Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Interwebs Love LaMarcus

With Oden and Roy around, LaMarcus never quite seems to get the coverage one would think such an exciting young talent would receive. Hell, even Rudy Fernandez gets more press. It seems kind of odd that we get to know so little about a player that is a major part of this team's future. For at least today, that is not the case. Check out this LaMarcus feature over at TrueHoop. Then check out this one by my cousin Jason Quick.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sans-Roy Blazers beat the Boston Bullies

Blazers 91, Boston 86 (Box score)

In the most engrossing ugly game I have ever seen, the Blazers finally beat those assholes Celtics. Despite Brandon Roy and his sadly passe attitude lines sidelined due to injury, Portland finally stood up to the team that had bullied them with such ease in recent history. Although Boston has been sputtering a bit as of late (now just 1-3 on their current road trip), this game is the latest example of just how special this Blazer team can be.

Greg Oden played his most impressive game as a Blazer. This time we did not see him shrink from a daunting challenge. We saw him back it down and shoot a jump hook over it. Then grab some rebounds from it. Then even nail a baby J over the thing. With all the crap Greg takes for his alleged shortcomings, it was especially satisfying to see him succeed against the roughest interior defense in the League. Respect that.

Steve Blake has dedicated this season to making all those Rip City fans that clamor for a sexy pointguard finally shut up. He nailed shot after shot tonight, being that rudder to steer the Blazers enthusiastic youth. While Rondo certainly got Blake at points throughout the game, Blake never let it get out of control. He was a rock, he ran the team, and he hit a ton of shots.

I know a few Blazer fans that scapegoat Travis Outlaw and constantly question McMillan for playing him in critical moments. If you want to know why he is in there, watch the play where he spins baseline past one defender and surprises KG at the hoop with his Mr. Fantastic inspired lay-up. Travis has his shortcomings, we all know exactly what they are. We also know, as was evident tonight, that Travis can make certain plays that no other Blazer can. Deal with it.

This post could go on and on. About how LaMarcus stood up to KG while staying within himself, the result being a steady dose of buckets. About how Rudy, maybe pressing a bit in an attempt to make the most of his first NBA start, found other ways to contribute when his shot wasn't falling.

Not all victories are created equal. For me, and I suspect many others out there, tonight's was the most satisfying in a long time. Watch out World.

Monday, December 29, 2008

More on Channing Frye

The Willamette Week (the same publication that won the prestigious imaginary DeceptivelyQuick best season preview award) has a feature out on Channing Frye. It is well worth your time, and is pretty much a better version of this lost post. Plus if your reading level is as low as mine you will learn exactly one new vocabulary word. Hooray for knowledge!

Joel Freeland injury update

The exact nature of Joel Freeland's injury has finally been revealed. After an MRI and all that fun stuff, the team has determined that Joel severely sprained his left ankle. Freeland could be out for over a week, you never know with those stupid ankle sprains, but the good news is that a full recovery is expected.

It is unfortunate for Freeland, who has been impressing this season. Hopefully his recovery is a speedy and full one, so he can return to the court and we can continue to watch him grow.

(Thanks to Rodman for the tip.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Earl Boykins CUT from Italian Club! More time for Koponen?

Earl Boykins has received frequent attention from this blog. This was mostly because of his station as the player that made Koponen's minutes inconsistent and role ambiguous. (Although he made another special appearance after getting outplayed by our man Akeem Scott.) Even as H.T. updated us with game after game featuring Boykins racking up ridiculous amounts of turnovers, we figured he would nonetheless remain a fixture of the team, him being the highest paid player in league history and all.

Ladies and Gentleman, those days are over. Thanks as always to H.T. for the news break that Earl Boykins has been cut by Virtus Bologna:

Virtus Bologna will cut Earl Boykins. The president of Virtus, Claudio Sabatini announced it to Sky Sport: 'The player have asked us 4 days of holiday but we did not give them to it. However, he decided to fy to US today. This is an unacceptable behavior for a guy born in '94. We have clear ideas on what we have to do'.

Boykins during the game against Ferrara has almost striked not shooting during the entire game and having a behavior on the parquet that has raged the fans and the coaching staff.

Bolonia may ink the experienced point guard Melvin Booker to replace the former NBA player.
With no other pointguards on the roster at the moment this leaves Petteri Koponen at the helm. The team will probably sign another pointguard, but unless it is another expensive player (which 36 year old Melvin Booker is not), we can assume Petteri's role will be expanded. Thanks for being an ass Boykins.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Joel Freeland injury

It makes sense that we have been following Joel Freeland's every move. The 21 year old Blazers draftee has been impressing in the ACB League, currently averaging 11 points (shooting 63% from the field) and 4.5 rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench (1).

Which is why it was scary to see him collect a recent DNP. Some google searching turned up a brief mention of an injury, but no details on the type or severity.

So I did what anyone would do who discovered such an occurrence on Christmas, I posted up on the computer looking at Spanish websites and e-mailing people that might have some answers. Mark from Basketball 24/7 verified the injury:

Hi Jack

I'm not quite sure of the definition but it's a circulatory injury to his
foot which has caused an inflammation. According to El Mundo Deportivo,
having more tests but is expected to be out at least another week.


Rodman, who we share a bond with through a mutual appreciation of Taurean Green, also provided some information:

Si ha estado lesionado pero maƱana juega contra el Pamesa Valencia. (Translated)

Feliz Navidad.

Joel incurred a foot injury that kept him out a game. Given that it is possible (but not probable) that Freeland could play in the next game, it doesn't sound too serious. Investigative journalism!

Petteri Koponen Watch: Christmas is a time for giving

The venerable H.T. gives word that things may be looking up for Koponen after a rough stretch of games. Petteri certainly deserves to have some things go his way, hopefully this is the start of a new trend.

Bologna had a rather easy outing this Christmas Day at home against league newcomer Carife Ferrara.

Team's top scorer and starting point guard Earl Boykins only played 17 minutes when Virtus Bologna cruised to a 78-63 (41-35) victory. Petteri Koponen was inserted back into the starting line-up and he played a total of 33 minutes (team high) in the victory. Petteri delivered a steady-but-not-fancy stat line of 7 pts (FG 2/3 FT 3/4), 2 rebs, 2 assists and 2 steals. Petteri's +/- stat also shows that while he was on the court, Virtus took the game by 19 points. The clearly negative side for young pg was that he recorded a total of four turnovers, which doubles his Italian Serie A record so far.

Sharrod Ford lead Virtus Bologna with 15 points, 11 rebounds and three steals. Roberto Chiacig had 14, 10, four steals and three blocks. For Carife Ferrara, the Infamous Ndudi Ebi scored 11, Harold Jamison had 7 and Rick Apodaca finished with 8.

Virtus Bologna is now second in Serie A with an 8-4 record. They'll play an away game against yet undefeated Montepaschi Siena January 4th. Siena's roster is filled with some names that are familiars for those living in the States as well: Terrell McIntyre, Romain Sato, Kristof Lavrinovic and Rimaitas Kaukenas could ring a bell. In Euroleague, Siena is sporting a 6-2 record.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Don't Vote Rudy

I know that you are excited by the idea of a Blazer in the dunk contest. I am on record agreeing with you on that. But I beg you, do not vote for Rudy to be included in this event. Unless he has some sort of hidden ability we are not aware of, the man does not belong. Yes, I know he finishes a lot of alley oops. Yes, I know he did this to Dwight Howard. I am not putting forth the argument that the man is not athletic. I'm just saying that he is probably not NBA Dunk Contest athletic.

Have you honestly ever seen Rudy reach a level of elevation on a dunk that is not achievable by the average NBA shooting guard? This is a League where a player shorter than Fernandez, who has had knee surgery, can make this look pedestrian. And that guy will never be in a dunk contest.

Given that the other candidates do not match Rudy's international fame or enjoy a fan base as enthusiastic as Rip City, I fear Fernandez could win this vote. If that happens I will be curious to see how Blazer fans react to what would likely be a disappointing showing. Is that what you want to see? An exciting, talented young Blazer rendered impotent by Dwight Howard, Nate Robinson, and Rudy Gay?

I do want a Blazer in the dunk contest, but not like this. It is just not a good fit. If this were the three-point contest, I would send votes Rudy's way on the hour. Not to mention there is a far better candidate.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Suns sign Brown, ruin Christmas

You may not have known because it got so few pixels, but I was mildly excited by the idea of Damon Stoudamire trying out for the Phoenix Suns. I was somewhat of a Stoudamire fan throughout the years, but I was moved to full-out rooting for the guy after I heard him booed upon his first return to the Rose Garden after leaving the Blazers. Seriously people, I know he got caught with weed a few times and that makes you mad. So lets all boo the hell out of him. Even though the team won a whole lot of games when he was at the helm. Even though he is one of a very few people actually from Portland to make the League. Even though he has done some very good things for the community. Boo this man!

Nothing like a quick mini-rant on Christmas Eve. Anyways, my dreams of seeing Damon come off the bench for the Suns are now destroyed as Phoenix has signed Dee Brown to the spot. Since the Suns are in desperate need of a steady vet to keep things rolling when Nash is laying off to the side of the court wrapped up in towels, I thought Damon had a great shot. But it didn't happen, and now Damon is back to his day job as Director of Player Development for the Rice Owls. Of course.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Watchout for those Vikings

Usually I keep things focused on professional basketball around this place. The usual exception is when Portland State basketball accomplishes something. (Remember?)

I'm proud to report that my Vikings just defeated #7 ranked Gonzaga in Spokane. A hugely impressive win, even more so when you consider that it took the Vikings 48-hours on a bus to reach Spokane due to the winter storm. It is only the third home loss in five years for the Zags. So ha! Suck it!

Nuggets at Portland, Pre-pregame

Frustrated about the Blazers inability to beat a Melo-less Nuggets squad last night? Good news! They play the exact same team tonight, except this time in Portland. Whoopee!

Given that Denver is a Northwest Division team, which makes total sense, these games do have the added bonus of potential playoff implications. And considering Portland is competing with eight legitimate veteran playoff teams for a post-season spot (Oh Hollinger, how I want to believe!), they might want to win tonight. Seriously.

Who would bother writing a preview for the same opponent the team played last night? People that are less lazy than I am. On to the pre-pregame links!

- Sheed's Shakedown (Bust a Bucket)
- My neighbor will probably have 15 Thoughts up at some point (Blaze of Love)
- Blazers vs. Nuggets in Links. Technically from the first game, but I needed to include another link. (Oregonlive)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Petteri Koponen Watch: Moral victories edition

H.T. checked in recently with a Petteri Koponen update. It isn't pretty. I'm beginning to think that if Petteri can make it through this experience he will be a much stronger player for it. Either that or his psyche will crumble and he will never recover. Think positive thoughts...

Bologna suffered their second consecutive loss in Serie A against Banca Tercas Teramo. Virtus already had the game in their hands but Teramo finished the game strong and won 80-77. This was the fourth loss in 11 Serie A games for Virtus Bologna.

It seems Bologna is struggling with turnovers right now. They had 26 effing turnovers against Teramo; Earl Boykins turned the ball over seven times while Jamie Arnold and Keith Langford had four TO's apiece and Sharrod Ford and Roberto Chiacig had three.

Petteri only played five minutes, and finished with one point (FT 1/2), one turnover and two personal fouls.

I don't exactly know what happened because I was only able to follow the game through live stats, but the end of first quarter was extremely strange. Teramo was leading 23-8 when there were two minutes remaining and Petteri entered the game. Bologna took the final two minutes of the quarter 14-2. Does this have anything to do with Petteri? Don't know, since I didn't see the game. But the turn was absurd - 14-2 in 2mins? After this stint, though, Petteri only played three minutes.

Here's a statistical recap of Petteri's first ten games in Serie A:

Games 10
Starts 2
Min 12,7
Pts 2,8
Reb 1,1
As 0,6
St 0,4
To 0,6
Pf 1,8
Ft 75,0% (9/12)
2pt 50,0% (5/10)
3pt 18,8% (3/16)

In six games under Bologna's new head coach, Matteo Bonicinolli, Petteri has averaged:

Games 6
Starts 2
Min 13,7
Pts 3,0
Reb 1,5
As 0,5
St 0,3
To 0,3
Pf 2,3
Ft 75,0% (6/8)
2pt 60,0% (3/5)
3pt 20,0% (2/10)

In four games of FIBA EuroChallenge Cup, it's just about the same:

Games 4
Starts 3
Min 13,8
Pts 3,3
Reb 0,8
As 0,5
St 0,5
To 1,8
Pf 1,5
Ft 100,0% (4/4)
2pt 42,9% (3/7)
3pt 16,8% (1/6)

So, the learning experience continues. Petteri has already had a couple of good games, but he has yet to find steadiness in limited minutes coach Bonicinolli is providing him. Next up for our friends in Bologna, an Italian Serie A game (Dec 28th) against Carife Ferrara (featuring Ndudi Ebi!) at home.



Shaq took the loss at Portland pretty hard

That is, if you believe that a man's twitter is an accurate reflection of his emotions, which I do. I happen to believe that Twitter is unique in it's ability to capture the true essence of the human soul.


You are aware that Shaq posted a pregame twitter from the Rose City. But unless you have as pathetic a life as me, which leads you to check Diesel's twitter on a daily basis and be thoroughly entertained, you may have missed his other P-town posts. Shaq seemed to take this loss a little harder than usual. It should be noted that he performed admirably both statistically (19 and 9) and in embarrassing hyped young'n Greg Oden (coughcoughcough). Apparently Shaq was more interested in the win after all:

Gave a way anova game, geez im pissed agggggggggh dats a yell 11:05 PM Dec 18th from txt

Its co sold in porltand i catn even tpye srtaight 5:30 PM Dec 18th from txt

Thanks for giving Portland the game, it was much appreciated. Just more evidence of Shaq getting into the holiday spirit. At least now we know why Shaq struggles with coherence at times, ARTIC BLAST '08: COLD TEMPERATURES FOR REALZ!!!!1! The damage of this weather knows no bounds.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Your Weekend Disturbing Animated Gif

Thanks TrueHoop.

Weak Review: Brandon Roy goes mainstream edition

This week started slow but finished strong, helping us all have happy holidays. I hope you are all enjoying the merriment and the eating that comes with the season. Actually, scratch that. It has become abundantly clear that we are all a little too in love with eating. Here is what happened:

- Our friend Z-Bo said some awesome things about our other friend Darius Miles.
- Petteri Koponen hasn't exactly been blowing up, but has secured a starting position and consistent minutes (1 , 2).
- Shaq twittered something, Brandon Roy did something

I would also like to add that you know things are getting out of control when you log into your youtube account and it keeps recommending Stig Dogg videos because you have so many in your favorites. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Brandon Roy scores 52, Blazers win

The man who was tenth amongst Western Conference Guards in the first All-Star ballot returns scored 52 points tonight in a winning effort, on national television. It was a massive electric performance from one of the most understated members of the League’s elite. Casual fans, meet Brandon Roy.

Usually it is a bad thing when Roy scores a lot of points; it means his teammates haven’t been accomplishing much. When the team goes cold, Everything takes the game into his own hands. It is no coincidence that the contests where Roy has his biggest numbers seem too often accompanied by the big fat letter “L.”

Tonight was very different from those games. The team put on a hugely memorable performance for a national audience to witness. It was a spectacle, no doubt. But the character of the game was not totally different from the normal type of good Blazer basketball. It wasn’t so much an anomaly as it was a display of everything the Blazers do well, hopped up on PCP and robbing a bank.

This game, like so many others, was about Roy being special and the rest of the team coming through when needed. Roy kept the game ball because it was that sort of night; one of those that will go down in Rip City lore. His individual performance will justifiably blow up the interwebs and teletubes, but it is worth keeping in mind that it would not have been nearly impressive without the victory. And that wouldn’t have happened without clutch plays by Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake, Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge and others. Roy showed how special he is tonight, and more importantly we saw a team that isn’t far behind.

Suns at Portland, Pre-pregame

You know the Phoenix Suns must be in town when you get an evening text from a friend saying they are looking at Shaquille O'Neal in a downtown coffee shop, and that he is indeed "very large."

A quick check on Shaq's twitter verified the man's presence:

Its so cold in porland the sun just sent me a text, yo shaq ill c u n may Schwwwwwww

Somehow technology seems to be making Shaq even more random, I didn't think that was possible. But if The Big Genie doesn't like the weather he should challenge it to a duel. I bet Shaq could destroy ARTIC BLAST '08: COLD TEMPERATURES 4 REALZ! in a cage fight. Then maybe the City of Portland would reopen the street I live on. Blah.

It probably doesn't help the Blazers that the man is carrying on about how he could average 27 and 10 this season. You know, if he was into that sort of thing. While it seems like bluster, hopefully Shaq's old joints will still be frozen at tip off. Because while he couldn't put up those numbers against the entire League, it seems he may be able to pull it off against Greg Oden. Seriously Shaq, we know you are great and all that. No need to prove anything. Our guy has confidence issues enough as it is.

Oh yeah, and make that roster Damon!

Now, game links to keep you from doing any actual work for the rest of the day. Because I care.

- Sheed's Shakedown
- 15 Thoughts
- Pre-thoughts
- BE Preview

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Petteri Koponen Watch: Still starting

H.T. checks in with the latest on the Heart of Finland, Petteri Koponen:

Virtus Bologna continued their winning ways in FIBA EuroChallenge Cup, winning their regular season game against Base Oostende in Belgium 87-76 and improving to 4-0 in EuroChallenge Group G. Petteri Koponen had his fourth start in a row, but Tuesday just wasn't Petteri's night.

In the first half, Petteri played seven minutes, finishing with two turnovers (including a really awkward one) and two fouls. He got back into the game in the end of the third quarter, but managed only three bricked 3pt attempts and one foul in five minutes. Petteri was withdrawn from the game with just seven minutes remaining. He got to play the last minute of the game but in the end, his boxscore showed that he had played 13 minutes with 0-3 field goald shooting, 3 fouls and 2 turnovers.

It's a long season and young guys have their ups and downs, so there's no reason to worry after one bad game. Petteri has cracked the rotation for good under coach Bonicinolli and it seems that the coach has very much patience in his point guard prospect.

Virtus meets Bancatercas Teramo this Sunday at home.


So the bad news is that Petteri had a bad game. The good news is that it is starting to look like he has entrenched himself as a starter on the team. More responsibility and more minutes mean more growth for our man. Watch your back Bayless.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Darius Miles signs with Memphis, soul-mate Z-Bo kind of has his back

In case you missed all the excitement, the Memphis Grizzlies indeed signed Darius Miles to a non-guaranteed contract. Now that he is on a roster Miles will begin serving his ten game (!) diet-pills suspension and be eligible to begin playing January 4th. After that the Grizz have until January 7 to decide whether or not to guarantee his contract. If they do, the countdown to Blazer ramifications will begin.

Put Darius on a team with a bunch of young talent, great idea. This will end well.

There really are quite a few sources chiming in on this, which is sort of surprising. My favorite so far is from HoopsWorld, who got some perspective on the signing from Zach Randolph. Naturally. Anywho, it features my favorite quote on the topic so far:

"Yeah. Kind of," Randolph said when asked if Miles is misunderstood.

So awesome.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Petteri Koponen Watch: Don't pay attention to this post

My best Finnish friend in the world, H.T., has decided to bless us with another Petteri Koponen update:

Saturday night: Start, 16min, 2pts (FG 1-3), 5 rebounds. Petteri didn't see more than three minutes of action in the second half. Virtus lost to Eldo Caserta 78-68 (35-38), their first loss under new head coach Matteo Bonicinolli.

Virtus turned the ball over smashing 29 times. Earl Boykins had 10 turnovers, Sharrod Ford had six and Keith Langford five. Petteri had no turnovers.

Virtus is in the second place of Italian Serie A with seven wins in ten games.


That sounds sort of depressing. The good news is that it seems that the wheels came off when Koponen was riding the bench. Take that, Coach.

This game could be a good indicator of how tenuous a grip Petteri really has on the starting role and decent minutes. Although it seems not to be his fault, this is a League notoriously unforgiving of young talent. Will one loss mean it is back to the bench with our fair Finnagler? It is worth reminding Coach Bonicinolli that the team is still 2-1 with Koponen starting, and 2-0 when he starts and gets over sixteen minutes of burn. Here's hoping that Petteri avoids becoming the scapegoat and continues happily along the path to Portland Trailblazerdom.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weak Review: Darius Miles won't go away edition

What a week, I really should stop posting so much. Here are some DeceptivelyQuick highlights you may have missed:

- Petteri Koponen got the starting nod and his team won, TWICE (1 , 2).
- Channing Frye is a Blazer. Don't get used to that sentence.
- Mo Evans gets Wafer'd!
- When it comes to getting your mind right after getting Turkoglu'd(!), pain works.
- Blazers ranked in order of scoring consistency. I swear that someday, someone will appreciate this.
- While his scoring has not increased much over last season, Roy's consistency has blown up.
- How did I not write anything about Darius Miles trying out for the Clippers? I guess we should reread the ramifications.
- BONUS UPDATE: Bonzi Wells to play in China! Awesome!

That is it for me this week. Oh, check out Canzano saying "Yo," good stuff. The Clippers play at Portland tonight, mostly so everyone can boo Zach again and make themselves feel good. I won't be watching the game as I have an important appointment. Yes, I will be getting plowed at an open-bar Christmas party. To celebrate Jesus, I guess. Indeed. Peace!

Oh yeah! Random youtube of the week!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

First All-Star ballot returns: Playing for Portland really does cripple your popularity

Thanks to SLAM for posting the first All-Star ballot returns.

It really reinforces just how off-the radar Portland remains to the mainstream basketball mind. For all Portland's national media coverage, for Brandon Roy's Western Conference Player of the Week, for the great story of the second youngest team being among the best in the West so far, The Blazer's best player is.......tenth in voting amongst guards. Wow.

I know fan voting often has stupid results but again, wow. Tenth? Really? He truly must be only a thinking man's star. But whatever, the coaches will put him in. Right?

Scoring Consistency Observation #2: For the haters of Travis Outlaw

This post is referencing the scoring consistency stat derived from this post. An in depth explanation of the stat is available here.

Travis Outlaw has become a bit of a polarizing figure in Rip City. He does some good things, like provide scoring off the bench. He also does bad things, like forgetting what play the team is running in the last possession of a game, showing up out of shape to training camp every year, and the occasional journey into delusions of grandeur.

That last heartbreaking loss to Orlando has given the trade Trout lobbyists a significant boost. But perhaps we aren't fully appreciating what Travis brings to this team. Not only does he average double figures off the bench, he does it at the second most consistent rate on the team.

Outlaw's PPGcr is 2.67. In December of last year it was 1.94. The addition of Oden and Fernandez were supposed to hurt Outlaw's scoring, but that has not been the case so far. Outlaw's PPG last December was within 1 point of his current season average. The only real change so far this season is that he is a much more consistent scorer.

It could be that he has improved his skills. Or perhaps having more competition for shots has increased his focus. Or maybe it is nothing more than a statistical aberration. But Outlaw being the second most consistent scorer on the team should not be ignored.

Goonerluke random thought 12/11

Whatever you may think of this blog, you have to respect my lazy. You can imagine my excitement when Goonerluke sent something fresh in. Enjoy it while you can, because soon I will have sucked all the life out of it.

I present you with the random Goonerluke Blazer thought of the day. Unfortunately, this is the end of the Goonerluke stockpile. Pray for replenishments.

The June draft is set up so each team is supposed to get one rookie with tasty skills (first round) and after that (second round) its like trying to pick the one otis spunkmeyer in an opaque jar of stale chips a’hoy

Scoring Consistency Observation #1: Brandon Roy at elite level

This post is referencing the scoring consistency stat derived from this post. An in depth explanation of the stat is available here.

One reason I calculated the consistency scoring stat (PPGcr) is because there is so much a simple PPG average doesn't tell us about how a player scores. For one, it doesn't explain how consistently that player scores their PPG. The consistency stat can shed some light on that.

A great example of this is Brandon Roy. Through 12/10 he is averaging 20.8 PPG. Last season he averaged 19.1. By looking soley at PPG one would correctly conclude that his scoring has increased modestly.

But there is more to this story. This season, Roy is scoring his points in a much more consistent way than in December of last season. Last December Roy's PPGcr was 2.72. This lead the Blazers but was significantly lower than elite players like Kobe and LeBron, who were at 3.83 and 3.29 respectively.

This season that has changed. Brandon Roy's consistently is now at a similar level to elite players in the league. Look how he stacks up:

Brandon Roy: PPGcr = 3.83

Wade: PPGcr = 3.47
Joe Johnson: PPGcr = 3.14
Kobe: PPGcr = 4.30

Side note: Although I haven't computed PPGcr for the whole league, the trend seems to be that a very good PPGcr is above 3.0. Look at Kobe's mark again. Mamba is the God of consistent scoring.

The Consistent Stat is NOT dead!

Only the hardcore among you will remember the Consistent Stat from last December. After having a bit of a caffeine overdose too late at night I decided now would be a good time to calculate the numbers on the 2008 Blazers.

Briefly, the Consistency Stat is produced by dividing the players PPG by the standard deviation of their scoring. This produces a number that reflects how the player's scoring deviates relative to how many points they average. It gives us an idea of how consistently they score their points. For a more in depth explanation/justification, and a peak at last season's numbers through December, take the above link.

Below, in order of most consistent to least, is how the Blazers are looking through 12/10/2008:

(PPGcr = Points Per Game consistency rating.)

Brandon Roy
PPGcr= 3.83

Travis Outlaw
PPGcr= 2.67

LaMarcus Aldridge
PPGcr= 2.62

Steve Blake
PPGcr= 1.98

Joel Przybilla and Rudy Fernandez
PPGcr= 1.86

Channing Fry
PPGcr= 1.53

Greg Oden
PPGcr= 1.32

Nicolas Batum
PPGcr = 1.23

Sergio Rodriguez
PPGcr = 1.12

Interpretations to follow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Portland Trailblazers Painfest: A Festival of PAIN

The Blazers suffered a heartbreaking loss this week, no doubt. (They got Turkoglu'd!) But truthfully the outcry of suffering in Rip City has seemed a tad extreme. Perhaps we are becoming a little too accustomed to things going our way. Spoiled whiny fans are no fun, and I can't bear to see us become something so loathsome. So for your own good, I present you with an opportunity to relive some real Blazer pain. I do it because I care.

Item I:
Jordan killing the Blazers in the 1992 Finals, and in the process doing the infamous Man I am Awesome shrug. This gesture made while murdering the sainted early 90's Blazers has become NBA lore:

Item II:
Portland at Los Angeles, 2000 Western Conference Finals, Game 7. The winner gets to go crush the Indiana Pacers and win the championship. Portland builds a 15 point second half lead. Lakers fans booing their own team. Damon Stoudamire with cornrows. The game was in the bag. You know the rest:

Item III:
Portland at San Antonio, 1999 Western Conference Finals, Game 2. At one point in this game the Blazers were up 18 points. With 12 seconds left they were up just two points, but had lead the entire game. Then Sean Elliot happened. The Spurs rode the momentum all the way to Championtown, beating the crap out of that 8-seed Knicks team in the Finals. Some call it the 'Memorial Day Miracle,' but really it was the Memorial Day Bullshit shot of the century.

Item IV:

(Zach's house is still available for purchase if you're looking for some new digs. If you want a your own copy of this Cribs episode, the Portland Police still may have some available.)

Remember all of that? Real sports pain. You're welcome.

Another Von Wafer siting! GA!

Wafer has been getting minutes again lately for the Rockets, with some solid results. Why do I care? As far as I'm concerned Wafer remains a Blazer until updates his player photo.

(Assist SLAM.)

Petteri Koponen watch: Another start, another win

It was a huge deal around these parts earlier in the week when H.T. informed us that Petteri Koponen had started a game, and gotten 24 minutes of playing time, for his Italian club. If you still don't understand why this is a big deal, read this.

We were cautiously optimistic that Petteri's play would earn him another start and another wad of minutes, but you never know with those crazy Euros. So we were even more excited when H.T. dropped us another update this morning:

Petteri last night:

Start, 24 minutes, 9 points (FG 3-7), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers in
75-69 victory over Russian team Samara in FIBA EuroChallenge Cup.

Yes! The Finnagler is indeed starting in the back court with the World's richest midget little person Earl Boykins. If the wins keep coming you have to believe Koponen's respectable burn will continue. Good news for everyone.

Goonerluke random thought 12/10

Whatever you may think of this blog, you have to respect my lazy. You can imagine my excitement when Goonerluke sent something fresh in. Enjoy it while you can, because soon I will have sucked all the life out of it.

I present you with the random Goonerluke Blazer thought of the day. Check tomorrow for...tomorrow's.

Forget all this junk about about the Blazers ipods and what they listen to pre-game. Every asshole in the NBA is listening to Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, and Muchachito Bombo-Infierno… What I want to hear is that Brandon and the entire team sit down pre-game and listen to a 10 minute clip of wolves stalking and taking down a stray caribou, or better yet, when they’re playing Shaq they should be listening to a clip of African lions taking down an Elephant, a la Planet Earth. Visualize it. Visualize it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blazers get Turkoglu'd!

I had no intention of being prophetic when I attached the above picture to the Pre-pregame earlier today. But it happened, yes, Portland became the latest team to get Turkoglu'd.

An exciting contest tonight, all the way up until the last minute and a half or so. The Blazers ruined a night that saw electric play from Roy, Aldridge, Rudy, and Przybilla when they suddenly became baffled by a double-team-Roy defense that they see pretty much every game.


Side note:

Apparently Rudy Fernandez is determined to create a highlight reel featuring him embarassing Dwight Howard over and over again.

Outlaw take responsibility for apparently forgetting the play they were supposed to run during that horrible last possession that ended with Roy jacking up a desperation three from the corner. Trade Outlaw advocates, add this to the list.

On Channing Frye

Channing Frye loves the city of Portland, and the city loves him right back. Whats not to like? He blogs, he has a great sense of humor, and he can play basketball. For these reasons it is sad to think of a Blazer team without Frye. So far this season it has looked like the Blazers don't have much of a role available for Channing, and conversations that the team needs qualities he can't provide are becoming more frequent.

On the season Frye is currently averaging career lows in minutes, FG%, FT%, rebounds, and points. At a time when many say Portland could use a big inside-oriented power forward off the bench, Frye brings almost perfectly bizzaro skills. Don't take my word for it, check his shot selection- yes, that is a 17 next to the percentage of his shots taken from inside.

While he isn't getting much opportunity in Portland, the League is certainly aware that Frye can play. The Blazers could trade him, but they don't need to. They can choose not to extend him a qualifying offer after the season and he will be gone.

Also not exactly doing Channing-as-a-Blazer any favors is the impressive season 21 year old Portland draftee Joel Freeland is putting together over in Spain. Freeland's contract with his ACB club is up after this season, meaning he could be available should Portland want to bring him over next year.

Today on 1080 The Fan Frye answered questions on whether or not he would welcome a trade (full audio), and he didn't sound totally opposed to the idea of going to a new place if there was a larger role waiting for him.

It is unfortunate, but at this moment everyone seems to be seeing the writing on the wall. While he may remain with the Blazers past the trade deadline, it is unlikely that we will see the Buffet of Goodness wearing pinwheels next season. It would make sense from a basketball standpoint, but you have to be a little sad to see the only Blazer to ever appreciate KPW leave.

Magic at Blazers, Pre-pregame

The Blazers finally get to play a game in Portland after a 4-1 Eastside swing. Although the homeness of this particular home game is debatable, I'm sure the team will be somewhat re-energized by playing in a building where they are undefeated.

That perfect home record will be tested tonight by the hot-hot Magic. Like Portland, Orlando has won eight of their last ten. They are also one of the best road teams in the League with a 7-2 record. This is a better Magic team than the one the Blazers beat back in November.

Something interesting to keep an eye on is Portland's won-lost profile. Six of the Blazers seven losses came from teams in the top ten for points scored. A scary trend that hopefully will evaporate as the season wears on. I'm sure I'll post more on this later.

And for the curious Orlando is twelfth in this category.

Goonerluke random thought 12/9

Whatever you may think of this blog, you have to respect my lazy. Goonerluke sent in a post and I used it twice. Double posting things written by other people, this is how I operate. So you can imagine my excitement when Goonerluke sent something fresh in. Enjoy it while you can, because soon I will have sucked all the life out of it.

I present you with the random Goonerluke Blazer thought of the day. Check tomorrow for...tomorrow's.

Junior Blazer dancers, where were you when I was 11?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Petteri Koponen gets to play

Koponen's lack of playing time for his Italian club has been well documented. We came to attribute this lack of burn to two primary causes: the league's well known reputation for not playing youngsters, and the fact that he was stuck behind the World's richest midget little person Earl Boykins.

For at least one night, Our Finnagler overcame the odds. Given a starting role and 24 whole minutes, he notched 7 points 1 assist and 2 steals. The numbers may not overwhelm, but Koponen played well enough to get a hug from the team President.

A twenty year old being trusted with 24 minutes is a big deal in this particular Italian league. Here is the Google translated Finnish write-up of Petteri's performance. We can only hope that this leads to more minutes for our man.

As always, thanks to H.T. for the update.

Goonerluke random thought 12/8

Whatever you may think of this blog, you have to respect my lazy. Goonerluke sent in a post and I used it twice. Double posting things written by other people, this is how I operate. So you can imagine my excitement when Goonerluke sent something fresh in. Enjoy it while you can, because soon I will have sucked all the life out of it.

I present you with the random Goonerluke Blazer thought of the day. Check tomorrow for...tomorrow's.

I’m beginning to think that Shavlik Randolph only made the team because Nate McMillan is eager to impart his GQness to the rest of the team (its always been Nate’s dream to have his entire line-up flank him on a GQ fold-out cover). The fact that Steve Hill kept rolling into the practice center shirtless and in overalls didn’t help.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bah! Portland at Toronto, Sunday morning game sneak attack!

After that Boston drubbing, or "creaming" as the Oregonian called it, I managed my feelings by disconnecting myself from all consciousness. The next thing I remember after that "game" is waking up this morning and seeing that the Blazers were playing in Toronto. Also, the sky is still above us. Crazy.

This game has caught me off-guard, so in lieu of any game thoughts I thought we could all just enjoy how hilarious the Raptor's jerseys used to be:


Friday, December 5, 2008

Portland vs Boston Recap; I don't wanna talk about it

This game was a sobering reminder. For all their winning ways the Blazers can still be reduced to playing like one would expect the second youngest team in the league should. They are not yet an elite team contending for a title. Boston is.


My soul hurts.

Portland at Boston, Pre-pregame

Big huge nationally televised game for Portland tonight. A win will be tough to earn, but would raise the Blazers national profile to elite status. All they have to do is beat the defending champ Celtics (18-2) in Boston.

This game will be a good opportunity to see how much growth the Blazers have achieved. Last season the Celtics intimidated and muscled Portland. This time around Portland is a tad more experienced and loaded with even more talent.

If you can pick out a semi-weakness of the C's defense it would be that they don't have much in terms of long athleticism to defend the outside. This helped Travis Outlaw average 20 a game against them last season. Portland has been winning lately without hitting a ton of jumpers, but they will need to hit those outside shots to be victorious tonight.

It will be interesting to see how Oden responds to the rough interior Celtic defense. Will Perk get in his head? Will KG totally punk him out? Some things we do know; GO's bad habits (making himself smaller, bringing the ball down low, putting it behind his head) will simply not be tolerated in Boston.

Anyways, more game links to get you excited:

Canzano wins prestigious DeceptivelyQuick award for best pre-game column of the day [Oregonian]

Bust a Bucket picks the Celtics to win (booooooooooh!)

Blazers Edge preview

OLive stuff

Blazers want payback

Goonerluke random thought 12/5/08

Whatever you may think of this blog, you have to respect my lazy. You can imagine my excitement when Goonerluke sent something fresh in. Enjoy it while you can, because soon I will have sucked all the life out of it.

I present you with the random Goonerluke Blazer thought of the day. Check tomorrow for...tomorrow's.

If Kobe is the “Mamba,” can we start calling Batum the “Mongoose”? Pre-mature, you say? See yesterday's thought.

UW to retire Brandon Roy's jersey

The University of Washington will be retiring Everything's jersey on January 22nd. Nate Robinson is not impressed, because his jersey retirement was much more hilarious. The accolades keep piling up for Roy, who also recently won his third Western Conference Player of the Week (WCPW?) honor. If he plays well and the Blazers manage a win in tonight's big nationally televised game, he may depose Barack Obama as President-Elect.

The (Blazers) Spirit

You know?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hollinger wouldn't lie, Portland a lock for the playoffs

I'm sure I'm late to this, but I just noticed that Portland has a 100% chance of making the playoffs according to Hollinger's magical statistics:

Although you can't deny that the West has lost some luster from last season it is still impressive that one of the teams in this screen grab won't be invited to the postseason fiesta. If that team happens to be Portland we can all blame Hollinger for the jinx.

Other blogs are interested in Taurean Green too?

I'm going to go ahead and claim that no other source has written more about Taurean Green since the 2007 draft than DeceptivelyQuick. I mean, 21 posts are tagged with his name.

Updates on his Euro stats are not only given on the regular, but we get first hand accounts from a knowledgeable CAI blogger in Spain. Where else could you learn that Green, noted stateside for his pesky on the ball defense, was struggling to adjust to the team oriented defenses of the ACB? Where else could you hear his potential described as "1989 Mookie Blaylock"?

I always figured the rest of the interblogs were indifferent towards the man. In a way it made my intrigue towards Green increase exponentially, like I was seeing a light across the cold space of the basketball universe that few others cared to appreciate.

I may have been wrong.

DeceptivelyQuick reader Brrrrrrrrrr! tipped me off that Green made an apperance on TrueHoop this week. Although buried in the bullets, it still struck me as interesting that a major blog considered Taurean Green pixel worthy. (TrueHoop linked to this post at Pickaxe and Roll.)

All I can say is the more on the Taurean Green bandwagon, the merrier. There are still plenty of seats available. Think about jumping aboard, we have cocoa.

Another Joel Freeland Update

Last time we checked in with Joel he was coming off a monster performance. It was good things.

Here is how Joel has been doing since:

November 30th
20 mins, 13 points (5/7 FG, 3/3 FT), 5 reb

November 23
17 mins, 9 points (3/8 FG, 3/4 FT), 2 reb

Freeland is currently averaging 11.7 points (65% FG, 68% FT) and 4.8 rebs in 17 minutes per game.

And in case you are wondering, Joel has yet to start.

Goonerluke random thought 12/4/08

Whatever you may think of this blog, you have to respect my lazy. You can imagine my excitement when Goonerluke sent something fresh in. Enjoy it while you can, because soon I will have sucked all the life out of it.

I present you with the random Goonerluke Blazer thought of the day. Check tomorrow for...tomorrow's.

There is almost nothing better than a fresh, warm rookie early in the season. The best thing about a piping hot rookie is that if he’s any good at all you can squint and turn him into a future all-star. If a friend or family member disagrees with your future all-star prognosis, this can almost always be put down to one of three things – 1) said person isn’t drinking as heavily as you are 2) said person doesn’t have HDTV capability and still thinks Ann Schatz is the sideline reporter (don’t hate the Harlow!) 3) said person is simply ignorant and holds WNBA season tickets.

Forbes report: Blazers value jumps 21%

Further proof that everything is going Portland's way right now, things are looking up financially as well for the occupier of the 11th smallest NBA market:

While the Nets suffered the biggest drop of any team, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Portland Trail Blazers experienced the biggest gain. Thanks to a 28 percent increase in ticket revenue and the addition of 20 new sponsors, the Trail Blazers jumped 10 spots on the list from dead last to No. 20 with a valuation of $307 million.

Wow. Remember this? Things can turnaround very quickly with good luck and better leadership. After losing $25 million last year, hemorrhaging only $1 million in 2008 seems massively impressive. At this rate 2009 will be the first time since 1998 that the Blazers actually made money. Hooray for rich people!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another 10 games, another check-up

After the first ten games we noted the following impressive stats:

6-4 record against a tough schedule
#3 in offensive efficiency

The following were noted as potential concerns:

#25 in defensive efficiency, giving up more points than they were scoring
74% of shots taken were jumpers

Now that another ten games have been played, it seems like a good idea to check on these sames stats and note some possible trends.

The Blazers have won eight of their last ten games and currently have a five game win streak. Although most of these victories have come against weaker teams (Minnesota, Chicago, Sacramento twice, Miami, and New York), they do have wins over New Orleans and Detroit. Their two losses came from Phoenix and New Orleans. The take away message here seems to be that the Blazers are consistently beating teams they are supposed to beat. Veteranmuch?

As of right now, Portland is second in the league in offensive efficiency, up from number three ten games ago. With twenty games played this seems to indicate the Blazers have a consistently excellent offense, that their high ranking isn't simply the result of a ephemeral hot streak.

And what of the Blazers jumper-heavy offense? It has remained so, but trended downward slightly over the last ten games. After twenty games Portland's shot distribution now looks like this:

Jump: 71%
Close: 21%
Dunk: 7%
Tips: 2%

Is the slight dip in jumpers (3%) contributing to the slight rise in offensive efficiency? Can a team be a true contender relying so heavily on the jump shot? Not sure. For comparison, look at the Lakers shot selection:

Jump: 61%
Close: 29%
Dunk: 8%
Tips: 2%

A juicy detail here that might counter the "closer is better" adage is that Portland shoots an effective field goal percentage .07 higher than the Lakers. Something to think about.

A large concern after the first ten games was that Portland was ranked #25 in the league in defensive efficiency. Ten games later the team has moved up to the exact middle of the NBA at #15. This is a fantastic development.

In the first ten games Portland was giving up more points than they were scoring. They are now ranked fourth in the league in win/loss differential.

Over the last ten games the good things and the bad things seem to have gotten better. One gets the sense that pretty soon it won't even be fair. Go Blazers!

Blazers vs. Wizards, Pre-pregame

So can all this winning continue? In this five game win streak we have seen the Blazers be scary good and, just as importantly, seen them find ways to win when shots aren't falling for everyone. The Wizards are pretty bad, but supposedly have not been as bad since Ed Tapscott took over as coach.

I have been wanting to catch a peak at JaVale McGee, who has the kind of potential that keeps the interblogs sizzling. I'd be impressed if he accomplishes something against the likes of GregZilla.

On to the game links!

-15 Thoughts [Blaze of Love]
-Sheed's Shakedown [Bust a Bucket]
-Game 20 Preview [Blazers Edge]

And in case you are wondering about the gentleman crouching in front of the, he's from DC.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Goonerluke still alive, with many random thoughts

Whatever you may think of this blog, you have to respect my lazy. Goonerluke sent in a post and I used it twice. Double posting things written by other people, this is how I operate. So you can imagine my excitement when Goonerluke sent something fresh in. Enjoy it while you can, because soon I will have sucked all the life out of it.

I present you with the random Goonerluke Blazer thought of the day. Check tomorrow for...tomorrow's.

It doesn’t get much better than waking up hungover on a Sunday morning next to your ex-girlfriend – fully-clad in her footy-pajamas that double as a chastity belt – and realizing your beloved Blazers are playing a nooner and that your favorite blogger is calling you out… I’ll try to not be such a piece in ’09, Jack.

Monday, December 1, 2008

In the desert, my battle for free internet continues

If posting seems inconsistent in the near future, it is because my neighbor has become self righteous enough to secure his internet. The audacity. I'm searching for convenient local access, but am slowly coming to grips with the fact that I may have to (gasp) pay for internet.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Rip City...

Portland is one of only two teams undefeated at home, the other being Cleveland. They sit atop the Northwest Division with twelve wins and six losses, good for the three seed in the playoff race. In other words, the Blazers have been kicking some major ass. People are noticing.

Blog Archive