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Full Court Press

Carmelo Anthony's fiance/baby mother is selling a pink Range Rover on E Bay. Just go buy it now and skip the rest of this post.

Casey Holdahl caught up with Brandon Roy last week for a chat. Surprisingly the interview didn't consist of Brandon Roy shouting "TURIAF TURIAF TURIAF TURIAF "...

"I'm ready to go now," said Roy. "My body feels like it's all healed up. All the little nicks are gone. I talked to Coach Nate and he said to just be patient. He said he thinks it's a good idea to start riding the bike and exercising, but as far as basketball, stay away from it just a little bit longer. 

"But the body feels great. I'm excited about that more than anything."    

Dwight Jaynes caught the Stephen Curry bug.

He's not exactly a traditional point guard, for sure. But he's smart, a very good passer and he'll make shots. I think he could man the point well enough, given that the Blazers seem to want Brandon Roy to have the ball in his hands all the time, anyway, and stretch the defense with his outside shooting.

The kid's got star quality. He might prove to be a whole lot better NBA player than people think, but the Blazers would likely have to move up pretty high to get him.

Still don't see it.  Blake Griffin called Curry the second best player in the draft, Curry's stock seems to continue to soar and he's skipping workouts for the team with the #6 pick

Kevin Pelton recaps Game 5, pointing out that Pau Gasol is good at basketball.

Then there's Pau Gasol, derided a year ago for his soft play. Apparently, alas, he is not too soft to co-lead a team to an NBA championship to go along with the World Championship he won with Spain in 2006. He finished this series shooting an even 60.0 percent from the field while going up against the Defensive Player of the Year. Gasol's more impressive contributions came at the other end of the court, where he battled both Howard and Lewis with aplomb. That's two of the trickier matchups a frontcourt player can face, especially because of the contrast between their two styles. Gasol barely struggled with foul trouble even as he played two All-Stars 40-plus minutes a night, and he capped the performance with four blocks in Game Five.

Runyon over at Trail Post sees some similarities between the Lakers and Blazers and attempt to determine what the Blazers are lacking...

Where we differ, however, could be what separates us from being championship caliber. We don't have the defensive stopper veteran point guard. Blake is a veteran and can run the team, but he can't do everything. Trevor Ariza is everything that we hoped Travis Outlaw could be. He uses his size and his length to bother the other team while still scoring and picking his spots, even if he is a SOB.  What's intriguing is the idea of the head case small forward kept in line by the great shooting guard.  That part of the formula can get fulfilled this summer if we want it to happen.

Draft Express has this handy, regularly-updated list of who's in and who's out of the 2009 draft.  

The deadline to decide whether to return to college or overseas is today.  Some of the bigger names that are out: Gani Lawal and Damion James (who worked out for the Blazers). Jodie Meeks is staying in.

Jonathan Givony also has his latest draft dispatch. It's a very thorough must-read and includes notes on a number of the guys that have come through Portland...

Casspi was impressive, just like he's been everywhere he's gone. He plays hard, competes. He hit tough shots. Step-backs, runners. Then he missed some wide open J's-go figure. He hits the toughest shots, but can't always make the easiest ones. He looked like he could be a great complementary player in a 5 on 5. Definitely an atypical player for a European. "


Greivis Vasquez did a very nice job. He's had strong workouts in most of the places he's been I hear. He struggled defensively a bit, especially guarding real physical guys like Jermaine Taylor, or quick guys like Teague. He competed, though, was very vocal. He raised the level of intensity. He grabbed rebounds. He shot the ball OK.


Ellington had a really good showing, doing what he normally does. He may have been the best of the bunch actually. He's so advanced offensively.


DeMarre Carroll was much better than I thought. He can shoot, he can move, he can really play. He was very active. He helped himself.


Josh Shipp did very well too. He was labeled as a soft guy at UCLA, but that really wasn't the case here.

After some confusion and back-and-forth last week, it appears Vasquez is "all in" the draft.  But Chad Ford writes that Vasquez's first round chances "seem slim."

UpdateVasquez is out!

Blazer Dancer (and "The Show" Co-Host) Marissa  has started a blog.

In my opinion, blogs have been outright misused and abused. Thanks to our fabulous freedom of speech and the wonderful worldwide web, anyone can say anything about anyone, regardless if there is an ounce of truth to it or not.... and guaranteed, SOMEONE out there is going to believe it. Like grammie always said, "believe half of what you see and NONE of what you hear", or in the case of internet blogs, what you READ. 

So, if I am so anti-blogs, why start one for myself? Haha, good question.     

Kerry Eggers nods his head in agreement and just added that to his RSS reader.

Wendell Maxey tracked down a nice article about Jack Ramsey and passes on his thoughts about the infamous Sam Bowie draft.

Imagine how the basketball landscape might have changed in the league and for Portland had the Blazers (who already had Clyde Drexler) passed on Bowie and gone with Mike....or Charles Barkley.....or John Stockton instead. Perhaps the best draft ever.

More rings. Less Greg Oden references.

Scott Howard-Cooper of CNNSI compares a few prospects to Brandon Roy.

This is when everyone knows Roy has made it big. Not leading the Trail Blazers to the playoffs, not making the All-Star team two years in a row, not appearing to be a logical addition to the next Dream Team, but now, as the draft approaches and he becomes a comparison point.

A GM told me that Tyreke Evans has "Brandon Roy qualities," Evans himself said, "I'm pretty much a Brandon Roy-type player," and there are the Harden comments you mention. I see the comparison with Harden: Both were stars in the Pac-10 who didn't get great national hype because they play steady and smart rather than drawing a spotlight, both are about the same size (Roy is slightly taller, Harden slightly heavier). But Roy is more versatile, spending a lot of Portland's fourth quarters with the ball in his hands without being a true point guard. Harden is not expected to duplicate that.

Comparing Evans to Roy -- both on and off the court -- is a real stretch.  Evans' cock-eyed jumper and penchant for keeping ipod earphones in at all times almost make him the anti-Roy in my eyes. Evans is a baller... but he's no Brandon Roy.

ClipperBlog and Clips Nation have been conducting a fun series of posts about how to turn the franchise around. They look to Portland as a model in their latest entry...

Over the past few years, we've seen smart franchises like Portland and the Sonics/Thunder see the writing on the wall. They resigned themselves to piling up losses, and drafted and dealt accordingly. They also got a little lucky (as the Clippers have this spring), and both teams are now poised for a bright future. Other than Darius Miles' expiring deal in Portland, and 2 years/$13 million remaining on Nick Collison's deal, there isn't an eyesore anywhere on the spreadsheet. It's not just the down-and-out, either. Critics killed Joe Dumars for dealing away Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson's expiring deal, but Dumars realized that the Pistons' window had closed and did the most sensible thing for the future.    

As a follow up to the highlight of last week, Brandon Jennings decided to apologize to Ricky Rubio on twitter

Only thing is I wish we had the chance like some of the euro players have. They go pro at 16. We can't do that. They have he upper hand.

With my comment bout Rubio, im just tryin hype the draft up a lil, make the summer league something everybody wanna see.

I think its gon be a good for both of us this summer too see were we both at. I mean I can't wait. Too play everyone

One more thing, I went overboard about the Rubio thing, I was wrong for saying he's all hype that's not fair. I was wrong, I guess I just wanna compete against the best. But off the court the kid is a great guy. I will never disrespect him, I just like too go against the best 

All the lotterys PG's should say there the best PG in the draft. If somebody ask ricky if he's the best PG I hope he says he is.

A couple of really interesting notes from Darnell Mayberry, the "Thunder's" primary beat writer. 


One league source said there has been an unusual silence around the league regarding substantial trade talks. The source said the economy is likely the culprit, with the majority of teams primarily interested in shedding high-dollar contracts.

"Dumping contracts is going to be the principal thing in this draft as far as trades go," the source said. "You're not going to see pick-for-pick (trades). You're going to see pick and bad contract for pick."


"The game has changed to where it's not being played with true centers anymore," said one NBA scout. "But you could give yourself a considerable advantage if you're one of the few teams that have one."

"A lot of teams feel it's way more important to have a Brandon Roy than a center," said the scout. "A guy who can run the high pick-and-roll, get to the free throw line, make plays for others. It's not even close. You're dead in the water if you don't have that guy."

Marc Spears of the Boston Globe sees shorter rosters in the NBA's future.

An Eastern Conference executive said that because of the economy, he wouldn't be surprised if at least 20 NBA teams carry 14 or fewer players next season to save money. Considering that teams can have a maximum of 15 players, such a scenario would mean at least 20 fewer jobs. It could also mean that the days of developing young players at the end of rosters may be limited - or even over. "Owners are going to be like, 'We're not going to sign someone we're paying and not playing who is three years away,' " the executive said. " 'We'll let someone else develop them until they're ready.' Owners are going to say, 'Keep one project.' "     

The first entry from's NBA Draft Blog.  You might need ESPN Insider to view it. Includes this nugget...

The Deseret News reports Tyler Hansbrough is working out for the Utah Jazz on Monday. Since impressing teams at the draft combine, though, the question now is whether he'll still be on the board for the Jazz's 20th pick. Chad Ford currently has Hansbrough going 11th to New Jersey, and there's other buzz around the league that he could land somewhere in the teens.    

-- Ben (