Tag Archives: Portland Trailblazers

In A Melo Mood II

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver Jr)

I thank the basketball gods. I thank you Melo, for staying ready and staying focused. I’m a huge fan. I grew tired of the narrative. I grew tired of the media. I’ve been waiting to see you have the opportunity to prove everyone wrong. We live in the land where second chances are abundant. What a time to be alive to see you playing, starting, contributing, and it has even awarded you the Player of the Week honor over Luka Doncic and James Harden.

I still don’t know the truth of what happened in Houston. I could see you being instrumental in helping put the Warriors away after KD went down. Instead, you were at home. They needed more scoring. More heat check players. Harden always seems to fold in big moments. I don’t see you not talking a shot for the final 8 minutes, 5 minutes. I don’t see it. It’s not who you are. You’ve always gone down fighting.

You are the only player who wanted to go to the Knicks and try to bring them to prominence. To me, your only career mistake was not waiting for your contact to run out before you went to NYC. You guys would’ve been a powerhouse. Considering the Big 3 Celtics and Heat were around, Kobe was still around, Spurs, the sudden ascension from the Mavs in 2011, and the fact that you were only awarded one star level talent in Amare Stoudamire, and later Jason Kidd, you still made due with what you had. You made Shumpert & JR Smith look better than they’ve ever looked. You fell short against Indiana before Roy Hibbert decided to go fishing individually.

I’m happy to have you back and I’m sure the fans are as well. I’ve been watching. I’ve been hearing the chants. Most importantly, I’ve been watching you close. Keep it up! This game is about efficiency now. You are still a perfect fit for this game. All because you have a jumper than never evades a man. I got tired of hearing “Marshmallow”. I’m so happy to see you in shape and taking the bull by the horns. Much success to you Melo. #RipCity

WHY THE MARRIAGE OF KD AND THE WARRIORS WILL BE GREAT FOR THE NBA

By: Opinionated Reezy


Let’s take a walk back in time for a moment.  Forget how the team is assembled and think about what comes to mind when you hear names Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Michael Cooper, and Karem Abdul-Jabar.  I will ask you again to forget how the team is assembled and think about what comes to mind when you hear the names Larry Bird, Danny Ainge, Robert Parrish, and Kevin McHale.  These were the Showtime Lakers and Dominate Celtics teams from the 80’s that dominated the decade and ultimately suffered from old age.  These two teams were dynasty’s both in their depth and starting rosters and would be considered super teams in today’s NBA.

I can’t remember much about that era, but I imagine that people were shocked when either the Lakers and/or the Celtics were not in the finals.  History would show the following (The champion is bold):

·         1979 – 80 Season: Lakers v 76ers

·         1980 – 81 Season: Celtics v Rockets

·         1981 – 82 Season: Lakers v 76ers

·         1982 – 83 Season: 76ers v Lakers

·         1983 – 84 Season: Celtics v Lakers

·         1984 – 85 Season: Lakers v Celtics

·         1985 – 86 Season: Celtics v Rockets

·         1986 – 87 Season: Lakers v Celtics

·         1987 – 88 Season: Lakers v Pistons

·         1988 – 89 Season: Pistons v Lakers

·         1989 – 90 Season: Pistons v Trailblazers

We literally had to go a full decade before we had an NBA Finals that did not feature the Celtics or the Lakers and that forced teams to get better.  It made players think strategically about how they were going to win.  No one was tired of the NBA, in fact being from Detroit, it became a unified front to watch your team develop into a legitimate threat and watch that team rise to greatness.

ALL THAT BEING SAID.  I see it happening again!  Let’s wind back the clock a few years:

·         2010 – 11 Season: Mavericks v Heat

·         2011 – 12 Season: Heat v Thunder

·         2012 – 13 Season: Heat v Spurs

·         2013 – 14 Season: Spurs v Heat

·         2014 – 15 Season: Warriors v Cavaliers

·         2015 – 16 Season: Cavaliers v Warriors

LeBron is the common element in this scenario in that for the past six seasons, LeBron led teams have been in the Finals.  Now a consistent team in the West has a legitimate chance to be consistent.  The last two seasons alone have been exciting for all the plotlines interwoven in the season.  I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT THE NBA IS SCRIPTED; however, the story is one of note.  The rise of Golden State in the West, the Apology tour of LeBron James coming home and taking a team destined for the lottery to the FInals twice and Championship once.  Many were already anticipating the Trilogy reminiscent of Lakers and Celtics of old and then KD throws his name in the hat and now all we can say is.. IT’S ON!! 

This season may be dull for a moment, that will pass once Golden State faces their first real loss.  You see it now and LeBron sees it with the fevered insistence on bringing the band back together.  The pleas to sign JR is a message that we are going back to the days where teams determined success and not just one or two players.  Owners can no longer gamble on the notion of a star player and a bunch of role players.  Left unchecked, Golden State has the chance to win multiple championships and other teams will be forced to used their resources wisely to counter that.

KD didn’t hurt the league, he probably singlehandedly saved it… 

Real Quick: Damian Lillard (the New Iverson?)

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Philadelphia 76ers
Jan 16, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots a foul shot against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

 

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver)

Before we go into sniping me and leaving me to die on the curb with my thoughts and opinions, let me tell you why I believe this to be somewhat true. I’ll give you clarity first. I don’t mean he’s the new Iverson by hairstyle, dress style, in speech, in the way he approaches the media, teammates or his coaches. No. What I mean is that he is driven to lead his team to the promised land one way or another and he is determined to fight through all the doubts thrown his way.

I’ve been watching his story develop over the last couple years from a distance. It’s come full circle now with him carrying his team. He’s lost LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews, and Aaron Afflalo and Robin Lopez and somehow he has still kept the Trailblazers in the playoff picture and his team inspired enough to compete against the best teams in the game. He’s wrongfully compared to Stephen Curry, he’s wrongfully snubbed when it comes to the All-Star games and to Team USA Basketball. He’s basically seen as 3rd tier. Let’s be honest. I think he’s had a better year than James Harden. I think he’s had an MVP-type season for the hand he’s been dealt and the success he’s mined along the way.

Damian Lillard is like Iverson cause where people say that he won’t succeed, he does. Where people think he’ll come up short, he’ll exceed expectations. I guess they both rap, right? LOL! But Damian Lillard has an opportunity to begin crafting a legacy. If he can push this team deep into the 2nd round, he should be applauded. If he can’t get them out of the first round, he should be regarded as a good NBA player with a “don’t quit” mentality. A player with heart. The first player I’ve seen since Iverson to actually go against the grain. He puts in the work to improve and to ultimately prove people wrong. Fighting through adversity instead of letting it swallow him and make him a shell of who he is potentially supposed to be. They said he couldn’t play defense, he’s improved. They said he couldn’t facilitate, he’s improved. They said he wouldn’t be able to keep his team above .500, he’s done that. They said he couldn’t closeout, he does. They said he couldn’t explode, he has! I believe in him too much to throw the “he won’t win a championship” stone. I believe he will. I’m a fan that respects his struggle and rise because I can relate to having to overcome something and being surrounded by people who believe that you can’t rise to the occasion.

He’s not even comparable to Iverson, so let’s bury that though altogether. I think he will be better than Iverson. I think his career will flourish and he will reap more success than Iverson. As long as he stays focused on improving his game and making sure that he doesn’t fall into the pit that is the media, and scrutiny, Lillard will continue to shock the world.