To all the high school teachers reading this during your plan period, what's up! Do us a favor and go set all the library computer default homepages to Blazersedge.com. Appreciate it.
- Here's my full recap from last night's Fan Fest.
- Here's the latest Wingcast, featuring a lengthy interview with Brother Wendell Maxey.
- Here's a bunch of Greg Oden video I shot on Saturday from Training Camp.
- Jeff Pendergraph is on twitter. Tell him Blazersedge sent you.
- Not sure there's ever been a happier woman in the history of the world. Congrats Twiggs. Scroll through the fanshots from last night to see tons of cool pictures and videos from the Fan Fest. Great job everyone!
John Hollinger updated his player capsules for the season. Here are some of his thoughts on Brandon Roy. It's time to cancel your newspaper subscription and sign up for ESPN Insider.
Roy doesn't get star billing nationally, but with another season like the one he had in 2008-09, that will change in a hurry. After the game's six uberstars -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant,Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Tim Duncan -- Roy stood head and shoulders above the rest.
Roy almost topped Bryant in PER, finishing a close third among shooting guards. Roy fared better on a per-possession basis, posting a superior TS% and assist ratio, as well as a lower turnover rate. Because Roy didn't generate as many shots, however, Bryant beat out Roy for second place by 0.38.
Roy handles the ball exceptionally well for his size and often played point guard. He managed to post the fourth-best pure point rating among shooting guards when he wasn't scoring the ball himself. He did that, of course, with great frequency, pumping in 24.3 points per 40 minutes by scoring from every zone on the floor. He was adept at drawing fouls, ranking ninth among shooting guards in free throw rate, and he is a strong shooter from both mid-range (42.4 percent on 2s that weren't at the basket) and 3s (37.7 percent).
Roy was also 16th at this position in rebound rate, and only nine players had a lower rate of fouls. As luck would have it, one of his two disqualifications came in the final minute of the crucial Game 3 playoff loss to Houston.
John Hollinger also serves up positional PER projection rankings, which are as follows...
- 1 -- Andre Miller: 13
- 1 -- Steve Blake: 35
- 1 -- Jerryd Bayless: 60
- 2 -- Brandon Roy: 3
- 2 -- Rudy Fernandez: 19
- 3-- Travis Outlaw: 18
- 3 -- Nicolas Batum: 28 ---> (Hedo Turkoglu was rated 29...)
- 4 -- LaMarcus Aldridge: 8 --> (Channing Frye is 52)
- 5 -- Greg Oden: 5
- 5 -- Joel Przybilla: 33
Dwight Jaynes has some great post- Fan Fest thoughts. Here are a few...
When you see all that talent on the floor, you realize that this team is loaded. Really loaded. It's going to be next to impossible to get all these guys enough playing time.
The battle for a starting job that's the easiest to call? Of the three we've previously talked about, I have to think it's the one at center. It's seems to be important to Greg Oden that he start and that's going to play into McMillan's decision. But keep in mind, Oden was the No. 1 player taken in the draft. He'ssupposed to start. And really, there's no other place for him because of the importance he has in the team's future. And come on, the way he's played so far makes it an easy call. Unless he takes a big dip downward in the exhibition season, or suffers some sort of injury, he's simply got to be the starter.
Wendell Maxey on the 5 spot...
Applying McMillan's theory, that spot goes to Joel and deservingly so. But if you base it off potential, Oden is your man. What he did on Sunday - showed off the typically turnaround hook and good hands - is just the beginning of a fresher and hungrier Greg particularly if you believe the offseason and early camp reports.
That we won't know until Greg goes up against guys not named Przybilla, Juwan Howard or Jarron Collins. We won't know until we fully see his face-up game, if he can stay out of foul trouble, if he moves his feet and defends, and how he works and passes out of double-teams.
That test will come all season long.
Joe Freeman has a Fan Fest recap...
A majority seemed to be wearing Blazers jerseys, prompting general manager Kevin Pritchard to wonder, "Have you ever seen so many Blazer jerseys?" Random fans waved and shouted hello to Pritchard, who waved back, smiling ear to ear and soaking in the scene.
"This is nuts," he said.
Joe Freeman quotes Martell Webster on the starting 3 spot in his Fan Fest notebook...
"I'm just going out there and having fun, really," Webster said. "Whatever the result is after this training camp, it's great either way, no matter who gets the starting position.
"I hope (Batum) gets it. Honestly. To tell you the truth, I hope he gets it. I think he'd be a great starter on this team. For me, it's just about making sure I'm ready when my name is called, whether that be starting or coming off the bench. Either way we have two phenomenal units. I'm excited to play with either one."
Brian T. Smith's Fan Fest recap has a nice line from Jarron Collins. Hope those in Utah are reading...
Collins spent the first week of Portland's training camp backing up centers Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden. Prior to Sunday, all Collins had seen of Blazers basketball was the inside of a practice facility in Tualatin, Ore.
But Collins got a first-hand look at Blazermania on Sunday. And the NBA veteran was stunned.
"Is it always like this?" Collins said after the scrimmage. "It was like the first game of the NBA playoffs or something."
A solid observation from Kellex at Blaze of Love...
Is it just me, or does it feel like everyone in Portland is blatantly pulling against Andre Miller aside from Nate McMillan? The Tweets, some media, and even fans seem to be outright cheering for Steve Blake to get the starting nod and minutes over a guy that has been a part of the elite class of point guards in this league for 10+ years now. At some point I'll stop writing these posts, but for a city that seems so inviting and accepting, you all don't seem to want to accept a guy that is likely the missing piece to taking this franchise to the top. I'm hearing complaints that he was on cruise control and not at full speed yet Roy and Aldridge were simply going through the motions yet no one seems to mind. And handing the MVP award to an exagerrated 11 assists and a hot shooting night to a guy in the middle of the toughest battle on the team doesn't make a whole lot of sense coming from the organization.
I can't speak for everyone involved but I do think there are some people rooting for Blake to keep his job. I think one factor that's going under-reported here is the fact that Blake is no longer battling a shoulder injury that was troubling him during the playoffs. Watching him shoot the ball last night was totally different from watching him shoot down the stretch last season. So with that said, not only did Blake arrive in camp in great shape his shot is looking better than almost anyone can remember (attention spans are short in the media, perhaps shorter than the average person's). So I think those factors are combining to give Blake a bump here.
John Hollinger addresses a question in his chat that we're thankfully hearing less and less...
Chris (Indianapolis, IN)
Hi John. Doesn't the Blazers situation seem similar to the Bulls from a couple of years ago, in that they have a lot of young players, have tasted the playoffs, but are facing a lot of possible contract/playing time squabbles that might eat into chemistry?
John Hollinger (3:09 PM)
Similar, but enough differences to think it will play out differently. First, those Bulls were overachievers with a grinding head coach in Skiles -- McMillan isn't like that. Second, the key guy in Portland already has his money, and Aldridge may very well have his by the time the season starts.
Mike Barrett with a training camp story...
Toward the end of practice Saturday morning, during a drill which involves a three-on-two situation at one end, that turns into a two-on-one at the other, Dante Cunningham decided to challenge Oden at the rim. Oden cuffed the shot attempt in his right hand, and then took off with the ball. Cunningham, in a full sprint (and isn't a slow guy), couldn't catch Oden, who dribbled coast to coast and slammed the ball down with two hands. While maintaining professionalism, the players erupted. Oden, who hung on to the rim and swung completely under, landed, and while laughing, flew up into the air and did a full body bump with Martell Webster. Even the coaches were smiling, as the drill continued, with the next group of players, without missing a beat.
SJ from Rip City Project with a great line...
it's getting more difficult to not get swept up into the hype associated with this season. I think Blazermania might be stronger than the swine flu right now. We're talking about 16,000+ for a scrimmage!! Color me impressed Rip City. Although is it bad that the cynic in me is wondering how many of these are bandwagon fans and how many of them will be looking to jump off on the first 2-game losing streak? Yeah, it is.
Andre Miller was going about 35% while the rest of the team was going 75%. Andre really doesn't want to be there, but I'm down with that. I'd rather he got ready for the regular season.
Bustabucket.com also has some eagle eyes: they got a picture of this controversial duo.
Casey Holdahl has a full Fan Fest picture gallery.
Sean D. sent in this highlight video of Dante Cunningham's college years.
Checking in on a Blazersedge legend, Michael Wallace of the Miami Herald writes...
Shavlik Randolph will be difficult to cut if he defends the way he did Sunday. The former Duke big man drew two charges in five minutes
That link comes via the great people at Hoops Hype.
What did I miss? Drop it in the comments. And be sure to frequent the Fanshots.
-- Ben (email@example.com)