Friday, July 31, 2009

Please stop sending me dance videos

Because its late July and I will post them.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stephon Marbury is taking over my life

Very quickly the planet is discovering Stephon Marbury's prolific live web stream. I'm hooked. Seriously, I've started to choose Starbury over sleep. Watching this man say crazy things live is better than 90% of what is on TV. He just gave out his phone number.

Starbury update: As I write this he is talking about how he isn't racist because he has "whites, blacks, (very long pause) Phillipines, Asians, and (long pause) Ninjas. Where are ninjas from? I forget where ninjas are from."

You can read all the transcripts, but the essence of Marbury is truly untranscriptable.

Starbury update: "I got nursery rhymes. What you gonna say now?"

At this point I'm really hoping that the Marbury live experience doesn't become part of some truly sad story.

Starbury update: "They know who the real hero is. And I'm not talking about the sandwhich that we eat."

Guess I'll stay tuned.

Move over Koponen, Finland's next great basketball player is here

"Man, Finnish basketball prospects are like Randy West, they just keep on coming..."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ike Diogu signed by New Orleans

Barely-Blazer Ike Diogu has been signed by the New Orleans Hornets. A significant number of people still praise his potential. He's supposed to be one of those slightly short-but crazy long armed athletic Power Forwards. Plus he has crafty post moves on the low-block. And he's still only 25 years old.

But this will be the fifth team of his five year NBA career. What gives? I haven't heard of any major knocks against Diogu. To my knowledge he has always carried the "he just needs more minutes" tag. Teams tend to hold on to young talent a little more tightly.

When we did see Ike play in Portland it wasn't pretty. He looked swagless, confused, possibly out of shape, and definitely ineffective. A change of scenery and a more significant role could be the perfect remedy. Maybe now we will get to see the Ike Diogu the NBA has been waiting for.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Uninteresting Truth

Back when DeceptivelyQuick started, I chose a generic sounding pseudonym from a Johnny Cash song that I happened to have just listened to. My motives were to save myself the embarrassment of explaining my internet geek tendencies to people that knew me in other roles in life. Just the thought of a conversation on why I titled my blog Deceptively Quick with a random co-worker was terrifying.

The decision had nothing to do with wanting to escape accountability of the things I wrote, at least not in the direct sense. Almost everything that shows up here is pretty harmless and goofy. I was never trying to be the anonymous blogger lobbing fire bombs at people.

The anonymity thing has been steadily losing appeal to me since that first choice. No matter how inane and innocuous things stay around here I realize that it feels "more right" to at least be up front about who I am. If Channing Frye gets terribly upset when I say he looks like Nick Cannon he should have the right to at least know my name. Plus its awkward to use a fake name in real-life situations that I'm in because of DeceptivelyQuick.

So from now on I'll be writing as me. Don't be alarmed, this will have no impact on the quantity of Finnish basketball commercials. (Ut-Oh! Cliffhanger!)

Qyntel Woods: Still a professional basketball player

For those who predicted that Qyntel Woods' life would be in shambles by now: he just got a new contract from the Polish League team he joined last February.

While this keeps Woods employed as a professional basketball player, the Polish League is yet another step down for Woods. His first Euro contract was with the elite Olympiacos, who gave him the boot after he was caught smoking weed. He was then picked up by the respectable but less glamorous Fortitudo Bologna for the rest of their season before moving to Poland. This pattern puts Woods in the IBL sometime around 2013.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Some in Memphis believe Randolph will help them, hilarity to ensue

An amazing things about the NBA is that teams continue to think that Zach Randolph will help them win games. When Portland unloaded him to the Knicks for an expensive player that would never play (Francis) and one that would play very little (Frye) much of Rip City rejoiced. Knicks fans should have paid more attention to our reaction, but decided to boast about what a great deal Randolph was.

What people in New York know now is what people in Portland knew then; getting Randolph off of your team is worth any cost. He is a multipronged assault on winning basketball. The impressive statistics he puts up make him the ultimate trojan horse.

New York dumped Randolph, who was 27 years old and putting up excellent stats as always, to the Clippers for Tim Thomas and a Cat. Some in Clipperland couldn't believe the excellent deal they got. New York fans were mostly just relieved it was over.

Mr. Hoop Fam didn't last long in Los Angeles, either. After one injury plagued season (where he averaged 20 and 9, of course) the Clips got what they could for Zach. This time it was Quentin Richardson's expiring contract, which was promptly sent in Minnesota for Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith, and Mark Madsen.

Now Zach is in Memphis. The story is set to repeat. Once again, there is actually some optimism of Zach's arrival. Check this article explaining why the deal might work. There are six factors working in favor of this improving the team, says Chris Herrington. I recommend reading the whole article, but here are those six factors in summary. My knee-jerk reactions in italics.

1. Zach has matured

Every player with ongoing issues gets a "... he has finally matured" buzz leading up to training camp. The fact that Zach has had several years of these articles should keep one skeptical enough.

2. He won't have any jackass teammates to encourage his stupidity.

The painful "you can have one knucklehead on your team" cliche is trotted out here. Yes, having an a-hole team culture can make things worse. Nobody knows this more than Blazer fans. But you got more than Zach Randolph when you pulled that trade, you got the whole Hoop Fam crew. It doesn't matter how many boy scouts Z-Bo has for teammates, away from the court he has his own cadre of "knuckleheads" to maintain the status quo.

3. Damon Stoudamire will keep him in line

Are you serious?

4. Contract year

There are tons of stories about Zach placing much greater concern on his statistics than team success. It seems like his contract year will only intensify this. You thought he was a black hole before? Get ready Memphis.

5. Teammates will compensate for his basketball weaknesses

On the surface it would seem that having a defensive center would minimize the impact of Zach's defensive woes. The problem is that Zach is such a liability your defensive Center juggernaught will spend a great deal of his time rotating over to help. With this constant need, this defensive Center is not only leaving his man open for put-backs or interior passing, but in contantly tending to Zach's responsibility he is rendered much less of a force in his own right. Ask Joel Przybilla.

6. The team doesn't have to commit to him long-term

We've seen that having Zach even for a short period of time is not going to produce wins for your team. Understand: having him at all is not good.

Friday, July 24, 2009

How Much Will The City of Portland Love Andre Miller?

We know that the signing of Andre Miller makes plenty of sense basketball wise. Now let us speculate where the Blazers new point guard will land on the How Much The City of Portland Loves You Recent Blazers Scale. (Or HMCPLYRBS. For short. Incorporating all players in Blazers history is impossible since a scale accurately showing the gap of love between Terry Porter and Zach Randolph could not be contained in the known Universe.)

First, a brief overview of the scale, which was developed by your's truly in 13 minutes using MSPaint. (What? This ain't BustABucket.) At the top you see new Phoenix Sun Channing Frye, who basically is Portland.

Next we see Roybot. Great player, decent man. His greatness and decentness make him easily loveable, but he just isn't going to start a blog or talk about how much he loves eating at the Tin Shed.

At the next mark down we have Rudy. Fernandez was once in Channing Frye-territory but has came down a bit after speculation of his unhappiness with the team this summer.

The next notch consists of your Steve Blakes and Joel Przybillas. (Yes, I know there is only actually one of each of those people.) These guys are good enough to positively impact winning, but not quite good enough to lose the "scrappy" tag. Plus they are Caucasian and "work really hard," always good for bonus points in the White People's Atlanta.

From there on we see the players that will have as many detractors as supporters, which of course need to be represented by Travis Outlaw.

If we keep this scale only to the current roster it is important to note that there is no level that is not mostly puppies and sunshine. Just to make the love seem more valuable, I added some unlove in the form of Big Pun:

So where will Andre Miller fall? We consider the elements that will influence his spot with the City of Portland:

- Went to Obama's inauguration
- Will improve team
- Sometimes described as "eccentric"

- Will reduce Steve Blake's role
- Is from Los Angeles

Where do we put this man? I'm projecting Miller's "Will improve team" factor will be strong enough to keep him well North of the Blake/Billa/I, Robot level. In the end winning probably decides about 90% of a players location on the scale. (The "Jailblazers" sold a lot of tickets before it all fell down.)

All that is left at this point is to offer an official "Welcome to Portland Andre!" If you are the piece that takes the team to a new level you may even end up being one of the "Lifers," Blazers that received so much love they stayed in Portland even after retirement.

Portland signs Andre Miller

Further evidence that Kevin Pritchard hates DeceptivelyQuick, just one day after I put up this post he goes and signs a new starting point guard.

With respect to the thoughts that may be circulating through the minds' of Steve Blake and Jerryd Bayless, initial reactions to Portland's "Plan C" seem pretty positive. I imagine some of us are just happy that after starting the summer 0-2 the Blazers finally nabbed a targeted free agent.

It feels like a solid move. The addition of Andre Miller means that Portland will always have an additional ball handler to help keep pressure off of Roy. Severing the head of the offense by doubling Everything (Roy) up top will be much more of a gamble now.

This move means more of a traditionally defined offense this season. It will still be the Brandon Roy show when it matters, but expect a more equal opportunity offense overall. This is a probably a good thing for everyone.

I know Miller isn't as good of a 3 point shooter as Blake. Don't worry about it. Miller is on a different level than Blake when it comes to creating for himself and others. He is much more of an offensive threat and consequently demands much more attention from defenses. Plus, and I want the vocal minority that have already started lamenting this move as a result of the 3 point/Blake issue, Steve Blake is still on this team. His services have not been lost. He has just become one of the best back up points in the League and is still an excellent fit. Think of him as a mini-Przybilla. (Although if you're like me you can only think of him as I, Robot.)

The age concern has the most face validity. Its hard to see how a 33 year old meshes in with the timeline of this roster. Don't worry about any of this, either. Miller's production has yet to drop off and Portland only has to keep him for two seasons (team option for a third). This move makes the Blazers young crew even more competitive and, dare I say, something of a dangerously legit playoff team. When Miller's contract is up the team can either hand the reigns off to some point guard they've developed (I actually laughed as I typed that) or bring the right player in and keep the party going.

Now, drink and be Merry.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another July NBA Blog Post

Training camp can't get here soon enough.

(Assist to Birdman.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Into the equatorial qualms we go. Hey, ESPN TradeMachine!

When the cover of the local sports page is devoted to the possibility of your team signing Ime Udoka, you know its slow in NBA Land. Summer League is over. The big sexy sandwichy free-agent pool has come and gone. Training camp hasn't started yet.

In other words, this is an excellent time to waste hours on the ESPN Trade Machine. The goal? Make the moves to get your Portland Trailblazers to a perfect 82 win season. Bonus points for keeping the Roy-Aldridge-Oden foundation together.

Half the team for Lebron and Dwight Howard will only get you to 75 wins. Howard, Durant, and O.J. Mayo nets the same. I thought it couldn't get any weirder than this. Then I did this. (At least somebody still has Jarryd Bayless' back.)

My best result isn't quite cutting it, putting Portland at 77-5. I swear once, late one intoxicated evening, I got the Blazers to 78 wins. Sadly I can present no evidence to support this claim. Is a perfect season even possible in the statistical world?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Because you've just been dying to know what Bonzi Wells is up to

I noticed a Bonzi Wells article popped up on HoopsHype and thought I would share. The article comes from his hometown paper and is one of the few things I've read about Bonzi lately that actually portrays him in a slightly positive way. After getting bounced from his Chinese team, Bonzi is back at home just bein' his celebrity self (complete with authentic celebrity shades) and helping with the kids:
Wells stays in game shape by training at his home, and he said a return to professional basketball remains a viable option if presented the right offer. He still lives the NBA lifestyle to an extent. He drove to the Macker in a 2006 Bentley, and his fiancée wore a diamond on her ring finger that nearly matched the Bentley in size.

But for now, Wells prefers to live the moment in Muncie and focus on coaching his relatives to basketball stardom.
Ha. As long as by "if presented by the right offer" they mean "an offer" I can see that being true. Does Muncie, Indiana have an IBL team?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blazers vs Nuggets Incomplete Summer League Reactions

Deceptively quick reactions to the Blazers vs Nuggets Summer League Game...

  • Jerryd Bayless is probably the best NBA talent on the team. (I throw "probably" in there to show proper respect to Dante Cunningham.) He is the second best point-guard. I'd be in favor of Portland signing Pooh Jeter as the third point just for the possibility that Bayless could soak up some of his game. Jeter is intelligent, athletic, skilled, and most importantly an excellent pick and roll pointguard. I know he's short, but the guy is like a hyper animated brick out there making the right play time and time again. Bayless could learn a lot from him.
  • Speaking of Bayless, he has shown some development since last summer. His MVP summer league run of a season ago showcased his ability to get to the rim, finish, and draw fouls. This year he isn't scoring as much but his points seem to be coming with more diversity. His medium-range game was on display tonight as he hit a variety of stop-and-pops off the bounce and the catch in and out of traffic. Unfortunately for Blazer needs, there is still no 3 ball in sight. The Bayless that plays more like a traditionally defined point guard has yet to show more than occasional flashes. As with last summer, we are convinced that Bayless is an NBA player but unsure of his fit with the team. That reminds me, sign Pooh Jeter.
  • Portland played some zone tonight, which seems like a very anti-Summer League thing to do. I thought it was awesome. I vote for a full-court zone press next time just to freak people out.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Taurean Green Watch: Yes, I'm still doing this edition

The last Taurean Green update wasn't so happy, what with our man getting the boot from his Euro team maybe. So I was excited he would have an opportunity to bounce back on Chicago's summer team. Its hard not to root for a tough undersized player that has yet to get an honest NBA opportunity in spite of meeting every challenge.

Even our bias couldn't put a positive spin on Green's first outing of the summer, which amounted to 11 minutes of nothing according to the box score. I didn't watch that game, but this was not the bludgeon-every-challenge-to-death response Green gained his DeceptivelyQuick popularity for. Just a bad night? Playing out of position? Just not enough minutes for an impact?

I decided to search for answers by following along with David Thorpe's twitter on Green's next outing. He got one blurb, and we could have a problem:

david b. thorpe: Taurean Green is an NBA player, in my mind. But I'm not sure he thinks so. He's lost some swagger.
Impossible! Taurean Green without swagger is like the ocean without water. But ... Did his Euro experience diminish that game-personality we love so much? Or does he simply need quality minutes? Green finished the second game with respectable production in his 20 minutes, although that type of production probably isn't enough to earn an NBA roster spot.

We can't take chances. I will not be forced to follow this man overseas once again. I have the solution. If you know Green, please show him the below inspirational videos:

And if more is needed, click here in case of emergency.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I suppose I need a Paul Millsap entry

I really don't want to get my Blazers blog certification revoked, so here is my required Millsap entry. The delay wasn't entirely due to my laziness this time around. Since the rumors first surfaced I have felt conflicted. It always seems like less fun to write about things that make you confused.

The deal can work. Adding Millsap to the bench would make Portland's already badass front court rotation even badassier. Millsap is talented, versatile, and fits perfectly with the roster age-wise. He would not, as I have heard many Portland fans claim, be simply a back-up power forward. Portland would not have offered that amount of money to him if that was all he could be. While he will not be the starter, he will get 30 minutes per game. We will see him sharing the court with many starters throughout the game.

I like point-forwards for the non-traditionalist spirit, and Millsap to Portland means we will see another novelty-rich concept I like to call the long-forward. That is what Rashard Lewis is in Orlando, what Rasheed has been after leaving Rip City, and what Nate McMillan will undoubtedly experiment with using LaMarcus Aldridge as with Millsap and Oden/Billa down low.

The conflict I feel over the proposal comes from the high cost and the fact that it will not at all address the most glaring team needs. Millsap in the rotation will not make it harder for teams to double Roy up top and sever the head of this offense. It will not give Portland another play maker on the perimeter.

Adding Millsap means Przybilla will become the second big off the bench if and when Oden is ready to start. Even if Joel hangs on to the starting job, his minutes will still have to be cut. This will reduce the role of a player who has proven to be very instrumental in producing wins. The case that the benefits Millsap will provide outweigh those provided by Joel is not hard to make. However, with more Millsap and less Billa Portland will be losing a long and capable defender of the rim. I'm not certain that Portland needs what Millsap brings more than they need what Przybilla has. (Also something to remember, this is already the best rebounding team in the League.)

Over the course of the next week Utah could decide to match Portland's "toxic" offer and none of this will matter. It is being widely reported that Utah is very much trying to trade Boozer to clear some cap space. Don't sleep on them sending Andre Kirilenko somewhere, either.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You mean it costs money to watch NBA Summer League? Online?

This was one of the saddest bullets I've come across on TrueHoop in a while:
In a bad economy, cash is king. NBA Summer League in Las Vegas starts tomorrow, and unlike years' past, you can't watch for free online. It's $14.99 to see the 55 games.
Let that marinate in your soul for a bit.

Now, I love the game of basketball. I love the NBA. And yes, there is that part of me that finds great joy in watching summer league games. I tried to explain that segment of myself a bit more after watching some particularly terrible summer action last year. This could have been an attempt to make sure I wasn't crazy for enjoying something that at times stands directly against a handful of elements that are to be loved about this game.

Casual fans aren't going to pay $14.99 to watch summer league games online. More enthusiastic fans probably won't, either. The NBA is not trying to expand their fan base with this move. They are preying on their core, the people that can't help but watch. That minority of fans who get excited at a chance to watch and root for guys like Taurean Green. (Who will, by the way, absolutely tear shit up this summer assuming a decent opportunity is provided by Chicago.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find my wallet.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Petteri Koponen Watch: Not really. Well sorta. A break from trade rumors, anyways. Edition

I would like to share with you the latest from our Finnish Insider, H.T. Rumor is he sent me this e-mail right before taking the stage to perform a cover of "Dangerous" at the Michael Jackson tribute. While Petteri Koponen isn't mentioned specifically, I think it is safe to say we know what he is up to: watching IHMEBANTU!


since nothing new is happening in basketball frontier, here's some more Finnish TV awesomeness for you. The following is a clip from amazingly popular reality TV series, kind of Finnish version of "Cheaters":


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hedo Turkoglu's wife can handle a pastrami of any size

So goes the free agent game. You hear a report that a most intriguing pastrami sandwich-like player is signing with the Blazers, post an entry, and head to a region that is full of family and fossils but not necessarily cell phone service or internet connections.

Then you hear that the excitement was likely all for nothing. The bold attempt to put Hedo in pinwheels seems to have failed. We can spend time wondering how close a deal ever really was and why it didn't work out, but that seems futile. It would be easier to join the club blaming Hedo's wife and move on, T-Dot does have better shopping. On to the next rumor(s).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Turkoglu to Portland, Rudy kind of a dick maybe

Pastrami sandwich,
Come to life! Big: the new fast.
Your style is your self.

It certainly has been fun watching the Blazers circling Hedo Turkoglu. I'm sure you've heard that things have gotten serious, with Nate flying to Orlando for a dinner date with Hedo. Turkoglu is scheduled to be in Portland for a visit on Thursday.

Basketball wise, Portland has reason to covet Hedo's services. He can handle the ball, make plays, and shoot, all of which will help take pressure of Brandon Roy. Even better, he can do all of these things in the half-court. No longer would we have to watch opponents stymie Portland's offense by trapping Roy up top. And it doesn't hurt that Hedo played so well against the Lakers in the finals.

But Portland signing Hedo will likely depend on the Turkish Michael Jordan passing up on more money that other teams are likely to offer. Toronto is rumored to be working on an offer that Portland probably can't match. Turkoglu will have to want a chance to win more than he wants money.

It seems like some fans are getting all worked up over Rudy Fernandez possibly saying some things about being unhappy with his situation in Portland. Rumors of Rudy's grumblings have been moving down the grapevine since the end of the season, so in spite of what Fernandez will say publicly I'm inclined to believe there is some truth to them. My reaction? So what. Rudy has seemed like he was sort of a dick for a while. Rudy is in a situation where he can be an impact player for many years on a potentially great NBA team. If he doesn't want to appreciate this, let him go. He says he would rather play in Europe than Portland? Fine. He can have all the fun playing in front of crowds of 5,000, against inferior competition, and further out of the global spotlight as he wants.

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