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BlazersMakr Doin Work: MVPs, Coaches, Championships, and Teammates

It was brought up in the post about LA' ridiculous 44 point game post: that Larry Bird had a bunch of really good games against the Blazers. I wasn't around back then, but I enjoy looking at stats, and what I found was really impressive. Larry Legend had 2 triple doubles and 7 games with 40+ points in his 24 regular season games against the Blazers (going 16-8 vs the Blazers).

I was curious if there was anyone with a more impressive output vs the Blazers, but wasn't sure how to start, so I decided to just start by looking at the league MVPs performances vs the Blazers.

League MVPs vs the Blazers

Lebron James

* Played the Blazers 19 times in the regular season (14-5 vs the Blazers)

*40+ points in 2 of the games

* 3 triple doubles

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Derrick Rose

* Played the Blazers 7 times in the regular season (2-5 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 2 of the games, and 20 or less in the other 5 games

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Kobe Bryant

* Played the Blazers 59 times in the regular season (30-29 vs the Blazers)

* 40+ points in 6 of the games, 50+ points in 2 of the games, and 60+ points in 1 of the games

* 1 triple double

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Dirk Nowitzki

* Played the Blazers 54 times in the regular season (32-22 vs the Blazers)

* 40+ points once, and 30+ points in just 6 of the games

* 17 double doubles, with a high of 7 assists in those 54 games

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Steve Nash

* Played the Blazers 57 times in the regular season (31-26 vs the Blazers)

* Scored 39 points, with his second most points vs the Blazers being 26 points

* 2 triple doubles, with an additional 11 double doubles

* Failed to score double digits in 24 of the games

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Kevin Garnett

* Played the Blazers 59 times in the regular season (31-28 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 4 games (high game of 32 points)

* 2 triple doubles, with an additional 27 double doubles

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Tim Duncan

* Played the Blazers 55 times in the regular season (34-21 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 3 games (high game of 36 points)

* 30 double doubles

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Allen Iverson

* Played the Blazers 28 times in the regular season (13-15 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 6 games

* 3 double doubles w/assists, and 12 games with 3 or more steals

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Shaq

* Played the Blazers 51 times in the regular season (32-19 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 14 games, and 40+ points in one game

* 39 double doubles, 21 games with 3 or more blocks

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Karl Malone

* Played the Blazers 76 times in the regular season (43-33 vs the Blazers)

* 40+ points in 3 games, 30+ points in 18 games

* 38 double doubles,

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Michael Jordan

* Played the Blazers 24 times in the regular season (16-8 vs the Blazers)

* 40+ points in 4 of the games, 50+ points in 2 of the games

* Scored less than 29 points in just 3 of those games

* 1 triple double

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David Robinson

* Played the Blazers 50 times in the regular season (29-21 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 10 of the games

* 30 double doubles, three 20-20 games

* a triple double (points/rebounds/blocks), 27 games with at least 3 blocks

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Hakeem Olajuwon

* Played the Blazers 61 times in the regular season (31-30 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 11 games, 40+ points in 3 of the games, four 20-20 games

* 34 double doubles (points/rebounds), 1 double double (points/blocks)

* 27 games with 3 or more blocks

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Charles Barkley

* Played the Blazers 38 times in the regular season (23-15 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 13 games, 40+ points in 1 game, three 20-20 games

* 26 double doubles (points/rebounds)

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Magic Johnson

* Played the Blazers 59 times in the regular season (42-17 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 4 of the games, one 20-20 game (points/assists)

* 33 double doubles (points/assists)

* 6 triple doubles

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Larry Bird

* Played the Blazers 24 times in the regular season (16-8 vs the Blazers)

* 40+ points in 7 of the games, 30+ points in 9 of the games

* 2 triple doubles

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Moses Malone

* Played the Blazers 46 times in the regular season (26-20 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 12 of the games, 40+ points in 2 of the games, one 20-20 game (points/rebounds)

* 12 double doubles

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Julius Erving

* Played the Blazers 26 times in the regular season (16-10 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 3 of the games,

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

* Played the Blazers 100 times in the regular season (69-31 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 31 of the games, 40+ points in 7 of the games, 50+ points in 1 game

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Bill Walton

* Played the Blazers 16 times in the regular season (6-10 vs the Blazers)

* Most points scored against the Blazers 25 points (13 games less than 20 points)

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Bob McAdoo

* Played the Blazers 43 times in the regular season (23-20 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 12 of the games, 40+ points in 2 of the games

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Dave Cowens

* Played the Blazers 35 times in the regular season (23-12 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 4 of the games

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Willis Reed

* Played the Blazers 7 times in the regular season (5-2 vs the Blazers)

* 30+ points in 2 of the games

This actually turned out to be not as depressing as I was expecting when I started...

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Blazer stat notes:

Damian Lillard is about to pass Brandon Roy in made 3 pointers:

* Damian Lillard is 321 of 832 three pointers

* Brandon Roy was 322 of 916 three pointers

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I'm sure we've all seen it by now, but LaMarcus Aldridge passed Cliff Robinson and is now the Blazers 3rd highest scorer.

1) Clyde Drexler 18040 points

2) Terry Porter 11330 points

3) LaMarcus Aldridge 10418 points

4) Clifford Robinson 10405 points

---***---***---

Olympics and College Teammates

Thomas Robinson played with Ben McLemore (2011-12 Kansas)(1) (Sacramento)

Thomas Robinson played with Tyshawn Taylor (2009-12 Kansas)(3) (Brooklyn Nets)

Thomas Robinson played with Jeff Withey (2009-12 Kansas)(3) (OKC Thunder)

Thomas Robinson backed up the Morris brothers (2009-11 Kansas)(2) (Phoenix Suns)

Thomas Robinson played with Cole Aldrich (2009-10 Kanasas)(1) (NY Knicks)

Thomas Robinson played with Xavier Henry (2009-10 Kansas)(1) (LA Lakers)

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Earl Watson played with Matt Barnes (1998-01)(3) (LA Clippers)

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Wes Matthews played with Jimmy Butler (2008-09 Marquette) (Chicago Bulls)

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Robin Lopez played with Brook Lopez (2006-08 Stanford)(2) (Brooklyn Nets)

Robin Lopez played with Landry Fields(2006-08 Stanford)(2) (Toronto Rapters)

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LaMarcus Aldridge played with PJ Tucker (2004-06 Texas)(2) (Phoenix Suns)

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Nic Batum plays with Tony Parker (2009-2014 French National Team)(5) (SA Spurs)

Nic Batum plays with Boris Diaw (2009-2014 French National Team)(5) (SA Spurs)

Nic Batum plays with Nando de Colo (2009-2014 French National Team)(5) (SA Spurs)

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Joel Freeland plays with Luol Deng (2009-2014 Great Britain National Team)(5)(Chicago Bulls)

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Victor Claver plays with Marc Gasol (2009-2014 Spain National Team)(5) (Memphis Grizzlies)

Victor Claver plays with Jose Calderon (2010-2014 Spain National Team)(4) (Dallas Mavericks)

Victor Claver plays with Ricky Rubio (2009-2014 Spain National Team)(5) (Minnesota TWolves)

Victor Claver plays with Serge Ibaka (2012-2014 Spain National Team)(2) (OKC Thunder)

Victor Claver played with Pau Gasol (2009-2012 Spain National Team)(3) (LA Lakers)

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CJ McCollum played with Kosta Koufos (2005-06 High School)(1) (Memphis Grizzlies)

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Please share any that I might have missed...

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I wanted to make a slight change to my 'What if.." team.

Substituting Gilbert Arenas for Stephon Marbury (keeping Len Bias off my team).

Starters: Penny Hardaway, Brandon Roy, Grant Hill, Antonio McDyess, Arvydas Sabonis
2nd unit: Tim Hardaway, Drazen Petrovic, Tracy McGrady, Amare Stoudamire, Bill Walton
3rd unit: Gilbert Arenas, Magic Johnson, Vince Carter, Chris Webber, Yao Ming

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Previously, I've discussed how offensive and defensive ratings relate to championship odds (offensive rating being how many points you score in 100 possessions, and defensive rating being how many points you give up in 100 possessions).

The average offensive/defensive rating for the season has been 105.7

From that, you get relative offensive and relative defensive ratings by relating them to a team' offensive/defensive ratings (you want a big positive offensive rating and a big negative defensive rating).

The Blazers have an offensive rating of 113.1 (or a relative offensive rating of 7.4).
The Blazers have a defensive rating of 107.9 (or a relative defensive rating of 2.2).

There have been a number of teams that have had great success while scoring and giving up points at the same rate as our 2013-14 Blazers:

2013-14 Blazers: ORtg: 113.1, DRtg: 107.9

Champions:
1994-95 Houston: ORtg: 109.7, DRtg: 107.4 (average rating of 108.3)
1992-93 Chicago: ORtg: 112.9, DRtg: 106.1 (average rating of 108.0)
1990-91 Chicago: ORtg: 114.6, DRtg: 105.2 (average rating of 107.9)
1987-88 Lakers: ORtg: 113.1, DRtg: 107.3 (average rating of 108.0)
1986-87 Lakers: ORtg: 115.6, DRtg: 106.5 (average rating of 108.3)
1984-85 Lakers: ORtg: 114.1, DRtg: 107.0 (average rating of 107.9)

Lost in NBA Finals:
2007-08 Lakers: ORtg: 113.0, DRtg: 105.5 (average rating of 107.5)
2005-06 Dallas: ORtg: 111.8, DRtg: 105.0 (average rating of 106.2)
1997-98 Utah: ORtg: 112.7, DRtg: 105.4 (average rating of 105.0)
1994-95 Orlando: ORtg: 115.1, DRtg: 107.8 (average rating of 108.3)
1992-93 Phoenix: ORtg: 113.3, DRtg: 106.7 (average rating of 108.0)
1988-89 Lakers: ORtg: 113.8, DRtg: 106.7 (average rating of 107.8)
1986-87 Boston: ORtg: 113.5, DRtg: 106.8 (average rating of 108.3)
1985-86 Houston: ORtg: 110.1, DRtg: 107.6 (average ratint of 107.2)

Most of these happened in the higher scoring years ~107-108 points per 100 possessions, otherwise the 1987-88 LA Lakers would be an almost exact match.

The one that jumps out at me (for a similar 105 avg rating) is the 1997-98 Utah Jazz team.

2013-14 Blazers: 113.1 ORtg, 107.9 DRtg, 105.7 avg
1997-98 Utah Jazz: 112.7 ORtg, 105.4 DRtg, 105.0 avg

And even that isn't that great of a comparison, as the Jazz were clearly better on the defensive side of the ball.

Dominant PF/Allstar PG who can shoot the 3pt shot (Karl Malone/John Stockton)(LaMarcus Aldridge/Damian Lillard)

2 Quality Wings(3pt specialist/do it all) (John Hornacek/Bryon Russell)(Wes Matthews/Nic Batum)

I don't know; maybe I'm trying to hard to find a comparison, and forcing it...

I've said it before, the Blazers are basically the Seven Seconds or Less Phoenix Suns:

(Pace, offensive rating, relative offensive rating, defensive rating, relative defensive rating)


2013-14 Blazers: Pace: 95.0, ORtg: 113.1, RORtg: 7.4, DRtg: 107.9, RDRtg: 2.2
2009-10 Suns: Pace: 95.3, ORtg: 115.3, RORtg: 7.7, DRtg: 110.2, RDRtg: 2.6 (WC Finals)
2004-05 Suns: Pace: 95.9, ORtg: 114.5, RORtg: 8.4, DRtg: 107.1, RDRtg: 1.0 (WC Finals)

One last stat, in the past 15 seasons, there have been 11 teams with a relative offense of 6.0 or more:

1 - NBA Championship
0 - lost in the NBA Finals
6 - lost in Conference Finals
4 - lost in the 2nd round
1 - lost in the First Round (though the loss was to another relative offense of 6.0 or more)

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Basketball reference has talked at length about how offensive and defensive ratings give you a first order approximation for understanding teams. They use 4 stats to dive into each of these areas to find out where/what a teams strengths/weaknesses are on offense/defense.

To get the second level approximation on offense, they use eFG%, TOV%, ORB%, and FT/FGA
To get the second level approximation on defense, they use eFG%, TOV%, DRB%, and FT/FGA

Offensively, the Blazers have the:

10th best eFG%
2nd best TOV%
2nd best ORB%
15th best FT/FGA

Defensively, the Blazers have the:

12th best eFG%
30th best TOV%
15th best DRB%
8th best FT/FGA

Seems rather obvious where the Blazers need to improve on defense...

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The current odds (using basketball reference' relative offensive/defensive rating formula):

Indiana Pacers 3-1

OKC Thunder 5-1

SA Spurs 7-1

Miami Heat 12-1

LA Clippers 14-1

Portland Trail Blazers 18-1

Golden State Warriors 35-1

Field 20-1

---***---***---

Though, when you look at how well the Thunder and the Spurs are doing, it doesn't appear the the Blazers should make the Western Conference Finals this season.

Spurs (4th best offense - relative offensive rating of 4.4) (5th best defense - relative defensive rating of -3.5)

Thunder (5th best offense - relative offensive rating of 4.1) (4th best defense - relative defensive rating of -3.7)

A key reason for that...

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Kevin Durant is simply amazing right now.

We don't often discuss Durant on the defensive side of the ball, because he's such a good scorer.

That said, he has an offensive rating of 125 and a defensive rating of 100 (that's really impressive on both sides).

That's the second highest offensive rating in the league and the 17th best defensive rating in the league.

He's first in offensive win shares, and 6th in the league in defensive win shares.

This isn't a lucky start or fluke....

In the 2012-13 season, Durant had the 2nd highest offensive win shares in the league, and the 3rd highest defensive win shares in the league. Last season, Durant had the 5th highest offensive rating, and the 18th best defensive rating in the league.

That is an incredible achievement. Personally, this gives me the best sense of who the greatest players are in the league(being able to dictate the flow of the game on both sides of the ball).

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So, there has been a good deal of discussion about Durant and the MVP trophy this year (I did myself last week).

Though, it appears some people have jumped the shark on this one, and are claiming that Lebron doesn't even have an argument to win the MVP this year. That's just crazy talk...

Players who average 26 ppg, 6 apg, and 6 rpg in NBA history:

Oscar Robinson - 8 times
Michael Jordan - 3 times
Larry Bird - 3 times
John Havlicek - 2 times
Jerry West - 1 time
Richie Guerin - 1 time

All 6 of them are Hall of Famers.

Oh, and Lebron James, who is on pace to do this for the 10th consecutive year. He already has 9 of them, surpassing Oscar Robinson, but he doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

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Lebron James has a FG% of 57.9%

Kevin Durant has a FG% of 51.0%

While 51% is great, it's still 6.9% worse than Lebron James...

That difference is the equivalent between someone shooting 39% from the field and 45.9% from the field; one leads to your early NBA retirement, the other allows you to be a starter in the NBA.

---***---***---

So, in the last piece, I talked about Durant scoring 50? 60? points in one of their next 3 upcoming games (@Boston, @Philadelphia, and Atlanta).

Well, Durant didn't play the @Boston game, but Carmelo did score 62 points that very night.

Can't predict it all...

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Two lists of win shares for the first 7 seasons of 2 players career(one is Carmelo Anthony, the other is Shane Battier).

See if you can match them to the correct player?

Player A: 4.9, 5.0, 6.1, 7.3, 7.9, 8.2, 9.4
Player B: 4.8, 5.9, 6.2, 7.8, 8.2, 9.0, 9.1

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Carmelo's 62 point game:

* Only player to score 60 points and not turn it over at all

* The second 60 point game without an assist (Kobe Dec 12th, 2005)

* The third 60 point game without a single steal or block (Kobe March 22, 2007 and Shaq March 6th, 2000)

Melo(17-24) has the second highest FG% of 60 point games (behind Karl Malone(21-26) Jan 27, 1990)

---***---***---

Like Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge has had a special January.

His January per game averages: 26.1 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.3 spg.

His December per game averages: 25.0 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 3.4 apg, 0.8 spg.

The past 3 seasons, Aldridge hasn't shown much statistical improvement, averaging 21 points and 9 rebounds in all 3 years. Here's to hoping this is a permanent step up by Aldridge, Beast mode engaged.

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In January, Aldridge has scored 30 or more points 4 times (44 points Denver, 36 points Orlando, 32 points Cleveland, 30 points Dallas).

Brandon Roy had four games of 40+ points; LaMarcus Aldridge now has three 40+ point games.

---***---***---

While I'm saddened that Terry Stotts and his staff don't get the honor of coaching the Western Conference All-star team, I am pleased to hear that Lillard will be invited to the Rising Stars Challenge. Here is to hoping Lillard and Aldridge make the All-star team.

NBA Head Coaches

The NBA head coaching ranks are filled with former point guards who have played in several NBA systems.

Rick Adelman - PG for the Blazers/Rockets/Bulls/Jazz/Kings

Scott Brooks - PG for the Rockets/Twolves/Mavs/76ers/Cavs/Knicks

Rick Carlisle - SG for the Celtics/Knicks/Nets

Maurice Cheeks - PG for the 76ers/Knicks/Hawks/Spurs/Nets

Tyrone Corbin - SF for the Hawks/Jazz/Twolves/Suns/Kings/Cavs/Spurs/Heat/Raptors

Mike D'Antoni - PG for the Kings/Spurs/St. Louis

Larry Drew - PG for the Kings/Lakers/Clippers/Pistons

Jeff Hornacek - SG for the Jazz/Suns/76ers

Mark Jackson - PG for the Knicks/Pacers/Clippers/Jazz/Raptors/Nuggets/Rockets

Jason Kidd - PG for the Nets/Mavs/Knicks/Suns

Kevin McHale - PF for the Celtics

Doc Rivers - PG for the Hawks/Spurs/Knicks/Clippers

Brian Shaw - PG for the Lakers/Magic/Heat/Celtics/Warriors/76ers/Blazers

Jacque Vaughn - PG for the Jazz/Spurs/Hawks/Nets/Magic

Monty Williams - SF for the Magic/Spurs/Knicks/Nuggets/76ers

Randy Wittman - SG for the Hawks/Pacers/Kings

Mike Woodson - SG for the Knicks/Kings/Clippers/Lakers/Nets/Cavs

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So, who could be lining themselves up a second career as an NBA head coach in the coming decade?

Andre Miller

Derek Fisher

Ronnie Price

Earl Watson

Potentially Ronnie Price, Mike Conley or Patty Mills...

On the non-PG list:

Shane Battier

Mike Dunleavy Jr

Potentially Matt Bonner or Chuck Hayes...

Am I missing anyone?

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On the executive side, former players:

Danny Ainge - SG for the Celtics/Blazers/Suns/Kings

Larry Bird - SF for the Celtics

Dell Demps - SG for the Spurs/Warriors/Magic

Joe Dumars - SG for the Pistons

Danny Ferry - SF for the Cavs/Spurs

Ernie Grunfeld - SF for the Knicks/Kings/Bucks

Mitch Kupchak - PF for the Bullets/Lakers

Pat Riley - SG for the Rockets/Lakers/Suns

Being able to predict how good players are going to be is incredibly hard; I'm not going to make predictions about who will become good GMs in the future...

---***---***---

It's clearly too early to assess the 2013 draft class, but the top of the draft class does appear to have been filled with bums.

#1 draft pick: Anthony Bennett is shooting 25.9% from the field and 62.5% from the free throw line, In 326 minutes, he has 77 points and 7 assists, and a staggering -0.147 win shares per 48 minutes and a 0.8 PER. The team has been outscored by 83 points in the 326 minutes he's played. To compound the issues, the Cavs go from rebounding 53% of the time, o only rebound 48.9%

#3 draft pick: Otto Porter is shooting 29.6% from the field and 62.5% from the free throw line. He's contributed 37 points and 9 assists during his 206 minutes. He has a -0.042 wins shares per 48 minutes and a 4.2 PER.Their offense craters when he is on the court, with the Wizards only scoring 76 points on 100 possessions (down more than 30 points of their average).

#6 draft pick: Ben McLemore is shooting 36.9% from the field, with a PER of 7.7 He has an offensive rating of 97 and a defensive rating of 112. He's played over a 1000 minutes, and his per 36 minute stats are atrocious: 12.1 pts, 4.3 reb, 1.4 ast. producing 0.008 win shares per 48 minutes. While not producing as badly as the #1 and #3 picks, you have to imagine this isn't what the Kings signed up for with the 6th overall pick.

Remember that the #5 pick Nerlens Noel is sitting out the whole season, so these are 3 of the top 5 players drafted (and getting time)... Ouch.

---***---***---

I've been attempting to not look at the draft class too much, as I don't want to fall in love with anyone since we don't have a draft pick, but... man alive...

They're projecting 7 superstars... (sure, a few of them will flake out, but...)

The vaunted 2003 draft only had 5 players projected as superstars (and 4 of them turned out to be: Lebron, Wade, Melo, Bosh).

Is Marcus Smart the next Wall/Lillard/Westbrook/Rose/Curry/Irving?

How does the 6'6" PG from Australia fit into the league?

These 6'8" forwards, are they Lebron-esque, Milsap-esque, Brand-esque or Rudy Gay-esque? (Wiggins, Parker, Randle, Gordon)

Joel Embiid is the next Hakeem?

---***---***---

Lastly, can I share a smile with all of you,

* the Lakers are 3-17 in their last 20 games.

They are currently in last place in the Western Conference (tied with the Sacramento Kings 20.5 games back of the Thunder).

They have already guaranteed $33,200,000 to Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash for next season.

They have already traded away their 2015 first round draft pick(top 5 protected in 2015, top 3 protected in 2016 and 2017, unprotected 2018). They have also traded away their 2014 and 2015 second round picks.

They have already traded away their 2017 first round draft pick(top 5 protected in 2017 and 2018, unprotected in 2019, or converts to 2 second round picks if the 2015 pick goes to 2018 unprotected).

:-)

---***---***---

Check out this great visual guide by tyeforshee of the current Blazers squad.

And check out Zach Lowe' brilliant piece on Blake Griffin: "You can scream all you want that Griffin doesn’t have a post game. You are just wrong, and your argument looks increasingly like the hysterical shouting of a crazy person who points to a sunny sky and tells you it’s raining."

And my favorite piece: The Night Before the Mavericks

---***---***---

Lastly, I wanted to congratulate Durant on the Thunder' win tonight vs Miami...

And to say that it sucks that I'm forced to root for Peyton Manning to win the Superbowl...

---***---***---

BlazersMakr Doin Work (Part 1): Mid-season Review

BlazersMakr Doin Work (Part 2): BlazersMakr Thoughts

---***---***---

Go Blazers!

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