Saturday, September 29, 2007

Koponen, Finnagler in Arms

News is that Petteri Koponen will begin his required six month service with the Finnish Defence Forces soon, where we hope he upholds proud Finnish tradition and masters the black art of Ski Warfare.

He will return to run point for the Honka Playboys (who have a picture of Albert Einstein on their homepage, naturally) this season, so season ticket holders need not be concerned. According to DeceptivelyQuick/Invisible Finnish Hand dual-operative "H.T.", he is likely to complete service next April at the rank of Lance Corporal. Of course, once they get a taste of his one handed no look passes, I estimate he will be elevated to at least Brigadier General.

Also from H.T., a Finnish music video that apparently takes place in a space station, I guess. I'm cautious in posting this, as I imagine it is some sort of tool used by Invisible Finnish Hand Operatives to communicate with each other in the field. But the dance at the beginning sort of reminds of Crank dat Soulja Boy:

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sergio Rodriguez out of rotation

As you may know, Sergio is in a bit of a situation. Don't be mad at him, its not his fault the local fans and media went insane. I tried to document some of the Sergio hysteria here. Now, via TrueHoop, a Jason Quick article pops up that would be shocking if you've never been to this blog. Nate McMillan sings the praises of Taurean Green, and explains that Sergio is out of the rotation:

"He's out (of the rotation),'' McMillan said of Rodriguez. "Right now, he is. He's going to have to play his way in, and that's going to be hard to do unless Blake or Jack just dog it, which I don't think will happen.''

Sounds good to me. I joined (or started?) the trade Sergio band wagon when Portland signed Steve Blake (although that was mostly fueled by my paranoia of losing Jack, my low-faith in Sergio played a part). I know waiting is probably the smartest option for now, but with Rudy Fernandez expected to arrive next season it would seem something will have to be done to free up a guard spot. Will Sergio's trade-value really increase with him not being in the rotation?

The other major point of the Quick article is how high McMillan is on Taurean Green. The heaps of praise aren't totally surprising, Green was impressive in summer league (that is, when he actually got to play his position) and just read his DraftExpress profile to get a sense of how he did on his other pre-NBA benchmarks. What is really shocking is Nate McMillan supporting him with enthusiasm and passion on a level we rarely see. This could be something.

The tension between local fans and media (who are largely still in the Sergio Tornado), and Nate (who sees Sergio everyday and knows more about basketball than local fans/media) over Sergio's role will be an interesting story to watch this season. Last year, Sergio actually played and Nate still found himself getting bombarded with questions about why he wasn't giving opportunities to Sergio. This season, totally out of the rotation? Oh boy.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Davis Cup Finals comes to Portland

Definitely not Blazers related, but if you haven't heard, the Davis Cup Final will be held at Memorial Coliseum November 30-December 2. As you may know, I've come to embrace tennis as my second favorite sport, so I'm excited. Stars like Andy Roddick, James Blake, and the Boba Fett of professional Tennis, Nikolay Davydenko. Roddick wants to export all clay from the state, tennis humor!

Great tennis, patriotism, and a Cold War throwback USA vs. Russia matchup up. Not to mention tennis hooligans (an old SNL skit with David Hyde Pierce that I can't find on youtube. It involves shifting in your seat as the player you don't like serves, awesome.)

Tickets on sale October 15.

Thanks to DeceptivelyQuick operative Brrrrrrrrrr! for the tip.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

NBA still loves the Blazers...Not.

For the record, I'm still alive. I've just been spending too much time watching the Iron Man trailer over and over. You know what would put that movie over the top? Ghostface cameo.
With both Tony Starks in mind:

While visiting the other day I noticed Brandon Roy's picture was headlining one of the main links on the front page. Pretty cool, as I figured the Blazers ride on the crest of basketball mainstream's radar was pretty much rehabilitating with Greg Oden. I clicked the link, only to find the only Blazer related item to be Oden's surgery. Ah well.

Then I realized that while mainstream media doesn't want to care about the Odenless Ones, they've already committed to the team, which is great for us. Just take a look at this clean TV Schedule over at OLive. Lots of ESPN and TNT appearances. Probably bad for them, but great for the fans and the team. Perhaps we'll get some more converts, and I will no longer get crazy looks when explaining that LaMarcus Aldridge is that good.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Pippen The Finnagler

Scottie Pippen in Finland to play two of what those funny people outside the U.S. call "matches" may seem random, odd, and/or insignificant. But basketball news is slow, so why not make a meal of this tasty morsel. By the way, in finding the news from Say Hey, I learned this is not the only blog supported by the invisible Finnish hand, and they write about The Finnagler (Petteri Koponen, if you happen to be new) a lot, and better. Well, let me know when you have the juice to get his side bar info-box thing on wikipedia edited to include things you made up. That's real juice, that's being a real Finnaglerphile. Getting your junk into that box is like getting your synapses of Brian Bosworth's full-length feature film "Stone Cold" added to THE BIBLE.

Anyways, Pippen will play these "matches" for a team located in Helsinki. Helsinki is only 20.3 "kilometers" (LOL, who still uses "kilometers"? That is so 80's) from Espoo, where none other than the Finnagler himself plays for the Tapiolan Honka, whom interestingly take the name from an ancient Battle-Axe culture phrase that roughly translates to "Honkeys."

Former Blazer Pippen so close to future Blazer Koponen. Like ships passing in the crisp Finnish night? Coincidence or fate? My dreams tonight will include a Miyagi-LaRusso relationship. Perhaps the stars have something special in mind for these two, which I mean in the most heterosexual way possible. Clearly, the gods always smile warmly to the Trailblazers.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Khryapa'n back into the news

Blazer fans loved Viktor Khryapa and were sad to see him go. We always love the hustle guys, but I think a lot of us recognized that the man had some decent skills to go along with the effort we saw on the floor. Every once in a while he'd blow up the boxscore, but Khryapa is one of those guys who brings the type of things stat sheets ignore.

Last season with the Bulls, Viktor didn't get much love, but that may change. According to The Painted Area, he gets Eurobasket 1st team all-tourney honors (his team, Russia, won it all). Some slightly more famous guys on the 1st team are Kirilenko, Gasol, and Dirk. Go Viktor. I really hope the attention and possible confidence boost from this tournament will translate into him grabbing more minutes this season. Hopefully he doesn't feel the need to go back to Russia like AK-47, I would miss the guy.


I arrived back from Vegas in the same condition as most others: broke, tired, and recovering from being robbed by OJ. I had some odd drunken dream that Greg Oden got knee surgery and had to be out all season. Thank god that could never happen.

I just called the Rose Garden and let them know I'm back on the grind, so they can go ahead and continue with their operation. True to their word, they didn't do anything major while I was away. I appreciate that. Now if you'll excuse me, its time for a bacon run.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Vegas Vacation

I've called the good folks at the Rose Garden and let them know not to let anything major go down until next Saturday (9/22), as I will be on leave from Blogfrica. I'm going to Las Vegas, and may end up with my head in a vise, which would actually still be better than this. Needless to say, there will be no hot blogging action. As an ever opportunistic blogger, I planned my vacation to somehow avoid both summer league and the FIBA Tournament. Thats just how I roll.

Since we have to spend this time apart, go ahead and send in any ideas, comments, and/or such: deceptively.quick at

And if you happen to be from Finland, I already know that you would like to see more on Petteri Koponen. This blog is oddly popular in Finland, and I've written a good deal about The Finnagler. If you have any updates on the guy, that would be awesome, and I'll probably post them. The credit I give you is certain to bring you great fame and fortune.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oden and his knee: sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

I spent the day soaking up reactions to the news and trying to figure out how to react. I can tell you this: it really does suck.

This being the case, I'm tired of all the positivity going around. Oden is gone for the entire year, to a major knee surgery that has been known to end careers from time to time, and apparently we should be upbeat about this. Here's a brief list of reactions I've actually heard/read:
  • Hey, we'll probably get another top draft pick out of this!
  • LaMarcus will get a better chance to develop!
  • We'll really get to see what Channing Frye can do!
  • A new chance for some other guys to step up!
  • SOME players that got this surgery made AWESOME comebacks!

Wow, we really are lucky this happened! I bet Cleveland fans are way jealous LeBron hasn't had to go through knee surgery. I'm goin to buy scratch-its!

I learned something else. Apparently, anyone who is disappointed about this is an asshole. Let me review this again, maybe I missed something:

The #1 draft pick, a supposed franchise player, will not play at all this season. Because he is getting arthroscopic knee surgery.

So when people fire off frustrations about this, they're dicks? I know we are less and less accepting of people being pissed off, but humor me. I'm not as Vulcan as some. I want to be pissed off a little right now. Let me, and let everyone else. Keep in mind: this really does suck.

That figures, Oden out all season

The rumors have been confirmed by, Oden is likely to miss the entire 2007-08 season. I won't post much about this right now, because I am likely to go off on a rant detailing how every time my hope for the team has reached the levels it has recently catastrophe seems to happen. Sean Elliot hits a miraculous three. Sheed throws a towel in the face of Sabonis. See what I mean? I'll stop. I knew I shouldn't have thrown up a Sam Bowie picture the day it came out that this was happening.

This sucks a lot, but we still have a good year planned. I was more eager to see how LaMarcus and Roy play this season anyways. If one of them gets hurt, by the way, I'm going into full on self-pity Blazers are cursed mode. Don't even try to stop me.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go cry it out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sergio Rodriguez

Blazer fans supported Sergio in a big way last season. How could we not be drawn in? In his limited minutes, we were dazzled. We were entertained. We wondered why Sergio wasn't getting more playing time. Fans and local media alike were being swept away. Although I think the original John Canzano article has been removed from the OregonLive website (thank god the FanHouse picked up on this, I remember the quote but hadn't been able to track down the article) that second link quotes the man's thoughts on Sergio:

"his upside is that of Tony Parker or Steve Nash or Jason Kidd."

Spanish Chocolate-mania got way out of control. It was like a tornado encompassing the entire city. We happily went around reaffirming his true greatness to each other. Yes, we Bill Brasky'd the situation. He could eat a hammer and take a shotgun blast standing. Indeed.

This climate in the city made it hard not to get swept up. Henry Abbot, a Blazer fan with the benefit of a continent-sized geographic buffer between him and all this insanity tried to remind us:

"I can't say I feel he's going to be an All-Star or anything like that. My take is: he should be put in a position to freewheel, because it's a beautiful thing to watch and it makes his teammates so much better."

Whatever, dude. Not an All-Star or 'anything' like that? Obviously, you've never seen it. This was some sort of super NashParkerKiddBrasky hybrid we had here.

There were the facts we were conveniently ignoring. Sergio was really, really inconsistent. Sergio wasn't playing much defense. Sergio didn't seem to be able to run a whole lot of set plays successfully. A frustrated Nate McMillan tried to explain it back in March, forgetting he was dealing with a city gone mad:

"With fans, it's about entertainment," McMillan said. "But I say, 'Does that entertainment win?' I mean, they have no idea. . . . All they see is what he does offensively. I don't think they ever watch what he does on the defensive end. They see him pounding the ball, and he has that ball on a string, and his no-look passes. There is so much more to it, though. They don't see that in calling out plays, nobody hears him or understands his accent."

Fast-forward to summer ball. The Blazers figure what Sergio really needs is to learn how to play consistently for longer minutes. We are always getting reminders of how summer league doesn't matter, but for Sergio, it did. The Blazers wanted proof he could be productive playing substantial minutes, even if only against semi-NBA players. Statistically, you can make a case that 8, 4, and 5 a game is not a terrible line. But when you factor in the level of competition, a very disturbing lack of defense, and still more inconsistency, the ceiling comes down a little from the likes of Kidd, Nash, and Parker.

If I may quote myself after watching the third game of summer league (I edited some to spare you):

"I was eager to see if Sergio Rodriguez could be the best pointguard on the floor Game 1 it was actually Taurean game 2 it was Jose Juan Barea of the Mavs...Sergio decently ran the point much of the night, and was able to penetrate and use that creative play-making ability that gets us all giddy. Then you look up and realize Crittenton has 26 points. Farmar got 17 in only 13 minutes....Sergio has scary defensive lapses."

Summer league was a wake up call. For fans, for media, and for the Blazers. Do you think Portland would have signed Steve Blake otherwise? Sergio isn't ready to be the main backup. He's 21 years old, still young, but this has to be considered behind schedule for greatness. Want to see what Tony Parker was up to when he was 21? No you don't, its depressing.

Right now, Sergio is playing for his Spanish National Team in the Euro Championships. He is currently averaging 2 points and 1.6 assists in 8 minutes per. He's on a loaded international roster, to be sure. Its still pretty sobering. I liked it better when he was Bill Brasky.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Oden knee surgery, DO NOT SAY IT...sam bowie...GAAAA!

God no. Knee surgery. The one thing they said could be a big issue, injuries. The Blazers stellar young three, Roy, Aldridge, and Oden, all know the injury bug well enough. We knew the future Blazer Dynasty is far from assured. It could be a good mansion, but its foundation is built on sand, even more so than most.

Already, we've come to this. Greg Oden, knee surgery. Arthroscopic knee surgery is still scary, I don't care if they call it "exploratory," or if a few recent recepients seem to have made good comebacks.

People started murmuring about Sam Bowie when Portland got the top pick this year. It scared me. Its just something a Blazer fan doesn't talk about. But we think about it. Now this.

Hey, assuming Oden does lots of sitting, we got a good shot at the top pick again. I can't even listen to myself. I really hope Durant isn't Jordan.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Scoop Jackson, I salute you

Its in my nature to produce in uneven amounts. I'm sporadic like that. But this hasn't been the reason for my lack of blogging lately. First of all, there's not really a whole lot going on with the Blazers right now. Second, The US Open is on.

Football is "kicking off" as they like to cleverly say. In the U.S., people are nuts about this. I watch college and pro, and have my teams that I follow, watch, and what not. I enjoy the game. But seriously, there's something better going on. The US Open is on.

A statement such as this...this is against The Collective of the American Sportsfan. Close to blasphemy. Tennis? TENNIS?!? Indeed sir, The US Open is on.

I started a post outlining why tennis is so great, then paused and trailed off, wondering why I felt compelled to do such a thing. I guess after taking heat from various representatives of The Collective, virtually all of whom admit to never even really watching tennis, I was on the defensive. If you watch, you will see how great this is. Go ahead, you still have time, The US Open is on.

Scoop Jackson decided to draw attention to the fact that The US Open is on, daring to create a list detailing why the event is better than college football. Deadspin called it a pile of crap, which is a criticism lobbed at much of Scoop's work, but this time could be a reaction to his audacity to go against a cornerstone of The Collective. I can't imagine what his mailbag will look like. Oh yes, The US Open is on.

If you've never bothered to watch The US Open (is on), take a quick look at Scoop's list, here's another link. He may be known as a marginalized hack, but still, he saw the light and spoke on it. HE, a member of ESPN. ESPN, an entity that controls much of The Collective but also relies upon it for survival, similar to the sentient machines' control of and dependence on human life in The Matrix. This is a crack in the wall. Dissemination is imminent. Is Scoop's destiny parallel to that of NEO? If so, who is this guy? The US Open is on, like the television.