Talk Trail Blazers and NBA All-Star weekend
12:01
The Oregonian: 
Welcome, everybody. We'll get started shortly.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:01 The Oregonian
12:02
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
Hey everybody.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:02 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:02
The Oregonian: 
And away we go ...
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:02 The Oregonian
12:02
[Comment From JayJay: ] 
J.J. Hickson - why so few minutes? Is he hurt??
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:02 Jay
12:03
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
Last night? Miami plays small ball, so much of those minutes went to Babbitt. More of a matchup thing.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:03 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:04
[Comment From JayJay: ] 
Seems baffling you give a guy averaging a double-double less than 15 minutes
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:04 Jay
12:05
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
Yeah, but the way Miami plays, Portland needed something different. Bosh is a tough matchup for Hickson.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:05 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:06
[Comment From rentasquidrentasquid: ] 
Mike, time to put on your Amazing Carnac hat on and tell us what the Blazers will be doing at the trade deadline...absolutely nothing...Use the trade exception...minor deal?
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:06 rentasquid
12:07
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
My guess is they will stand pat. They have 15 guys under contract, and Hickson can't be traded w/o his permission. You'd basically have to cut somebody to use he exception.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:07 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:07
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
... the exception.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:07 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:08
[Comment From rentasquidrentasquid: ] 
No interest in Blair?
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:08 rentasquid
12:09
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
I like Blair, but I think that's more of what San Antonio wants in return. Which player on the roster would the Spurs take that would be an upgrade for them.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:09 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:10
The Oregonian: 
Looking ahead a bit ... do you see the Blazers remaining in the thick of the playoff race, or do you think they fade down the stretch?
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:10 The Oregonian
12:12
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
I think they are almost at the point where they need help. Houston is playing very well, Utah is playing OK, and really, only Golden State is sliding a bit among the top eight. Plus the Lakers have won 8 of 11. It's going to be tough for Portland to stay there.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:12 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:12
[Comment From rentasquidrentasquid: ] 
The minutes will wear on the guys...they fade has started. I dont think it will be a tailspin, but they clearly have lost a little already
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:12 rentasquid
12:13
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
I do think the All-Star break will help Mathews and Batum, who at least get to rest.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:13 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:13
[Comment From rentasquidrentasquid: ] 
If they arent going to make any roster moves, it seems like they will stay at .500
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:13 rentasquid
12:15
[Comment From rentasquidrentasquid: ] 
What do you see as Babbitts issue? Merely confidence? Seems like he is not shooting well...again.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:15 rentasquid
12:15
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
Definitely possible, Squid. One of the Blazers' biggest issues has been losing too many games to sub-.500 teams. There were probably nine games of that ilk they should have won. If they won just half of those, they would be in sixth or seventh place.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:15 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:17
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
Babbitt's in a tough spot because he doesn't have a set spot in the rotation, playing a lot some games, little in others. It's like that for the whole team, but especially for a shooter, it's hard to find a rhythm.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:17 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:18
[Comment From rentasquidrentasquid: ] 
Why does Stotts lean heavily on some guys for 4-6 games then they dont sniff any PT for another two weeks? looking for the magical combo that clicks?
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:18 rentasquid
12:21
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
Yeah, it's a real difference from McMillan, who was always a hard rotation guy. But Nate had a way better bench. I think Stotts was hoping a rotation would develop and guys would separate themselves, but that hasn't happened. Meyers Leonard has been the only guy with a set spot, and he didn't even play last night.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:21 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:23
The Oregonian: 
In weighing the honor/experience/exposure of All-Star weekend for Aldridge and Lillard vs. missing out on the rest they would otherwise be getting, which do you think is more important?
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:23 The Oregonian
12:25
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
I think Aldridge is better prepared to handle all that after last year. Not sure about Lillard, but he's been really impressive in not hitting the wall, so I would assume he would be OK. I don't think either of them would trade the honor for rest, though.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:25 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:26
[Comment From basketballgalbasketballgal: ] 
We all know that Batum is still struggling with his wrist but do you think that Wes is still having some trouble with his hip injury? He hasn't seemed to be quite as much of a high impact player since his return.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:26 basketballgal
12:27
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
With Matthews, I think his hip is fine, but the ankle he sprained at Utah could be lingering. It was a pretty bad sprain. He never brings that up, but I think you could see he was step slow against Houston, when Harden had that huge game.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:27 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:28
[Comment From rentasquidrentasquid: ] 
This is more like a Chat Closet today.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:28 rentasquid
12:28
The Oregonian: 
Yes, it's a little quiet.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:28 The Oregonian
12:30
[Comment From rentasquidrentasquid: ] 
Eliot W....Keep or let walk?
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:30 rentasquid
12:33
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
I would guess walk. Barton's a similar player, and they'll be looking to upgrade the bench with a little more experience.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:33 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:33
The Oregonian: 
Which of the bench rookies not named Meyers Leonard do you see giving the Blazers the biggest boost long-term? Barton, Freeland or Claver?
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:33 The Oregonian
12:35
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
All three are under contract for two more seasons, so we'll see. I feel like Claver might have the most to offer. He's a good team player who does a lot of different things.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:35 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:36
The Oregonian: 
What are you expecting out of Lillard in the Rising Stars Challenge and Aldridge in the All-Star Game? Obviously, Aldridge probably gets more than 10 minutes this time.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:36 The Oregonian
12:36
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
If Freeland gets stronger in the lower body, he could be a good post guy off the bench. He's got the right mentality, just not the strength.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:36 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:38
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
I would assume Lillard will score plenty, especially since Kyrie Irving is in the regular All-Star Game, too. West has a lot of banged-up guys, so L.A. should get his minutes, but wing guys usually dominate those things, but he should get plenty of dunks and jumpers if he just runs the floor a little.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:38 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:39
The Oregonian: 
We'll leave it there, everybody. Thanks for the time today, Mike. Final thoughts?
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:39 The Oregonian
12:40
Mike Tokito, The Oregonian: 
I would say try to enjoy the team for what it is, and remember what you were expecting before the season started.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:40 Mike Tokito, The Oregonian
12:41
The Oregonian: 
Thanks to all.
Wednesday February 13, 2013 12:41 The Oregonian
 
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