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Full Court Press

In case you missed it Friday, here's episode 3 of the new podcast series with Kevin Pelton. The official podcast is back too!

Brother Wendell Maxey with an offseason gem, chatting with Blazers shooting coach John Townsend...

On how he rates his job performance:

"We finished fourth in the league in three-point shooting, but 18th in free-throw shooting. Field goal percentage is an arbitrary thing because of dunks or the shot clock. But you look at a guys open jump shot. For me - and I put together a book for management and Nate at the end of the year - I go through Brandon's rookie year compared to second year compared to last year. And I go over three-throws and threes, made, attempts and percentages. Then they can compare. And I'll evaluate myself on a month to month basis based on numbers. Well, this kid is shooting the ball well. Now what do I do? Do I leave him alone? That depends on the personality, because some guys don't want to know. If I was to video Steve's (Blake) shot - he doesn't want to know. With that book - I'll do a month to month break down of the team, individual break downs by player and then career break downs (complete with bar graphs).

More from Maxey and Townsend at Hoopsworld.

It was in Vegas that Townsend had the chance to work with Blazers rookies Dante Cunningham and Jeff Pendergraph (who was nursing a sore hip flexor and was limited to 'form shooting').

The three would arrive 45 minutes before everyone else and workout two hours in the morning and then two hours at night, in addition to one-on-one time with each rookie among drills and competition at the camp.

"With Dante and Jeff I would zone in on one or two things. Then because we were there all week I would be constantly reminding them. But I will also get their input on things. That will be routine. My degree is in elementary education, so there are different - not teaching tools - but even when a guy does something incorrectly, I will tell them good job whether they do it right or wrong. Because if you are constantly on them...."

Timbo strikes again with part I of his Przybilla Przyofile.

Very cool look at some bands playing the Blazers theme song from Casey Holdahl.

Brian T. Smith caught up with Blazers president Larry Miller about the Aldridge negotiations.

According to Miller, negotiations with Aldridge are ongoing. 

"We're going through the process," Miller said. "It's just a process and it takes time."

However, Miller was more direct when asked if the Blazers have an ideal timeline for signing Aldridge to an extension. 

"We're ready," Miller said. "We'd do it right now if we could."

Portland must reach an agreement with Aldridge before Oct. 31 or he will become a free agent following the 2009-10 season.    

Brian T. Smith with an interview with Jack Ramsay...

Q: If you look at their team - they're not perfect yet, you just said that - what do you think that they're still missing or still need to develop? Where do you see holes that, maybe as time goes by, they need to try and address? 

A: I think point guard has been something of a hurdle for them. Not that they're weak at that position. They've had players who have certainly done well. I like (guard Steve) Blake. ... But you wouldn't list them as among the top point guards in the league.     

Dwight Jaynes with some details about the Turn Back The Clock preseason game...

Portland's exhibition game this Oct. 14 will be in Memorial Coliseum, as you all know, with Bill Schonely sharing play-by-play duties with Brian Wheeler. I was actually kind of hoping for a reappearance of either Dave Twardzik or Geoff Petrie alongside The Schonz, but hey - just happy to see Bill get one more game, just a couple of days before he turns 80 years old.

They're already apparently selling tickets for that game at $19.70 - reflecting, of course, 1970, Portland's first NBA season. Just remember to bring your radio.

Eric Wong from sent over this extremely detailed Blazers season preview

Outlaw is in another state of mind, because he's going to be an unrestricted free agent after this season and all signs point to him leaving. So his story could play out a few different ways... Portland could decide to give him more minutes (28-30 mpg) and showcase his abilities in hopes of trading him before the deadline. OR, Outlaw could force the issue by trying to put up big stats instead of playing team basketball. If that happens, McMillan could get mad and limit his playing time to 20-24 mpg. But most likely, he'll accept his backup role again and get 25-27 minutes of action playing both forward spots.

There was some concern about Nic Batum's shoulder over the weekend.  Nothing serious, Joe Freeman reports.

"He checked out with our doctors and has returned to France and is expected to continue to play," Penn said.

"The real story here is how well he's been playing. He's been playing his (butt) off. He's leading the team in scoring and has been doing a little bit of everything for them. I don't know if you've seen any (video) clips of him, but he's been really dynamic and just doing what he does."

Ryan McNeill of had another interview with Clyde Drexler for you to listen to. 

Geoffrey C. Arnold on Channing Frye...

The season was frustrating for Frye, but he doesn't hold any hard feelings towards the Blazers.

"I never look at it that way. I came here and did the best that I could with what I had," Frye said. "Things just didn't work out."

Frye is determined to reestablish himself in the league after the dismal season. That's why the honeymoon will be brief.

"I'm about as hungry as I have ever been," Frye said. "I've been working hard this summer and haven't taken too many days off."

Brian T. Smith with an update on Martell...

Portland Trail Blazers guard Martell Webster said Saturday he expects to be cleared for full action in two weeks.     

Mike Barrett writes...

As I've already stated, at first glance this schedule appears to be easier than last year's. But, as I've gone deeper into it, I'm not sure that's the case. Catching teams on the second of a back to back 27 times was a key for the Blazers last season. They'll only get that opportunity 14 times this coming season.

Kerry Eggers with details of a Brent Peterson and Brian Grant meetup.

"I just wanted to reach out to Brian, to get together with another Parkinson's patient and talk about how he's doing," Peterson says. "I've dealt with it a lot longer than he has."

Grant appreciates the gesture. They have become instant friends.

"He's a great individual - a warrior, man," Grant says. "I've never been to a hockey game, don't know much about it. But just listening to him in conversation, about how he loves his sport and approaches coaching, you can tell he is a warrior."

48 Minutes of Hell has a Finnish look at Tony Parker vs. Petteri Koponen.

Some of the truest words Simmons ever spoke.

From Darnell Mayberry, Former Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks has a new job.

If indeed a village is what it takes to raise a child, the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday continued fortifying its community surrounding Russell Westbrook.

The Thunder completed its assistant coaching staff by hiring former Portland and Philadelphia head coach Maurice Cheeks, a 15-year NBA point guard and four-time All-Star.    

Have you guys already seen

Loved this crossover chart (featuring B. Roy and John Wall) on Free Darko.

This is just hilarious. I had to respond.

Bill Walton's Total Book of Bicycling. What?

Sorry for the delay; I'm sure I missed a lot this week. Please drop any links you find in the comments. And BE SURE to frequent the fanshots.

-- Ben (