I'm a day late with this thanks to KP2's RPG attack on the synapses yesterday so let's get right to it.
Here's stage two of KP2's coordinated brain attack. Pelton steps back and takes a more complete look at the relationship between age and success in the NBA. It is a treatise and well worth your time. If you have a moment today, shoot him an email that says something like "thanks for the work you're doing, by the way, I'm so glad you're transforming into a Blazermaniac, I knew you've been inching onto the bandwagon for awhile now, welcome aboard." In case you're wondering, he's @kpelton on twitter.
Casey Holdahl at Trailblazers.com stat chatted with John Hollinger. Casey touched on a wide range of topics...
Casey Holdahl, Center Court: You were one of the few writers who didn't criticize the Trail Blazers for not making a big trade at the deadline. You also made the statement, against what could probably be best described as conventional wisdom, that Richard Jefferson isn't much of an upgrade over Travis Outlaw (and at 4 times the price). How did you come to both of these conclusions?
John Hollinger, ESPN.com: Jefferson is a bigger name based on his past, but in trades all that matters is future production. Jefferson has a PER of 14.68; Outlaw has a PER of 14.70. Jefferson is 28; Outlaw is 24. Jefferson is a better defender but has a spottier history health-wise. Basically, there's no reason to think Jefferson would outperform Outlaw over the next two seasons or so.
The other part of this that everyone overlooks is this: If you presume the Blazers would pay to keep Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge -- which I'd think nearly everyone would agree with -- then adding Jefferson or Vince Carter would almost certainly have put the Blazers into the luxury tax in 2010-11, and possibly in 2009-10 as well. So unless you think that one of these guys was the missing link to a championship, it's hard for me to see Paul Allen agreeing to that kind of financial hit.
And just to get all the stat stuff out of the way up front, be sure to read Blogfather's discussion of advanced statistics.
There is not a person on the face of the planet who both understands the sophisticated analysis of basketball and thinks it's a fad. It's here to stay, and the sooner you'll embrace that reality, the faster you'll be able to gain useful insight from it.
Indeed. A healthy skepticism towards advanced basketball statistics is good. Waving your arms and complaining about them is bad. But not taking some time to dig into advanced stats and to process their potential uses is now bordering on unforgivable for the serious basketball fan.
Joe Freeman has an update on Greg Oden.
Although Oden hasn't been able to do any significant running since his injury, he was able to perform some cardiovascular conditioning on Monday, riding the exercise bike and elliptical machine "hard," according to Pritchard.
"He's getting better, feeling better and he had a better workout today," Pritchard said. "He's getting close.
"His body is getting better, his knee is getting better, but the thing is he had a ... chipped bone and that thing has got to heal. The big thing for us is we want him to get healthy and once he's healthy, there won't be any aggravation of (the knee)."
Jason Quick has a very nice look at Channing Frye.
"Deep valleys," Frye said. "This has been a season of deep, deep valleys."
I saw Tim Brown following a pack of Batums at the game on Sunday and here's the video product: a look at French Night at the Rose Garden. Some really great footage in there.
Brian Hendrickson hands out some team grades for the Blazers.
The trend last week offered a window to where Portland's season may be headed. They can get into the playoffs just by beating the league's weaker teams and handling a couple of the playoff contenders on their home court. But the season may come to an abrupt hault in the playoffs simply because Portland can't beat the better teams on the road.
Hendrickson also has an interesting update on Joel Freeland.
Dwight Jaynes was asking me yesterday about whether the Blazers actually kicked up the pace on Sunday. My take was that Brandon was looking for his shot early and often, started off hot, and things sort of evolved from there. Dwight writes...
Last night the Trail Blazers had a grand total of four fast-break points (to seven by the Spurs). The entire game. Four. I just don't think you can say they were trying very hard to push the pace if the whole night yielded just two fast-break buckets.
LoadedOrygun ponders the Oden injury.
It pains me to say it, because I continue to believe 100% in Oden's potential and both statistically and in several games on the court, he is already a force of nature inside the paint, changing the way both teams play actually. But the return of Blake and the dominance of Przybilla in Oden's absence have put grease on the team's flow--that one is now a little frightened to tinker with!
Wendell Maxey interviews two of the Rocky Mountain News sportswriters who no longer have a paper to write for. One of the writers, Chris Tomasson, is already writing for ProBasketballNews.com.
Via JE Skeets come this link, a video of Shavlik Randolph d'ing up on a white rapper named Asher Roth. Music language PG-13 but Rosh has an awesome line comparing himself to Kirk Hinrich. Here's Roth's website if you're interested.
Sean Meagher looked at the tight Northwest Division race.
Bustabucket.com sat courtside and has some really nice pictures.
Blazermaniac Andy's season ticket holder party rundown is pretty great too.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)