Posts Tagged ‘Canales’

If you’re 7’2″ then do you think my release is 13’9″ish?

JJ Hickson made his debut with the Portland Trailblazers last night against the Lakers add proved to be pretty efficient offensively, even if he did not show much on the defensive end.  According to Hoopdata’s advanced box score for the game, Hickson and LaMarcus Aldridge each lead blazers who took more than 1 field goal attempt, with a 66.7% Effective Field Goal percentage.  At the same time, Hickson posted a very pedestrian 5.3% rebound rate (to put that in the context of other blazers last night, the rebound rates for Kurt Thomas (22.5%) LaMarcus (12.8%) Przybilla (6.9%) and Wes Matthews (8.1%) were all superior and every member of the Lakers who played (except for Troy Murphy, who played only 3 minutes) was over 6.5%.    Obviously, the blazers got godbodied on the boards last night in general, and it’s a small sample size – so it’s too soon to draw any definitive conclusions.  By all accounts and metrics Hickson was one of the most efficient and effective players on the court for the blazers last night offensively, while playing against some pretty solid defensive bigs.

More importantly, the blazers lost.  They didn’t eek out another meaningless win against a solid western conference opponent and jeopardize the quality of their potential draft picks.  Combine that with the fact that NJ won tonight, Detroit lost, Washington lost – this was a pretty important loss for the blazers last night.

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Sometimes its hard to accept that a true change in fate requires a complete bottoming out.  People often go down career paths they aren’t passionate about, in order to put food on their tables.  Others might get too deep into a bad relationship, because the person stuck by them through hardtimes.  When you’ve been a marginally successful sports franchise with aspirations for greatness it can be difficult to just letgo of those dreams.  A simple coaching change and a little addition by subtraction can provide new motivation to a flailing franchise.  Call it the Ewing Theory, or a gut check, or maybe just a kick in the butt.  The reality is the irrepresible Kaleb Canales, a couple bruised egos in contract years, and a few competitive veterans who’ve never learned to tank, and suddenly you’re back to vying for the 8th spot, maybe the 7th.  The question is: if you’re the Blazers GM… or i mean if you’re Mr. Spock, what are your intentions here? The Blazers have a legit shot to get two top ten picks in the best draft since 2003. Or you can probably take a good shot at the 7 or 8 spot in a year where Western conference competition looks weaker than it has in decades.

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