I've got questions, and I'm hoping you've got the answers. Last night's victory in New Orleans has to be one of the strangest Trail Blazers wins this season, making it a perfect game to go down the list questions I had postgame. Leave your answers in the comments section, and I'll send the best reply an new extra-large BlazersManiac t-shirt that has been sitting in my office for a few months. Here goes ...
• Have you ever seen a healthy Brandon Roy look so ... un-Roy like? Last night's game is much closer pre-Chris Paul's groin pull if Brandon turns in even an average Roy performance.
• And while on the subject of Chris Paul's groin, what percentage would you attribute his injury resulting in the Trail Blazers comeback? 90 percent injury, 10 percent Trail Blazers effort? 75/25? 50/50?
• One more Paul question. The Hornets had 22 made field goals in the first half of last night's game, with 12 of those makes resulting in a Chris Paul assist. He also had three makes in the first half, which means that Paul had 12 assists in the first half on 19 Hornets field goals (translation: Paul can't assist on his own makes). Impressive. But here's the question: What percentage of those are legitimate, by the rule book assists? Myself and Communications Intern Aaron looked at Paul's assists numbers at home, where he's got a friendly stat crew counting dimes, versus his assist numbers on the road. Observe:
Paul's assist average at home: 11.6 per game
Paul's assist average on the road: 10.2 per game
Hornets made field goals average at home: 34.7 per game
Hornets made field goals average on the road: 35.3 per game
So basically, Paul averages more assists at home despite his team making more field goals on the road. The numbers are hardly damning, but still a bit curious.
And by the way, let me state categorically that I believe Chris Paul to be the best point guard in the game, by a rather large margin. So hold off on the hatemail CP3 fan-clubbers.
• Can Jerryd Bayless really go back to playing sporadic minutes when Steve Blake returns from injury? The combination of his ability to get to the bucket and the way he seems to light a fire under the collective butts of the rest of the team could lead one to believe that Coach McMillan is going to have to find a way to get him consistent minutes, even when Blake comes back.
• And how many more "coming out parties" can Bayless have? My understanding of the phrase is that a coming out party, by definition, can only happen once. After that, you're already out. But by my count, I've heard either Mike Barrett, Mike Rice or Michael Holton make that proclamation on three separate occasions. They could be making that statement during home games as well, but I see all of those in person.
• Why doesn't Julian Wright play anymore? He started a few games while David West was out with a bad back, but he's also logged 21 DNP's already this season. I didn't think he was injured, and I could have swore the Hornets were high on him last season, so what's the deal? I mean, Sean Marks played 12 minutes last night, while Wright stayed firmly planted to the bench for all 48. Is he in the doghouse?
• Is Travis Outlaw getting to the point where you can't even consider trading him? With Martell Webster out until ... whenever and with Nic Batum still finding his offense in the NBA, is there any way the Trail Blazers get by without Trav's ability to make huge buckets late in games?
• The Hornets were -27 with Antonio Daniels on the floor last night. I can't really think up a question to go with that, but boy-howdy is that bad.