," Fernandez said, "because 73 games in Europe is not normal."

Far from it, actually. Fernandez's team in Spain - DKV Joventut Badalona - played only one game per week, and his longest season in the Spanish ACB League lasted only 34 games - comparable to a college team that reaches the Final Four. By comparison, Portland has already played four games in a single week nine times this season, and will do it once more.    

Bustabucket.com took a nice look at the 2008 NBA Draft and what would happen if the draft was done over knowing what we know now.

SJ from Rip City Project with a thorough rundown of the worst Blazers losses of the season.

Power Rankings

Have more links? Drop them in the comments.

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