14 December 2009
Last week was one of those times when nearly every day covering the Portland Trail Blazers, something was going down either off the court or on.
If Portland wasn’t trying to rebound on Monday from Greg Oden’s knee, they were trying to stomach losing Rudy Fernandez and gauge which way the wind was blowing on the Andre Miller and Jerryd Bayless rumor mill. Somewhere in the middle, the Blazers trudged along on a 1-3 road trip wondering what life would be like had they actually knocked off Cleveland and Milwaukee – two games they should have had.
With Tuesday’s news that Fernandez will be out 4-6 weeks after undergoing a procedure to alleviate pressure on a nerve in his back that caused him leg pain, inquiring minds began to inquire. As one reader wrote regarding Rudy, “something has to change and all these injuries everywhere are prolonging the organizations plans of actually making a stable team for the future.”
But the truth is, the only thing that is about to change is Jerryd Bayless’ playing time now that Fernandez is lost. Or is it?
In a matter of days, Bayless went from reportedly requesting a trade, to having minutes readily available, to questioning the coaching staff as to why he’s on such a short leash after the loss to the Bucks on Saturday night. The kid is obviously frustrated. And who can blame him? I’m all for Bayless staying in Portland, but if he isn’t going to get the run now as one of the remaining healthy nine, when will he?
No wonder Bayless’ name has become trade fodder. The Blazers may deny he asked to be traded, but they can’t deny other front offices around the league continue to inquire about his availability. Even still, as Portland made their way to Cleveland after dropping one to the New York Knicks and before beating Indiana, Andre Miller’s future with the Blazers was once again in question with an assist from “the World Wide Leader”.
I’m thinking that will be the case all season long – or at least until February and the NBA trade deadline.
By the end of the week, the attention refocused on Greg Oden with Milwaukee’s Michael Redd - having just returned from a left patella injury of his own - trying to get in touch with Greg in hopes of passing along some encouraging words. I’m not sure if the two ever connected. But if so, you can almost hear Redd now:
Hang in there brother.
Life will get better.
Keep the faith.
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