Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blazers head to Houston with a bit of energia!

Jason Quick of The Oregonian wrote an interesting article following the Blazer’s game 5 victory Tuesday night about the probability of seeing more Rudy Fernandez in game 6 and (with any luck) beyond.

The article addresses the fact that Fernandez played over 35 minutes in Tuesday’s game after averaging a little over 21 minutes in the first four games of the series.

Nate McMillan has even reportedly been considering inserting Rudy into the starting line-up, replacing rookie Nicholas Batum, who was a nice surprise this season at small forward but has seemed a little star-struck in the playoffs.

Now, this begs the question, is it a good idea to be making major line-up changes in the sixth game of a series in which we are holding on for dear life? In this case, I think the answer is a resounding si!

As the article points out, the lanky and skilled French rookie has been nothing but solid for the Blazers all season long. But in a seven-game series, which is a veritable sprint to the finish line, it doesn’t pay to keep a struggling younger guy in there in hopes he will suddenly “click” and find his game.

You need to go with the guys that have produced results for you, and Rudy, not Nicholas, has been that guy. Rudy has been one of the Blazer’s most dynamic players thus far in the series, coming off the bench and providing that instant dose of offense and speed that has kept the Rocket’s smothering defense honest.

Plus, the guy has shot 50% from the three-point line-you can’t tell me that the Rocket defenders aren’t conscious of where he is on the floor at all times, knowing there’s a half and half chance he’s going to make it from downtown.

Even if he doesn’t take the three-pointer, the fact that he is on the court takes attention away from Brandon Roy and Lamarcus Aldridge, opening up the lane for their attack.

Shifting gears a little bit….

At this point in the series, the Blazer’s have the luxury of knowing that no matter how much pressure they feel on themselves, it is nothing compared to what Yao and his teammates are undergoing. The Rockets had the series locked up at 3-1, needing only to waltz back into the building in which they blew out the Blazers in game one and get a victory.

But they blew it.

The crowd was too much, and they couldn’t handle the fact that Joel and Greg weren’t crippled by foul trouble. Now, with a slim lead of 3-2, the Rockets are back in their own building and in front of the fans that have seen them choke year after year in the first round.

I’m not sure of the exact statistic, but I’m pretty sure the Rockets haven’t been out of the first round of the playoffs since Eisenhower administration. No matter what they might say to the media, you can bet dollars to donuts that everyone in a Rockets jersey will be playing not to lose on Thursday night, instead of playing to win.

If the Blazers can remain confident and collected, playing their style of play that amassed 54 wins in the regular season, we should be seeing them back at the Garden for game seven.

This post written by Vanguard sports writer Doug Cornett

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reading and Entertainment

Thought that was a fitting picture...
Hopefully all 17.8 of our faithful blog readers have been able to manage some other form of happiness while we have been on blog sabbatical for a brief while. NBA Playoffs, Vanguard chaos, travels and family adjustments have kept all of us pretty busy... Nevertheless here's some readings for your enjoyment.

Hannah Karp has a great read in the Wall Street Journal about the Lakers and how LA is one of the premier NBA Towns...

A couple of summers ago, my landscaping job landed me at Rick Adelman's son's home in the Bethany area of Washington County. Rick was visiting and we struck up a friendly conversation about basketball. I came away feeling impressed about the coach that I had grown up as a Blazers fan with. Richard Justice has a nice piece on Adelman.

With the NFL Draft approaching this weekend, Bucky Brooks gives us a nice look into what NFL Draftrooms are like.... Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall...

And the sports blog Mentalfloss has a great quiz for your draft history skills.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vikings opt for continuancy

Just got word that the Vikings will announce their new men's basketball coach and the winner of the contest should come as no surprise.

For the last two years, Tyler Geving has roamed the sidelines, adjusted the defense and recruited the heck out of the Northwest and California. All of these characteristics, plus a few others made Geving a likely choice.

Portland State will be hosting a 2 p.m. press conference tomorrow at the Stott Center. Check or back here for the full story later tomorrow or Tuesday morning.

Guest Post from our outspoken Student Commentator

Here is another guest blog post from our student contributor Marnix Brinkhoff.

My post this week is in response to the disappointing news that Coach Bone has left the Portland State Athletic Department to become a Cougar.

Dear Coach Bone,

It is with great sadness that I write to you to wish you the best of luck at Washington State University.

As a student and fan I will certainly miss your presence on the PSU campus. You were always willing to reciprocate a friendly greeting in passing on campus and you had an amazing style and approach to the game of basketball. It’s unfortunate you made the decision to leave 'Viking Nation' and I hope you have completely thought through your decision, because there are a couple points I would like to mention to you that I thought would have been enough to keep you around.

1) Potential: I understand the stigma and prowess of the Pac10 was enticing, but Viking Nation (with you at the helm) had the potential to be the next Gonzaga or even Memphis.

2) Pullman Sucks: I know you’ve been to Pullman because you have coached in the Northwest your entire career so you must realize what an awful place it is. You will never be able to recruit a Seattle-area product and will be forced to resort with the farmers of Spokane and the other surrounding rural areas.

3) Long-Term: No offense, but I hope you aren’t planning on staying at WSU for long. I hope your plan is to win at that program and step up to a better program, because not even your excellent coaching will be able to sustain a competitive program in the beleaguered WSU Athletic Department.

Again, I wish you all the best even though I think you are making a huge mistake by jumping ship just as you had a consistent program established that had the potential to become the next mid-major powerhouse. I thought you had the potential to be the next Mark Few, but you threw that all away for some larger digits in the paycheck and for that I’m disappointed.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Guest Commentary from a Portland State student and fan

Here is another guest blog post from our student contributor Marnix Brinkhoff. In between sessions of working on his jump shot and cheering on the Dutch team at the World Baseball Classic, Brinkhoff gives you his take on the upcoming spring football schedule.

As Spring Football practice begins for the football team, is busy wasting our time with beautifully slanted articles about how the upcoming football season will be miraculously different than the last two years.

The article entitled, “Sixteen Returning Starters, Experienced Group Return for 2009 Football Season” fails to understand that those returnee’s are a combined 7-15 (win-loss record) over the past two seasons.

By all means return the entire squad from last year, but the fact remains, we sucked last year!

Even though the athletic department’s propaganda website spins a rosy picture on the upcoming season, I’m hear to explain that it will be just another failing season in the “Almighty” Glanville’s tenure.

The following are points from the article that are expected to be boosts for the upcoming season but they are really just business as usual. That business of late has been losing…

Drew Hubel and Tygue Howland return: YES!!

No one would want to miss out on the drama of who is going to start from week to week. The fact that both of these quarterback’s return doesn’t mean a damn thing, because Glanville and his staff are just going to be as wishy-washy as John Kerry on who there man is going to be.

My take is to just pick one, stick with him, and allow them to get better without fear that next week they are going to be benched!!

McClintock Returns: Wahoo!! We don’t run the ball anyways. Oh by the way, this has been bothersome ever since last year…

Mr. Davis, I realize you are considered the offensive guru, BUT when you play one of the worst run defenses in the NCAA (Washington State last year) maybe just maybe you should try to run the F%$@ing ball!!

Super Mario (D’Ambrosio) is out: And you expect to improve on a season where he was a rockstar?

3 Returning Lineman: For a team that allowed 41 sacks for a yardage loss of 243 yards (Second worse in the Big Sky) this shows promise; because the only thing to do is get better.

The Defense: Expect more basketball scores, because we lost Shantz, McCrae and Jones.

Say whatever you want about the competition in Spring Football, the fact will remain that we will have an inexperienced defense taking the field next season, which means only one thing—lots of scoring…for the other team.

But all is not lost in the Glanville camp.

For those of you worried about Special Teams there is ample competition at the kicker/punter position, which is a good thing since we will probably be punting the ball quite a bit.