One week from today is Free Darko Night at Powells! You are invited.
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Late add: Bynum is out 8-12 weeks with an MCL tear....
We lead off this week with Brother Wendell, who caught up with KP to discuss a number of topics, including whether Bayless to the D-league was ever considered.
Chances are had Jerryd been sent down, he'd be back in Portland before "Team Bayless" could utter "Idaho Stampede."
"It all depends on where his growth will come and we think his growth will come within us," Prichard said.
Absolute must-watch: check out JE Skeets rocking the karaoke mic.
Blogfather does an interview/preview with Hornets247.
But can you freak Portland out by making them go fast? I doubt it. You're not going to make their offense fast without giving them uncontested layups. And on defense, you have to beat some focused young athletes down the floor, or else you're not running either. So I don't think speed is their kryptonite.
Jason Quick looks at the Blazers' injury woes, investigating whether players are coming back too early.
The Blazers say they aren't second-guessing their decision to allow Blake to play because they have been consistent in keeping the three-pronged criteria for a player's return to action: The player must feel ready to play. Jensen must clear him to play after a series of stress-related tests. And coach Nate McMillan has to see the player participate full-speed in a practice before he plays.
Quick also looked at the Blazers' recent paint pounding.
For nearly every game in his three-plus seasons, Blazers coach Nate McMillan has insisted that the pregame scouting board feature some reference to the Blazers winning the inside game. "All the time. Over and over again. It's the first thing on the board in pregame: 'Take care of the Paint.' Or, 'Dominate the Paint,' " center Joel Przybilla said. "We always talk about that. It's non-stop."
For nearly every game in his three-plus seasons, Blazers coach Nate McMillan has insisted that the pregame scouting board feature some reference to the Blazers winning the inside game.
"All the time. Over and over again. It's the first thing on the board in pregame: 'Take care of the Paint.' Or, 'Dominate the Paint,' " center Joel Przybilla said. "We always talk about that. It's non-stop."
Brian Hendrickson has a nice piece about the Blazers knowing where they stand in the playoff race.
The league standings posted in the Portland Trail Blazers' weight room have been updated every morning since Nate McMillan joined the team nearly four years ago. But for most of that time they were reduced to a mere decoration by the spring.
Joe Freeman talks no All Star nod with LaMarcus.
Aldridge learned about the discouraging news when his agent, Arn Tellem, left a voice mail for him Thursday morning. He responded by rolling over and taking another nap later in the day. Discouraging? Yes. Depressing? Hardly.
Mike Barrett has this cool nugget in his Jazz game recap.
By the way, the Blazers are 7-2 when they're the team playing in the second of a back to back. That's an impressive number.
Casey Holdahl talked Super Bowl with Nate.
"Anybody who played against the Cowboys and beat them, I'm a fan of that team," said McMillan. "So I've always been a Pittsburgh and Redskins fan."
Dwight Jaynes previews tonight's game.
New Orleans is about a year ahead of Portland on the growth chart, it seems to me. Tonight would be an opportunity for the Trail Blazers to prove they're catching up. With Chandler out of the lineup, Portland should have a much easier path to the basket.
Rip City Project has links to a few trade rumors.
Bart Blasengame from Portland Monthly introduces "Mt. Oden."
Right now, Greg Oden has got his big boy pants on. And they are on fire.
BustaBucket.com has an interesting question: which Blazer would make the best football player?
The Columbian's Sports Editor Greg Jayne, who was all about DraftKevinDurant back in the day, has a commentary on Oden vs. Durant that might get your blood going...
Oden has been an enigma for much of this season, and there was no reason to believe he wouldn't be. He is coming back from microfracture surgery on his knee, and history shows that it will take a year before he fully recovers.
Any assessment of Oden at this point is er, um, knee-jerk. So to speak.
Durant, meanwhile, is showing more than flashes of brilliance. Over the past 30 games, he is averaging 26.5 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting .483 from the field. And if he weren't stuck in the outpost that is Oklahoma City, he would be among the leading storylines for this NBA season.
Durant turned 20 in September, which makes him nine months younger than Oden and, for example, 11 months younger than rookie O.J. Mayo. He's young, even for somebody three years out of high school. By comparison, LeBron James averaged 27.2 points and shot .472 at the same age, meaning it's fair to say Durant is a basketball savant.
Funny line from LoadedOrygun's Jazz game recap...
There's limited space on the DVRs Comcast rents you, and for HD the space is even more at a premium. But this one's a keeper, and I'm going to go watch that third quarter again now. Mmmmmm....38.
Check out this very, very questionable barb from Mike Breen to Mark Jackson during Friday Night's game.
Hollinger: 5 (same)
Hollinger's playoff odds: 99.3% to make the playoffs, 46.1% to win division
Stein: 7 (up from 9)
CNNSI: 7 (up from 8)
Yahoo! / Sporting News: 8
-- Ben (email@example.com)