Thursday, January 17, 2008

Chad Ford likes the Blazers, but not their playoff chances

A couple of interesting opinions from Chad Ford today during an ESPN.com text chat.
Willie (Portland, OR): Chad, will Portland make the playoffs?

SportsNation Chad Ford:
It's tough with Utah and Houston behind them. I think both of those teams could play much better in the second half. But it's hard to argue with what the Blazers have been able to achieve. They've got a great young core and Nate McMillan, in my mind, should be the leading candidate for Coach of the Year.

That strikes me as a rather popular opinion outside of the Northwest. Young teams like the Blazers have been known to fade late in the season, but it seems like a significant leap of faith to assume that both Utah and Houston are going to miraculously play better in the second half. It could very well happen though.

As for the second Trail Blazers mention ...
George (Los Angeles, CA): Chad, I think Phil Jackson deserves coach of the year. ALL OF YOU were trashing the Lakers chances this year and despite the fact they've gone through a lot and have one of the youngest teams in the league, they're #1 in the west. How on earth can you overlook what he's done with this young team in the uber tough west, even though Portland is a feel good story? Typical ESPN. Typical ESPN - and you wonder why NBA fans question the biases over there.

SportsNation Chad Ford: The Lakers have won only 3 more games than the Blazers ... and they have Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Bynum. McMillan is doing it with two sophomores .. Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge and a host of young role players. To me, Phil has MUCH MUCH more to work with.

So according to George, ESPN is biased against a team that plays in one of the biggest markets in the world? Now I've heard everything. ESPN doesn't love Kobe Bryant and constantly hype Bynum as the next super-center?

That strange opinion aside, there's no denying that Phil Jackson is a great coach. Easily one of the best in the history of the game, but a better candidate for Coach of the Year than Nate McMillan? That doesn't pass the smell test. As Ford aptly points out, for all the hoopla that's been made about the Lakers this season, they're exactly three games better than a team with the third-youngest roster in NBA history.

And by the way, the Lakers have a stretch coming up in which they play 12 of 13 games on the road. That's a tough road, even for KB24. If they make it through that trip and still hold the top spot in the West, then maybe you start taking about Jackson for COY.

8 comments:

dUbsackhustla said...

Nate's gotta win COY. I mean, the guy has been through so many changes with this squad since being hired on and now that he finally has a reliable point man in Brandon Roy who always controls the game, his system seems to run with ease. Just take that play to end the first half last night. Roy even lost the camera man before he dished off to Blake for the wide open trey. I think Nate's personality has finally bled through to a group that's much more suited to his character and style of play. Congrats to him, and here's hoping the 'Zers can keep things going strong and get Nate the accolades he deserves for a great year thus far.

millertime said...

PORTLAND will make the playoffs don't be ignorant. lakers won't stay on top of the west. With their center out for 3 weeks. prob. won't be 100% 5-6 weeks please lol. They will lose games. Lakers fan all ways think they don't get a fair shake.

millertime said...

Chad Ford is waste for space on the blazers sit and is a PUSSY cat
no one want to read that.

Jaybo said...

I think the Blazers will be the 7 or 8 seed in the West this year. They are going to jump to number 1 in the West IF Greg Oden comes back strong and injury free. The Blazers need to get tougher. Garnett should have been punched in the mouth last night for running his mouth or at least put on the seat of his pants. Greg Oden can do that for the Blazers. He needs to step on to the court and say to the other team, "I'm the biggest and baddest dude on the court and you will lose!" End of story. Need a tough guy on the court

SabonisFan3386 said...

You know what? I think Phil Jackson has Hip dysplasia. There, I said it.

blzrfn1 said...

Nice job Willie!!
Lets Go Blazers !!!

dUbsackhustla said...

agreed.

NateDogg said...

Nate is the man! and I'm not just saying that b/c we share the same name. He's as legit as a candidate as there is. We are only 9 wins shy of our 06'-07' season, already have 2 more wins than 05'-06', and 4 shy of our 04'-05's season win total. AND IT'S NOT EVEN THE ALL-STAR BREAK! Nate has to be the front runner period. Who's chasing him though? I see Byron Scott of the Hornets giving Nate a run for his money. If you told me they'd be 26-12 and tied with Dallas at this point i would hve laughed out load pre-season. He's taken them from a sub .500 team to a great contender in the west. But, I think Chris Paul may be the bigger story in N.O. So congrats on second place Byron.
P.S. Joel is going to embarass Shaq tonight, just a little heads up. GO ZERS!!!