For Halloween next year, I'm dressing up as Jason Quick and my date will be dressed up as a Locker Room Door. Then I will spend the whole night walking around behind her. Here's the latest in Quick's series, from Milwaukee...
While I was talking to Aldridge, Roy and Outlaw had lured Oden over to the corner of the locker room by Outlaw's locker. When they had him cornered, Roy alerted me.
As I turned, they ambushed Oden. Roy went low to the legs, Outlaw up high.
They were attempting the rookie initiation of Oden, which typically involves one of three treatments: a cold shower, a dunk in a tub of ice water or a dunk in a garbage can.
This season, the team has already given Batum and Bayless the cold tub dunk.
But Oden is a different beast.
Joe Freeman: Martell Webster's grandmother quotes Bob Marley.
And even during the down times, Webster would simply utter a phrase that was embedded into his "membrane" at an early age by his great aunt, Beulah Walker, the woman who raised him and whom he calls his grandmother: "Everything's gonna be all right."
"That's what my grandma always says," Webster said. "So I know everything's gonna be all right if she says so. It's that simple. It's what I live by. And it hasn't failed me yet."
We Jammin! And I hope you like Jammin too!
Wendell Maxey says: ice it, Martell, we'll see ya next year.
Will having Webster back mean the difference between the Blazers being a 4th or 8th seed out West? Does a possible Webster return extend Portland past the first round of the playoffs when the time comes?
Yes on the first one. No on the second. So what's the rush?
Brian Hendrickson previews the upcoming week.
Hendrickson also has this addendum to his Joel Przybilla post that I forgot to post last week.
Now, we've seen Joel's efficient play on the court with our own eyes, and almost everyone who has watched him would probably agree that he is having the best season of his career. But when you look at the actual numbers -- which you can see in the table below -- it becomes even more impressive. Joel literally remains just as efficient when he is in a game for 23 minutes or less (his average for minutes played this year) as when he is in for more than that. And this is a very, very important point to understand this season. Because the Blazers have remained consistent despite the fact that they can never know what they're going to get from one of their cornerstone players, Greg Oden.
Mike Barrett with his thoughts on the road trip, including a harsh assessment of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
For instance, it shocked many that Portland, playing without LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, would come out against Cleveland on Thursday and make it a close game. But, if you would have seen the way the Cavs screwed around in warmups, and totally just went through the motions, you would have understood why the game turned out to closer than predicted.
One of the key pieces in that article is that the NBA lifestyle, the one-upsmanship, is everywhere and it's all-consuming. Rookies feel like they need to keep up. Just last week, I spent a good 5 minutes laughing with someone who saw Michael Ruffin being dropped off at the arena by his wife in a minivan. The minivan didn't even have chrome rims beamin! After reading the article, I think "Big Mike" will be having the last laugh. (And, for the most part, I have been impressed by the relatively modest whips the Blazers push. When your team president has the most expensive car in the lot -- Larry Miller's Bentley -- that's probably a good sign.)
Dwight Jaynes's recap of the Bucks game concluded with...
And by the way, on this night it was Sergio Rodriguez's turn to ride the merry-go-round that is the Blazers' backup point guard rotation. He turned it over a few times, missed some assists when teammates blew wide-open shots at the basket but in general, played well considering it's been three games since he's been out there. They might as well sign somebody out of the D-League to a 10-day contract just to muddle that position up a little more.
Pro Basketball News continues to sweat the Blazers. Dennis Silva II writes...
Entering this year, the Blazers were the league's most intriguing team, with a talent-laden roster heavy in potential.
Come April, however, it's possible they'll be the team no one wants to see in the playoffs.
Strong feelings over at Trail Post regarding the Oden/LBJ incident.
Greg Oden's total disrespect of LeBron James is exactly what every Blazer fan wanted to see. It's nice to have a rookie that doesn't care about LeBron's pedigree. Especially when it's Greg. Dude's been through more in his first two years than LeBron has been through in his entire career. He has to earn back respect from the people who called him soft due to freak injuries.
There is no limit to the creative minds over at Bustabucket.com. They came strong with a Blazers-themed crossword puzzle. My favorite clue was "Hoops Family Patriarch." Very nice.
Rip City Project has a slick new redesign. Congrats, gents.
Which Blazer could have possibly written the following?
Which all equals one thing: PWNAGE (yes, I said pwnage).
So guys, I mean, really, I was kinda sorta semi-ballin' at Warcraft before I'm definitely gonna be the computer game master after this.
Loaded Orygun recaps the Bucks game and turns an eye toward Greg.
Oden had a rough game, but while the stats didn't go his way as I mentioned above he was still active around the ball, which is the main thing. The execution will come; the big concern for Greg is when he plays but isn't "in the play," a step behind or unsure of where he needs to be. Even the fouls (5 of them in 9 minutes!) were good fouls in a couple of cases, or the typical "rookie ain't nevah gonna get the call" fouls he's normally burdened with. The team needed Joel on this night for sure, but for Greg it looked more like a normal "bad game" than any kind of disturbing way station on his eventual development.
Kobestoppers has an inspired playoff preview of the Dallas Mavericks.
For you high school hoop heads, here's a nice piece from Slam about Lance Stephenson's 4 straight NYC high school titles. Stefan Fatsis from The Atlantic potentially has Stephenson Europe-bound a la Brandon Jennings. FiveBoro Sports says Stephenson's list is at three schools: Kansas, St. Johns and Maryland. If you haven't yet seen BornReady.TV, you should check it out ... for better or worse that's basketball's future.
Speaking of high school hoops: here's a great video from Tim Brown at Oregonlive on AAU Coach Beno Memory.
Last but not least, I'm not sure how I missed this Sporting News story by Mike DeCourcy last week but let's give it up to Kyle Singler. Singler's Dukies are in the sweet 16. Which reminds me: you should probably check to see how your BE Readers Bracket is doing in the standings. Without a doubt, you're crushing me.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org )