Steve Blake is out of the hospital after a bout with pneumonia but is not expected to play for roughly a week. LaMarcus Aldridge didn't make the trip to Los Angeles but is hoping to get back for Tuesday night. Patty Mills has been recalled from the D-League and will be in LA and dressed for the Clippers game tonight. The 72 hour countdown to whether Shavlik Randolph will be waived prior to the contract guarantee deadline is officially on. Brandon Roy is putting up MVP type performances and wants to see the All Star Game criteria changed. Andre Miller doesn't know what the heck is going on. Jeff Pendergraph and Dante Cunningham have stepped up in a big way.
Man, there's a lot going on these days. Let's get right to it. What you might have missed on Blazersedge this weekend...
Dave's must-read Decade Retrospective...
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter
Jason Quick broke the news last night...
The Trail Blazers have recalled point guard Patty Mills from the Development League and will have the rookie available for Monday night's game in Los Angeles against the Clippers according to general manager Kevin Pritchard.
A point guard tandem of Mills and Bayless is increasingly looking like an exciting proposition for Blazers fans.
Bayless has speed, athleticism, ability to get to the rim seemingly at will and a daily-improving skill at reading defences and making the right pass. Mills has even faster speed on a less muscular body, deadly outside shooting and a poised passing game. Once the Blake and Miller eras are over in Portland and Bayless and Mills are ready to lead this team, look out. That is one amazingly speedy duo there. Bayless has already shown that he can be a solid threat playing off the ball, so in spurts the two of them could be played together in the backcourt to give opposing defences fits with their speed.
Scott Schroeder from Ridiculous Upside on Patty Mills' performance...
Patty Mills is obviously healthy. He was the fastest player on the floor, showing no sign of the foot injury that's sidelined him since Summer League, and fit perfectly in Idaho's run and gun offense. Mills came off the bench to score 38 points and dish 12 assists. To put that in perspective, Idaho has the fastest offense in the D-League, nothing like the Trail Blazers', but still, wow. Mills showed a deadly 3-point shot, hitting 7-of-10 from beyond the arc (most on open looks) and picked up a few easy drive-and-dish assists courtesy of former BlazerAnthony Tolliver. With Steve Blake out with pneumonia, I wonder if the Blazers won't bring Mills back up to the D-League sooner rather than later.
Wendell Maxey recaps all the injuries for FoxSports.com...
Imagine if Portland was healthy.
"It's frustrating, but the biggest thing is that we're getting a lot of young guys a lot of experience," said Brandon Roy, who has scored 23 or more points in 14 consecutive games. "It's definitely hard because you're still looking to the future and there are so many games to be played. It's like we just don't have the bodies so we just keep playing."
Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee with some trade talk...
The safe assumption is that Pritchard is answering all calls involving big men of any respectability. That could include Kings forward Sean May, who virtually applied for the job before signing with the Kings and falling out of coach Paul Westphal's rotation.
Pritchard, however, insisted he's in no rush to make a trade.
"You're never forced to do anything," he said. "No one in this league does anything they're forced to do. I like what I've seen in our young bigs ... I really like what I see in those two guys, and I want to see what they can do over the course of a 20- or 30-game span."
Brian T. Smith with the latest from Andre Miller...
On whether he thinks he will be a Blazer next season:
I don't know. It's how the coaches and the management sees it. I just don't think I've been given the opportunity as a veteran to actually show what I can do to help this team; there never was a chance coming in here to put my stamp on the team as a veteran leader. If you look at it, if you're not given the opportunity, you've got to find it; you've got to find ways to adjust. Whether the management sees me playing a bigger role next year or moving me. That's their decision. But, if they was to move, it wasn't really an opportunity for the start. ... I can't get my head down about it; I'll be a professional about everything. It's just coming into the whole situation, I wasn't given that chance that a veteran should be given; a fair chance. But that's part of the business. I'll be a professional about it.
Brian T. Smith looks at the Blazers' three headed coaching approach...
While Williams acknowledged that he sometimes has had trouble getting respect from referees and has been playfully teased by opposing coaches, McMillan said everything from timeouts to in-game adjustments have gone off without a hitch.
"I think it's been pretty smooth," McMillan said. "I haven't really felt like we're not getting the information to the players. ... The players have responded to that style. And they're listening, and they understand that this is what we're doing."
Geoffrey C. Arnold with an interesting take from Brandon Roy...
The Trail Blazers' Roy suggested the league change the eligibility rules for being selected to the All-Star team.
"Maybe they should do it where you have to play a certain amount of games to start," said Roy, who was ninth in the voting for guards. "If you play in a certain amount of games, then you get to start or play before they announce the team."
Joe Freeman on the Blazers rookies...
"I told somebody to stop crying," Pendergraph said after the game. "Actually, I told them all to stop crying. Because they kept getting mad at me, 'Like, why are you doing that? Stop hitting me like that. Watch them elbows.' So I was like, 'Shut up. No. Just move out the way. You know I'm standing right here and you're going to run into me and you think I'm just going to let you run me over. You must crazy.' I'm gonna hit the heck out of you. I don't like to get run over. I'm going to hit you first and then you'll get out of the way."
"There was a lot of talk (in the summer) of playing in the D-League and maybe not dressing as much," Cunningham said. "But things happen. You just have to stay ready and go hard like you're going out there to play the whole game every game. That's what I've been doing. It's been a great confidence booster for me to know that I'm here and contributing and we're winning."
Wendell Maxey talks to Jeff Pendergraph...
Pendergraph has easily become a feel good story in Portland, aside from quickly establishing himself as a fan favorite after returning from hip surgery in September. He went from a second round hopeful out of Arizona State, to holding it down at the Las Vegas Summer League, to damaged goods, only to work his way back into becoming the scrappy power forward we've seen flex and scowl these past couple weeks.
"I was broke," Pendergraph continued, knowing just months ago that he wasn't even sure if he'd play at all this season.
From broke to beasting, Jeff is showing he can be more than a quick fix in the paint for Portland.
Mike Barrett recaps the Warriors game...
Roy was brilliant once again, scoring 37 points on just 16 shots. He was 12 for 16 from the field, 12 for 14 from the line, and had 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Again, he's putting up numbers like this in games where the opponents' entire defensive game plan is designed to shut him down. Normally he has Aldridge to help take the pressure off of him. Or, he has Blake hitting threes to open up the middle. Tonight it was Brandon, and hard-working cast of role players in emotional lockstep with him.
Andre Miller was absolutely huge in the first half, and helped bring the Blazers back after falling into that 14-point hole. He created mismatches, he posted up, he hit face-up jumpers, and ran the team efficiently.
SJ from Rip City Project writes...
Last thing, I loved the freedom Andre Miller seemed to play with. Actually scratch that, its interesting to see how Portland is playing so cohesive and scrappy and hard because, well, they only have 8 guys and have nothing to worry about. Its kind of like in a rec league when you only have 6 players, you know you can just go play the game. Could it be that depth was our gift and our curse (Blueprint 2)? Is Portland going to win games they shouldn't? Absolutely. Was last night an example of this? More than likely. I've learned with this season just to enjoy the ride.
- I enjoyed this mega-feature by Sam Amick on Tyreke Evans and his "entourage."
- Mike Prada from BulletsForever.com takes on the Gilbert Arenas situation and lashes out a little bit at AWoj.
- An in-person recap from the Rose Garden (with pictures) over at Golden State of Mind.
- The latest on Rod Benson from Rod Benson.
- BustaBucket.com: Rudy Fernandez + Snowballs + Video.
- Henry Abbott straps up.
- Stein: Blazers are 5th
- Hollinger: Blazers are 10th
- Schuhmann: Blazers are 5th
- Parker: Blazers are 8th
Drop anything that I missed in the comments. And, please, frequent the FanShots.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter