NWSB Insider Bryant Knox outlines what Nicolas Batum must do now that he’s signed his big money contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. He says he must become a reliable No. 2 scoring option behind LaMarcus Aldridge. He says if Batum wants to become an integral part of the Blazers’ success, he’ll have to stay aggressive on both ends of the floor. Neil Olshey believes that Batum will absolutely live up to this contract.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Byrant Knox gives us his 2012 projections and predictions for the Blazers starting lineup in the fall. Unless the Blazers pick up a big man in free agency, expect the youngsters to make starting debuts. The stating center spot in Portland goes to Meyers Leonard, Wesley Matthews at SG, LaMarcus Aldridge at PF, Rookie Damian Lillard at PG, and Nicolas Batum at SF.
NWSB Writer Jonathan Irwin debates whether or not Nicholas Batum is the solution to all of Portland’s woes or if they should think about trading him. Nicolas Batum—the current incumbent—is sitting on a four year, $45-$50 million, offer from Minnesota. Portland seems fully prepared to match. However, Minnesota is determined, reportedly exploring multiple sign-and-trade opportunities.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trailblazers blogger Steve Lee chimes in with a some destinations he sees fit for Jamal Crawford’s talents. With Ray Allen rumored to go to Miami, Boston would be an ideal fit for Crawford. He could come in and start, and help them with another deep run in the playoffs. Or there is the Timberwolves, they could rival the Trail Blazers as a northwest favorite with all of the northwest talent on their squad.
Should the Blazers trade one of their top-12 picks? NWSB insider and writer Steve Lee lists the pros and cons of past draft-day trades. Analysis includes Brandon Roy, Rudy Fernandez, James Jones, Deron Williams, and LaMarcus Aldridge. With two picks in the top twelve this summer, there is a good chance that the Blazers might be able to restock the shelves.
NWSB managing editor Q brings us his Love Em & Hate Em recap from Wednesday night’s game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Kevin Love went for 29 points and 16 rebounds as host Minnesota beat Portland for the second time in three games. Raymond Felton collected 23 points and nine assists for Portland, which shot 39.5 percent in the second half.
State of the Portland Trail Blazers. Steve Lee our man with his pulse on the Trailblazers NBA Hoops beat is back with another edition of the Notebook. The March 5th, 2012 edition. Greg Oden is out again. This has been Oden’s fourth knee surgery in his career and has been officially shut down. Did I mention that this week Kevin Love worked LaMarcus Aldridge to the tune of 42 points and 10 rebounds?
NWSB insider Jason Green brings us a Northwest Coaching Profile on ex-Portland TrailBlazers head coach Rick Adelman. After getting his start with the Blazers in the late 1980’s, Adelman has gone onto become one of the best NBA journeymen coaches of our time. Adelman took the vast majority of teams he coached to the playoffs, making the conference championship several times with multiple teams. He is now in Minnesota where he turned them into contenders from the doormats they used to be.