Saturday, March 24, 2007

3-0, Thanks Zach! March Madness???

Read my earlier posts, and tell me the latest on Zach Randolph is hurting the cause. This is only further evidence of a pattern of behavior that leads to nothing positive. There's nothing wrong with going to a Strip Club (well, maybe when you're taking time away from the team to supposedly grieve there is, but that's another topic), but the players who seem to go out and do these things a lot are more likely to end up in a bad situation. The Pacers, Pacman Jones, Damien Nash, I could keep going, but I think you get the point.

While Zach reminding us that he's an idiot probably helps in convincing other fans (and hopefully management) that he should be gone, it probably hurts his trade value. He hadn't gotten any kind of negative attention for a while, and we were hearing murmurs of a maturing Z-Bo. The more likely scenario: journalists hadn't caught him doing anything lately. We should've traded him before the deadline. With Zach, you are always living on borrowed time.

Reading through the comments left by readers after the article is interesting. A lot of people still have Zach's back, but the seeds of doubt are getting a little sunlight. The main reason I want him gone is because his style of play doesn't fit with the more mobile, active young guys. He does what he does, and thats all he does. No defense (why is nobody pointing this out more?), no movement on the offensive end (without the ball), and he is still struggling with adopting Coach Nate's crazy "pass the ball when you are double teamed" idea consistently.

The fact that he's insists on being a negative attention magnet is just another big reason to ship him off. This small window of time that has been Zach's bereavement has reinforced few things:

1) The Blazers can win (and in a style that is much more fun to watch) without Zach.

2) Zach is still an idiot.

3) Lamarcus Aldridge can play!

This time could go a long way in showing team management that Zach is not someone they need to hold onto. The timing of Zach taking a leave to grieve, the team subsequently going 3-0 in his absence, and Zach pulling a Zach once again should bolster the case. Oh ya, and LaMarucs Aldridge is averaging 21 ppg, 9 rebounds, 2.3 blks, and 0.33 turnovers in Zach's absence. Looking at all of this, how can you not want to trade Zach?

The more likely scenario that ends up getting Zach out of town? Lamarcus and Roy becoming bigger and bigger stars and having an increasing amount of offense geared towards them, leading Zach to pout and demand a trade. Hmmm, yet another reason to trade him before he demands it and we get less than we could by acting now.

Of course, I've been wrong before.

Off the topic, I have to vent about the NCAA's. Great games in the Sweet 16, and I'm realizing Jay Bilas is a prophet. I think it was him who I heard say on a bracket show before the tourney that there would be less upsets this year, due largely to the NBA's age limit creating more of a talent gap in college basketball. Well sir, you are correct. The average seed in the Elite 8 is 1.625 (shout out to Wisconsin!). The games have been great and competetive, with the higher seed usually winning out. This has done a slight hatchet job on my bracket, but beyond that I'm wondering if our days of regular big upsets and frequent Cinderellas are over. I wonder what Jay thinks...

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