Sunday night the Blazers are getting healthy at the expense of the Los Angeles Clippers, which is a good team to get healthy against. It will snap a six-game losing streak that has seen some ugly play out a Blazers team many thought would rebound this season.
There are injury issues in Portland — Gregg Oden and Brandon Roy have no good knees between them — but that doesn’t explain the lackluster efforts. Coach Nate McMillan admitted he might be part of the issue to the Oregonian, describing a conversation after the team’s Friday loss to the Wizards.
“Evidently, they’re not responding to me, because all these games look similar,” McMillan said. “So I asked them: ‘Is it clear what we’re asking you to do?'”
His words were met with blank states and silence
“They didn’t say anything,” McMillan said. “The thing is, they didn’t have to say anything. I think the games show that. We’re not getting it done.”
This comment from Brandon Roy isn’t helpful either.
“Everybody’s at a loss for words,” Roy said. “Coach (Nate McMillan), he doesn’t know what to say to us. And we don’t know what to say to one another.”
There have been people such as the Oregonian’s John Canzano who have suggested that McMillan’s coaching seat is getting pretty hot. It may well be because this has been a disappointing season for the Blazers and they can’t just fire the players to shake things up.
McMillan can coach, but sometimes after a while teams start to tune coaches out. A new voice can deliver the same message but in a different way and it gets through. Sometimes that is needed. It may be getting close to that time in Portland, unless they can play the Clippers every night.
Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.
There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.
Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.
“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”
Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.
Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.
That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.
And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.
MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.
Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.
Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.
Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.
Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.