Thursday, July 5, 2007

NBA Summer League Kickoff

Can you smell it in the air? Might wanna crack a window.

The NBA Summer League is starting today (schedule). The turnovers, the lack of organization, and the bricks, oh the bricks. This can make the action difficult to watch.

Even with this in mind, I still get excited. Maybe I'm a basketball masochist.

Or maybe its still fun to see how the draft picks look. Also, you can't be mad at the fringe-NBA Players giving it everything they've got in an attempt to beat the odds and secure a spot on a team's final roster. Plus I'm not that into baseball.

As a Portland fan, I've came up with a few things I hope to keep tabs on during my team's Vegas run:

  • Oden: Everything Oden.

  • Joel Freeland:How can you not be curious about the white Keon Clarke? Blazers drafted the mostly unknown young Englishman in 2006. He played ball in one of the top Euro-leagues last season (Spain's ACB League) and averaged 15 and 7 in 26 minutes per. Oh ya, and he's still new to the game.

  • The Oden/Aldridge dynamic in the post (oh my god!)

  • Spanish Chocolate
  • Terrance Green. A recent addition to the roster. Terrance Green is a Portland product who played college ball at Nevada and then for The Guangdong Southern Tigers in China with Yi Jianliang. There's a big shortage in roster spots this year, but I'm really hoping he will have an opportunity to show himself enough to catch on with someone.

  • Martell Webster. Does he get it yet?

  • Josh McRoberts. His plummeting stock in the draft was a popular joke at the local sportsbar. I had a big hand in that, but I'm glad he dropped low enough for Portland to pick him up. He reportedly is best as a complimentary player (which is how he got famous in highschool-playing with Greg Oden), he always will be that in Portland.

  • Petteri Koponen. The work-out wonder from Finland that we know so little about. He'll probably stay in Europe for a while, so this is a rare opportunity to get a good look. I want to nickname him "The Finnish Finagler," but Casey Holdahl of the Blazer's Blog told me its "The Finnisher." I'm not sure if he's badass enough for that nickname yet, but we'll see.

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