Posts Tagged ‘Jason Quick’

Another Knee Surgery For Roy

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Brandon Roy‘s career-long battle with his knees will take another turn this week when the Minnesota Timberwolves swingman undergoes yet another procedure (arthroscopy) on his right knee, according to a report by Jason Quick in The Oregonian.

This will be Roy’s fifth knee surgery, the first since he made his miraculous comeback from retirement, and his seventh dating back to his high school days in Seattle.

There is no timetable for his return from this latest setback.

Roy’s play in the preseason stirred excitement that he might be ready to return to the form that saw him earn three All-Star nods in five seasons in Portland, where he was the face of the franchise before taking a medical retirement in December of 2011 because of arthritic and degenerative knees.

After a year off and getting treatment on his knees, Roy made his comeback with the Timberwolves. But he played in just five games, shooting just 31 percent from the floor and averaging 5.8 points, 4.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds for a team that has had to battle without injured stars Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio through this early stretch of the season.

Roy’s troubles began before the regular season began, though, per Quick:

He banged his right knee in Minnesota’s final preseason game on Oct. 26 against Milwaukee, forming a bump and a bruise. He said he later aggravated the knee when a teammate bumped him in practice, then again on Nov. 9 in the first half against Indiana. He did not play in the second half of the Indiana game, then missed the next four games.

On Thursday in Minneapolis, Roy was still hopeful he would be able to play Friday in Portland, where he spent his first five seasons. But he said no matter what happens the rest of this season, he has no regrets.

“I wouldn’t be disappointed either way,’’ Roy said. “If it ends in three weeks, it ends. It’s over. I’m totally satisfied with what I’ve done. I know the sacrifice and the effort that I put into coming back. It took a lot of discipline to get to where I am, That’s all I care about: how hard I’ve worked.’’

The Timberwolves didn’t bank on Roy playing like the All-Star he was earlier in his career, although it would have been a nice bonus for a team with playoff aspirations. They signed him to a two-year deal that pays him $5.4 million this season with a second year that was non-guaranteed.

If Roy doesn’t meet certain standards for games played and other goals, this could very well be the last time we see him on the NBA stage.

Another Knee Surgery For Oden

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Just the words Greg Oden, knee and surgery are enough to make us cringe these days.

Even though it’s supposed to be a routine, cleaning of debris, per the report from Jason Quick of the Oregonian, we can’t help but be a little nervous about Oden going in for his fourth knee surgery since he was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 Draft.

It’s his right knee this time, but at this point, it’s a tough pill to swallow either way. More on what exactly he is dealing with this time from the Oregonian:

The right knee has not given Oden problems since 2007, when he had microfracture performed before the season started.

His left knee was the knee in question during his December visit in Vail, Colo., when the team deemed he had suffered a setback because of an issue with a non-weight bearing ligament in his knee.

Oden, who turned 24 last month, has not played in an NBA game since December of 2009, when he fractured his left patella. After rehabilitating from that injury, Oden never made it back, having to undergo microfracture surgery on his left knee in November of 2010.

How could a player blessed with so much potential be cursed with such bad injury luck is beyond our comprehension here at the hideout. You only hope that Oden recovers from this latest setback and one day has a chance to at least attempt to make more out of his career than the 82 games he’s played since coming into the league.

Unfortunately, we will all be left to wonder what might have been had this young behemoth ever stayed healthy enough long enough to do more than show flashes of being a challenger to the throne of being the best big man in the league.


Paul, Felton Thriving In New Locations

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We saw all of your complaining last week when we praised the Los Angeles Clippers for finally stepping up and trying to court the rabid hoops fan base that’s been sitting in their backyard for decades. We read all the digs Lakers fans delivered and processed each and every swipe.

But we’re also well aware of what goes on when a true superstar is added to the mix of an up and coming team and just how important it is to have the right quarterback in today’s NBA. That’s why we’re still watching the Clippers’ every move, and ignoring the venom.

Sunday’s Clippers-Trail Blazers game offered up the perfect case study on the importance of the right point guard for the right situation, as both Chris Paul of the Clippers and Raymond Felton of the Trail Blazers displayed their wares, and why the Clippers must be taken seriously with Paul at the helm.

Paul has the ability to take over games in ways that only a select few players in the league can. He was brilliant down the stretch against the Trail Blazers, executing on both ends of the floor as he and his crew handed the Trail Blazers’ their first loss of this season.

Helene Elliott of The Los Angeles Times nailed it with this postgame assessment of Paul’s impact:

Faced with losing a 17-point lead over Portland on Sunday in a game the Clippers considered a measuring stick of their progress after being spanked by San Antonio and Chicago, Paul simply took over and refused to let them lose.

He steadied his teammates’ nerves with his poise, elated them with his shotmaking and wowed them with his ability to win a crucial jump ball against a five-inches-taller Jamal Crawford with 4.3 seconds left.

If not for his leadership the Clippers would not have celebrated their first home victory this season, a gutsy 93-88 decision over the Trail Blazers that inspired the crowd to chant his name in tribute for what figures to be the first of many times.

“Great players can not only make shots but, more importantly, make plays,” Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said, “and Chris can do both. That’s what makes him special.”

Lost in the aftermath of Paul’s dazzling performance is the fact that Felton has provided the perfect match for Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, who has run through a long list of point guards during his tenure. It’s one of the only criticism we have of McMillan, a longtime HT fave.

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The Curious (Amnesty) Case Of B. Roy

– For the latest updates check out: NBA.com’s Free Agent Tracker

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – In a league filled egos and attitudes, Portland’s Brandon Roy always seemed to fight against stereotype.

In the times we’ve crossed paths, Roy has always struck me as one of the more grounded players in the league, a guy very much in tune with fragile nature of things in the high-stakes world of professional sports. Perhaps his injury history, dating back to before he came into the league, influenced him. You never know.

Now Roy stands at a career crossroads in Portland, caught in the middle of a dilemma caused by all the splendid things he’s done in a Trail Blazers uniform and the things his fragile knees have done to him while wearing that same uniform.

The Trail Blazers have to decide if Roy stays on the roster as a shell of the All-Star, face-of-the-franchise talent he once was or if they use the league’s new amnesty clause to cut ties with their former leader who is owed $63 million on his current contract.

Trail Blazers president Larry Miller offered a chilling but telling assessment of where things stand, when he told The Oregonian‘s Jason Quick:

“If Brandon were to accept mentally that ‘I’m not that guy anymore, but I will do whatever I can to help the team,’ it would make it easier to keep him around,” Miller said. “We know every-so-often he is going to give us that game, and be the Brandon Roy of old, but mentally accepting where his game is, that’s the bigger challenge for him. I don’t know if he is there, or if he can get there.”

Having been in the Rose Garden crowd during Roy’s magical Game 4 performance against Dallas in that first round playoff series last April, it’s hard for me to sit here and suggest that he could dial up enough of those performances, on knees that have no cartilage, to justify the Trail Blazers keeping him in the fold.

The flip side, however, includes the Trail Blazers cutting ties with Roy and him landing with another team and excelling in exactly the same role he would have been used in had they kept him. That’s a proposition that would only serve to rile up the restless fringe of the always-fervent Blazer fan base even more.

That said, waving Roy would provide a huge financial relief for the franchise. They’d get under the luxury tax threshold and become players in the free-agent market, provided they waive him early enough. (But this theory also requires the fans trusting that the franchise, sans a GM to replace the fired Rich Cho, would make the right moves to rebuild the core of the roster. And it’s safe to say the trust factor is shaky right now in Portland.)

To their credit, Roy’s camp isn’t making this about anything other than what’s best for all involved. All they’re asking for is an immediate decision, per Quick:

“I get it. Brandon gets it,” said Greg Lawrence, Roy’s agent. “It’s not complicated. They are going to make a decision that is best for them. If they want him to be there, he will show up and work hard like he always has and do whatever it takes to help the team win. If they don’t want Brandon to be there, he will move on. He just wants to know.”

Don’t we all!

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Knuckle Up!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Desperate times call for desperate measures.

And prior to Sunday’s game at the Rose Garden, the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers were the living, breathing, jump-shooting and dunking embodiment of desperate.

The Blazers were trying to snap a six-game losing streak. The Clippers were trying to win on the road for the first time this season. The result was a fantastic wrestling match with some pretty good basketball mixed in for good measure.

Seriously, though, both of these teams will continue to fight to save their seasons. They have to, with so much drama swirling around their respective camps.

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About Last Night

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat helped finish off the first weekend of the NBA season in fine fashion.

It’s good to have you back basketball. I think we can all agree on that.

The highlights from Sunday’s four-game slate can be found here in the Daily Zap:

Check out the Top 10 plays, too:

We hate to end on a sad note, but the NBA family lost one of its own over the weekend.

Portland Trail Blazers’ legend Maurice Lucas passed away at 58 after battling bladder cancer for the past two and a half years. My main man Jason Quick of the Oregonian broke the sad news Sunday night and also caught up with legendary Blazers coach Jack Ramsay, who described Lucas as the “strength” and “heart” of the Blazers’ 1977 Championship team:

Ramsay said Lucas should go down as one of the best Blazers, simply because he was the driving force, with Bill Walton, on the 1977 Championship team.

“He was the strength of the team,’’ Ramsay said. “He was The Enforcer. He was really the heart of that team. And he liked the role. He enjoyed it. He really liked being the enforcer-type player.

“Plus, he was highly skilled. A great rebounder. A great outlet passer. Threw bullets for his outlet pass. Then he could score on the post, make jump shots on the perimeter. But mostly, it was his physical persona that he carried with him that made us a different team.’’

Ramsay said Lucas “significantly” changed the momentum of the 1977 NBA Finals when he clocked Philadelphia big man Darryl Dawkins for throwing Blazers forward Bobby Gross to the floor. After a skirmish and both players being ejected, the fight became the talk of the series, even as the Blazers trailed 0-2.

But with the series coming to Portland, Lucas devised a plan. He would nip the controversy in the bud, and play a mind trick in the process.

During player introductions, after Dawkins was booed unmercifully by the Memorial Coliseum crowd, Lucas was introduced. But instead of running to where his teammates were standing, Lucas ran to the Philadelphia bench and found a stunned Dawkins.

He grabbed Dawkins’ hand and shook it, later saying he told him “No hard feelings.”

“I don’t think he said or told anybody what he would do, and I was startled myself when I saw him go over to Dawkins,’’ Ramsay said. “But it was a great tactic.’’

The Blazers never lost again, winning four straight to win the series in six games.

Rest In Peace Maurice Lucas!

The Cho Crush!

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Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – As much as we’ve loved being the unofficial site of the Sam Presti fan club the past couple of years, it is time to move on.

Presti’s already a proven commodity in the world of basketball. The underground buzz has subsided. He is, we’re ashamed to say, part of the basketball establishment these days.

We will remain in Presti’s corner so long as he continues to build the way he has in Oklahoma City, and few upstarts have justified the hype the way he has, but we’ve got a new general manager we’re backing here at the hideout.

Maybe it’s the unique background or the unorthodox methods (how many GMs do you know that conduct live chats with the fans before they decorate their office? Exactly). Cho’s a tennis buff, too, so we also have that in common. There’s just something we like about new Portland general manager Rich Cho.

Granted, we haven’t strayed far from the camp here, since Cho worked under Presti the past few years, helping revive a franchise with revolutionary movement on draft night and in trades.

Cho has plenty of work to do, as my man Jason Quick of the Oregonian makes clear:

There are several questions and issues facing him right from the start of his tenure. On his first official day on the job in Portland, the agent for Rudy Fernandez informed him the disgruntled guard would like to be traded. At the same time, he was engaged in trade discussions involving other players.

Along the way, he must also decide whether Greg Oden is promising, or too prone to injury? Is LaMarcus Aldridge soft, or a superstar in waiting? Is Andre Miller more valuable for his expiring contract or for his veteran savvy? And just how valuable is Nicolas Batum – is he off-limits in trade talks or is he available in order to lure a premier player?

All of these questions and issues form a daunting task for a first-time general manager. After all, the words “patience” and “potential” have overstayed their welcome in Blazers’ vernacular, and therefore change is expected.

Cho understands this, but offers little insight, saying only he will make a move if it’s in the best interests of the team, and that he will not make a trade just to make a trade.

However, he did offer this:

“I’m not just sitting around waiting for the phone to ring,” Cho said.

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But he also has plenty to work with, including a deep and talented roster (when healthy, one of the deepest and most talented in the league), a fantastic head coach in Nate McMillan and what we believe to be the savviest and most passionate fan base in all of basketball, at any level ((even when they are smashing us to pieces for not holding their team in higher regard).

We were particularly harsh on the Blazers on draft night when word spread that Cho’s predecessor (and another HT fave), Kevin Pritchard, was being dumped. Had we known Cho would end up being his replacement, we’d have taken the news a little better.

Bottom line, we can’t wait to see what Cho has in store for the Blazers.

And whatever goes on in Rip City in the future, we know the guy at the controls is chasing championships and not just playing it safe!

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