Hollinger answered several questions regarding the Blazers in his chat today on espn.com..
Bryan (Gold Beach, OR)
With the Blazers cold shooting on the road continuing last night, can anyone still consider them a contender in the West?
John Hollinger (12:22 PM)
I would say "fringe contender" -- but it's hard to score consistently when the No. 2 and No. 3 guys in shot attempts are both bricking in the mid-30s. Also, Aldridge has shrunk in some big moments against Houston and Atlanta. That said, if they were to stumble into a true starter-quality 5 they'd be pretty fearsome.
Raymond Felton (Portland)
Please tell me my awful shooting, high turnovers, and questionable decisions on a nightly basis are just a result of the lockout and lack of off-season. I'll check your answer after I come back from Voodoo Donuts.
John Hollinger (12:58 PM)
Felton has definitely been a disappointment, and obviously heightening worries over his conditioning. He barely played in fourth quarter last night, and it's possible that if his play doesn't improve Nolan Smith will begin to ... wait for it ... eat into his minutes.
John, who are good options for the Blazers in free agency? Not too many bigs out there...
John Hollinger (12:37 PM)
Well, there's this Oden kid ....
Brian (San Fransisco)
John, do the Blazers HAVE to trade Batum? Not a franchise that historically overpays for potential guys...
John Hollinger (12:48 PM)
Disagree heavily on that one -- Paul Allen HATES letting young guys leave, especially since the one time he did it (Jermaine O'Neal) it burned him. I'm hearing they're still pretty far apart on an extension -- Batum's asking for a lot -- but won't be surprised if they got one done.
Will the Blazers ship Marcus Camby's expiring or has he become too valuable?
John Hollinger (12:52 PM)
I can absolutely see this happening if the right deal comes along. Portland has some interesting assets it could package if it wants to got that way.
Is too much chemistry really a problem for the Blazers?
John Hollinger (12:54 PM)
I had this same conversation with somebody else (not Jason Quick) before last night's game; I do think it is a real phenomenon that they're all being a bit too "nice" to each other.