Those who are hoping to see a more up-tempo style of play from the Blazers will be relieved to read Jason Quick's latest post at Behind the Blazers Beat. He not only talks of the new style, but of how much more relaxed and personable Nate McMillan seems this year. A couple of theories are suggested but here's mine: it's all about the people on this team now. These guys make it easy to coach the way you're supposed to. In a much smaller way I've seen this happen with people I've been responsible for. Sometimes they make it impossible for you to enjoy doing your job. You're pretty much forced to be a hardcore personality in order to get the job done. Other times you get groups that are easy as pie because they're on the same page and responsible. These usually bring out the best in you and are a lot more fun also.
Joe Freeman has an article on Raef LaFrentz this morning. Basic summation: expectations are low but spirits are up and he may contribute more than people think.
Brian Hendrickson says Coach McMillan is struggling to assess the value of the pre-season in light of Brandon Roy's heel problem. He also confirms what we've heard about Joel Przybilla's improved free-throw stroke. Joel is probably going to win a lot of free beers playing Pop-a-Shot at local bars this year.
Mike Barrett sings the praises of our Big Men in his latest post.
Finally you can find previews for the entire Northwest Division here, including one from some devastatingly handsome guy talking about the Blazers.