Joe was guest hosting with Jay Allen this afternoon. The podcast is Sept 21, hour 3, first segment. Here are some highlights. On Oden "...after going through last year's playoffs with so many guys down and injured...that's a time of year when we really need all of our bodies...people want Greg to be ready at the start of the season...looking long term, we need everyone healthy, clicking together, come March, April into May. If we can get Greg to play 60-65 games this year and continue the development curve he was on before he got injured last year, I think we'll have a chance to have some success in the playoffs, this season." On Rudy "We signed Wes Matthews...Rudy brings us a dimension of shooting that every team needs, you get into the playoffs you gotta have guys to spread the floor, he's a very important part of our success. We need him in the right mindset, we see him as an integral part of what we've done the last couple of years, and we hope he wants to be a part of that going forward. He's come to the realization that the season is about to start, and guys like that, they want to play. I think he's beginning to feel a sense that "I need to get back in the right mindset, I'm going to be in Portland, I need to come and give it my best" and I think that's where he's at, right now." The rookies "I see progress from each guy. Luke has been a different player than we saw in Vegas, he's been much more assertive, more aggressive, you can see his confidence growing every day, I think he's going to be a guy who can fill a Travis Outlaw-like role for us, he's gonna score the ball in a lot of different ways. I think he has a chance to contribute for us as a rookie." "Elliot Williams does some spectacular things athletically. Teaching him to play point or off the ball is going to be crucial for his development...long term he has as much upside as any player on our roster...because of his hunger, his competitiveness. He's a great on-ball defender, a very aggressive attacking guard. I'm really excited about his future." "Armon has been solid here this fall. He's starting to get to know his other teammates, now...it's tough for a rookie to come in and contribute to a playoff team, so these guys have their work cut out for them. I like all 3 of these guys long term." Excited about getting the season started? "Lot's of people have overlooked us...that's a motivation for our guys...people are talking about other teams but they don't mention us. That's the role that we like, it shows that people aren't respecting this team, and I think our guys will play with a chip on their shoulders this year because of it."