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The Portland Trail Blazers are in a funk and it’s anyone’s guess as to how to get out of it.
Finger pointing, trade rumors, dissension amongst the players, coaching staff and management. What started out as a promising season, despite the losses of Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, has turned ugly.
All Star Weekend
Not even the acknowledgment of LaMarcus Aldridge to the NBA All-Star Game last weekend brought positive results to the sputtering squad, who is on the outside looking in on the playoffs, if they were to start today.
Other than Steve Nash and an injured Andrew Bynum, Aldridge played the least amount of any one of the twenty four players who took to the court in Orlando last Sunday.
Sure he was a first time All-Star, but considering the numbers that LA has posted the last two seasons, one would think that he could have, or should have managed more than two buckets, one rebound and one assist.
One might also think that the eight days the team had off between their forty point “victory” over the San Antonio Spurs farm team, would have had everyone rested and refocused for the second half of the season.
Nuggets + Heat Matchups
Obviously Aldridge wanted to prove that he was deserving of more than just being an ASG bench filler, as he posted two back to back 20+ point games.
Unfortunately for Blazers fans, both of those games came in losses to the playoff bound Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat.
While the Heat game was somewhat understandable, the loss to the Nuggets and a loss to the Timberwolves, the Blazers third of the week, really stung, as both of those teams sit just above the Blazers for the 8th seed in the Western Division playoff race.
Did I mention that Kevin Love worked Aldridge to the tune of 42 points and 10 rebounds?
Even worse was having Seattle native and former Blazer, Martell Webster post his best game of the season with 21 points and 8 rebounds.
So where do the Blazers go from here?
With the trade deadline ten days away, the information super highway is rabid with trade rumors as to how to solve Portland’s woes. Save for Aldridge, nobody on the Blazers roster appears to be safe from what could be a huge fire sale.
From Marcus Camby, to Gerald Wallace to Ray Felton, even Jamal Crawford, the hometown guard brought home is rumored to be heading out of town.
While none of the above have outright asked for a trade, you have to think that Felton would be willing to have a fresh start after losing his starting role to Crawford and Crawford, who signed a two year deal (2nd year option) had bigger hopes for success in his return home.
State Of The Trail Blazers Match 5th Edition
Internet rumors have Felton going to the LA Lakers for Steve Blake and/or Crawford moving to the LA Clippers or Minnesota Timberwolves (for Blaine, Washington native, Luke Ridnour)
With six games before the trade deadline and their season of misfortune (seven losses in their last ten and twelve of their last twenty), it seems more than likely that the Blazers will be active in player movement, especially if they hope to salvage any playoff hopes.
Fortunately for the Blazers, their four game schedule this week brings opportunity for happier times as they host the struggling New Orleans Hornets (tonight), have a rematch in Minnesota against the Timberwolves (Wednesday), visit the Boston Celtics on Friday and cap off the week with a potential “W” against the Washington Wizards (Saturday).
If Nate McMillan‘s squad can pull out three or even four victories this week, it might just save someones job!
LaMarcus Aldridge: 35 games, 767 points, 21.9 ppg
Jamal Crawford: 37 games, 546 games, 14.7 ppg
Marcus Camby: 34 games, 309 rebounds, 9.1 rpg
LaMarcus Aldridge: 35 games, 287 rebounds, 8.2 rpg
Raymond Felton: 36 games, 219 assists, 6.1 apg
Jamal Crawford: 37 games, 146 assists, 3.9 apg
Portland Trail Blazers
out for season - Knee – 2/21/12
Oden was undergoing a minor procedure on February 20th to clean out debris in his left knee, when the surgeon determined that there was additional damage and he had to undergo microfracture surgery.
This has been Oden’s fourth knee surgery in his career and has been officially shut down for the remainder of the season.
IN THE COMMUNITY:
NBA Fit Spring Break Hoops Camp
March 26 – 28
About Hoops Camps
Trail Blazers Hoops Camps are designed to coach children of all skill levels, ages 7-13, the fundamentals of life through the game of basketball such as – hard work, self esteem, teamwork, self discipline, education and respecting peers and adults.
Contact Us – Questions? Please contact Ian Jaquiss at 503-797-9747 or email at: email@example.com.
CLICK HERE CHECK OUT OUR TRAIL BLAZERS BLOG AT THE NWSB!
© Steve Lee for North West Sports Beat, 2012. |
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