Here's a two-step plan for dealing with being snowed in.
- 1. Watch this Brandon Roy highlight video (make sure your sound is on!).
- 2. Repeat step 1.
As you have read absolutely everywhere, Carmelo Anthony is out tonight and tomorrow night. Now... on to the links...
Jason Quick with the definitive Brandon Roy emergence piece.
"That championship one day will happen if this continues," McMillan said. "You just need a player like this."
Unmistakable as it is powerful, Roy in his third NBA season is evolving from an All-Star into a superstar. The transformation is so defined that even Roy felt comfortable Friday referring to his recent play as "the new Brandon Roy."
Jason Quick with the goods from Coach McMillan about Steve Blake's play against the Suns and some advice for Travis that I'm sure Travis will love to hear.
McMillan raved about Blake's game management (10 assists, zero turnovers), hot shooting (22 points, 8-of-15, including 4-of-7 from behind the arc) and his defense of Suns star Steve Nash (Nash went 5-of-14 with 11 assists, six turnovers while Blake had four steals).
It was plain and simple: Blake had outplayed Nash.
"And that,'' McMillan said. "Has never happened before.''
Another important Blake statistic: He went 2-for-2 from the free throw line, both makes coming at a crucial time: 2:07 left in the game and the Blazers trailing by two. They were the first attempts for Blake since he missed four of five attempts in the final 20.6 seconds against the Clippers.
Joe Freeman talks Blazers identity.
Five years from now, any number of enduring traits could define this season's young Trail Blazers team.
The Blazers could be known for their defensive brawn, a la the Boston Celtics. They might be known for their uptempo, high-scoring offense, like the Golden State Warriors. If the last two weeks are any indication, perhaps they will simply be recognized as Brandon Roy's team, mirroring Kobe Bryant's starring role with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Or the Blazers could be something else altogether.
But even with everything the Blazers (17-10) have accomplished roughly one-third of the way through the season, this is a franchise in transition -- and without an identity.
I try to forget about this team's defense sometimes -- hopefully I'm not still thinking about it in 5 years.
if anyone's got a pool on the Nielsen ratings of Monday night's game, I'm taking the highest number on the board. Most of Portland will probably still be cooped up at home because of the weather, the team's coming off a great win in the Brandon Roy 52-point game and first place is up for grabs in the division.
All of Portland - perhaps all of Oregon - will be watching this baby tonight.
Mike Barrett's Nuggets game preview has a great picture.
Casey has the Brandon Roy on PTI video. Thanks to Outlaw Is Rejector who had this in the fanshots as well.
Check out this Nic Batum locker room interview from Tim Brown at Oregonlive.
CNNSI's Ian Thomsen includes Brandon Roy as one of 3 young players "who could be next" to become championship leaders...
If his body holds up, he has the skills, wisdom, emerging roster and disciplined coach to lead Portland to a championship. If they were to ever lose Roy and his ability to control the game from the top of the key while creating for himself and others, the Blazers would become just another young team struggling to pull their prized parts together.
Wendell Maxey with a Word on Outlaw.
As Roy stood with the game ball under his arm after finishing with a career-high 52 points, Outlaw slowly slipped into the tunnel towards the Blazers locker room. Portland sure needed this one. But Outlaw needed it even more.
He hasn't been himself lately, even before the sore tailbone which has hampered Travis since Utah. Heck, even the trade rumors probably took their toll. No newsflash here: last year's "Mr. 4th Quarter" has been - shall we say - a bit M.I. A.
On Thursday night though, Outlaw inched back towards outstanding. Not only did he provide the only scoring spark (14 points) in the second unit, but he remained aggressive throughout (6 rebounds). Then there was "the play."
A holdover from last week, but KP2 took a nice, long look at Kevin Durant's play since the Carlesimo firing.
Durant has improved virtually across the board. The most telling numbers might be the rightmost series, what I group as player tendencies--the percentage of possessions used on two-point and three-point attempts, free throws and turnovers. The two most efficient ways to score are on threes and at the free-throw line, and Durant has improved his sum of the two categories from 14.3 percent of his possessions under Carlesimo to 28.0 percent under Brooks. Quite simply, Durant is playing a different game. It's also a much better one, as reflected in the massive spikes in his effective field-goal percentage and his True Shooting Percentage. Durant has gone from a low-efficiency, volume shooter to the kind of lethal, highly-efficient scorer he was in his lone season at Texas. And he's done it while slashing his turnovers as well.
Hollinger -- 96.3 percent
-- Ben (email@example.com)