Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Linkage

It's a fine Wednesday morning and as you're waiting for tonight's game against the Clips, here's some links to check out...

Gavin Dawson of 95.5 the Game, Casey Holdahl of, and Dave Deckard of Blazers Edge rippin' it up on the Morning Sports Page this morning. Listen here.

And speaking of Casey, he talks about Joel's injury and how cool of a dude Joel is:

You've surely heard by now that during last week's scrimmage at Cleveland High School, Greg Oden's elbow collided with Joel Przybilla's eye, resulting in a new shiner and a couple stitches for "The Thrilla." So just to recap, that's a rookie cutting a grizzled vet in a scrimmage. One could assume said rookie was going to have hell to pay.

But that's not how Joel Przybilla rolls. Rather than taking out any residual aggression on his fellow center, something more than a few veterans around the league would be happy to do, Przybilla is content to shrug it off as one of those unavoidable job-related hazards.

"I’ve been cut up before," said Przybilla. "I just took an elbow to the eye. It happens."

And then there's Dwight Jaynes talking about the beast that is Greg Oden:

I guess it should have dawned on me earlier, but Blazer fans, think about this for a moment: After all these years of screaming at Shaq and Kareem and Patrick Ewing and Hakeem, you have a new reality. Your days of being the lovable underdog are pretty much over.

You’re rooting for Goliath now. The monster is on YOUR side. How is that for changing your complete personality as a fan?

ESPN analysts predictions on the season are up and available, complete with John Hollinger breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of the team.

Hint: There weren't too many weaknesses other than youth.

Up front, they have Oden, a dominating 7-footer who should control the paint, and Przybilla, the 7-foot-1 shot blocker who held down the fort a year ago. At power forward they have two softies in Aldridge and Frye, but both players are 6-foot-11 and can create problems with their length as wing defenders in zones. Some teams don't have any players that big; the Blazers have four.

Go down the list and the size advantage gets more daunting. Small forward Webster is 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, and backup Outlaw is 6-foot-9; either can slide down to shooting guard when needed and provide an even more imposing height edge.

Roy is big for a shooting guard at 6-foot-6, 229, and what's really scary is that he is comfortable playing the point and often closed games at that spot a year ago; when he does that the 6-foot-5 Fernandez can come off the bench. Even at the point the Blazers are big: Blake, Bayless and Sergio Rodriguez all stand 6-foot-3, making them the shortest players on the team.

All that length should make the Blazers an unusually good zone defensive team, especially with Oden as a goalie in the middle and the young players on the outside gaining experience in playing NBA defense.

Hopefully you managed to catch Monday's game against the Kings, but if you didn't (or even if you did), check out Greg Oden getting Block of the Night honors over at

That's it for now, but hit me up with an email or leave a comment anytime with your thoughts.


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