Monday, March 31, 2008

Blazers pointguard of the future search OVER

One doesn't have to frequent BlazersEdge to get the sense that fans are antsy to find this team's pointguard of the future. Perhaps the supernova potential of the Blazers has made us all a tad spoiled. Still, looking at the roster, it is the most obvious need. And we are in the doldrums. So who will this player be? Where will the magical pointguard come from? The current roster? The draft? Another team? Europe? Who is this person?

I'm happy to announce the situation has been settled, and we can finally get back to obsessing about more important things like Greg Oden playing a pickup game. The answer is a young, mostly unknown talent by the name of Paolo Darroca. Whether he needs to run the offense or spot up in the corner when Roy takes over, Paolo is the man* for the job. More size than Blake, a more consistent shot than Sergio, and a better decision maker than Jack. Sure, maybe he's a little more combo-guard than pure point, but the talent to adjust to team needs is there. I let the video evidence speak for itself:

*technically, puberty pending

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Blazers and the dunk contest

Agreed, the timing of this post makes no sense. However, being that your attention is currently ensared by March Madness and the Western Conference playoff race, I don't think you'll notice. Not one bit.

No Blazer has ever won the dunk contest. A couple guys who have spent some time in Portland won it while with other teams, like local hero Fred Jones and, um, lets move on. More interestingly, there were three years when Clyde (who was pretty hard) and Jerome Kersey both tried to bring home the trophy while adorned in pinwheels. They almost pulled it off, both coming as close as second. Kersey once scored a perfect 50 off a mind-bending sideways reverse alley-oop off the glass thing, joining the elite company of the great Cedric Ceballos. Being an unwavering fan of the event, taking a look at when Blazers represented is especially thrilling. Watch and enjoy.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Maybe we should chill out on this Oden thing

You've heard by now. If you haven't, you might be better off not learning about it now because you may lose your mind as well. Originally posted here, Greg Oden was feeling good, succumbed to peer pressure, and ended up running with some civilians in a 24 Hour Fitness pickup game.

Greg Oden: Man of the People.

He reportedly took it pretty easy and wasn't about to push his rehabbing knee near any limits. Even so, of course it was a bad choice that could have had horrible consequences. It didn't. Oden likely learned his lesson. So please, stop freaking out. All is well. Seriously.

(See also: OregonLive, SLAM, BlazersEdge)

Petteri Koponen still Finnaglin

It has been an unusually long time since DeceptivelyQuick has provided any updates from Finland. In fact, our blog mascot/intern Spencer SweetPotato even began commenting that lately it hasn't smelled of salmon much around the office. We were just happy he shutup about the benefits of sweetpotatos for a minute. Anyways, lack of Finland coverage is bad news, extensive market research has shown that capturing that elusive Finnish basketball enthusiast demographic is critical to the success of DeceptivelyQuick.

Luckily, Official Invisible Finnish Hand Contact H.T. has saved us. Make sure to check out his great Petteri Koponen update over at BlazersEdge. Sounds like the young Finnagler is making progress, can't wait to see him again in summer league.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Roy Isn't Hurt, He Just Needs His Joints Re-Welded

It makes sense to just give Roy an early vacation to rest his hip/groin injuries. The playoffs aren't on the line, some other guys could use the opportunity, his long term health is much more important, all those things.

Logic aside (a great way to preface a discussion), I'm still a little bummed. The Blazers finishing over .500 would have been neat. Really though, I was excited to watch this team play spoiler down the stretch. Check out the remaining schedule, here's a sample: New Orleans, Lakers (twice), Houston, SanAntonio, Dallas, and Phoenix. Five teams grappling for position in the best Western Conference playoff race ever.

Watching Portland go out with a bang by causing one of these teams to fall a slot or even lose homecourt would have been an insanely gratifying end to the season. It is all still possible, but significantly less probable with the team Roy-less. (See Exhibit A).

Of course, like all Blazer news not involving feelings puppies and sunshine, you have to follow it up with what is most important. "Spoiler?" Please. This team is on the road to championships. Ah yes, the future. We will all be Robots, but there will still be only one RoyBot.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Blazers vs Wizards: Why They Play The Game

As much as we enjoy analyzing things and pretending to know what is going to happen, we often get reminders of how random sports are and how our pursuit of predictive knowledge means nothing. Last night was one of those nights. Let me set the scene.

The Blazers played a playoff team. LaMarcus sat out with a sprained ankle. Roy played only 14 minutes due to a groin injury. In the past I've talked about what a great opportunity such short-handed scenarios can be for some other young players to come out of their shells, and for the team as a whole to learn some autonomy outside of their Everything. Guess what? In this game, it actually happened.

Jack had one of those great nights he has from time to time, as did Webster. Pryzbilla managed 17 boards in 24 minutes. LaFrentz got minutes and added 6, 7, and 3 blocks. Steve Blake aka The Port of Miami was solid again, and Travis Outlaw broke out of his funk and took advantage of a rare appearance in the starting lineup.

Portland 102, Washington 82 (ESPN)

A blowout win for some very shorthanded Blazers. A team that built a lead and actually maintained it, which has been a very rare thing this season. This was one of the most fun nights of the year to be a Blazer or a fan.

Monday, March 24, 2008

An End to A "Rivalry"

There was a more interesting than usual game between the Blazers and Sonics last night (ESPN). Portland lost, but I'll save the negative implications that come up when you watch your supposedly good team lose to one that is 16-54 and riding an 11 game losing streak.

No, the game was likely the last time Portland will play Seattle. I've always thought the whole I-5 Rivalry thing was an exaggeration, something that people call a rivalry just because it seems like it should be. But hearing "Save Our Sonics" chants, seeing the signs, I would miss this team being in Seattle. I will miss this team being in Seattle.

Oklahoma City...Seriously:

Just for a comparison if you need one, this is what an NBA City looks like:

Seattle to OKC. Biggest ripoff ever.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Enjoying the doldrums

As of right now, the Blazers have just twelve games left in the season. The playoffs are out, but it has been an overachieving year that somehow managed to turn a potentially bright future into something approaching supernova.

The race in the Western Conference is more compelling than ever. March Madness is in full-swing. It would be understandable if we all took a little break from our Blazer obsession for a minute or two. Of course, that isn't happening.

Media and fans seem to have made the natural move to talking about the future as if the season were complete. Oden will be here! Rudy Fernandez! What will KP pull in the draft? What other personnel moves will be made?

With an exciting future and so much else going on, is there reason to watch Portland's regular season play out? Watching these last few games, it feels like the doldrums. LaMarcus has been great to watch, although dominating an Clippers frontline that is closer to NBDL than NBA shouldn't be too surprising. The Blazers still look like they've given up on Sergio, who hasn't played double digit minutes since February 13th. Roy is still Everything, which is always good to watch. Outlaw hasn't maintained his awkwardly effective tornado of length and athleticism approach consistently.

I don't have an answer. The future of this team is far more compelling to think about than the remainder of the season, and there are definitely more exciting things going on elsewhere in the world of basketball. Are you still into the day to day happenings? Have you too shifted to the future? Have you skipped out entirely? I'd like to know, give it up in the comments or drop me a line.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Horrible What I Did To You: Greatest Hits

That false return stunt was horrible, horrible, horrible. But now DeceptivelyQuick really is back. As the first order of business, we need to celebrate this one year anniversary thing. Here are some posts you probably haven't seen:

Thanks! Good to be back. Of course, no DeceptivelyQuick celebration is comlete without at least linking to this.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Good to be back. First off, this business of celebration. DeceptivelyQuick just turned a year old! Predictably, we are still mostly shitting all over ourselves. But anways...

Just a year ago DeceptivelyQuick bravely decided to strike out into the world of obscure sports blogging. It has cost me my job, my family, and my health. Yet it has brought me great fame and fortune. Those sentences were lies. I'd link to the first post to prove it to you, but it is horrible, even by the standards of this blog, horrible. This implies that if I keep blogging for another year, when I look back at this post I will undoubtedly realize it is horrible as well. Depressing.

Forget that, we should be happy people, like R. Kelly says. Thats right, another R. Kelly reference. Again, good to be back. I'll re-post some old entries because I'm lazy to take a nostalgic look at some fun stuff you probably missed the first time around.

We're talking back when daily page views were in the single digits. Before the Invisible Finnish Hand took over, before other places linked here, before Zach Randolph was traded. There was some true insanity going on in this place back then. Humor me.

And since we're celebrating...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Making Amends

The postings here have been sort of weak and infrequent lately, even by DeceptivelyQuick standards. I know you expect more from your fourth or fifth favorite obscure sports blog. Things will get back on track soon enough. Until then I offer something of a cud for you to chew on. I love mascot fights. A lot. Not too long ago, Deadspin put a tidy collection of them together. It doesn't matter if you've seen them a million times, you will still pee yourself with glee. Check it out, we'll be back in no time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Congratulations Portland State

I've never mentioned it before, but when I'm not blogging I'm a graduate student here. Portland State doesn't have much men's basketball tradition beyond the legendary Freeman Williams and current Spurs reserve Ime Udoka (both those guys have really interesting stories by the way, I recommend checking them out if you haven't before).

As of 2008, PSU will be a part of NCAA March Madness for the first time ever. They steam-rolled the Big Sky Conference this season and just won their conference tournament, snatching up that automatic bid. (Odd reference to the Portland City Grill in that SportsCenter Highlight. How stuffy, maybe thats the spot for Conneticut folks when they pass through. No love for The Yamhill?). What do you know, something to be proud of. And don't sleep on PSU come tournament time, this team is more solid than you think. There is enough here to make an elite team work, and enough to beat them if they don't

So, although not NBA/Blazer/Finland-related, a gracious DeceptivelyQuick thank you and congratulations to the PSU basketball team.

I think the situation calls for me to once again post this:

Dance like you got a Darth Vader mask on.

Hard to Not Love Shaq

It was pretty awesome when Shaq had to Superman over some kids in courtside seats while going for a loose ball against San Antonio. His teammates learned something:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Until Further Notice

A heads up, posting might be slower than usual until March 19thish. For now entertain yourself with this:

Agent Brrrrrrrr!, who foolishly spent much of his life rooting for the Sonics, e-mailed it to me with a caption that read "an ode to the Oklahoma City Sonics." Hard times. Keep your head up Seattle.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Clyde Drexler Was Pretty Hard

As bright as Portland's future may be, I thought it would be nice to take a quick look back at some of past greatness. Rip City.

The greatest Blazer ever was in some dunk contests, but wasn't really made for that. When it came to dunks, Clyde was more of an in-game guy. He remains severely underrated for his ability to dunk all over people. When I say this, I mean it in the most strict sense possible. Most players credited with dunking on people are technically more dunking around people. Not Clyde. He went full on, body-to-body. If the defender jumped, he'd bang their torso in midair and throw it down. If they didn't jump they caught a chest-full of knee.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

That Knicks Game Was AWESOME

Blazers 120 Knicks 114 (boxscore)

I heard I've been pretty negative around here lately. Too sarcastic. Probably. I mean, the game went to OT and the Knicks were without Crawford, Curry, Randolph, and as always, Starbury. All to remind us once again that the post-winning bonanza Blazer team is in fact good enough to barely beat bad teams (sometimes).

But let me say that last night's game was AWESOME (thats right, all caps!). Down the stretch, the teams looked as tired as any I can remember. Roy looked hobbled and depleted, but somehow kept making plays when he really needed to. Aldrdige had a nice game. The Port of Miami Steve Blake had another better than expected night. Outlaw's mini-slump continued, probably because I just picked him up in fantasy league.

The real fun of this game was that for the most part it felt like Nathaniel Cornelius Robinson versus the Blazers. The absence of the usual shoot-always guys from the Knicks lineup gave this shoot-always guy the green light, and it was, to quote Walt Frazier, "asd;fjsd;lkfjsad;fj." He scored 45, I can't blame Walt for coming up with some creative vocabulary to describe what was going on (listen to his analysis in the video below). Enjoy:

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Lets Stop Pretending College Sports are College Sports

I don't rant as much as I used to, I should bring that back...

There is a lot going on here. I recommend watching the embedded video as well. I enjoy the romanticized ideas of college sports being passionate amateur students pursuing a degree, it might actually be like that for some, but it takes considerable dogma to hold onto that view if you pay the least bit of attention. The most annoying thing to me is people acting outraged when they get reminded of the heavily blurred lines we all know exist.

Beyond that issue, which is too big for this blog, that link has some other interesting themes. Lil' Romeo is a celebrity that will sell tickets? Really? I know I'm not exactly in his targeted demographic, but this guy hasn't blipped my radar screen in years. For some reason, the deal was Demar DeRozan and Lil' Romeo or nothing. Wouldn't it have been enough to let No Limit Jr. walk on? Can't this guy cover it? Make em say uhhh indeed.

My second favorite part is when the high school basketball coach goes off reflecting on what it all means about our society. That turn I did not see coming. I love basketball, warts and all.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Blazers Are Still Good Enough To Barely Beat Bad Teams

I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer. I'm fully aware that this team has already over achieved this season. And I know brighter days are ahead. Now, with all those rational thoughts out of the way, losing still blows.

Which is why Portland's dramatic victory over Milwaukie should make me happy. It does.Really. I'm glad that as bad as the team is playing, they are still good enough to barely beat other bad teams (sometimes). In fact, besides that inspiring win over the Lakers (by the way, wasn't that supposed to propel the team to an enthusiastic finish?), guess when the last time Portland beat a team that is currently over .500? That would be the 9th, of January.

The only way to get through the post-win streak part of the season is to wholeheartedly buy into the Blazers marketing campaign: the future is bright, the future is bright, the future is bright...

Or, you can just dance it off:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Toronto: Please Make Calderon Unhappy

We all heard KP unsuccessfully pursued Jose Calderon at the deadline. With Calderon's stock at an all-time high, the Raptors were understandably less than interested. While the pointguard is entering restricted free agency this summer, Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo has said he'll match any offer from other teams.

Message: "Don't waste your time."

Message 2: "If you want him in a sign and trade, I'm being very picky."

As a Calderon fan, I'm biased here, but I can see him fitting in great with this team and filling a huge need. What would the Blazers have to give up to get him? Draft pick(s)/expiring contract(s)/young player(s)? Bring in more teams to make it work? KP and his crew can figure that out.

Beside the fact that Calderon is very good, the Raptors are hesitant because of formerly-starting pointguard TJ Ford's issues. When Ford went out with another scary injury in December, Calderon shined especially bright, and has thus far held on to the starting spot upon Ford's return. To the casual observer, all seemed fine. Damn.

Today, some hope. TJ Ford might not be that cool with coming off the bench after all. Yes TJ, please please please force management to make a decision. Your health issues and comparatively large contract make you much less tradeable than Calderon, you're more likely to be the one who stays. Portland could send you some real backup pointguards that won't steal your light. Excellent.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Don't Totally Hate David Stern

Sometimes I do. If you read this blog, chances are 99.9% that you've already seen this video (and 25% that you are in Finland, its true!). I'm posting it because 1) Stern makes a really good point thats not getting enough attention and 2) I'm lazy.

The Blazer announcers are exactly what Stern is pointing out, which is something they're not happy to talk about. I enjoy our Mike & Mike a lot, but they are Trailblazer employees. At the end of the day they have a responsibility to tow the company line. Thats why we hear the constant company-spin, thats why we don't hear them bring up obvious criticisms. Announcers weren't always paid by the teams they covered. There was a day when they didn't have to worry about ramifications for saying things that could possibly reflect poorly on the organization (Hey Darius!). Now they are an extension of the PR Department, to the point where it gets insulting at times. Again, I think Portland has some of the better announcers in the league, but the puppet show is hard to miss. Irksome things.

By the way, this here is the best NBA-related video to surface in a while. That is all.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

In the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft, the Portland Trailblazers...

Unrestricted speculation is fun. ESPN knows this, and their NBA Lottery thingie is back. It is pretty pointless, but I recommend it, especially if you should be working. I keep running it over and over and the Blazers keep ending up with UCLA super soph-point Russell Westbrook. The system seems to be designed for Portland to take the best PG available at their awarded spot, and so far he's the guy. Interesting that DraftExpress has him as the 15th pick in the 2009 draft, the ESPN must love the guy a lot more. I have heard KP himself checked out a UCLA game when Portland was in LA.

Whatever the Blazers pick ends up being, I wouldn't be surprised to see some vintage KP trades (he has all those second round picks, expiring contracts, and some young talent-mostly available for the right price!) to move up and take the a player he really likes, assuming he's found one he'd want to move up for. Or he could even end up moving down, or using the pick to get someone already in the league (Hi Jose!). Being made of magic is fun like that.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Joel Pryzbilla Knows When to Hold Em

I'll admit one Joel Pryzbilla is often underrepresented on this blog. Sort of odd, considering how much I like the guy. For the record, I am a usual supporter of the "Why doesn't Joel get more minutes?" fan-complainer's coalition. Maybe its because he's not a robot. Maybe its because he doesn't look a little like Nick Cannon. Or maybe I'm just too lazy and obsessed with the future young-core to spread a little more love his way.

In any case, I found an interesting tidbit about him via Deadspin this morning. The Fan's Attic has a dynamite find detailing a bet between Joel and a Blazers trainer:

If Przybilla doesn't play in all 82 games, he has to buy Jensen dinner. But if he does play in every game, Jensen has to kiss Przybilla's behind at half court after the Blazers' final game.

Joel is looking like he's going to make it. Funny, but even funnier if the Blazers management actually goes with it. From the trainer's perspective, I really hope that would have been one hell of a dinner.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Blazers Big Win Over the Lakers

The Lakers, an elite team since stealing Gasol from Memphis, came to Portland with a 10 game winning streak last night. Not too long ago, Portland got a beating from the Lakers in LA. Portland fans, in general, hate the Lakers and are especially rabid when they come to town. Brandon Roy was back. These factors swirled together to give the Blazers a surreal emotional lift, and even when it was close you had the feeling they would only accept victory this time around.

Blazers 119, Lakers 111 (boxscore)

I know that the Blazers aren't likely to make the playoffs in the stacked West. Still, this win feels like it means something. Its the first time they've won consecutive games since January Ninth. Brandon Roy was hoping the team would use this game as an opportunity to spark an enthusiastic finish down the stretch. Everything is Everything.

Akeem Scott's Espoo Debut

Akeem Scott recently had his first game with the Honka Playboys. It went well. Here are some reports:

With national team players Petteri Koponen and Kimmo Muurinen out, someone had to step up Friday night when Honka travelled to Uusikaupunki to play an away game against Korihait. The guy who stepped up was Honka's latest addition, Akeem "The Other Dream"Scott. The newcomer played 39 minutes and 56 seconds, drained 45 points (2p 8-103p 7-10 Ft 8-10), grabbed four rebounds, dished three assists and stole the ball three times. What makes Scott's performance even more astonishing was the fact that the level of play in Finnish Div1 is NOTABLY worse than in the League, but still Akeem managed to get to whole another level. Next Wednesday Honka will host ToPo and we'll see Scott-Koponen-tandem for the first time. Can't wait.


There's more, possibly sad news about Akeem playing for the Honka Playboys:

So, good times ahead for Honka. The only downside is that new mind-blowing videos are unlikely. While the Porvoo playa-cam experiment was hilarious, coach Pavicevic is an old-school hardass who would never allow such nonsense around the team.


The Akeem/Koponen backcourt is exciting, but you know, I don't think Comcast will carry the games for my personal viewing pleasure. Factor that into the possible loss of Akeem's videos, and I have a moral crisis. Tantalizing basketball? Personal entertainment? Finnish basketball: the gift and the curse.

Blog Archive