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Nice article, and well-written. But I take issue with the following statement:

They wasted valuable time that could have been spent educating players like Sebastian Telfair, Travis Outlaw, and Viktor Khyra
There's a lot of "education" ahead for these 3 guys, and it will happen over the remainder of this season, this summer, in training camp next year, and during the regular season. Everything was not hanging in the balance last night. Besides, even rookies like to win once in awhile! If the Blazers had pulled out the game, it might have given Telfair, Outlaw, and Khryapa a little mental boost. The entire organization wants a win badly right now, and I don't blame Pritchard for trying to get one by playing his veterans.

By the way, this should put to rest the notion that the Blazers are "tanking" the season.
 

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Thanks Nathan for the article.

I agree with you on most every point. I want to see our youngin's getting the PT. They cannot play every minute of every game and the Vet's should get some time. But, other than using Ruben for extended minutes as a way to get him back with the team, I'd prefer to see Outlaw and Khryapa getting the minutes at SF.

(PS another loss......goodie!!)

(Come on GS and Utah....get some wins)
 

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I think there's value in having the young guys, at this point after having played more minutes lately, watch more experienced players and see what it is that they do that makes them more successful. There's also value in playing the young guys with the more experienced players so that they can get the feel of how the game should be played. Just throwing 5 rookies onto the court at the same time and letting them play isn't necessarily a recipe for success...as the Clippers and Bulls have demonstrated for the past several years.
 

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excellent article, Nate. I didn't even watch the Sonics game because there just isn't any point. as long as they continue to feature the veterans, why should I even care? the only thing even making these games tolerable is seeing glimpses from Outlaw, Khryapa and Telfair.

the fact that the freakin' director of player personell can't figure this out is just depressing to me.
 

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Talkhard said:
There's a lot of "education" ahead for these 3 guys, and it will happen over the remainder of this season, this summer, in training camp next year, and during the regular season. Everything was not hanging in the balance last night. Besides, even rookies like to win once in awhile! If the Blazers had pulled out the game, it might have given Telfair, Outlaw, and Khryapa a little mental boost. The entire organization wants a win badly right now, and I don't blame Pritchard for trying to get one by playing his veterans.

By the way, this should put to rest the notion that the Blazers are "tanking" the season.
I agree with all of that. In addition, I think realistically the vets need minutes if they are expected to stay focused/positive members of the team. That may not be the way we like it, but most every pro athlete has a huge ego. It is what it is, so work with it. I'm all for the youth getting minutes, but for them to grow as players, having the team stay positive and on the same page as much as possible is probably an important part of the process.

Not all of the growth of young players happens during real game PT, in fact I'd contend that most happens outside of actual games. Some comes about naturally just as they grow older, some comes through individually working out, some comes from team practices... that we (all of us outside of NB3) only get to see them in games limits our observing of their progress, but it doesn't mean that it isn't happening.

STOMP
 

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It sounds like you think young players are like plants, the more playing time you feed them, the more they grow. It doesn't work that way.

A month ago the Hornets benched J.R. Smith for a game because he wasn't putting in any effort on defense. There's nothing he would have learned by playing that game, that's more valuable than the lesson that you have to earn your minutes. Why can't the Blazers teach the same lesson to their young players? And why can't a player learn things by watching veterans from the bench? I think a combination of practice time, playing time in games, and watching other players play is the best way to improve. That's what the Blazers are doing, and it's presumptuous to think you have a better idea than Blazers management, of what the best balance is.

I think it's just laughable to argue that a player's future is ruined because he got ten or twenty fewer minutes in one game than you wanted him to get.
 

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hat's what the Blazers are doing, and it's presumptuous to think you have a better idea than Blazers management, of what the best balance is.

I think it's just laughable to argue that a player's future is ruined because he got ten or twenty fewer minutes in one game than you wanted him to get.
I think it's laughable too. even more laughable, though, is that you'd imply anybody has said any such thing.

I don't think it's presumptuous for any fan (and certainly any reporter) to say that they know how to run things better than Blazer management. God did not shine a brilliant beam of genius down upon Patterson and Nash and Pritchard and give them all the right answers. I can think of several times over the years where several posters here pointed out Blazer blunders long before management ever seemed to figure it out.

besides, what's the point of watching the games of a horrible team if you can't speculate on how it could improve?

as for youngsters not needing PT to learn, I can't remember ever hearing a single NBA player say "Gee, I'm so glad I got to sit on a bench and learn instead of learning on the court in real game time." I can remember, however, a pissed off Jermaine O'Neal finally exploding on an Indiana team when he finally got a shot.

no, you don't want to throw Outlaw and Khryapa out there for 40 minutes a night. but those two guys saw 7 minutes of playing time COMBINED last night. from what Pritchard said, it wasn't because they were being disciplined. it wasn't that they were making mistakes. he said he limited their minutes because "the competitive juices were flowing" and he wanted to see veterans (who aren't part of the long-term plan) try to pull off a win.
 

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theWanker said:
I think it's laughable too. even more laughable, though, is that you'd imply anybody has said any such thing.
It's not laughable at all considering that this article was an overreaction to one game. What do you think Nate Bishop was saying when he put in his title that the youth movement is being "killed," or when he wrote this?

The Blazers fell to the Sonics 96-91, and in the process lost something so much more important... Time. They wasted valuable time that could have been spent educating players like Sebastian Telfair, Travis Outlaw, and Viktor Khyrapa. Now only 15 games remain to try to prepare the "Baby" Blazers for next season...
Maybe he's just exaggerating and it's laughable for me to imply that he meant what he actually wrote, I doubt that though.

I don't think it's presumptuous for any fan (and certainly any reporter) to say that they know how to run things better than Blazer management. God did not shine a brilliant beam of genius down upon Patterson and Nash and Pritchard and give them all the right answers. I can think of several times over the years where several posters here pointed out Blazer blunders long before management ever seemed to figure it out.
I guess you're right. Second-guessing teams' decisions is part of the fun of being a fan.

I can't remember ever hearing a single NBA player say "Gee, I'm so glad I got to sit on a bench and learn instead of learning on the court in real game time." no, you don't want to throw Outlaw and Khryapa out there for 40 minutes a night.
You just answered your own question. No player is going to say that he'd rather be on the bench, that doesn't mean giving them as much time as possible is the best thing for either the player or for the team. The coach's job is to hand out minutes to a team that probably has 12 guys who want to play starter's minutes.

them but those two guys saw 7 minutes of playing time COMBINED last night. from what Pritchard said, it wasn't because they were being disciplined. it wasn't that they were making mistakes. he said he limited their minutes because "the competitive juices were flowing" and he wanted to see veterans (who aren't part of the long-term plan) try to pull off a win.
I never said they were being disciplined, he was just teaching them that if you're playing well, he's not going to bench you. If he benched Derek Anderson when he was having his best game of the season and nearly leading the Blazers to victory against one of the best teams in the NBA, that says to the young players that they're entitled to their minutes and don't need to earn them.
 

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RP McMurphy said:
It's not laughable at all considering that this article was an overreaction to one game. What do you think Nate Bishop was saying when he put in his title that the youth movement is being "killed," or when he wrote this?
I don't think it IS a reaction to just one game. let's look at the minutes for our three most important rookies over the past five games:
Telfair
39
36
28
32
23

Outlaw
27
19
9
5
0

Khryapa
30
32
17
17
7

That is just not a good trend. It seems to me (and Nate) that we are moving toward veterans again. Considering our last win came when Damon didn't even play, this seems a mistake.
 

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theWanker said:
crap. I forgot it. I'll do a search.
for some reason, the month of febuary to me is key.

As in, one of us (me?) thought he'd last past feb, and the other (you?) said he wouldn't..

I don't remember what the "winner" got tho.
 

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frankly, I thought he'd have been canned by December. Then January. Then February. at some point I was bound to be right.

I haven't been able to find it using the search.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wanker is dead on. All you have to do is look at my posts over the past five games and you'll see my frustration growing with how the team has been run.

And if you want to talk about the value of sitting a player, Travis Outlaw sat out the entire season last year. He might have played a combined 20 minutes the whole year. That sitting out long enough for you?

There's no reason to play Sebastian Telfair 20+ minutes when we all know he is supposed to be the starter next season. Why not get him ready now? That is unless they plan on keeping Damon (god forbid), or bringing in another point guard.

There's only two veterans that I can realistically see playing minutes right now.

1. Derek Anderson
2. Ruben Patterson

We're not getting rid of either of these guys. They're almost guaranteed to be here next season so you might as well put them in the rotation and see what they can do with Telfair.

I would be interested in seeing how DA did as a starter with Bassy...
 

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NateBishop3 said:
And if you want to talk about the value of sitting a player, Travis Outlaw sat out the entire season last year. He might have played a combined 20 minutes the whole year. That sitting out long enough for you?
Yes. He wasn't ready to get any minutes at all last year, especially on a team that was trying to make the playoffs, so he didn't. Now he's ready to get spot minutes, and that's what he's getting. The Blazers are doing a fine job of bringing him along.

There's no reason to play Sebastian Telfair 20+ minutes when we all know he is supposed to be the starter next season. Why not get him ready now?
They are getting him ready now. You still haven't explained why the number of minutes he plays this season directly corresponds to how ready he's going to be next year. His improvement is going to come from coaching, and practicing. I don't see how sending him out there for 36 minutes and giving him free reign to do whatever he wants (and the team not caring whether he makes mistakes and costs them games) is going to make him a better player.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The number of minutes THIS season are important because it shouldn't matter if he costs us games. It's like having a preseason for the final 15 of the year, only against real competitors, who are actually trying. What better way to get him ready for next season?

Seriously, I can't believe some people haven't figured this out yet. It was supposedly the whole reason behind the youth movement to begin with.

Who cares if they lose? Who cares if they mess up? The season is over. If you're so worried about damaging their fragile egos then we might as well just pack up the season now and phone in our final 15. Tell them we're snowed in and can't get down our driveways.

Next season the team won't have Damon Stoudamire anymore. Telfair will be the undisputed starter. So this is GOING to happen. Why not have it happen now when the games don't matter? That's what I can't understand. Why not get a jump on next year?
 

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RP McMurphy said:
They are getting him ready now. You still haven't explained why the number of minutes he plays this season directly corresponds to how ready he's going to be next year. His improvement is going to come from coaching, and practicing. I don't see how sending him out there for 36 minutes and giving him free reign to do whatever he wants (and the team not caring whether he makes mistakes and costs them games) is going to make him a better player.
I take your point, that all development is not game play time, but I disagree with the implication that "coaching and practicing" is the biggest factor. I think the biggest factor in development, at this stage, is doing. It, of course, needs to be guided by coaching and reinforced by practice; but I think the greatest developmental value comes from trying to extend one's skills against superior competition in a true competitive environment where opponents are trying their best.

And the issue is "not caring about mistakes." The issue is allowing him to make mistakes to understand what works and what doesn't, so he can learn. Some things that might fly in practice might get shut down by opponents with real gameplans. There's a large jump from theory and explanation provided by coaching and actually figuring out how to apply it in the heat of the moment.

Telfair should absolutely be given a lot of coaching and practice. But I don't see the value of benching him during games. There's no value to him, in benching him. There may or may not be value to trying win games, but it's highly debatable as to whether the Blazers are best served playing the lineup best suited to winning each individual game. I think right now, getting important young players time to learn in real game environments is more important than trying to win four additional games.
 
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