Cal Conrad's Portland Blazers Fan Profile

Who am I?

I am Cal. I am the rare sports fan who can be obsessed with a team, but still look at the squad from an objective view point. I have worked in TV, radio and newspapers and I can bring a realistic side of sports to fans everywhere.

Main Skills

extensive sports knowledge, Great writer, wiggling my ears.

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Cal Conrad's Weblog Posts

Congrats Blazers...Now Get Over It posted on 05/03/2009

Congratulations Portland Trail Blazers on a great season. You overachieved, brought the city to hysteria not seen since the early 90s and created a solid foundation on which to work on. Now get over it.

It's time to start looking towards next year. The Blazers, if they keep their roster intact, are a lock for the playoffs for the next decade. But is that what management wants? To be the Utah Jazz? I don't think so. It's seriously time to consider making this team into a title contender. Barring a miracle draft pick in the next few years, their needs to be some roster shake-up, otherwise the Blazers will be piddling around third or fourth best in the west for years to come.

First, let's look up what makes a championship team. Over the past 20 years, there has been a pretty simple formula to great teams: You have you have your 'Big 3'-a guard, a wing, and a post, surround them with a few shooters and some defensive stoppers and you got yourself a title (This excludes the 2003-2004 Pistons, because the Lakers self-destructed in that series and any Shaq-led team because all the centers sucked in the early 2000s). Seriously look back at the past winners: 2007-2008 Celtics (Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett), The Spurs dynasty (Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, Timmy Duncan), The Bulls dynasty (MJ, Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc/Horace Grant), The mid-90s Rockets (Kenny 'I'm Barkley's Bitch' Smith, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem). Let's add in the team that will win it this year, The Cavs (Mo Williams, Lebron, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas). All those teams had great shooters and defensive stoppers. This is the blueprint and Portland needs to get on board.

Continue reading "Congrats Blazers...Now Get Over It"

Crunch Time posted on 12/11/2008

Many fans will discuss the heartbreak of Tuesday night's game between the Orlando Magic and Portland Trailblazers.  The eight point lead with a minute and a half left, the offensive rebounds given up in crunch time and the Blazers inability to put the hammer down and prevent their first home loss.  But the biggest concern is the fact that no one felt comfortable with the ball in their hands at the end of the game. 

 Portland depends so much on Brandon Roy at the end of games, that once the Magic began to double team him everywhere on the court, it threw the Blazers out of whack.  The Blazers took bad shots, turned the ball over and were non-existant on the offensive boards in the final two minutes.  They let Orlando play them.

 The Blazers played well throughout most of the rest of the game.  Roy was clutch as usual, pouring in 30 points and grabbing nine rebounds.  Aldridge had to have set a career-high in dunks while going for 25 and 13.  And Sergio Rodriguez put in some of his best minutes all season.  The combination of Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden held half man-half superman Dwight Howard to 14 points and seven boards.  The crowd was into the game and the Blazers looked like they would win their eighth straight game easily.  But their was a one told the Magic to shut it down.

Continue reading "Crunch Time"

Are the Blazers for real? posted on 12/02/2008

Heading into Tuesday's game with the New York Knicks, the Portland Trail Blazers are tied for the second best record in the Western Conference, at this point in the season.  But are they really the second best team in the West?

I think it is safe to say the Los Angeles Lakers are far and away the best team this side of the Mississippi.  But after that, the west is wide open.  Currently the Denver Nuggets are 12-6, as well as the Blazers.  The Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, and Phoenix Suns are all one game back.  Each one of these teams have had star players miss time.  The Jazz have had Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams miss extensive time.  The Rockets are currently without Tracy McGrady and the Suns have been without Shaq.

With all that being said, I believe the Blazers truly can be right up there at the end of the season.  They have played the least amount of home games (winning all of them), while still gelling as a team.  The more realistic prediction would be the Blazers anywhere from #3 to #7 in the west. 

Continue reading "Are the Blazers for real?"

Przybilla's The Thrilla? More like Przybilla the Unsung Chilla...or something like that... posted on 11/24/2008

Is it just me or is Joel Przybilla one of the most underrated players in the NBA?
When most fans around the league think of Przybilla, they think a good rebounding, offensively challenged backup center.  But what many people don't realize is that Przybilla is shooting 83% from the field.  Last time I checked, that's not too bad.  Sure he isn't popping 15-foot jumpers, but he knows his role, and if he outside of five feet, he isn't looking for his shot.  Przybilla is great at setting picks and looking for the offensive boards.  He is averaging over 16 rebounds per 48 minutes.  I will take that kind of production from my center any day.
I went to the Chicago-Portland "game" (I put game in quotations, because it was more like a massacre than an actual game...seriously a sixth grade girls team could have put up a better fight than the Bulls that night), and sat next to a lady from Illinois who was in Portland on a business trip.  She was not a sports fan, but knew the Bulls decently well.  I didn't know she was a Bulls fan until halftime and when she told me, I responded by saying that if I would have known that, then I would have rubbed it in earlier (if anyone missed it, the Blazers won by 42). 

Continue reading "Przybilla's The Thrilla? More like Przybilla the Unsung Chilla...or something like that..."

Time for more PT for rookies posted on 11/04/2008

Ok, well the Blazers are 1-2 on this young season and look like a team trying to find their identity.  To be fair, they have run into three teams most likely to make the playoffs this season.  The schedule doesn't get any easier as they face the Jazz in Utah on Wednesday and come home to host the Rockets on Thursday.

 This is a great test for this Portland team.  Their record might not be what they want, but they have shown things that were not expected yet.  The play of Rudy Fernandez and Nicolas Batum almost make Portlanders forget about that other rookie...ol' what's his name.  Fernandez continues to impress with his calm matter and his ability to somehow find a way to put the ball in the basket.  His defense was originally criticized before the season began, but really has not caused a problem throughout the season.  He may not be spectacular, and take too many risks on defense, but it has not caused Coach Nate McMillan to look for a replacement.

Continue reading "Time for more PT for rookies"

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