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From the Elbow #14: The Dog Days

Summer League is over and basketball is on a break...for now.

summer league

"Basketball Never Stops." This slogan comes courtesy of Nike, and during the lockout summer of 2011 it served the purpose of showing fans of the NBA that basketball could exist without its highest professional league.  Emblazoned on shirts worn by barnstorming professionals that summer, some of whom made a brief visit to the Chiles Center on the University of Portland campu...   More
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From The Elbow #13: Growing Gradually

Amid the noise of free agency, the Blazers have quietly improved.


The eyes of the sports world were fixed intently on the NBA as soon as the bell rung on the annual free agency period. The prize catch, Dwight Howard, proved to be just a little more competent with social media than many leading news agencies, and just slightly less annoying than Amanda Bynes, adding a bit of new media theatricality to the over-hyped proceedings. When the dust settled,    More
Friday, July 19, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From the Elbow #12: To Trade or Not To Trade

The Blazers have a tough choice when it comes to LaMarcus Aldridge.


The NBA offseason acquisition and trade period has officially begun, and that means every team in the league is scrambling to make the biggest splash. The Blazers are no exception, although what the team might choose to do and which players they decide to pursue probably won’t make the boldest headlines. The Blazers are (hopefully) opting out of the Dwight Howard chase tha...   More
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

From the Elbow #11: A New Trend

For Neil Olshey and the Blazers, not totally blowing Draft Night should be considered a major success.


The Blazers have a history with the NBA Draft, and it’s not the kind of history that needs to be celebrated. With the exception of the wheeling and dealing on draft night back in 2006 that brought Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge to Portland, the last player to come to the Blazers as a rookie and end up an all-star was Zach Randolph. Even then, by the time Randolph—selected 1...   More
Friday, June 28, 2013 by MIKE ACKER

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
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