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In Praise of Joel Przybilla

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I've mentioned this several times in the last couple of weeks in Game Recaps, but since things get lost in there sometimes it deserves to be featured in its own post:

Joel Przybilla is playing some very nice basketball lately.

Some of this can be quantified statistically.  He's been in double-digit rebounds in 9 of his last 13 games.  He had achieved that mark only 12 times before that streak.  He's been blocking shots, staying out of foul trouble, and finishing on offense the few times he touches the ball.  A lot of this can be explained by him getting 3-5 more minutes per game than he has the last few months, but more minutes doesn't always mean more production.  He's also doing things that don't show up in the boxscore.  His energy has been both controlled and fantastic.  He's moving his feet.  He's often there to help out when other defenders get in trouble.  He looks confident.  He's pretty much hit a groove and it's enjoyable to see.  With almost every other player there have been caveats to their accomplishments even during their best streaks of the season.  I am really hard-pressed to think of one thing I wish Joel were doing better right now.

It would be fantastic to see Joel finish the season this strongly.  The possibilities next year, providing he can keep up this level of energy and production while playing fewer minutes, are intriguing.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)