Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thanks for a good month

Happy Halloween. Tonight its being reaffirmed to me just how many kids live in my apartment complex. The candy is running low and truthfully, I was sort of banking on having tons left over for my personal use. That's why I've entrenched. I'm here in the dark, chomping away and constructing a fort of candy wrappers. Boo!

This was the most successful month in DeceptivelyQuick's brief history, how exactly you define success for an obscure blog I'm not totally sure, but I feel good. Increased traffic seems to motivate ideas into fruition, so thanks for reading. Hopefully the upward trend will continue, and we'll all get money and chicks, man. Yeah.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Quick Thoughts, Blazers Debut

Fourth Quarter/Overall: Portland 97 - San Antonio 106 (box score)
  • People who just look at the box score will think Webster had a huge game tonight, which is sort of true. What actually happened is even better, Martell just looked comfortable and confident all night, not forcing anything. Most of his shots were good ones in the flow of the offense. Great for the Blazers that he's at a place mentally to take advantage.
  • We didn't see much of this Pryzbilla last season. He was doing what he does best, bothering tons of shots down the stretch and gobbling up boards. Welcome back Joel, how we've missed you.
  • Luckily for Roy, he won't have to see Bruce Lee Bowen every night. Again, credit Roy for playing through a rough night. He doesn't stop doing all the things that make him a very good player, even on a night like this he's still often in the mix helping out in some way.
  • "Nate-guy" Taurean Green saw zero minutes tonight. "Out of rotation" guy Sergio saw 5:39.
  • Outlaw looked great early, but disappeared. Still encouraging, but these disappearances are what have limited Outlaw in the past. When he's on and attacking though, it was hard to even see that Matt Bonner was in his general area.
  • Blazers come decently close to the comeback. They don't know any better than to keep trying, which is something to love. I predict an ESPN recap will soon employ the adjective "plucky" to describe them.

Third Quarter: Portland 77 - San Antonio 81
  • Roy, hounded by Bowen, continues to struggle with his shot. But we get to see what separates him from a lot of other young players. Roy is not forcing anything, and continues to do little things right and facilitate for his teammates.
  • Mt. Pryzbilla erupted. He's back to his old rebounding and shot blocking self. He's even sinking freethrows. This is a great sign.
  • Webster continues to look comfortable and confident.
  • LaMarcus, LaMarcus, LaMarcus. I'm telling you. LaMarcus.

Second Quarter: Portland 49 - San Antonio 59
  • Bowen is winning the matchup with Roy in a landslide. Neither one of them are having much of an impact on offense, of course Bowen doesn't need to.
  • Get used to this, LaMarcus Aldridge: Consistent Offensive Threat.
  • We have yet to see Ime Udoka.
  • Jack isn't having a very good night, but when he's in the game its hard not to notice that the offense works better. By "works better," I mean the ball ends up with LaMarcus more often.

First Quarter: Portland 26 - San Antonio 29
  • Blazers look fine on offense, but are shooting mostly jumpers. Then again, they're playing the Spurs. Everyone shoots jumpers against the Spurs.
  • The Blazers most talented and inconsistent members: Webster, Outlaw, and Sergio, did a lot of good things. Particularly Outlaw, who Matt Bonner is allegedly guarding. We all know these three can be tantalizing, but consistency is the issue. We'll see how it goes.
  • The interior Blazers D really softens up when Pryzbilla and Aldridge are out. This might be expected, but the difference is pretty startling. Will the Blazers be able to fill this need? Or will one of the two always have to be in the game?

Opening Night

I'm sitting here waiting for the Blazers debut versus the Spurs to begin. Good to see the TNT studio team, I've missed them. I'm glad the Oden arrival pushed the Blazers into some national coverage, even as Oden going down has the networks bracing for lower ratings. I'm happy because the attention means more people will realize how special Brandon Roy and LaMarcus are. This team had a lot going for it before Oden came into the picture, even if it all is tied to some oft-injured young stars finding ways to stay healthy.

Last season we started to realize we have players that can conceivably make something special happen. This season is the first dedicated to that something. Here we go.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Scoop Jackson vs. Blogs, its still on

Just read Scoops Page 2, here's the highlight:

"And the sport the blogs and bloggers hate the most: basketball. The league they will give the least benefit of the doubt to: the NBA. This year the NBA can give bloggers no more reasons to hate than they already have. The power of the blog can kill the league."

Hearing that the NBA is barely clinging to existence is nothing new, but I was shocked at the accuracy of the statement. See, just a few weeks ago at the Blogger meeting there was a powerpoint slide outlining the master plan to take down the NBA. Some how, Scoop must have gotten a peek. Maybe he was there, his article is on the internet, and that could have gotten him passed security. He could be like Blade, half-real life big time sportswriter, half-blogger. And with a foot in each world, Scoop may be the world's only chance for survival.

I actually like a lot of Scoop's work and feel bad that the all-powerful evil-bloggers have not been more kind to the man. Despite the humiliation of being criticized on sportswriter forums read by tens of people, Scoop reached out. Of course, he got burned there too, and I'm not sure he has realized it. No matter. Bless you Scoop, fight the good fight. Somebody's got to.

Catching Up With Joel Freeland

Many of us first heard the name Joel Freeland when Portland drafted the then nineteen year-old with the #30 pick in the 2006 draft. He was one of those surprises you hear shooting up draft projections after impressing teams on the pre-draft workout circuit. More surprisingly, for all this raw talent that had teams drooling, Joel had started working on his game just three years prior to hearing his name called. He was 6'10 and athletic, but hadn't played much at a high level. His wiry frame also didn't seem like something you could see having much fun close to the hoop during an NBA game. The Blazers decided to let him mature in Europe, and Joel signed a contract with Gran Canaria of Spain's ACB League. There, it was believed he would get an opportunity to gain experience competing at a high level while polishing his skills and getting his body ready to compete in the NBA.

The problem was, Gran Canaria rarely played the man they already knew would be leaving them for the NBA, and showed little interest in helping with his development. Rather than dwell on this frustrating situation Joel went to work on his skills the best he could. And he lifted. And lifted. When 2007's summer-league rolled around it was time for Joel to rejoin the Blazers. That wiry young draft pick was nowhere to be seen, in his place was 250 lbs of grown man that definitely looked the part of an NBA player.

Joel saw sporadic time in Vegas, but certainly did enough to leave an impression. His two-handed throwdown off a lob in traffic and his blocking of a Leon Powe dunk come to mind. He proved to the coaching staff that he can play, and is now in a position requiring him to work as hard as ever on improving while patiently waiting for his opportunity. I emailed Joel a few questions and he was kind enough to reply, his words are in grey:

1) How much contact do you have with the Blazers right now? Do you communicate much this time of year or are you mostly left to do your own thing?

I don’t have much contact with the Blazers during the season, which is no problem as I understand they have a lot on their plate during the season. But as I travel to mainland Spain I occasionally meet up the European scout so that’s kinda cool!

2) Have you heard much from the team on an ideal timeframe for you to come over? If you came over now, how much do you think you could contribute to the team?

I haven’t spoken to the team about this, but to be honest I’m not in any rush, it will happen when it happens and I've just got to make sure that I’m fully prepared for the responsibility that it involves, and also make sure that I am ready to compete, so all I’m focused on now is playing, working hard and getting better.

3) It seems like both you and the Blazers organization are frustrated at the limited minutes Gran Canaria has offered. What is your approach to still improving your game in such a situation?

I am frustrated as any basketball player would be but I feel as long as I stay confident and work everyday, whether it be during practice or by myself, I will benefit greatly from it.My opportunity to play will eventually come and I have to be prepared to show everybody that I am physically and mentally ready to compete at this level.

4) You've talked about the level to which you've added muscle to your frame, and a desire to gain more. After summer league, do you feel like your body is now where you'd like it to be?

With the extra weight that I have put on over the past year I feel great. I feel a lot stronger and a lot more stable in the low post, and I don’t feel like I've lost any quickness either, which is great. I’m at around 250lbs at the moment and I feel I could go up to like 255-260lbs and that would be perfect.

5) Anything else?

Thanks a lot for the questions and trying to stay in touch its greatly appreciated. I would just like to say thanks to the fans as well for their unbelievable support and I hope to see you all soon!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A void to fill

I had a great time taking in the game last night. The new team, the new scoreboard. The dramatic comeback, the Robert Swift. But when the Blazers hit the highly anticipated Chalupa mark late in the fourth quarter, my usual exuberance was tempered by a sudden sense of lacking. Something wasn't right. My eyes flashed up to the billion dollar HD scoreboard, and I realized what was missing.

I avidly supported the trade Zach movement last season. There was a lot to gain by moving him, but I didn't fully understand everything we would be losing. See, when the Blazers used to hit the Chalupa mark, a picture of Randolph would flash on the jumbotron. He'd be wearing a sombrero and a poncho, with a facial expression and body posture suggesting he just did a magic trick and yelled "TA-DAAA!" It was almost as delicious as the free baja Chalupa I would be enjoying on the ride home. Now I feel more like I would when I got home, after eating the Chalupa.

As of right now, the Blazers have yet to announce a replacement. Will there even be one? Or will this position go the way of the Blazermaniac ? My humble nomination:

Blazers vs Sonics and first impressions

Great game last night at the Rose Garden (box score). The crowd was bigger than I thought for a preseason game not including Durant or Oden. Just sparse enough for an obscure blogger to stealthily move from a seat requiring an oxygen tank to a place where, as DeceptivelyQuick Operative Brrrrrrrr! pointed out, one could see Steve Blake's 5 o'clock shadow. If you want a play by play, Casey Holhal at Oregon Live blogged the whole game. The Blazers made a dramatic comeback thanks to Delonte West's inability to guard Brandon Roy. Its preaseason, so I'm trying not to get too carried away, but here were some impressions I walked away with:

  • Robert Swift is garbage. The Sonics see something in him, I'm not sure anyone else does. During a summer league game in July I saw him on the sidelines and wrote that you can only pull off a bright red pony tail in the NBA if you're as good as Bill Walton. Its not looking good.
  • LaMarcus and Roy are still very, very good. Martell looked comfortable and starterish out there, but we've seen this before. Can't wait to see how he does this year.
  • Remember when nobody would shut up about how awesome the new scoreboard is? Kind of annoying, right? I mean, its just a scoreboard. Wrong. It really is that amazing. I took the following grainy video as proof:


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The case of the missing overweight middle-aged caucasian men

A couple weeks ago, I excitedly posted an email I had received about an event aimed at recruiting some "Blazermaniacs." Season tickets were in it for the winners ("winners"?), so the incentive was there. Even better, the email claimed they would put videos of the top contestants online for fans to vote on. In fact, the online voting was set to run through 10/22. I was ready. It seems sad (because it is) but I was pumped for this contest. I was going to carefully sift through these shameless people and officially endorse a candidate. It was going to be a DeceptivelyQuick media blitz.

For weeks I've been scouring the site and checking my junk e-mail folder. Nothing. I even scanned that IAMATRAILBLAZERSFAN.COM thing. Nothing. Did nobody show up? Did only a few enter and win by default? The silence, as they say, was deafening.

I may be the lone voice on this issue. But a fan's willingness to bring shame to their children and themselves by acting ridiculous at a sporting event is key to the whole experience of going to the game. One of my favorite experiences ever was at a Blazer's game last season when an impromptu breakdance battle between two fans broke out on the jumbotron. We need this contest to work, for the betterment of us all.

Please people, do not let this die.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

R-O-Y, like the award, get it?!?!?

During all of last season I supported the whole name thing. Brandon Roy, Rookie Of the Year. A fun little coincidence. In fact, I'm still kicking myself over not buying this shirt:

By the way, its funny that someone felt compelled to stick the word "MY" in before "ROOKIE OF THE YEAR," as if they weren't quite ready to believe the rest of the league would feel the same way. It reminds me of reading a Blazers team magazine in grade school with Clifford Robinson and Rod Strickland on the cover and the headline something along the lines of "You're All-Stars in Our Book!" We're used to notoriety, we're used to infamy. We are still getting used to relevance. But I digress...

I guess if its your job to write headlines and come up with cute gimmicks, its hard to let something like Roy/ROY go. I can see how these sorts of conveniences make your job a little easier. But Roy is no longer a rookie, so I was sort of hoping we could let go of this one now. Then I woke up this morning and read this headline summing up his preseason debut:

"Roy doesn't play like ROY"

Ugh. This will not go away. There's only one solution for Mr. Roy to escape this, he has to change his name. Its not even that hard. I put a few ideas in the list below. It might even be helpful for him to cycle through whenever he reaches a milestone, or combine them all into a single name that includes every honor possible (might as well throw the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes in there too, right? Believe in your dreams):

Brandon All-Star
Brandon First Team All-NBA
Brandon McChampion
Best Player Ever Al-Blazers Dynasty Cornerstone Shabazz

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hannah Montana and the Blazers go together like, wait, huh?

The wonderful Blazer spamming robot sent out an interesting opportunity today:

"Special Auction for Hannah Montana and Trail Blazers Suite Package

Your chance to bid on the SOLD OUT Hanna Montana concert!

Fourteen-year-old singer, songwriter and actress Miley Cyrus of the hit Emmy-nominated Disney Channel series 'Hannah Montana,' will perform her North American 'Best of Both Worlds' concert tour at the Rose Garden on Tuesday, October 30th at 7 PM. Don't miss your chance to see Miley perform both as a solo artist and as her popular television character Hannah Montana in an exclusive Rose Garden suite!

In addition, you'll receive a Trail Blazers suite to see Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge take on Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets for the 2007-08 regular season home opener on November 7th at 7 PM. "

Big companies love "synergy." No surprise, its probably on the top 50 fun/cool words to say list. When something is that neat-o, there's really no need for it to make any sense. You do it so you can reassure everyone you are indeed getting your synergy on. Synergy. Nice.

I don't know a whole lot about Hannah Montana, so I did a little investigating. Wikipedia says she's the daughter of former mullet kingpin Billy Ray Cyrus, so she must be awesome. Also, a guy who wrote for The Smothers Brothers, Dolly Parton, and (naturally) In Living Color wants to sue her show.

The auction ends October 19th at 10:00 AM. Just enough time to secure a payday loan. God bless synergy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The allure of Finnish Hip Hop Culture

Our favorite embedded Invisible Finnish Hand Operative H.T. checked in again, and is bringing the crazy:

"Ugh!No, I haven't forgotten my special mission to keep bizarre sports blogs informed about how private Koponen is doing in the Finnish army. Since nothing new is happening and the Finnish league regular season is just three games old, I just decided to keep you entertained with this video:

--> especially wait for the basketball sequence.

That surely is worth watching.


Here's the video. The computer I'm working on right now has no speakers, but even without sound this is pretty amazing:

There's only one Stig Dogg.

You have to wonder, will this glamorous lifestyle suck in our beloved Finnagler? In the States, when a young baller hits the big time friendships with rappers are assured. Fast cars, fast women, wave caps. Does this mean we'll start seeing Stig Dogg courtside? Will the Finnagler start throwing up the Invisible Finnish Hand after completing a sweet play? We can only hope.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Davis Cup Update, You CAN'T come

So, Davis Cup tickets went on sale at 10:00 AM this morning. As I was occupado, DeceptivleyQuick Operative Brrrrrrrrrrr! was standing by to purchase two of the $90 passes the exact second they went on sale. I was pumped. Then something bad happened. The following is a sequence of text messages I received from Brrrrrrrrrrrr!:

Time: 10:01 AM
im buyin tix son!

Time: 10:13 AM
demand is high! I been queued at the tix page 4 ten mins already!

Time: 10:33 AM
its sayin they sold out!

And there it is. Subsequent calls and link clicking were met with ice cold blocks that any hot girl's fat friend would be proud of. Last weekend I wrote something about liking the fact that the event would be at the Memorial Coliseum. You know, the smaller space would make the crowd more lively and we would all be given a decent view of the action. This outcome didn't occur to me.

We're still looking for a way in. Connections are being contacted, but this is a very hot ticket. The scalper route is likely to prove beyond DeceptivelyQuick's budget. If you have ANY leads, please contact me. I'll give you...something we can work out. Not that. Or that. Freak.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Davis Cup Ticket Prices

As you may or may not know, I've been excited about the Davis Cup coming to Portland. Tennis has become my second favorite sport, and yet I still haven't seen a live match at any level. The gravity of this novelty is strong.

Being as it hasn't yet popped up on the official ticket site yet, I figured I'd share an email I got regarding ticket info:

"Davis Cup Final

Tickets on sale Monday at 10am!

Event Info:When: Friday, November 30 - Sunday, December 2, 2007
Time: Time Varies
Where: Memorial ColiseumThe USTA will host the 2007 Davis Cup Final between the United States and Russia at the Memorial Coliseum, November 30-December 2. The United States, led by Andy Roddick, James Blake and Bob and Mike Bryan, advanced to the Davis Cup Final with a 4-1 victory over Sweden in Gothenburg. Russia rallied on the final day against Germany in Moscow to win its semifinal, 3-2. This will be the first Davis Cup Final held in the United States since 1992... Read More...

Ticket Info:Prices: 3-day pass: $600, $420, $210 and $90

Ticket prices do not include applicable service charges

Onsale: Monday at 10:00 AM"

$90 isn't bad for a 3 day pass, and since its at the smallish-Memorial Coliseum I would think it would be a decent view. I may bite on this.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blazers now recruiting mentally unstable

You heard me right, an email just popped up in my junk folder with this link recruiting for the positions of "BlazerManiac Section" and "Blazer Maniac Section Captain." I'm thinking showing up to the practice facility tomorrow with a video recording device could result in some good comedy.

I like the promotion idea, laughing at the people that like getting too crazy at games is always good times. If you are willing to publicly humiliate yourself to a higher degree than anybody else who shows up tomorrow, you will get season tickets with the expectation that you will bring the humiliation 42 times a year.

My prediction? The winner (at least of the captain position) will be a middle aged overweight white guy. Way to go out on a limb, right?

Fantasy Basketball Starts

I'll try to keep my fantasy basketball proclamations of love and pain to a minimum, I really will. But we're gearing up again, and there's too much anticipation in the air to let things go unsaid.

I am still dealing with the pain of last years second place finish, dealt to me via my opponents shrewd Travis Outlaw pick up in the final week of the season. The way he piled up stats in that span of garbage time was truly remarkable. The fact that a Blazer was used against me in such a way made it all the more traumatic, et tu brute?

Et tu indeed.

But now is a new season, I am older and wiser than before. A veterans grit forged by heartbreak. I must avenge my loss. If you would like to join the league I'll be playing in, email me at the link up top and we can roll. If you'd like me to join your league, I will definitely do that too. I have been dreaming of participating in a Finnish league, hopefully the Invisible Finnish Hand will reach out to me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Whats eating Spanish Chocolate?

At a recent Blazers training camp where all relevant media were allowed to watch the entire day (I was invited, but unfortunately again had to go shower and do some stuff), Casey Holdhal at OLive did a sort of live blog that seemed to include a bunch of bad plays by Sergio Rodriguez (it starts here).

This freaked out some of the Blazer faithful, who apparently bombarded the man with follow up questions about how it could be that Sergio was performing so poorly. Casey noted that Sergio wasn't terrible, he did distribute the ball well, then added:

"Nate McMillan didn't raise his voice a whole lot during practice, but when he did, it was almost always because of Sergio."

Casey later conjectures that Sergio seems like he may not be comfortable, which could be hurting his performance. Looking back on Sergio's offseason, its easy to see why he may not have all the confidence in the world.

Mike Barrett has been watching too. His ringing Sergio endorsement went like this:

"Sergio Rodriguez hasn't been especially disappointing"

Awesome. That counts as praise at this point.

Sergio has been in a whirlwind that has taken him from Bill Brasky, to a lackluster summer league, to not being able to get off the bench on his national team, to his coach telling the press he is out of the rotation and probably won't be back, to obscure bloggers calling for him to be traded (you should read that one).

To play his freewheeling style, I would think that comfort and confidence would be critical. I would also think that a player like Sergio wouldn't benefit by squelching the flavor of his game in order to join the "Nate-guy" club. If he wants to get playing time with this team, it seems he'll have to do all the things Nate wants and stay Spanish Chocolate.

Theres a line between show and hard-nosed basic basketball that every player like Sergio's success depends on. Sergio's idol, Jason Williams, reigned himself in and had it mostly figured out until injuries came along. Lets give Sergio a vote of confidence that it won't take him so long, his future as a Blazer is likely depending on it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

NBA Live 08 Update

As I've been letting everyone know my excitement for the upcoming release, I was pretty let down by news that it won't be coming to the Wii until October 30th. Lame. For the record, it comes out on the Wii in Europe October 19th. Yep, Europe.

Just another downer after hearing that dynasty mode will not exist on the version for my adorable little console, and reading the mixed reviews that continue to pour in.

I finally discovered ratings for the teams and partial lists for the players available online. Only the overall ratings of the top 20 players are listed (if you have the game on xbox or ps3 and would like to fill me in on Blazer ratings, I would pledge my unwavering devotion to you). The oddest ranking to me is Toronto at #28, weren't they in the playoffs as a new and young team last season? Portland comes in at #24, by the way.

I decided to cycle through the list and check in on some predictions I made back in August:

LaMarcus Aldridge will be underrated.
Cheeeeck! Well, all the list tells us is that he's not among the top 20 power forwards or centers. But, being that Shareef Abdul-Rahim is #20 I would think Lamarcus should be in there. Interestingly, new Blazer Channing Frye is tied with Shareef, both rated at 75.
Channing is one of two Blazers that made the top 20 cut, which leads us to....

Greg Oden will be overrated.
Cheeeeck! Although keeping him at a 75 was certainly more modest than I anticipated. This ties him with a gaggle of players as the 7th highest ranked center in the game. No I don't know why Brad Miller is a 76.

My Baron Davis-centric playing will continue to be sweet.
Cheeeeck! I will not complain that Mr. Boom-Dizzle is rated as the 4th best pointguard in the game at 88. My style of play is such that all my hopes hinge on this.

Franchise mode will continue to suck.
Nope! Man, they really got me on this one. How can it suck if they take it away completely? By the way, most NBA Live supporters clamor for EA to make a dynasty option that is as good as Madden. Apparently, this has yet to be heard at EA.

The Bobcats will be fun.
Eh? Too early to tell, but they did come in ranked at #16. Thats 12 spots ahead of the Raptors.

It really isn't shocking, but Roy didn't make the top 20 cut either. Which is fine, until you notice Randy Foye came in at #18 with a 76 rating.

Much of what I'm hearing is bad, which is depressing because I know I will still feel compelled to shell out the cash on October 30th. Damn you NBA Live, you never learn. And I cannot learn to let you go.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Blazers injury bug lashes out at DeceptivelyQuick

Oden's knee. Roy's heel. Today I learned that this injury plague is not limiting itself to Blazer players. None of us are safe, not even obscure sportsbloggers. This weekend, I contracted this. Just read the introduction paragraph, ya, things have not been good.

If I were Jordan, I might just score 47 against the Knicks in my condition. However, I am me, and will settle for a blogpost.

One update that won't gross you out is a new take on my creepy Pippen/Finnagler fantasy brought to you by BlueForest (somehow this had gone unnoticed by me until now):

"BlueForest said...
DQ, those ships could well wage a naval battle. If the Pippen GAMES do happen, one of them should be against Honka. Two years ago, when Rodman played one game for Torpan Pojat, it was against them. Ol' Dennis revealed a new side in his game by shooting 5/14 on THREE-POINTERS, but he could not run, jump or pick up a ball off the floor. I hope Pippen has a bit more left..."

Indeed, it seems the combination of former NBA greats and Finland can produce strange phenomenon. A potential Pippen v Finnagler showdown just got even better. Anybody have a hookup for Finnish airfare?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

NBA Live 08 Release

With all the excitement around here, I nearly forgot the new NBA Live is out (I've been waiting, read here and here). I need to go buy NBA Live 08, but am holding off until the weekend as it is conducive to me not messing my life up. Fate has decided to tempt me daily, as there is a video game store directly along my daily foot-commute. I must stay strong.

Here's some first reviews of how the people are liking it on the Wii. As one of many who has been clamoring for a dynasty mode on par with EA's Madden games, its pretty disappointing to learn that it no longer even exists.

Assuming I'm able to get some quality Wii time this weekend, expect a review and I'll check in on how my predictions turned out.

Blazers on Myspace. I know I'm a loser.

It was Blazers media day today, and everybody who is anybody was there. I was going to get a press-pass and get all sorts of scoops, but I had to shower and do some stuff.

So I decided to have my own media day. There will be no microphones or cliche questions/answers at this one. To get to really know a person, they have to open up. You have to see them stripped down to their most honest self-expression. Thats right, we're going to Myspace!

I guess its important to keep in mind anyone can pose as anyone on myspace. I mean, if I really wanted to I could create an account claiming the name "Raef LaFrentz," throw up some pics and a Kelly Clarkson song, and BOOM, I'm hooking up with "LaFans" until I get "LaClap."

Full disclosure, here's mine.

Lets assume that at least some of these are real, and we can learn all types of interesting personal trivia. For example, did you know Raef LaFrentz would like to meet "Bill Russel, Magic Johnson, Jesus, " This is just the beginning my friend.

I ran the entire roster through the name search (I added the draft picks who will remain stashed in Europe for a while). Then I took my shirt off, took pictures at extreme angles that hide my flaws, and got my social-network on.

If you don't see your favorite Blazer on the list, there could be a couple of explanations. They could actually NOT have a myspace, it is sort of possible. Or, and this was more frequent, they have a common name and I didn't feel like sifting through 9 million other Steve Blakes of Chris Elisseses (Ellisi?). I guess I could of tinkered with the zip code filter on my searches, but um, I didn't.

LaMarcus Aldridge
Title: "The Official LaMarcus Aldridge Myspace"
Song: Get 'Em by lil Wayne
Friends: 144
Last login: 10/2/07
By reading the quote, you might think his page is more corporate-marketing tool than actual myspace. You're wrong, you'll be assured of this by the Weezy track and high volume of basketball pictures stuffed into the columns.

Channing Frye
Title: "with any new job, you embrace it, accept it, and move on proudly"
Private Page
He looks to be a serial-myspacer, with a few older accounts. If you're curious, I linked to one he had when he played for the Knicks. The move to a new private page with a positive mantra serving as title (his old one is "Go Knicks!!!!!!")? I like it.

Taurean Green
Title: "gators back to back champs"
Song: Low by Flo Rida
Friends: 945
Last login: 9/27/2007
If you have read this blog, you know I love Taurean's game. He's also impressing the pants off of Nate McMillan, which I always imagine as being hard. His teammates are in his picture, but he didn't just make this to show them some love. You know he can score effectively on his own: "Ladies I'm lookin for i girl that will treat me the way that i will treat the and da way i treat them is good." Awwwwe ya.

Jarrett Jack
Title: "Jarrett Jack"
Last login: 4/28/07
Private Page
Break down the walls, Jarrett, let me love you!

Raef LaFrentz
Title: "Trail Blazers on their way up"
Song: Streamline by Newton
Friends: 295
Last login: 1/5/07
This is the one profile I absolutely insist you visit. Really its too funny to be real (Dane Cook and Bishop Don Magic Juan are top friends), and I can't do it justice.

Josh McRoberts
Title: "im a lucky guy."
Last login: 9/7/2007
Private Page
I admit, I wanted to see this one pretty bad. But not as bad as the next one.

Darius Miles
Title: "Dunkin' Darius"
Song: Where it started at by Hi-Tek
Friends: 3987
Last login: 5/24/2007
Whatever people think about D.Miles, they still think about him. When I talk Blazers to those that don't really follow the team, his name comes up often. Further evidence is the multiple fake myspace pages that are dedicated to him. I linked to the one that seemed to have the most effort put into it.

Greg Oden
Title: "The Ohio State"
Song: Get them hands hi by Ten Days Till
Friends: 368
Last login: 10/2/207
Ordinary enough. Stick to his blog.

Travis Outlaw
Technically has one, but its totally blank. No bad joke equating that with his court presence. Not from me.

Brent Petway
Title: "Holla at ya folk!"
Song: None.
Friends: 3
Last login: 7/8/2005
Brent is one of those guys we should all cheer to catch on somewhere and make the league this season, if only so he can be in the dunk contest. Air Georgia's not really into myspace, though.

Joel Pryzbilla
See Travis Outlaw above.

Sergio Rodriguez
This search yielded 1183 hits, so I let it go. I do write about Sergio often, so I hope to satisfy your needs. Did that sound weird?

Martell Webster
Song: KOBE by Kobe Bryant
Friends: 42
Last login: 8/20/2007
Its not Martell, but it is hilarious. If you didn't know, Martell has angered teammates with the love he gives Kobe, especially when its moments after Mamba has snatched yet another W away from Portland. Kobe's rap song is one of the greatest gifts ever given to us, but for some reason it doesn't get the attention it deserves. This page keeps that alive.

Joel Freeland
Title: ""
Song: none
Friends: 15
Last login: 10/2/2007
Joel is in a frustrating situation. The Blazers know he's good enough to play here. Joel knows he's good enough to play here. But he isn't playing here, instead there is another frustrating season with Gran Canaria ahead. They signed him after he got drafted, seemingly in hopes of securing a nice buy-out payday from Portland, and have played him little and worked to develop him even less.
Trying times. But going emo won't help anything, there are no emo-guys in the League. Thats why his picture selection worries me a little:

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Finnagler in arms, Update!

Once again, the Invisible Finnish Hand has surfaced. Agent H.T. offers us this first look at Koponen in uniform:
Slick. Not only can this uniform help you hide from enemies, but its also perfect gear to do the robot in at a European techno club. If you don't know whats going on, get up to speed on the Finnagler in the Finnish Defence Force.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Deceptively Quick's Blazers starters

A big feature in the Oregonian is detailing how nearly every position on the Blazers is up for grabs. Basically, we know Roy and Aldridge will start and thats about it. Although this topic has been beaten to death by other Blazer sites already, I am a hack, so I offer my starting five:

  • PG: Jarret Jack. Sure, bringing in Steve Blake may have freaked out both Jack and myself. And while Sergio has apparently slipped out of the rotation (good for Jack), Taurean Green is stepping up in a big way (bad for Jack), and Nate loves tough pointguards like Green. We already know Blake is a Nate-guy. I still like Jack to earn the spot in training camp, simply because he's the most talented of the four, and won't give up his spot as incumbent starter so easily. Thats right, Jarret Jack.
  • SG: Brandon Roy. I wish those of you who didn't watch much Blazers last year could truly understand how good Roy is. He really is the total package. I don't curse a whole lot on here but, (cover your ears!) I fucking love when Roy runs the point (my bad, should have said cover the eyes). That said, at least for this year, he'll probably start at the two, but will play point often during the game. Enjoy it.
  • SF: James Jones. The competition for this spot is tight, with Outlaw, Webster, and rumors of a Miles comeback (in Decemberish, ugh). Outlaw's late season explosion while many opponents were simply playing out the schedule didn't impress me, it actually cost me the fantasy league title, so I hated it. Both he and Webster still have to get it together between the ears before they can start. I like what Jones could bring to this spot as a veteran with a shooting touch.
  • PF: LaMarcus Aldridge. I can't wait to see LaMarcus this season. In case you didn't know, this guy will be an All-Star at some point in the next few years.
  • C: Joel Pryzbilla. Don't think this is because I think he's better than Channing Frye, I think Frye will actually play more minutes and be the one to finish games. But Joel is another Nate-guy, and his defense and the fact that he won't take a lot of shots helps him fit in with the starting unit.

While I'm on it, here's a couple other actions I'm currently supporting:

  • Trade Sergio Rodriguez. Ok, the Blazers like all four pointguards and want to keep them all for now, which I understand. Nate has said Sergio is currently out of the rotation. Next year, Portland has to bring over guard Rudy Fernandez. Supposedly, other teams are interested in Sergio. Portland needs to open up a spot in the backcourt. Will Sergio's trade value increase or decrease with him riding the bench all season? That's my case.
  • Bring over Joel Freeland. You haven't forgotten about him, have you? Don't, because he's an animal. Oden is out for the season, so another big wouldn't hurt. Joel's current club, Gran Canaria, has a bizarre pattern of neither playing Joel nor helping him improve his skills in workouts. He's aching to get with the team and prove himself. I think Paul Allen can write a check and get him away from that last season with Gran Canaria. Why aren't we talking about this?

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