Fernandez, Claver struggle for Spain vs. Team USA

As you all may know by now, yesterday was about as competitive of a friendly as you’ll see in International basketball when Team USA narrowly defeated Spain 86-85. Blazer fans should have also had a vested interest due to the appearances of guard Rudy Fernandez and forward Victor Claver. However, both struggled to get their games going. Claver only played 4 minutes, finishing with 1 point and 2 rebounds. Analysts Rick Kamla and Steve Smith actually did a tremendous job of building him up, however he didn’t get enough time to really do anything. His form on shot looked solid, and he had a little athleticism to him but it was not the best first impression. I mean turning the ball over trying to go behind your back on a fast break does not inspire confidence.

(Sidenote: I think I’m still bitter about the whole DeJuan Blair thing. *sigh*)

As far as Fernandez goes….he was more Rudy than ever. I think ESPN‘s Chris Sheridan had the line du jour when talking about Rudy’s performance:

Fernandez played as though he wanted the Portland Trail Blazers to cut him on principle;

Yikes, between that, getting blocked by Kevin Durant and Steve Smith ripping on his highlights, it wasn’t the best day for #5. In 22 minutes, Fernandez managed 5 points on 1-for-5 shooting and generally looked sloppy for most of the game. I will say this, his energy and effort were there defensively. However, if you were like me and hoping to see the playmaking Fernandez…you didn’t see much different than the guy who struggled against the Suns. I think that’s the best way to describe it, he didn’t look any different than ever. The most telling part to me was Fernandez got yanked about 2 minutes and even HIS National Coach said something to him. I can only imagine what Nate was thinking.

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers Rudy Fernandez Victor Claver

  • Lance

    I think the Blazers were hoping to go from a late 1st round pick to a lottery pick for Rudy after this last game, but instead his value dropped to a 2nd rounder at best. I think Cho overplayed his cards on Rudy and now he value is at its all time low. It may be time to cut bait and move on. He played like he did last year and that is not a good thing.

    As far as Claver goes, no he didn’t get the minutes but the few he did get he looked very tentative. I didn’t see the athleticism I had hoped to see. I see him as another Euro stash that may never make it over to the states. KP’s biggest weakness was his love of the Euro. So far he is 0 for 5, 6, 7?

    I think this game had more meaning for the Blazers than any game in some time and it didn’t work out for the best for us. It was kind of a microcosm of the off season. More build up than substance.

  • SJ

    I think Cho had to be patient with Rudy for a couple reasons. One, prior to Rudy’s agent going nuts I don’t think anyone had a clue the relationship between the Blazers and Rudy was anywhere near toxic. I’m assuming everyone believed worst-case scenario things could be resolved after a little hissy fit. Also, Cho is not going to back down on his first decision. I always thought Portland should be patient just because they didn’t have to make a deal, and on principle you rarely want to make a trade just to make a trade.

    The market for Rudy was already thin, and even without playing Rudy hurt himself with the comments. We’ll see how Rudy plays the rest of the way, still has a chance to redeem himself if you will.

    To Claver, it’s difficult to really judge him off 4 minutes. You say tentative and I’d agree to a certain extent. My thing is, he never really stood out to me, i.e. I honestly didn’t even know he got subbed out. I want to see more of him to give it a proper judgment, but for a first impression it wasn’t the best. Now with more time to show his skills we can all properly judge his abilities.

  • Randall

    They screwed up w/ Rudy. Bad. He’s been talking about it for how long? They were offered 1st-rd picks for him and passed. He got little PT last year (in his eyes), he’s basically guaranteed less this year, so he can’t even be showcased for other teams. Now they’re going to get squat, if anything. Holding out for a good deal makes sense, but you can wait too long.