FanPost

45. Strong Finish: The View from Indianapolis

Snips and clips from the Pacers camp, plus:

Timlogo-be_medium

  • How Do Bumblebees Fly? : Blazer Wins Examined
  • Two Rumors I Actually Like  (KP, Anthony Randolph)
  • Haiku Game Review
  • Fried Rice
  • Blazers/Pacers Recap
  • Popcorn Machine

 

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(1)

Medication Needed

posted by Tom Lewis to Indy Cornrows gameday open thread

Sheesh. Pacers were up 7 when I went on an emergency run to the 24 hr pharmacy.

 


Hope you bought some extra headache medicine

posted by Nathan S. to Indy Cornrows gameday open thread

 

(2)

Pacers Lacking Close-Out Consistency  [Prescient Pregame Report]

by Mike Wells, Indianapolis Star

The Indiana Pacers have shown they can play a solid 24 minutes of basketball. They've also shown they can do it for 36 and even 40 minutes.

The problem they have is finishing the job.

And that's played a significant role in their 16-23 record this season.

The Pacers have led in the fourth quarter or overtime in 10 of those 23 losses.

They will try to avoid that happening for the 11th time this season when they play the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. * * *

 

(3)

O'Brien Going Bye-Bye

posted by Foul on Smits to Pacers Digest message board

I'm going to be stunned if O'Brien is the coach when Indy gets back from this trip. No way they beat Denver right now. 5 straight losses and a date with Orlando.

If this guy is coach, then he must have nudes of Larry Bird stored away some where.

 

(4)

Nate McMillan Shouldn't Be Going Bye-Bye

posted by graphic-er to Pacers Digest message board

Well the Blazers are on a 5 game winning streak despite losing 3 starters for the season. That is a remarkable coaching job he is putting together.

We were up by 16 points and they came back on us exploiting our weaknesses. That the sign of a great coach. His contract is up just like JOB's, and there was talk that he was on the hot seat as well.

I don't see how. Blazers should be extending him.

 

(5)

Losing Sucks!

posted by Christian Dudley to Pacers Digest message board

Absolutely nothing to say except more of the same... 4th quarter collapse (starts late in the 3rd quarter) and leads to a loss. Terrible coach who needs to be removed from the team.

I don't know why our Front Office won't grow a pair and do something about this. We have been in GREAT position to FINALLY make the playoffs and now everything is spiraling out of control with no end in sight. How can the Front Office not even care about making a change--we've seen this for several seasons already.

Before too long, any decent talent we have will all want out of Indianapolis, and then that will affect on who we can even get in here even if we have all the money in the world.

Losing sucks!!!!!!!!!!

 

(6)

Terrible!

poseted by jcodbf2 to RealGM Pacers message board

I am sooo tried of the Granger isolation play.. he CANT dribble so its nearly impossible for him to get into the lane.

Thought the defense was good for the most part tonight.. Was especially happy with Tyler because I think his man only had 2 points tonight and hardly any rebounds too,

Both Foster and Hans got hit with 3 bogus fouls each. Seemed like the refs had them in their sights.

 

(7)

Portland Trail Blazers 97, Indiana Pacers 92: Aldridge, Batum Take Advantage Of Another 4th Quarter Fade By Pacers

by Tom Lewis, Indy Cornrows (SBN)

For the third game in a row, the Indiana Pacers let a fourth-quarter lead slip away as the Portland Trail Blazers took advantage of the Pacers' miscues to secure a 97-92 win.

Just another discouraging loss on this road trip which mercifully ends tomorrow night in Denver. Although, don't expect much mercy from the Nuggs as I'm sure they've seen enough replays of the 144 they gave up in Indy to be suitably motivated.

The Pacers should be motivated too after dropping their fourth straight game thanks to a flurry of second half turnovers (13 of the 19 for the game) that breathed life into the Blazers. Portland scored 21 points off of the turnovers and caught fire from behind the arc in the second half as Nicolas Batum and Rudy Fernandez were repeatedly left open to knock down shots.

The NBA game is 48 minutes for a reason. It is a perfect amount of time test both teams and determine who deserves to win. * * *

The Blazers were ripe to be beaten tonight. Along with their current list of injured players including Brandon Roy and Marcus Camby, Andre Miller had to leave the game early with some flu issues. The Blazers really had nothing going offensively, but when they started getting open looks, the confidence built and soon it was a dumpster fire for the Pacers. * * *

 

(8)

IC Cold Links: Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum beat Pacers...

by Rick Wagner, Indy Cornrows (SBN)

The Indiana Pacers proved once again they are one of the better three quarter teams in the NBA. I can only think back to a handful of games that the Pacers were never really in a game. They have the potential to be in every game and are typically in position to actually win most games in the 4th.

Last night, you could feel the momentum changing late in the 3rd quarter and I think most of us knew all too well what was coming. The lead was quickly taken over by the Blazers and actually spread wide open for a while. Danny Granger and Darren Collison tried to bring the Pacers back, which they did, but it was too little too late. * * *

 

(9)

Game #40 Recap — Again

by Tim Donahue, 8 Points, 9 Seconds (TrueHoop)

[Reprinted in full with apologies because one should not presume to edit an artist's poetry...]

 

The Pacers started strong — again.

The Pacers let a sizable second quarter lead dwindle — again.

The Pacers' offense deserted them in the third quarter — again.

The Pacers' defense deserted them in the fourth quarter — again.

Roy Hibbert scored early, but still played like someone who doesn't believe they belong out there — missing five of his last six shots — and finishing a non-factor — again.

Danny Granger put up great numbers (24-points on 9-of-15 shooting), but disappeared in the fourth (1-of-4, 2 TO's) — again.

Brandon Rush was a complete non-entity — again.

Jim O'Brien flailed around looking for a lineup — again.

The opponent (Portland) was shorthanded — missing Brandon Roy, Marcus Camby, and Andre Miller — but had others step up, while Pacer key players stepped back — again.

The Pacers lose — again.

Again and again and again and again.

 

(10)

Pacers Blow 16-point Lead in Loss to Blazers

by Mike Wells, Indianapolis Star

The Indiana Pacers can say they've perfected one thing on their road trip.

It's too bad it's not something they should walk around and brag about.

Three winnable games. Three double-digit leads. Three losses.

The Pacers continued that trend when the Portland Trail Blazers came from 16 points down to beat them 97-92 at the Rose Garden on Saturday.

"I just don't think we have the experience, honestly," Pacers forward Danny Granger said. "Closing out games, it's not something that just happens. You have to be in a lot of those situations and you have to learn how to do it." * * *

 

The Bottom Line:

1. Up 16 points to a depleted team — and it's ANOTHER 4th Quarter collapse! How frustrating is that?!?

2. Why is Jim O'Brien still here?!?

3. This team has enough players to get into the playoffs and they're fizzling for no reason. Time to light a fire under all of them — the players, the coach, the front office, A to Z...

 

 

Pinwheel Empire

If anyone needs an invitation link to join the new Blazer Fan social-site, Pinwheel Empire, drop me a line off list and I'll whip it to ya. The Empire is essentially the Blazers Edge Junk Drawer Crew doing their own thing in a new venue. It's quite worthwhile, I think. I'll put up a formal review as soon as they go public and hope to have an interview up with the Pinwheel Emperor, Hemingway, in a View column in the near future.

           Email me at  MutantPop@aol.com

 

*   *   *

 

Bumbleheader_medium

 

Have you ever really looked at a bumblebee?

The Flying Spaghetti Monster who created the universe apparently doesn't believe in using wind tunnels to test insect design prototypes, otherwise the bumblebee would have never made it to production. Bumblebees are blocky little suckers, see, about as un-aerodynamic as a shape could be. They're also fairly massive, which might help the bugs survive periodic shortages of food, but certainly is of no use in helping them take to the sky.

And have you checked out the bumblebee's propulsion system? Itty bitty little teeny tiny wings! It's akin to powering a school bus with a lawnmower engine... No wonder bumblebees buzz like their motors are redlining as they crudely zig-zag through the air five feet off the ground.

Yet somehow, some way, bumblebees actually do fly. We've all seen it, as improbable as it may seem at first glance.

So how are the Portland Trail Blazers doing it? Winning, I mean... Their superstar is gone. The young Center around whom they were planning to build an offense is rehabbing again. The veteran Center they signed to replace him is out, the latest in another injury-strewn season that would have left many teams curled up in the fetal position in the locker room rather than coming out for tip off. See, for comparison: Cavaliers, Cleveland.

So the Blazers have got fortitude, courage, and moxy to meet adversity and to battle against the tide of fate, we know that. But, again......... how are they doing it?!?!  Winning, I mean...

It has been well documented that the Blazers are one of the poorest shooting teams in the NBA. According to the website Hoopdata.com, the Blazers have the 26th lowest Field Goal Percentage in the NBA — worse than the Kings, Wizards, Timberwolves, and Bobcats. They're companions of the NBA's absolute bottom-feeders as a shooting team...

Maybe they have magical prowess with the long ball? Three point shots can be a great equalizer, after all. Nope, that's not it either: Portland is 28th in the NBA in 3 Point Shooting Percentage — worse than the Nets, the Kings, and the Cavs.

And their defense, frankly, on many nights looks repulsive. Yet somehow this misshapen, un-aerodynamic, underpowered lump of a team is managing to win and win in the difficult Western Conference.

The stat attack which follows is an attempt to determine how the bumblebee flies by searching for a common thread in Blazer victories. The factors I want to look at are the differentials between Portland and the losing team in field goal percentage, the number of 3 point buckets hit, the number of points scored at the free throw line, the number of rebounds (offensive and total), and the number of total turnovers. All numbers here have been gleaned from the box scores at NBA.com.

 

1. Phoenix 92 at Portland 106.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 46.2%, Suns 48.6%.  — differential - 2.4%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 10, Suns 9 — differential +1

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 10, Suns 11 — differential -1

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 18 & 48, Suns 7 & 30 — differential +11 & +18.

     Turnovers: Blazers 19, Suns 12 — differential +7

 

2. Portland 98 at LA Clippers 88.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 40.9%, Clippers 40.5% — differential +0.4%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 8, Clippers 3 — differential +5

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 18, Clippers 19 — differential -1

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 21 & 51, Clippers 14 & 41 — differential +7 & +10

     Turnovers: Blazers 14, Clippers 15 — differential -1

 

3. Portland 100 at New York 95.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 48.7%, Knicks 42.0% — differential +6.7%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 6, Knicks 7 — differential -1

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 20, Knicks 14 — differential +6

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 9 & 41, Knicks 18 & 51 — differential -9 & -10

     Turnovers: Blazers 15, Knicks 17 — differential +2

 

4. Portland 90 at Milwaukee 76.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 47.5%, Bucks 37.5% — differential +10%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 7, Bucks 3 — differential +4

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 7, Bucks 19 — differential -12

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 10 & 39, Bucks 11 & 40 — differential -1 & -1

     Turnovers: Blazers 13, Bucks 17 — differential +4

 

5. Toronto 84 at Portland 97.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 45.3%, Raptors 36.8% — diffential +8.5%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 4, Raptors 1 — differential +3

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 25, Raptors 27 — differential -2

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 14 & 43, Raptors 17 & 44 — differential -3 & -1

     Turnovers: Blazers 17, Raptors 18 — differential +1

 

6. Detroit 78 at Portland 100.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 50.0%, Pistons 42.5% — differential +7.5%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 6, Pistons 6 — differential 0.

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 14, Pistons 10 — differential +4

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 11 & 45, Pistons 6 & 33 — differential +5 & +12

     Turnovers: Blazers 14, Pistons 19 — differential +5

 

7. Portland 100 at Memphis 99.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 46.0%, Grizzlies 48.0% — differential -2%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 7, Grizzlies 7 — differential 0

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 13, Grizzlies 20 — differential -7

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 12 & 39, Grizzlies 10 & 38 — differential +2 & +1

     Turnovers: Blazers 14, Grizzlies 19 — differential +5

 

8. Denver 83 at Portland 86.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 40.0%, Nuggets 38.5% — differential +1.5%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 7, Nuggets 10 — differential -3

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 11, Nuggets 23 — differential -12

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 16 & 48, Nuggets 7 & 35 — differential +9 & +13

     Turnovers: Blazers 12, Nuggets 18 — differential +6

 

9. LA Clippers 91 at Portland 100.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 39.7%, Clippers 40.8% — differential -1.1%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 7, Clippers 7 — differential 0

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 31, Clippers 26 — differential +5

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 17 & 47, Clippers 13 & 40 — differential +4 & +7

     Turnovers: Blazers 16, Clippers 13 — differential -3

 

10. Phoenix 99 at Portland 106.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 44.6%, Suns 50.7% — differential -6.1%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 8, Suns 8 — differential 0

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 32, Suns 17 — differential +15

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 5 & 32, Suns 2 & 32 — differential 3 & 0

     Turnovers: Blazers 12, Suns 19 — differential 7

 

11. Orlando 83 at Portland 97.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 44.4%, Magic 42.3% — differential +2.1%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 5, Magic 6 — differential -1

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 20, Magic 17 — differential +3

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 13 & 47, Magic 6 & 40 — differential +7 & +7

     Turnovers: Blazers 12, Magic 16 — differential +4

 

12. Portland 101 at Phoenix 94.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 49.3%, Suns 44.6% — differential +4.7%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 5, Suns 3 — differential +2

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 26, Suns 17 — differential +9

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 7 & 36, Suns 13 & 39 — differential -6 & -3

     Turnovers: Blazers 13, Suns 14 — differential +1

 

13. Minnesota 102 at Portland 107.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 50.6%, Timberwolves 44.6% — differential +6%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 7, Timberwolves 3 — differential +4

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 16, Timberwolves 17 — differential -1

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 12 & 37, Timberwolves 21 & 39 — differential -9 & -2

     Turnovers: Blazers 17, Timberwolves 18 — differential -1

 

14. Golden State 95 at Portland 96.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 48.7%, Warriors 44.4% — differential +4.3%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 6, Warriors 6 — differential 0

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 14, Warriors 17 — differential -3

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 11 & 40, Warriors 15 & 42 — differential -4 & -2

     Turnovers: Blazers 14, Warriors 18 — differential -4

 

15. Milwaukee 80 at Portland 106.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 50.0%, Bucks 38.0% — differential +12%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 8, Bucks 4 — differential +4

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 20, Bucks 16 — differential +4

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 14 & 43, Bucks 12 & 35 — differential 2 & 8

     Turnovers: Blazers 11, Bucks 11 — differential 0

 

16. Portland 96 at Utah 91.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 47.1%, Jazz 43.2% — differential +3.9%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 5, Jazz 10 — differential -5

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 25, Jazz 17 — differential +8

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 10 & 41, Jazz 8 & 31 — differential +2 & +10

     Turnovers: Blazers 16, Jazz 17 — differential +1

 

17. Utah 89 at Portland 100.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 45.9%, Jazz 48.4% — differential -2.5%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 7, Jazz 6 — differential +1

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 25, Jazz 23 — differential +2

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 4 & 34, Jazz 4 & 39 — differential 0 & -5

     Turnovers: Blazers 9, Jazz 18 — differential +9

 

18. Houston 85 at Portland 100.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 43.2%, Rockets 41.3% — differential +1.9%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 7, Rockets 4 — differential +3

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 17, Rockets 19 — differential -2

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 15 & 47, Rockets 11 & 40 — differential +4 & +7

     Turnovers: Blazers 13, Rockets 15 — differential +2

 

19. Portland 103 at Houston 100.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 48.2%, Rockets 47.1% — differential +1.1%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 7, Rockets 11 — differential -4

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 14, Rockets 23 — differential -9

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 7 & 34, Rockets 6 & 43 — differential +1 & -9

     Turnovers: Blazers 8, Rockets 16 — differential +8

 

20. Portland 100 at Minnesota 98.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 46.5%, Timberwolves 48.7% — differential -2.2%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 9, Timberwolves 8 — differential +1

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 19, Timberwolves 16 — differential +3

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 18 & 45, Timberwolves 12 & 36 — differential +6 & +9

     Turnovers: Blazers 14, Timberwolves 19 — differential +5

 

21. New Jersey 89 at Portland 96.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 45.6%, Nets 50.0% — differential -4.4%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 4, Nets 2 — differential +2

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 20, Nets 11 — differential +9

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 17 & 40, Nets 8 & 30 — differential +9 & +10

     Turnovers: Blazers 13, Nets 11 — differential +2

 

22. Minnesota 102 at Portland 113.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 45.2%, Timberwolves 43.2% — differential +3%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 6, Timberwolves 3 — differential +3

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 31, Timberwolves 23 — differential +8

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 14 & 42, Timberwolves 21 & 47 — differential -7 & -5

     Turnovers: Blazers 13, Timberwolves 16 — differential +3

 

23. Portland 94 at Sacramento 90. (OT)

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 43.2%, Kings 42.7% — differential +0.5%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 6, Kings 5 — differential +1

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 12, Kings 15 — differential -3

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 9 & 42, Kings 10 & 45 — differential -1 & -3

     Turnovers: Blazers 15, Timberwolves 19 — differential +4

 

24. LA Clippers 93 at Portland 108.

     Shooting Percentage: Blazers 56.4%, Clippers 43.2% — differential +13.2%

     Three Point Baskets: Blazers 7, Clippers 9 — differential -2

     Made Free Throws: Blazers 13, Clippers 14 — differential -1

     Rebounds (O & Total): Blazers 8 & 37, Clippers 15 & 42 — differential -7 & -5

     Turnovers: Blazers 9, Timberwolves 16 — differential +7

 

Takeaways

1. Well, that turned out to be a hell of a lot of work for what looks to be a pretty indefinite set of results, didn't it? I suppose the lesson to be learned is this: there are several different ways to get to a victory — one can shoot lights out, one can stifle the other team, one can shoot like crap and rebound like monsters and overwhelm the opponent with the sheer volume of shots, one can control turnovers and force the opponent to turn the ball over, or one can get to the line and hit shots with greater frequency than the opponent. The Blazers seem to have, in one game or another, used all of these means to a successful end.

2. Obviously, home court advantage is one major key to the Blazers' success. The team is 15-5 (.750) at home and 9-15 (.375) on the road. Whatever the causes of home court advantage, it is absolutely beyond question that it is a real phenomenon and has played a decisive part in the Blazers' fate this season. There are 18 road games remaining and if everything continues at the previous rate, without considering a single actual matchup, the team would be expected to go 7 wins and 11 losses in these games. Some 22 home games remain, and the Blazers would be expected to win 16 or 17 of these. If you add it all together, that projects to 47 or 48 wins and the playoffs. But I digress...

3. I expected to see that an advantage in Field Goal Percentage was the most common aspect of Blazer wins. While the bad-shooting Blazers did manage to outshoot their opponents in 17 of the 24 wins (70.8% of the time), the most common aspect of Blazer wins among the statistics we have examined here is........ turnover differential! Nate McMillan might be on to something with his obsessive belief in ball security: in 20 of the 24 Blazer wins this season (83.3%), Portland coughed up the ball fewer times than its opponent. Now, admittedly we really do need to take a look at the 20 Blazer losses to see the turnover differential there before we can draw broad conclusions about the importance of turnovers, but it does on the face of it seem remarkable how often Blazer wins have been marked by winning the turnover battle.

4. There seems to be no decisive relationship between either made 3 point shots or made free throws and Blazer victories. Nor is winning the rebound battle, either on the offensive glass or overall, seemingly a decisive aspect of Blazer victories. With our eyes we can appreciate the way in which Blazer offensive rebounds, often followed by a full reset of the team's methodical half-court offense, are often instrumental to the team's victories. Still, it does not appear that "winning the battle of the boards" is pivotal. In 11 of 24 wins (nearly 46% of the time), the Blazers lost the rebounding war.

Ultimately, the bad-shooting Blazers need to make their opponents shoot even worse and to take good care of the ball to win, protecting home court and doing their best on the road.

So how is it that this bumblebee flies?

As nearly as I can tell, the flippant answer is the correct one: the bumblebee flies because it has wings and it wants to fly.

———

Minor technical note: One positive byproduct of the above article is that there are now links to every NBA.com box score integrated into 2010-11 View Index which appears at the bottom of each of these columns. So say you want to look up a box score for the Nov. 26 game against the Hornets for some reason, that's now as easy as click-scroll-click. Is it quicker than Google? Yeah, maybe...

 

*   *   *

 

Two Rumors I Actually Like...

Anthonyrandolph_medium

I've been a frequent critic of the good proprietors of Blazers Edge Inc. for putting any old rumor by any old journalist about the Blazers on the mainpage this season instead of relegating such fodder to the FanShot ghetto, where it rightfully belongs.

This does not mean that I find every rumor to be ridiculous and false, however. Indeed, there are two Blazer-related mutterings floating around the internets which do pass the "smell test" for me — and I have a really big nose!

The first of these unsubstantiated prognostications has former Blazer boss Kevin Pritchard headed to Indianapolis as the next GM of the underachieving Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are led by President Larry Bird, after all, he a former teammate of Pritchard's. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reported on Jan. 20 that Pritchard spent the early part of the team's current road trip traveling with Bird at his invitation, ostensibly so that Bird could "pick his brain" about the team's woes. It may well be that the two are just buddies swapping ideas, but KP will doubtlessly be heading back to the NBA job market next season, following a year of fun in the sun. One does have to wonder if Bird's friend and confidant will soon become associated with the team in a more formal capacity.

The other rumor that makes a lot of sense to me hails from Gossip Central, New York City. It is said that Knicks underutilized big man Anthony Randolph is on the trading block and that Your Portland Trail Blazers are chief among the suitors for his services.

The Knicks' interest in Carmelo Anthony and Carmelo Anthony's interest in playing for the Knicks are well known facts. Moreover, it has been repeated endlessly in the press that the Knicks were seeking to obtain a 1st Round draft pick to package with other players and picks to seal a deal with the Nuggs — who must either deal Melo or potentially lose his entire value this off-season, should he opt out of his contract as expected.

While a "rent-a-player" arrangement between the Nuggets and a team like the Dallas Mavericks can't be ruled out, it strikes me as more likely that Denver will instead attempt to cut a deal with the team that is the front-runner for Melo's services, thereby shifting him to the Eastern Conference rather than cutting their own throat by trading him to a Western Conference rival. The Nuggets already have one of the best front lines in the NBA with Kenyon Martin, Nene, and Birdbrain Chris Andersen, and their use for a young player such as Randolph would seem to be limited.

In the wake of the Bayless trade, Portland has two 1st Round picks in the upcoming 2011 NBA draft and a great need for additional front line depth immediately. Anthony Randolph might not be a permanent solution, but he does seem to be one of the more obtainable Bigs on the market at this juncture. The deal simply makes sense from the standpoint of pure logic.

So who is this Anthony Randolph? I have only a vague memory of him having played with the Warriors a couple years ago as a rookie. I frankly lost sight of him, particularly this season after he was sent East as part of the David Lee deal.

Anthony Randolph Jr. was born in 1989 in Worzbach, Germany, the son of parents who were both in the military — as is the case with prospective teammate Dante Cunningham. Randolph grew up in Pasadena, California, before moving to Little Rock, Arkansas, and ultimately to Dallas, Texas, as a high school Junior. He's a 6'10" Power Forward listed at just 205 pounds — a skinny binny.

Randolph was a one-and-doner in college, attending school at Louisiana State University before coming out in the 2008 NBA Draft (the Bayless draft), in which he was selected by the Warriors with the 14th overall pick, following Rex at 11.

Randolph played 63 games for the Warriors in the 2008-09 season as a rookie, starting in 22 of them. He averaged 15.9 points per 36 minutes of court time, shooting a respectable 46.2% from the field and gathered 11.6 boards per 36 minutes.

In his sophomore season the Golden State Injury Bug — even more virulent than the strain that hit the Blazers — claimed him. Randolph suffered a severe injury to his left ankle, including two torn ligaments and an avulsion fracture, where a ligament pulled away from the bone. Randolph saw action only in 33 games for the W's that season, averaging 18.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per 36 minutes, playing average stints of 22.7 minutes per game. Randolph shot 44.3% from the field in this second season. Randolph's touch from the line is typical for the NBA, as he is shooting about 74.7% for his career.

This season the 21-year old has been largely unable to crack Head Coach Mike D'Antoni's playing rotation, rendering him expendable. Randolph has been on the floor for only 110 minutes this season, seeing action in just 14 games, and has shot a lukebabbittian 28.6% from the field during this short interval. Bear in mind that this represents 11-for-38 shooting, so the usual cautions about "small sample size" are fully in effect. Nevertheless, coming off injury, concern about Randolph's fitness as a fully effective scorer seems valid. His showing in Plus/Minus this season has been fairly miserable, perhaps due to his role as a garbage time player for D'Antoni.

There you have it. If Cho pulls the trigger, you're up to speed.

 

Anthony Randolph Appreciation Post

posted by knicksfan4life to New York Knicks Fan Page Forums

I like his attitude throughout the process, it sounds like he's more mature than he gets credit for. He behind the scenes asked for a trade if he's not going to be in the teams plans ... he has said all the right things and from all indications continues to practice and live up to his responsibilities.

It's too bad we'll never see him blossom here, but hey what can you do when the player and the coach are oil and vinegar ?

 

*   *   *

Timlogo-haiku_medium

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Now Andre can't go

And the shooters couldn't shoot

Fourth quarter heroes

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Here's some more wackiness from the twisted tongue of goofy Uncle Mike...

Friedrice_medium

Hansbrough leads with his elbow driving the lane and hits Pryzzy right in the chops...

Rice: "His lip is cut — somebody will pay for that!"

Hansbrough is quickly subbed out. Coincidence, I'm sure...

 

Przybilla is tough, huh?

Rice: "If that was Theo Ratliff, he'd be out for a month!"

 

Jeff Foster steps to the line and the Mikes go for the insult-o-jinx on the bad free thrower on a hot streak...

MB: "All the sudden he's Calvin Murphy at the line..."

Rice: "...And those little girlie socks that he's wearing..."

MB: "I like those socks!"

Rice: "You would."

 


Game 45.

Pacers 92 at Blazers 97.

January 22, 2011.

Blazers' record is now 25-20, the Pacers are 16-24.

Twenty tidbits...

1. Indiana Center Roy Hibbert flew in to Portland to join the team and was inserted into the starting lineup by Head Coach Jim O'Brien, who (rocket scientist that he is) deactivated former starter Josh McRoberts to make room for him. It wasn't Hibbert but rather Tyler Hansbrough who began the game matched up on LMA. Andre Miller was battling stomach flu, but he toughed it out and showed up for the opening tip, not surprisingly. Andre looked terrible, however, and at 9:18 Nate called time out and Andre headed for the locker room, his night apparently over.

2. Rice: "Granger has fallen in love with that outside shot. He's half the player he used to be because he doesn't get to the rim as often any more." 

3. Przybilla got a flatfooted block on Hibbert early in the game and won the jump, but the ball went to an open spot on the floor and was recovered by Danny Granger, who hit the J. Joel also recorded a couple buckets a few minutes later, the second being an AND ONE. The bonus shot was an airball. Yesh.

4. As is their sacred custom, the Blazers opened the game flat, but in the second half of the opening quarter the guys in white started to find their way a little bit. They cut the lead to just 1 point at the 5:00 mark. Przybilla missed a bunny at one end, stood and watched a rebound sail past on the other end. Just 90 seconds later the Pacer lead was 9 and Nate needed time out. The Pacers were completely ignoring Pryz and doubling LMA always. Nate inserted Dante for Pryz. Dante promptly hit a 15 footer.

5. The Blazers gave up 7 turnovers in the first quarter, which was more or less the story of the game. That and their breathtaking 37% shooting. Not to mention the 14 to 8 Pacer rebounding advantage. Yikes. The Blazers went zone and the Pacers obliged with a miss, but Portland forgot about, you know, boxing anybody out. Yuck. One of the worst quarters of the month... END OF THE FIRST QUARTER: IND 28, PDX 19.

6. Terrible. Horrible. Ghastly. No touch. No energy. No rebounders. No shooters. No defenders. Nothing but suck. It was Pacers up 32 to 19 after just 1 minute of the sad sack second quarter. At 10:39 LMA was reinserted into the lineup following a Sean Marks offensive foul. Then came a wide open trey and Nate decided that maybe a timeout would be a good idea. The Pacer run, stretching between quarters, was 11-0.

7. LMA opened the game 0-for-4 from the field, with a couple free throws. At 9:24 LMA broke ice on a long lob from Rudy. The Blazers were shooting 32% at the time.

8. Roy Hibbert reminds me a little of Greg Oden somehow. He's got the size, he seems to have the athleticism, but does he have the warrior spirit? 

9. With Andre out and Patty Mills looking, ummmm, challenged, Nate went to the goofaloofa lineup with Rudy as the Point Guard, Wesley at the Two. It was pretty comical in a way, Rudy's handles are so sketchy that he was passing it off to Matthews from the back court. On the offensive end, things started to click again a little, with Rudy hitting an open corner trey to cut the Indiana lead to 8. 

10. Indiana had the hotter hands, with Hibbert working effectively down low and Granger and Dunleavy pumping them in from the perimeter. Portland finally slowed down with the insipid turnovers but they couldn't get enough stops. HALFTIME SCORE: IND 53, PDX 46. LMA had 12 points while Rudy and Dante had 8 each. 

HALFTIME ENTERTAINMENT: Fugazi "Waiting Room" (studio version, 1989)

 

          I am a patient boy

          I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait
          My time is like water down a drain
          Everybody's moving, everything is moving
          Please don't leave me to remain
          In the waiting room
          I don't want the news
          I'm not a part of it
          I don't want the news
          I have no use for it
          Sitting outside of town
          Everybody's always down
          Because... they can't get up


          But I don't sit idly by
          I'm planning a big surprise
          I'm gonna fight for what I want to be
          I won't make the same mistakes
          Because I know how much time that wastes
          Function is the key


          In the waiting room

 

Same song, live in Helsinki...

 

11. Pacers scored the first 4 points of the quarter and the Blazers couldn't have hit a school bus with a water cannon. After about 3 minutes the Blazers actually scored a bucket. It was exciting.

12. MB: "The Indiana lead is starting to grow again and they're celebrating like they've just won the title." Five minutes in it was Indiana by 13 points again and Nate needed time out.

13. Tonight the Blazers need shooting — big time. I reckon that I'd spare LMA and Wesley and maybe Rudy. Shoot the rest of them...

14. A nice calm call by Mike Barrett tonight during a bad night at the office. MB: "Just a lot of lack of concentration turnovers." That would be true.

15. Indiana rotated different defenders against LMA with good effect, but LMA made his moves and drew fouls from all of them. Portland amped up the defense, and cut into the lead. The Pacers, on the other hand, have Danny Granger — who reminds me quite a lot of Kobe Bryant. I had a bit of description of the action, but the crappy software ate it. Sorry about that, blame SBN. END OF THE THIRD, IND 70, PDX 67.

16. FIRST LEAD since the opening moments for Portland at 11:00 on a Nic trey off of super great passing.

17. Both teams ran small lineups and the Blazers' shots finally started to fall. All the mathmaticostatistical hooey fooey in the world falls by the wayside if the ball bounces out instead of in and life turns happy if the shots go down. Random events remain decisive although probabilities certainly influence those situations that develop. Sorry if that sounds like I've been smoking pot tonight, I really haven't — it's just my basic philosophy of basketball. Use your eyes. Deal with the breaks. Keep the math simple.

18. Back-to-back bombs from downtown by Nico against the expiring shot clock buzzer and it was an 11-2 Blazer run and an 8 point lead. And a time out. And a Rose Garden crowd blowing the roof off...

19. After a 14-2 Blazer run that opened an 11 point Portland lead, the Pacers made their bid. Portland seemed a bit nervous, Rudy firing an ill-advised long 2 ball early in the shot clock. At the final commercial break it was a 7 point Blazer lead, Portland with the ball following a couple Jeff Foster free throw makes, which included obligatory views of the "Free Throw Guy" jackass...

20. The Blazers were cold and tight down the stretch, with failures on four straight possessions... With the lead dissipated to just 3 points there came the shot of the night, A HUGE Rudy trey against the shot clock at 1:26. The man from Spain bailed out the Blazers temporarily. Out of time out, Indiana PG Darren Collision hit a floater to cut the lead to 4 again. Foster capped LMA low but Collison missed from the free throw line. LMA couldn't score down low and with 18.5 seconds remaining, the Pacers grabbed a rebound and called time. The lead was still just two buckets. Rice was calling for Collison penetration, kicking to Granger. On the inbounds pass Dun to Collison but Dante stuck with him like glue and capped him, with Wesley gathering the loose ball. Nate called time out to set something up and move the ball, 11.4 seconds remaining.

Batum was the inbounds passer, he found Rudy who ran clock and passed back to Nic cutting to the rack. Nic got fouled hard and stepped to the line with 7.5 seconds remaining. Nic calmly hit the pair, he had 23 on the night. Indiana called time out for their desperation play. Dunleavy  to Posey deep in the corner and he hit a beautiful shot. With 5.0 seconds it was a one possession game. Nate McMillan called time out to move the ball, Indiana out of time outs. A successful inbounds pass, a made FT, and it would be dagger.

Batum found Wesley, who was quickly fouled, 4.0 showing. One shot and ballgame... Wesley was, ummmmm, money for DAGGER on the first shot. He hit the second one, too, finishing with 19 points and 9 assists for the night.

FINAL SCORE: PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS 97, INDIANA PACERS 92.

The Blazers finished strong with 30 points scored in the final quarter.

Portland five games over .500 for the first time this season. The winning streak is also five games.

LMA was team high with 25 points on 8-for-20 shooting, hitting at the rate of 1.0 points per shot used. Nic had 23 points, produced much more efficiently, and Wesley tacked on 19 more.

NBA.COM BOX SCORE.


Let's take at this thang graphically, shall we?

Popcornlogo_medium

It's time for some wonderful pictures from the internets and all you have to do is CLICK THE LINK. Easy, huh?

A. The Blazers dug a big hole for themselves and jumped in it and said, "throw dirt on us, please." Then in the second half they dug out. Two big runs, a lengthy 16-4 run in the 3rd Quarter: LMA and Wesley were the heroes. The decisive run came in the 4th Quarter, an 11-0 kick powered by Nic Batum.

B. The Pacers made their comeback with a 10-2 run in the 4th Quarter. The Pacers spread out the scoring in the period, which is a little surprising given how Granger-centric the team generally is.

C. Armon Johnson was Minus-7 in Plus/Minus in just over 5 minutes on the floor.

D. The Pacers outshot the Blazers 47.4% to 42.2% for the game. Blazer long balls were decisive.

 

 

 

 

How Do Bumblebees Fly? Credits:

Hoopdata.com.  http://hoopdata.com/teamstats.aspx

NBA.com. 

 

Rumors Credits:

Rusty Simmons, "Anthony Randolph: Ankle Injury 'Close' to Season-Ending," San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 12, 2010.

Mike Wells, "Pacers' Hibbert Misses Warriors Game," Indianapolis Star, Jan. 20, 2011.

Basketball-Reference.com.  http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/randoan01.html

Wikipedia.

 

Photo Credits: Anthony Randolph: Jim Mone, Associated Press. All images heavily tweaked in Photoshop by Tim Davenport.

 

 


2010-11 VIEW INDEX.

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