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From the Elbow #10: Auditioning for the NBA

A week out from Draft Day, a crop of potential incoming rookies fight to get noticed.


The NBA season ends and begins again every June. The first two weeks of this month have been spent trying to crown the league champion for 2012-13. A few weeks after the Finals end, on June 27th, a whole new batch of young superstars will be drafted to join the professional ranks.  Much has to be done in the days and weeks leading up to the NBA Draft, as every team but one begins the ...   More
Thursday, June 20, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From the Elbow #9: The Next Next Big Thing

The Draft Combine is only the prologue to the never-ending NBA season, but for the Blazers, it could be a glimpse at the future.


The NBA has no off-season. Certainly, Portland-based professional basketball fans have moved on to other leisure-time activities since the Blazers’ season wrapped up unceremoniously just over a month ago. That doesn’t mean the NBA season is over, however. Or that it will, in fact, ever end.  The NBA’s elites, minus Kevin Durant and an injured Russell Westbrook, are stil...   More
Monday, May 20, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From the Elbow #8: The New ROY

Damian Lillard is officially the NBA's Rookie of the Year—but major questions still lie ahead for the Blazers.


The Blazers’ 2012-13 season has come and gone. As the NBA’s best remaining teams continue to grind through the playoffs, the Blazers and their fans must wait through the long dull months of the summer, crossing off the days until Opening Night in late October. This most recent Blazer campaign could very well be remembered for a franchise-high 13-game losing streak that began in Marc...   More
Thursday, May 2, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From the Elbow #7: Sonic Reboot

With the impending return of pro-basketball to Seattle, the Blazers look forward to reviving a rivalry.


Last Friday was 1990s Night at the Rose Garden. Over the course of the evening, the home crowd celebrated Jerome Kersey, Clyde Drexler and Blazer teams from a decade that included two trips to the NBA Finals, two trips to the Western Conference Finals, a 63-win season and 10 straight postseason appearances. The 2012-13 Blazers picked up their 10th consecutive loss on ‘90s Night, ...   More
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From the Elbow #6: Off the Bench, Into the Fire

From guarding Kobe Bryant to delivering a highlight-reel dunk, it's been a career week for Blazers rookie Will Barton.

will barton

Last Wednesday night, when they walked through the doors of the Rose Garden, Blazer fans can be forgiven for thinking they had been teleported to the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Dancing in the aisle, screaming “MVP” at the top of their collective lungs every time Kobe Bryant stepped to the free throw line, wearing a wide selection of Lakers gear—No. 8 Bryant je...   More
Monday, April 15, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From the Elbow #5: Across the Pond

As the Blazers' season winds down, bench player Joel Freeland looks to the future.


Time has run out on the Portland Trail Blazers. They avoided total playoff elimination Wednesday night only because the Utah Jazz were unable to find a way to beat the Denver Nuggets in Salt Lake City, but the Blazers’ next loss will be the final nail in their coffin. With the meaningful part of the regular season coming to a close, it’s nearing time for the Blazers to switch th...   More
Friday, April 5, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From the Elbow #4: Gunning for That No. 8 Spot

It's just about over for the Blazers. Don't tell them that, though.


Almost exactly a week ago, the outlook in Blazerland was rosy. The Blazers were winners of four of their last six—not world-beating numbers by any stretch, but a marked improvement over the seven straight they dropped in February. Coming off unexpected back-to-back road wins against the playoff-bound Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, the Blazers rolled into Oklahoma City with a chan...   More
Monday, April 1, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From the Elbow #3: A Pick Grows From Brooklyn

Portland, the Nets and Damian Lillard


Back in January, The Gothamist published an article entitled “Are Portland and Brooklyn Actually the Same Place?” This piece came with a handy Venn diagram showing, with just a touch of levity, what the city of Portland and New York City’s largest borough do and do not share. ...   More
Friday, March 29, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From the Elbow #2: Not Bad Enough

The Blazers are better than expected, and that spells doom for a rookie like Meyers Leonard.


At times during the 2012-13 season, the Blazers have flirted with being a very bad team. From wire-to-wire, however, Portland has fallen right into that “too bad to make the playoffs but too good to clean up in the draft" category. And, in some ways, that’s worse. A bad team can flounder for generations in mediocrity, getting close but not all the way to pay-dirt in the wins...   More
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From the Elbow #1: Career Opportunities

Last Saturday, two former Blazers returned to the Rose Garden. One is a hero. The other is just trying to make an NBA living.

chris johnson

An hour before tip-off on a rainy Saturday evening in Portland, a throng of local television and print journalists are waiting deep in the belly of the Rose Garden for a rare pre-game press conference. For the first time since he unexpectedly retired on the eve of the lockout shortened 2011-12 NBA season, Brandon Roy is going to grace them with his presence.  Roy, arguably the ...   More
Monday, March 4, 2013 by MIKE ACKER
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