Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Trade Deadline Hysteria

Yeah, its that time when the rumor mill of NBA Trades heats up. With all the fine young winning talent on the Blazers, it shouldn't be a surprise to hear the team involved. For the second rumor in a row, Jarret Jack's name is coming up. Today, word comes in that Portland is engaging in supposedly serious talks with Dallas and New Jersey:

In the proposed trade, Dallas and Portland would send the Nets a package that includes the Mavs' Devean George and Jerry Stackhouse and Blazers forwards Travis Outlaw and Channing Frye and guard Jarrett Jack. Mavericks point guard Devin Harris would be sent to Portland. Along with Kidd, the Nets would send reserve forward Malik Allen and center Jamaal Magloire to Dallas.

I'm not really sure what to think at this point. Just remind yourself that the Bob Whitsitt days are over, and Portland pulling the trigger on monster trades isn't as certain as it used to be. Thank God. Most rumors that come up this time of year are no more than that.

Theoretically, Devin Harris could address a major need of Portland. Young and experienced legit pointguard, good at defense, still improving. Definitely worth Frye and Jack, but Outlaw too? My knee-jerk inclination is to think yes. The trade also makes sense for Portland in that they are basically getting two much needed roster spots out of the deal, which will come in handy next season with the additions of Oden and Rudy Fernandez.

This is one sexy rumor.

Thanks to Brrrrrrrr! for the tipoff.

To Random Portlander: Stop Being a Douche. Seriously.

I found this refreshingly douche-free Canzano article via TrueHoop today. In it, Canzano describes why the Blazers are taking down that big "Rise With Us" sign that currently resides on the side of a local grain silo. Basically, its going because somebody complained that it is technically in violation of some city code. The official refers to the tipster as a "sign vigilante."

So, Mr/s. Sign Vigilante, I cordially invite you to stop being such a gigantic douche bag. You are such a douche that Canzano wrote an entire article free of his own douche because yours was so overpowering. You maxed out his douche quota all by yourself, and that is saying something. So stoppit.

Monday, January 28, 2008

About This Business of Sending Jack Off (HaHa!)

There has been a little stir lately since Mr. Windhorst wrote that "different league sources" have indicated Cleveland might be interested in Jarrett Jack. Not too long ago Henry Abbott listed teams that, according to his different league sources, were most likely to make a deal before the deadline. Portland was included. Kevin Pritchard keeps giving us the "we like our guys, we're still evaluating our guys, did I mention we like our guys?" line. Meanwhile, mathematics say that Portland will simply have to free up some roster spots either before the deadline or come summer time.

Mr. Abbott (aka H.Abb the AbBot, HoodyHoo!) makes the point that the trade value of many Blazers could be peaking with all this winning going on. Sounds reasonable. If Pritchard and his crafty crew can get a deal they're convinced is better than anything that will come along this summer, they'll surely take it.

It is no secret that a lot of Blazer fans are frustrated with Jack. Not only is he inconsistent and not a pointguard, he takes minutes from fan uber-favorite Sergio Rodriguez. People don't like that. I'll concede that Jack is not a crucial piece for the future of this franchise, but he is still valuable. First of all, his teammates love him. Secondly, he is the only player not named RoyBot that consistently takes the ball to the hoop. These are two very important things.

Those turnovers and bad decisions we see are strong evidence that this guy is no pointguard. Let's call him a "pure combo guard," his incompetence in this role remains exaggerated. A team like Cleveland is hurting for a good pointguard, and I would think they would know that Jack isn't going to help that.

True, he's sorta young and inexpensive. That said, KP might only want to do midseason meddling if it presents an opportunity to offload a burden. Think LaFrentz or even Miles (come on Isiah!). Remember, the organization loves all the guys who get minutes. They don't want to trade any of them, but at some point will probably have to. LaMiles is the only overpaid entity they really want to get rid of. Finding a boat big enough to ship them and their contracts out of town is probably high on the list.

Also consider that Portland is doing very well with a group of young players that are still developing, so why not see how the rest of the season develops before making any deals. Eh?

We all know its hard to be a content fan, but why not take this opportunity to attempt it?

Just kidding! That would be lame! Go Crazy!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Portland vs. Atlanta: This is not a Recap!

Portland 94, Atlanta 93 (boxscore)

Because I don't do recaps anymore. That said, I was at the game against Atlanta. The feeling in the arena was that Portland was getting blown out the entire game, because that is pretty much what was happening. Deflating. As always, I directed all my frustrations during this time towards Blaze the Trailcat, who is available for parties. Then, somehow, a few electric minutes by the usual suspects was enough for a win.

The blow out turned thrilling Blazer victory naturally featured RoyBot in full kill mode (both on offense and defense) during the clutch, hopefully securing a few more All-Star votes in doing so. This is good.

After playing flat, uninspired ball for 95% of the game it was exciting to see an unexpected victory. We've seen this before. While experts keep telling me that "winning ugly" is the mark of a "real-deal" team, it seems like it could send a bad message. You can come out as lethargic as you want, and get bailed out in the end.

I've heard some defeats are moral victories, so can victories be moral defeats?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Obligatory Roy for All-Star Post

Now that the starters have been announced, we can finally take a concrete measure Roy's competition for a reserve spot on the All-Star team. Let's start with the argument for his inclusion. Don't throw up his stats, because honestly there's guys with better stats that probably won't make it. To me, the strength in his case is how surprisingly well the Blazers have played and what he means to the team, which is Everything. The Blazers marketing did their part with the clever iRoy promotion, which got people talking. You can bet the league wants to promote this blossoming star over some veterans that they've already got the public dropping cash on. He's got The Man on his side.

It will still be tough. The voters all may be too old to know how to use their iRoy, and will probably end up getting frustrated trying to get that confounded machine to work. Plus they seem to give the edge to veterans more often, whether those players want it or not.

This article does a good job outlining the competition, and the guy actually picks Roy (as does Charles Barkley, although he still thinks the team won't make the playoffs). The homer in me would do the same, and I hope it works out like that. But the boner the voters have for Ginobili and Parker is not to be underestimated. Additionally, with the Hornets shockingly having the best record in the West, I'd think they deserve two All-Stars. I like the chronically unrecognized David West. Baron Davis? Josh Howard? Shawn Marion? Deron Williams? Marcus Camby? This doesn't get easier.

Then again, Roy does the improbable pretty easily sometimes. For now, savor the debate. It's one more unlikely gift this season has provided us.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What We Learned: Blazers 7 Game Road Trip

Some were saying the seven-game road trip would be the real test to see if this young successful team was "for real." I don't really know what that means, but I know it sounds good, so figured it must be in the best interests of the team to get this authenticity. After playing seven teams in seven cities in ten days, what's the verdict? Three wins (New Jersey, Miami, Atlanta) and four losses (Toronto, Boston, Orlando, New Orleans), but is Portland still a bunch of knockoffs?

Whatever line the experts want to give, the team returns home a half-game out of the division lead. There was no implosion on this trip. There wasn't a win streak, either. They looked impressive and horrible, savvy and inexperienced. What we really learned was what we already knew, this is a very good young team working towards becoming elite. Definitely remaining far ahead of schedule, but without a doubt having lots of growing left to do.

So with a decent, disasterous-free road trip under the belt, the team returns to the cozy confines of the Rose Garden for a six game homestand. The opponents over this span have a combined 60% winning percentage of their last ten, including the 8-2 Rockets and the 9-1 Cavaliers. Stiff competition, even when you factor in the Blazers impressive 17-3 home record.

Sure hope this team is for real.

Monday, January 21, 2008

God Shammgod stays in Portland, YES!

One Saturday last spring, it was suggested to me that I take in an IBL game. Upon arriving at the high school gym I noticed that there was a special guest in the house. It was God Shammgod. They God Shammgod, although now he was listed under "Shammgod Wells." God's Squad turned it into a blowout, and we got to see all the Shammgod flair we remember. He still couldn't hit a jumper on the regular, or keep his team in a smooth running offense, but that was beside the point. He was by far the most talented guy on the floor, and I definitely got my five dollars worth.

I sent word of my experience and some of it ended up over at The Wizznutzz, where it was included in a tidy Shammgod rundown that the unenlightened should check out (OK, I can't get the link to work, here's his less interesting wikipedia.) That was the end of the story, the season was over, and I was a little sad I didn't realize God was in my backyard all along. So many missed opportunities. Wrong. I found out recently there's going to be many more chances to be a witness. He's agreed to play a full season with the Portland Chinooks. Delicious.

That article also does a pretty good job giving a tiny insight into how unusual the IBL is. The thing is so amazingly random it simply must be experienced. A regular IBL column? God Watch? Don't count it out.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Goonerluke Gives Thanks

In an ongoing indulgence of my laziness, another fine member of the DeceptivelyQuick extended family has stepped up with an entry. He is the infamous Goonerluke, who you likely know if you frequent our manifest-destiny friends over at BlazersEdge. Now he's giving thanks those who have played an underrated role in the resurgence of the young Blazers:

Today we take a look at those often overlooked individuals who made our current Blazers team possible and to who we all owe a debt of gratitude.

Isaiah Thomas, New York Knicks, GM

Never shy of tying another huge anchor around the neck of his ever-sinking Knicks franchise, Isaiah made the move that he thought would put his ESPN fantasy team over the top, he acquired Zach Randolph from the Blazers. A move that, if not putting the Blazers “over the top,” at least got them over a hump. (I call the other hump “D Miles”) To my friends I often describe Zeke’s skills as a general manager as the double inverse of his skills as a player. (Exception: Unless Zeke’s skills as a general manager are considered in the context of ESPN fantasy league basketball, in which case he is a borderline genius) The Blazers have overachieved this year, while the Knickerbockers are hopelessly bad, with or without Zach. How some Knicks fan hasn’t lit himself on fire in the middle of Times Square, I’ll never know. But it looks like that is what it’s going to take. Brutal, brutal legacy to leave, Zeke. Big ups for helping us with Z-Bo though, I promise I’ll never boo you. (Except for when ESPN classic shows the ’90 Finals, then I have to boo.)

Microsoft Corp.

While not really an individual, Microsoft is a corporation, which is a business that gets the same rights as an individual, or something like that. Regardless, the success of this Washington company has been very good to us Oregonians as well, as Paul Allen’s $18 billion (thank you MSFT!) makes the NBA salary cap and over the cap penalty more of an annoyance than anything else for Portland GMs.

Phoenix Suns ownership

Is majority owner Robert Sarver eating Shrimp Flavor Cup o’ Noodles for lunch? I hope so. I think the Suns post Nash/Hill era would look a lot brighter with Sergio Rodriguez, Rudy Fernandez, and the new Jim Jones. Sarver’s personal fortune is only 2.22% of Paul Allen’s, which means that his GM has to worry about the salary cap. Lucky for us, Phoenix’s strategy for fiscal responsibility involves jettisoning young talent to the Rose City. I toast my Sangria to you, Mr. Sarver. Ole!

Jim Paxson, Chicago Bulls, GM

In the 2006 NBA Draft, aka “The Kevin Pritchard coming out Party,” Jimmy P. gambled on upside and completely ignored fundamentals and polish when he traded LMA for TT and The Wolverine (Viktor Khryapa). I knew there had to be a good reason why we retired Paxson’s number – so that one day we could use it as a psychological edge and make him bend to our will.

Danny Ainge/Kevin McHale, Boston Celtics/Minnesota Timberwolves, GM/GM

Grouped together because they both passed on BR7 and I’m lazy. In reality, Danny Ainge deserves a way bigger shellacking on this because he basically traded the #7 pick for Telfair and a bit of cap relief = Theo’s contract

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Akeem The (Other) Dream

I'm still dedicated to this not contributing thing, luckily some extended DeceptivelyQuick family have been emailing me things to post and keep this blog relatively fresh. Here's another piece from Senior Invisible Finnish Hand Consultant H.T. This one offers more evidence that they are better at naming basketball teams in Finalnd, but is really about Akeem The Dream. Not that one. Akeem Scott, Finnish Sensation.

Harlem-born combo guard Akeem Scott wasn't exactly a household name when he played with High Point Panthers in NCAA. In his senior with High Point(2005/2006), he netted 14,1 points a game to go with averages of 3,7 rebounds, 2,2 assists and 2,2 steals a game. The next season Scott signed a try out contract with Korihait a Finnish league team. Scott played two full months with Korihait, becoming an instant fan favorite with his showmanship, streetball attitude and oncourt sense of humor.

In December 2006, Scott was released because the team was dwelling in the cellar and the coach wanted to have a true point guard. Scott's replacement, Swedish-American PG William Copeland wasn't the best possible alternative (of course I can't judge Copeland after just one single performance, but he shot three airballs and turned the ball over seven times against Honka Playboys), but Korihait managed to stay in the league. The home crowd missed Scott throughout the season and even though he didn't really fit the team, some Korihait fans wanted him back for 2007/2008.

Half a year later, Akeem returned to Finland, this time with Pussihukat, which has unorthodoxically been translated to "Pussywolves" (awesome. -Ed.) by the American players of the team (the correct translation is "Thylacines", but "Pussihukat" literally means "Wolves with bags"). Pussihukat plays in Division 1, the second-highest league in Finland, which is best described as heaven for loose cannons. The level of the game is notably lower than League level and usually American players, who are more athletic and stronger than their Finnish opponents, dominate the league.Pussihukat currently holds the fourth position in Div 1, while Scott has been filling the stat sheets with 28,9 points, 3,8 rebounds, 3,7 steals
and 2,3 assists a game. Even though no American player ever dreams of
lighting up the Finnish 1st Division while growing up, Scott is once again a fan
favorite and it seems that he enjoys life in the suburbs of Myyrmäki. The next Youtube clips give a great example of glorious times that can ONLY be experienced in the Cordoba of basketball, Finland:

Big up, Akeem. We love you!

The artist currently known as H.T.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Brrrrrrrrrr! Chronicles Volume 1: Soccer

Due to my schedule and laziness, I asked some of DeceptivelyQuick's finest readers to write some posts. H.T. responded with a Petteri Koponen update, and has another entry coming very soon. Actually, I already have it but am milking this thing as long as I can. Ha.

Agent Brrrrrrrrr! came through with a submission today, although it unfortunately is about soccer. I had to do some soul searching before I decided this was acceptable. Reading through the entry, I have no idea who these people are or what this game is all about, only that I am attending a bar that is showing a "match" of some sorts. That said, I would appreciate Clint Dempsey to come out with more videos:

Due to Deceptively opening a spot for a guest column I would like to digress from hoops for a quick second and give a shout to the US men’s soccer team who are taking on Sweden this Saturday (Jan19) in LA. You can catch it on FSC (fox soccer channel) at 5:30 PM PT or come to the Thirsty Lion in downtown Portland where word has it both yours truly, Agent Brrrrrrrrrr!, sporting a freshly cut mohawk for some soccer support, and Deceptively will be catching the match enjoying some cold Guinness. Should be an interesting match-up with the US calling on MLS and Holland based club players, as well as, true to Bradley form, giving some young players cap #1 for the big team. Slight disappointment that there will be no Clint Dempsey sightings due to club duties with Fulham in the EPL, lets get it Deuce! But there will be no shortage of talent with Donovan, EJ, Taylor “tiny shirt” Twellman and Brad Guzan in the house, as well as some younger players that have shown some flashes of skill for the national club; Mapp, Ricardo Clark, and Mo Edu to list a few. Big shout goes to Josmer Altidore this kid can play, hopefully bringing some of that U-20 world cup magic with him this weekend. So with that I raise a collective Oye!!!!!!!!! And leave with some love for aspiring artists Deuce (Dempsey) and Big Hawk (RIP). Enjoy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Petteri Koponen Update from Finland

I asked, and Finnish Hoops Correspondent H.T. responded. Here, we have an update on The Finnagler and his Honka Playboys:

The last three weeks have been kind of slow for him, because Honka Playboys have been recovering from dreadful injury situation and it takes time before the engine gets running. American forward Matthew Williams (6-7", 1977, Montana State) returned to Honka after spending the first half of the season in Switzerland, Tim Kisner just played his first game in nearly two months after suffering a back injury and starters Jukka Matinen and Monte Cummings have only played a couple of games after injuries. Honka was able to beat league underachiever KTP Basket 94-87 after 25 minutes of struggle and 15 minutes of good team basketball. Petteri netted 21 points (FG 6/8 FT 7/8) and delivered three assists, but turned the ball over five times. Anyway, don't be alarmed; when the meaningful games begin in March and April, he'll be ready, steady and truly motivated
for his (last?) stint in the Finnish league.

More from H.T. on the horizon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Blazers popularity hurts procrastinators

Some of the more hard-core pinwheel fans seem a little peeved that the fair-weather folks are turning up in droves. As one who defended this team through the mini-dark ages I would agree that it isn't totally enjoyable all the time. To see the same uninterested folks you were trying to convince of this team's potential just a season ago all of a sudden parade around like they've had a Travis Outlaw portrait tattooed on their chest since 2003 can be infuriating. But overall, I have to say I enjoy watching this city support this team again, even if the majority only fall in lust. The Blazers as a big deal in Oregon just seems right.

They're the hottest ticket in a town where they really have no excuse not to be. As evidence, I'm going to the wings place to watch the game tonight. Tried to get tickets, sold-out. I got gift certificate tickets as a gift, and needed to pick which games to see. I redeemed these the last week of December and couldn't get tickets to Boston on February 24th. I was lucky to get San Antonio on April 6th.

Last season, you could pretty much pick your spot by going to the box office right before tipoff. I will always miss the days of being able to walk down from the balcony and see the action up close. But don't get me wrong, its more fun to be part of a full-house of energy. Just don't procrastinate.

P.S., I hate when other life demands inconvenience DeceptivelyQuick, so inconsiderate like. But these demands are flying at me right now, so hot-blogging action will likely be sporadic for a while. One thing that could help is if any of you would like to contribute to the blog, send submissions: deceptively.quick(at)yahoo. There's a lot of you that are on your game: H.T., Brrrrrrrrrr!, and goonerluke I see you. There's more of you out there. If anyone wants to put something up let me know, could be interesting.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Pippen versus the Finnagler

With DeceptivelyQuick's powerful and dark association with the Invisible Finnish Hand, it is no surprise that we were very excited about all this Scottie Pippen in Finland business. This anticipation was heightened when we learned he would be playing against he, Petteri Koponen, The Finnagler, and our beloved Honka Playboys.

The epic battle went down January 5, and Pippen's squad came out on top. Thanks to a rally from 16 down, Pippen and his team Torpan Pojat prevailed over our Honka Playboys 98-85. True, his team was already favorites going in, having been riding an 17 game Finnish League winning streak and all, but let's hope Pippen added something. He struggled with his shot on his way to 9 points and 9 rebounds. After checking in with Tim Kisner, an American who plays for Honka, any struggles could be understandable:

Pippen played two games here one on Friday and then against us on Saturday. He missed his original flight here so he did not arrive until Friday morning, so needless to say was not in the best physical shape to be playing, besides being 42 years old with creeky knees. I thought Pippen played ok, he could not make a shot, I think he was 8-28 in the two games, but played good team basketball and they won both games. It is crazy to see guys that you grew up watching, it is also hard to watch them being a shadow of their former selves. The people of Finland were very appreciative of him and both games were well attended with a good atmoshphere, which is saying something for Finnish basketball.

Strange indeed, seeing a former NBA great show up in Finland for a few runs, but remember this sort of thing isn't exactly unprecedented. Tim was around when Rodman blew into town as well ,"two years ago Rodman came and played for the same team against us and it was huge, but Rodman is more famous over here due to his off the court stuff."

Which champion Bull will be next? The obvious choice to pull for is Jordan, but don't sleep on Ron Harper.

UPDATE: Ball In Europe has the best coverage of Pippen in Finland, including links to his boxscores. Also nice to see the Finnagler still putting numbers up. They also showed a clip from Pippen being introduced, they pulled out the classic Bulls intro. In Finland, no expense is spared.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A monument to Martell Webster's 3rd Quarter

Portland 103, Utah 89 (boxscore)

This was going to be the night I stopped with the game recaps for a while. But again, this team has a habit of making special things happen, so here we are: A Monument to Martell Webster's third quarter. Let me set the scene a little.

Throughout the first half, Portland was playing horrible for the most part. It was painful to watch an already beat-up Roybot having to contend with the defensive wrath of Jerry Sloan. The crowd kept trying to get into it, but Portland and Utah were keeping things quiet. The score at the half of this ugfest: Utah 42, Portland 39.

Coming out for the third quarter, we learn Roy is going to sit out the rest of the game. Not encouraging. Then Martell started hitting. And hitting. And hitting.

If you didn't see the game, I know what your thinking. A bunch of catch and shoots, Martell got his spot up stroke going and hit from gaps in the Utah zone. Wrong. Wrong! Nailing a few consecutive jumpers gave Martell the confidence to transform into something we've only seen flashes of before. When I described it to a friend via text message, I said he looked like a slightly bigger Kobe. He was absolutely killing the Jazz.

He started moving without the ball, pure fluid off screens to get open. Then he started posting up his smaller defender. He pulled up off the dribble. He took it hard to the rack. And yes, the catch and shoot was sprinkled through all of this. When the horn finally ended the quarter, Portland was up 75 to 64, the Rose Garden was on fire, and Jerry Sloan was nearing spontaneous combustion. Needless to say, the game was all but over. Martell's damage in his 12 minutes of fury? 7-9 from the field (including 3-4 from 3), 7-7 from the line: 24 points. Fitting that this was against Utah and Deron Williams, whom the Blazers infamously passed over to draft Martell. For the first time in Webster's career, people forgot about that, even if it was for just one quarter. Here's to many more. (Watch the video)

A wonderful time to be a Blazer fan.

Circling back: Brandon Roy's nickname

The issue: Brandon Roy's nickname in a state of flux.

Nobody needs a nickname, but its fun to believe they do. Plus, I'm on board with the argument that initialized/abbreviated names are boring, played out, and need to be stopped. In Brandon's case, paying for this over use may hurt since "B.Roy" sounds nice. When you take a firm stand, concessions and exceptions are out, so on we go.

Ever since "The Nanny-Stopper," I've considered Slam Magazine as good an authority as any when it comes to nicknames. These days they do contests to come up with nicknames for players who are lacking, and one subject was Brandon Roy. I never saw it in print (the magazine makes me feel old, so is avoided), but heard the winner was "The Blade." Eh.

On this blog, I've taken to simply referring to him as "Everything," but thats describing what he gives to this team, not really a nickname. Through it all, there has been one option that I have silently approved of. It was suggested in the comments of the Slam post, and made an appearance on Deadspin, so maybe has a chance at gaining traction: RoyBot.

First of all, I really enjoy robots. But even if you don't, there's reasons to support this. For me it starts with the idea that B.Roy RoyBot has a lot of qualities that remind me of Tim Duncan, who is perhaps the most famous robot since Johnny 5. I've occasionally heard Duncan referred to as "Tim Bot," but it hasn't taken and his claim has surely expired.

Watch a Blazer game with the player similarities in mind and tell me if you disagree. Both are smart, good at everything, team-oriented, systematic, athletic enough, big enough, quiescent, and most importantly, killing machines. I'm not saying Roy has reached the level of Duncan, but he's on his way. I can't help but think the two share the same soul, in this case a ghost in the machine. When I look at RoyBot I see a perimeter Timmy. Perhaps both come from the same Dr. Soong lab.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Damon Stoudamire not happy with aging, Grizzlies agree

I'm feeling a little restless tonight. Last time, this resulted in the infamously wasteful "Consistent Stat." Tonight, there is a morsel of Blazer-related news to protect you all from a thousand-word post about statistics. Damon Stoudamire isn't getting playing time in Memphis, and he wants out.

The 34 year old Portland native and ex-Blazer has had it with having his playing time cut in the name of a youth movement, and is seeking a release or trade. Damon has defied odds for much of his career, at every level his height (generously 5'10) has fed skeptics. But at this stage, will any team be interested in his services? I've listed the age and the height, but there was also that whole season ending knee injury thing during in 2005-06. His contract has another year and 4.65 million after this one, so he's not yet quite entered the "expiring contract zone of hotness" recently occupied by luminaries like Theo Ratliff.

These elements would seem to make a trade relatively unlikely, at least for this season. If he can gut it out for the remainder of the year, it would likely be open season on that delicious expiring contract. Of course, then teams would be interested in his contract, not his skills, which would mean any opportunities to contribute on the court would be incidental.

So in the short term, Stoudamire needs to pray for a buy out. But there's a slight snag here. The Grizzlies lose 10.9 million a year, more than every other team except the Blazers and the Knicks. Due to the extreme wealth of the owners, the Blazers and the Knicks can deal. With the Grizz? Kind of an issue. That owner has a billion, not 16 billion. I want you to know I threw up a little typing that.

They'll do a buy out all right, as long as it means they don't have to pay nearly as much as the contract promises. Is the situation bad enough that Damon will walk away from millions? Is he ready to face the possibility that even if he does leave, teams may not exactly be lining up to offer him the role he wants? Expiring contract can be a tough role to adjust to, as can "former NBA player." But you never know, things could work out. Best of luck.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Portland vs Chicago: winning and growing

Portland 115, Chicago 109, 2OT (boxscore)

Very tough, exhausting, double-overtime veteranish win. Outlaw was clutch, so I'm going to remind you about this. James Jones was his usual invaluable self. Aldridge did his thing, using Ben Wallace's dogmatic defense of the paint as an opportunity to go automatic with the perimeter jumper. Brandon Roy was, again, Everything. There will be lots of good analyses for this game out there, so I'll sum up by simply writing what was looping through my head during the last five minutes of the fourth and through both overtimes:

"Why is Jack running the offense so much? Why is Jack running the offense so much? Give it to Roy. Give it to Roy! Gaaaaaaa! Nice play, Jack..."

I've been a Jarrett Jack apologist for a long time, and was happy to see him out there making plays. But Brandon Roy is on this team, why go anywhere else down the stretch of a tight game?

Darius Miles entertains with his spending

Say what you will about Darius Miles, but there is an area where he never fails us. His spending of that well-earned contract is nothing short of gold. I only wish the two higher paid Blazers this season, Raef and Steve Francis, would step up and challenge Miles to see who can spend their money in the most entertaining fashion. Step it up, guys. Anyways, this blog entry dedicated to D.Miles the donk enthusiast continues to to be one of the most popular on DeceptivelyQuick.

It may be old news, but I just discovered the website of a jeweler by the name of Jason of Beverly Hills. (Its weird saying this, but there is a bizarre intro to that website that is definitely not safe for work. If you plan on risking it, I recommend clicking the "skip intro" link rapid fire Contra style to bypass it.) So of course I was checking out his custom work, since I have been in the market for a diamond charm to go on my platinum chain for a while, and low and behold there's our friend D.Miles:

"Custom 'D-Miles Floating' Pendant made exclusively for Darius Miles. Full cut brilliant white and yellow diamonds pave set onto 14kt white gold."

You think Darius would only be on here once? Please. Here's number two:

"Custom charm bracelet made exclusively made for Darius Miles. Full cut brilliant white and black diamonds pave set onto 18kt white gold."

This is the one that you can sink your teeth into. Why multiple religious charms? Because East St. Louis is haunted. I imagine the star could double as a shout out to his agent Jeff Wechsler, who has done is job fairly well I'd say.

One more thing about the jewelry site, the super rich and/or famous people on that sight make logical sense-- Lil' John, Missy Elliot, Lebron James, --but then....Biz Markie? Nobody beats the Biz, indeed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Portland vs Minnesota: New Win Streak

Portland 90, Minnesota 79 (boxscore)

I'm setting a bad precedent for myself by doing all these game recaps. This game had an interesting angle of the bounce back. Young teams especially seem vulnerable to coming out flat after coming off a high. Portland just having their win streak ended, coupled with struggles on the road this season, may have lead a few to doubts to be cast on a Blazers victory. But then you realize their playing the Timberwolves.

It was a weird game. First of all, there was a half-hour delay because apparently some wood was missing from the floor. Don't ask. Then there was the fact that the game was in Minnesota, and the Target Center was completely devoid of anything you could consider to be energy or enthusiasm. I went to my neighborhood Target store before Christmas, and it was a madhouse. Maybe they should integrate a store into this stadium and get some movement in the place.

Portland's inability to deliver a knockout punch and end the game early was evident again, although it hardly mattered. The fact that Portland had only 4 turnovers (that number from the Blazers, ESPN reports only 3) is astonishing when you consider how ugly this game was. Sergio had one of his dazzling displays, racking up 8 assists and no turnovers in less than seven first half minutes.

Another ugly win against Minnesota. As they say, you take the ugly win over the pretty victory.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Years Day Finnish Style

In case you didn't hear, the streak officially ended last night. But its New Year's Day, and we're looking forward not back. The future for this franchise is so bright I'm still trying to comprehend it. What better way for DeceptivelyQuick to usher in 2008 than with a shout out to Finland? Invaluable Finnish Consultant H.T. sent some updates and best wishes in the name of very odd pictures from Finland and a reminder that Scottie Pippen will be arriving there soon to play a few games, including one against our vaunted Finnagler, Petteri Koponen. We'll keep you posted on how that turns out.

This picture is from an elementary school, and poses an age-old question:

This one is an add from a Finnish magazing for some product meant to help you clean yourself. This one is just a particularly interesting man walking the streets of Kallio, Helsinki. I wouldn't call these not safe for work, but you would probably have a particularly difficult time at work if any coworkers saw them on your screen. Adjust accordingly.

Happy New Year.

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