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Aaron Mesh of the Willamette Week writes that Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers could soon overtake the Portland Trail Blazers as the Rose City's "signature sport". But this fall, as the basketball and soccer seasons overlap, a f...
Aaron Mesh of the Willamette Week writes that Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers could soon overtake the Portland Trail Blazers as the Rose City's "signature sport". But this fall, as the basketball and soccer seasons overlap, a funny thing has happened: The Timbers have overtaken the Blazers as Portland's hot ticket, and are poised to usurp the title of Stumptown's signature sport. Soccer just seems hipper. The oddities of the game-its Eurocentric flavor, its reliance on crowd participation, its appeal to mustachioed baristas-dovetail with the rise of a young downtown culture. And most importantly, the team is really good. Coach Caleb Porter has taken the players' strengths-the acrobatics of Darlington Nagbe, the scrappiness of Will Johnson, and the reliability of Donovan Ricketts, to name only three-and forged a high-octane powerhouse. Meanwhile, the Blazers are entering another rebuilding season, still trying to rebound from the double whammy of Brandon Roy and Greg Oden's wrecked knees. (Top draft pick CJ McCollum has already broken his foot.) The basketball arena may have a new name-the much-derided Moda Center-but everything else, from the uncertain quality of the team to the suburban cheesiness of the McMuffin giveaway, feels deflatingly familiar. Back in 2011, former Blazers COO Sarah Mensah dismissed the idea the Timbers would be "competition" for the Blazers in an interview with Andy Giegerich of the Portland Business Journal. "The Timbers and their fan base and make-up is very different from ours," Mensah said. "The experiences will be very different. The experience of being outdoors at a soccer game is very different from what the Trail Blazers want. We don't see the Timbers as competition for us. If we can have another strong sport here, that will be good for sports in Portland in general." Former Blazers executive Mike Golub was named MLS Executive of the Year in 2011. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
about 2 hours ago
The Portland Trail Blazers put together a nice video package featuring coach Terry Stotts instructing and leading his team during training camp. Stotts can be heard instructing Damian Lillard, encouraging Victor Claver's defense, chat...
The Portland Trail Blazers put together a nice video package featuring coach Terry Stotts instructing and leading his team during training camp. Stotts can be heard instructing Damian Lillard, encouraging Victor Claver's defense, chatting with Mo Williams, cheering on Wesley Matthews, telling Thomas Robinson to stop shooting three-pointers, and discussing his overall camp goals. Thanks to JP503 in the FanShots for getting there first. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
about 2 hours ago
Sep 30, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum (88) poses for a photo during media day at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports What happened: Nicolas Batum went for a layup that...
Sep 30, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum (88) poses for a photo during media day at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports What happened: Nicolas Batum went for a layup that was contested by Will Barton in yesterday’s practice. The two collided and Batum hit the stanchion. After being evaluated, it was determined that Batum suffered a concussion from the impact. He was immediately removed from practice and declared “out indefinitely.” It sounds like the concussion is a bit worse than the one Barton sustained last week, so don’t expect a similar turnaround in sub-seven days. What will happen for Batum: He will undergo the league’s concussion protocol before returning to action. This basically means that he will not exercise until asymptomatic at rest, then will not practice until asymptomatic during exercise, then will not play until asymptomatic in practice. This means he will miss tonight’s game against the Phoenix Suns and probably Friday’s game against the Utah Jazz (minimum). The longer he is out, the more comfortable I am with his return. What will happen for the team: The Blazers will continue to function without their core intact, albeit at a lower level. The upside to the 7th Blazer injury of training camp and those that preceded it, is that Portland’s bench will get more practice than anyone else’s. Meaningful minutes for Will Barton, Allen Crabbe, Victor Claver, and Thomas Robinson abound in the temporary absence of CJ McCollum, Nicolas Batum, Dorell Wright, and LaMarcus Aldridge. NBA pre-season is the highest level of off-season competition these guys have seen (with the exception of Victor Claver, who participated in EuroBasket 2013). I am more than happy to allow extended minutes for the players that need them while it does not affect Portland’s record. It will be sloppy, but it is essentially a jumpstart for the success of the Blazers’ most ambitious improvement— the new bench; Most of which is now gaining valuable experience. The only real downside to the recent rash of injuries (besides the injuries themselves) is that regardless of how much time anyone plays, no one gets to truly fill the role they were intended to. If anything will undo the hot start Portland is hoping for, it’s this. The most important aspect of team building on such a drastic scale is chemistry, so Terry Stotts must work extra hard to make sure each role is clearly defined in practice despite the change in game plan. Portland will take on Phoenix in the Moda Center tonight at 7:00 p.m. PST, however, the game will not be televised. Follow @DavidMackayPDX Follow @ripcityproject Batum’s Concussion & What it Means Right Now - Rip City Project - Rip City Project - A Portland Trailblazers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
about 3 hours ago
JJ Hickson and Eric Maynor have prominent roles on new teams.
JJ Hickson and Eric Maynor have prominent roles on new teams.
about 8 hours ago
Blazersedge staff writer Chris Lucia will be writing team-by-team previews over the next month as we count down to the start of the 2013-14 season. All team previews can be found right here. 2012-2013 record: 49-32, No. 1 in Central Div...
Blazersedge staff writer Chris Lucia will be writing team-by-team previews over the next month as we count down to the start of the 2013-14 season. All team previews can be found right here. 2012-2013 record: 49-32, No. 1 in Central Division, No. 3 in Eastern Conference Roster additions: Chris Copeland, Solomon Hill (Rookie, No. 23 overall), Luis Scola, C.J. Watson Roster subtractions: D.J. Augustin, Gerald Green, Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Pendergraph, Miles Plumlee, Sam Young The Indiana Pacers front office opted to stand by the roster that went to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, bolstering it with the services of a couple veterans and bringing in a few young players to compete for minutes. Small forward Danny Granger, who played in only five games last season, is back and expected to contribute at or near the level he has since 2008 when he signed a five-year deal with the team. In Granger's absence, however, Paul George had a breakout season for the Pacers and earned a long-term extension with the team worth about $90 million. Occupying the other wing position was shooting guard Lance Stephenson, who elevated his game across the board and proved himself a capable starter. So now, coach Frank Vogel is left to decide how to split the minutes up for this talented crop of wings, all of whom deserve playing time. He's said that both Granger and Stephenson will see starter's minutes, and there's no reason to think otherwise, as rookie Solomon Hill and second-year man Orlando Johnson provide the only depth on the wings. George Hill and C.J. Watson form a solid point guard tandem. Hill is a better scorer and distributor, while Watson has the edge in outside shooting. Both players value possessions and don't turn the ball over much, which will be important in an offense that had the worst assist/turnover ratio in the league last season. With Granger back and George emerging as an All-Star, Hill and Watson should be able to pick up plenty of assists. Last season, Indiana had probably the best defense in the entire league. They were top-10 in every meaningful defensive category, leading the league in total rebounds per game, opponents points in the paint per game and opponents fast break points per game. Opposing teams didn't shoot well against the Pacers at all last year; Indiana was also No. 1 in opponents two-point, three-point and effective field goal percentages. Anchoring this defensive force is 7'2'' center Roy Hibbert, who alters any shot attempted near the lane. And though Hibbert's strength is clearly defense, he's also put in a lot of work on his offensive game this summer. GM Kevin Pritchard brought in veteran power forward Luis Scola to back up David West. Both are 33 years old, so they will both benefit from the depth at the position. Scola and West are capable scorers, and both bring toughness to the floor. Across the paint, Hibbert is backed up by Ian Mahinmi, a capable role player. The Pacers have all the tools to come back as one of the league's elite defensive teams, but can their offense keep up? Last season, the offense dipped with Granger on the bench. The team ended the season among the bottom third of the league in several categories. Vogel's slow-paced offense explains some of that, but the Pacers also had terrible percentages shooting the ball and getting assists. With a healthy Granger back on the wing, opposing defenses will have to decide who to focus on between him and George. Forward Chris Copeland, who signed with the team in the offseason, shot the three-pointer at 42.1 percent last year for the Knicks. He has an opportunity to earn some minutes and space the floor for a team that could use all the help it can get shooting the three. George, one of the best individual defenders in the league, expects to continue his rise to super-stardom and there's no reason why he shouldn't, following the performance he put on throughout last year's playoffs. If Granger can reintegrate into the r
about 13 hours ago
Hi Blazer's Edge Fans! For more than a year I have enjoyed reading your informative, insightful, witty, sarcastic, and (sometimes) drunken comments without participating once. But now I have created an account! I am sure that this topi...
Hi Blazer's Edge Fans! For more than a year I have enjoyed reading your informative, insightful, witty, sarcastic, and (sometimes) drunken comments without participating once. But now I have created an account! I am sure that this topic has been covered before (I have not read all 16639+ FanPosts yet...) but do some of you ever meet to watch Blazers on-the-road games? Is there any kind of Blazers-watching community? Enjoying games, food, beer etc.? Pre- and/or post-home game meetings etc. If this does not exist, it should, not?I know there have been some BE nights in the past, like this one (in 2009!)http://www.blazersedge.com/pages/bedgenightIs that ALL THERE IS in Portland?
about 14 hours ago
This Thursday we need to publish a nation-wide preview of the Blazers as part of the SBNation-NBA preview series. In preparation for that, I'm enlisting your help today. I'd like to hear the biggest factors/developments/changes in the ...
This Thursday we need to publish a nation-wide preview of the Blazers as part of the SBNation-NBA preview series. In preparation for that, I'm enlisting your help today. I'd like to hear the biggest factors/developments/changes in the Blazers this year and why you think they're significant. I am not talking about hopeful developments. Save the "Damian Lillard is going to be so much better on defense!" until we see it. Go instead with the substantial changes the Blazers made between this year and last, pick the most significant ones, and extrapolate what each will mean in as much detail as possible. Fire away in the comment section. I'm sure to use some of this stuff on Thursday so bring your best. --Dave (blazersub@gmail.com)
about 17 hours ago
Feb 13, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Hornets power forward Anthony Davis (23) and Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard (11) during the second half of a game at the New Orleans Arena. The Hornets defeated the Trail Blaz...
Feb 13, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Hornets power forward Anthony Davis (23) and Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard (11) during the second half of a game at the New Orleans Arena. The Hornets defeated the Trail Blazer 99-63. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports Last Tuesday, the LVH Superbook (based in Las Vegas) released their over/under win totals for every team in the NBA. In short, the book sets a number of wins for each team, and people can bet on if the team will reach or fall short of that predetermined number. A lot of money depends on these numbers, so normally (obviously there are exceptions), the numbers are a pretty reasonable and accurate place to start. The Superbook has the Blazers pegged at winning 38.5 games (the half a game is due to the fact that you can bet over or under the amount). I think this prediction is too low. On one hand, the Blazers won only 33 games last year, so a five and a half game jump is actually quite large, and nothing to scoff about. Numbers don’t mean much without context though, and that 33 win total requires context. The Blazers finished the year on a well-documented 13 game losing streak. Injuries played a significant role in this streak, as the overworked starters started to wear down and the playoffs slipped out of reach. Before the streak started, the Blazers were sitting at a 33-36 record, for a 0.478 winning percentage. Assuming that players didn’t have to sit for injuries and the plug wasn’t essentially pulled on the season, it seems reasonable to assume that of those final 13 games, the Blazers could have won approximately 47.8% of them. This would equate to six more wins (rounding down). So boom, right away, those six hypothetical wins at the end of last season could have pushed last year’s squad to 39 wins. I think everyone is in consensus that this year’s team is better than last year’s, so if last year’s was capable of 39 wins, it only seems logical that this year’s can surpass 38.5. Another angle to consider is that many predictions (my own included) have the Blazers in the hunt for a playoff spot. Last year, in a brutal Western Conference, the 7th and 8th seeds were captured by teams with 45 wins (the Lakers and Rockets). While there was some minor shuffling of the hierarchy in the Western Conference, it remains just as tough, if not even more difficult this season. Based on this information, it again seems reasonable to expect that to at least be in consideration for a playoff berth, the Blazers must be in the neighborhood of 45 wins, like was required last year. This is also well above the Superbook’s projected win total, another reason why I think it is too low. Last year’s Jazz (43 wins) and Mavericks (41 wins) were both well above the 38.5 mark, and didn’t even make the playoffs. Even if the Blazers unfortunately do not reach their goal of the playoffs this year, I still think it is more than likely that the team will exceed the projection of 38.5 wins. While I think the number is certainly too low, I don’t think it’s inherently good or bad. The prediction is purely for betting, so it just offers an interesting benchmark. What might make more tangible bulletin board material, though, are the teams ranked above the Blazers. The Pelicans (40 wins), Timberwolves (41 wins) and Mavericks (44 wins) all have higher projected win totals. While I fully expect the Timberwolves and Mavericks to be in the thick of the playoff race with the Blazers, I can’t say I am fully onboard with the Pelicans bandwagon. I am also skeptical that the Mavericks are expected to be nearly six wins better than the Blazers. With the season rapidly approaching, let’s hope that the Blazers can comfortably smash the book’s prediction and roll into the playoffs. Follow @ripcityproject Superbook Predicts 38.5 Wins for Blazers - Rip City Project - Rip City Project - A Portland Trailblazers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
about 18 hours ago
CJ McCollum's left foot injury opens up playing time at backup shooting guard, and Allen Crabbe and Will Barton are eager to fill void.
CJ McCollum's left foot injury opens up playing time at backup shooting guard, and Allen Crabbe and Will Barton are eager to fill void.
about 20 hours ago
Oregonian photographer Bruce Ely has a treasure trove of historic Portland Trail Blazers photos. Let him know what photos you want to see.
Oregonian photographer Bruce Ely has a treasure trove of historic Portland Trail Blazers photos. Let him know what photos you want to see.
about 20 hours ago