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.

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