The whispers coming into tonight were that Bayless would be seeing more minutes at the PG..."/> The whispers coming into tonight were that Bayless would be seeing more minutes at the PG..."/> The whispers coming into tonight were that Bayless would be seeing more minutes at the PG..."/>

NBA Summer League: Bayless at the point vs. Suns

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The whispers coming into tonight were that Bayless would be seeing more minutes at the PG. Perhaps Koponen would even be getting a rest. I do not put much stock into it. He’ll just end up bringing the ball, swinging it to someone, getting it back and doing what he has been doing all summer league. I don’t see him deferring to JR Pinnock and Bernard Robinson.

(And if you’re wondering why there is a picture of Dr. Cox…well Dan Majerle is coaching the Suns Summer League Team and he looks exactly like Dr. Cox. So hush it.)

7:10 We’re feedless (as usual) but the Blazers are off to a rough start. 0-for-6 from the field has led to the Suns being up 9-2.

7:13: Frustration is setting in. Coup “This is really starting to get on my nerves. We might have to work with the 30 minute delay on NBA.com”

Just as I was shuddering at that thought we got a feed and we’re in business. We missed whatever thrilling words Steve Kerr was saying about Robin ‘I promise I’m not Andre the Giant’ Lopez. Suns up 13-2 with 4:05 left in the 1st quarter. 1-for-10 from the field, Batum has 2 free throws. Bayless at the point sucks (kidding).

7:17: Bernard Robinson with a bucket but the Blazers are just getting dominated on the other end. Steve Kerr is droning on and on with that GM Speak that I’m immune to. And I’m talking immune like Will Smith was to that virus in I Am Legend. Or like he was immune to bullets for most of Hancock. Or how he was immune to funny in Men In Black 2. I actually can’t remember anything about that movie which actually lets me know a lot.

Coup: Steve Kerr sounds sick
Me: …sounds like he went out last night.
Coup: …or this morning.
Me: or this afternoon.

7:19: Koponen with a three as Sergio weeps somewhere in Spain and throws up some more bricks in an empty, dark gym. It’s my imagination, I’ll do with it what I please thank you very much.

7:21: Coup apparently heard actual words during Steve Kerr’s rant instead of the white noise I was hearing.

Coup :Um….Steve Kerr…Robin was not going third in the draft

He said that? Damn. I heard him say something about Anthony Randolph going #1 and immediately continued tuning him out.

7:22: These boring announcers love Steve Kerr a bit too much. They went on and on about how great of an announcer he was. You don’t hear that everyday. I think they bust out NBA Live 07 and some Vaseline before they go to bed but that’s just me.

7:23: 21-11 Phoenix at the end of 1. 4/19 shooting for the Blazers (icky)…Bayless played about 5 minutes and has zero points and zero free throws. Koponen has 4 points (2/7 shooting), Batum has 2 and Josh freakin’ Davis has a three. One of those days.

7:25: Josh Davis with another perimeter jumper. Josh Davis is heating up? Gotta love Vegas he must have a girl in the house today.

7:28: Bayless with a college three-ball. Only two these days mister. Can’t wait for that adjustment period to shake off because that college line makes it look impressive. During the season I’ll be like ‘WHAT??!?’. Coup likes the pullup though.

7:29: Coup “Whoever that was just pulled an MJ elbow to the chest on Jerryd…no-call”

7:32: Bayless at the point…so far it’s resulted in a lot of dribbling and shooting. Coup agrees. On the pick and roll the Suns are going under the screen and daring Bayless to shoot. Not letting him penetrate at all. It doesn’t help his cause that he’s not surrounded by great talent.

Coup “I wouldn’t blame him for not having much faith in his bigs.”

Yeah it’s going to be eons different when its LMA and Oden rolling to the basket instead of Maric and Josh Davis.

Coup: I think he’ll be able to penetrate no matter what, but I have at least some confidence in his midrange game.

7:34: Creepy cut to Terry Porter who was sitting by himself with his hand over his head not looking happy. Coup “What is TP doing?!?!” I don’t even think he knows. Maybe he and Kerr had a power hour earlier who knows.

Coup “He looks like he just walked in on something he didn’t want to see”

7:35: The Mountain Main Steven Hill with a foul. I swear everytime he is out there he either has gotten a block or a foul. Where is Kamla by the way can we vote him back in?

7:36: Coup: Big difference between TP in the fetal position in the corner and KP lounging with Nate covering four rows.

Maybe TP was trying to figure out how Michael Curry got the Pistons job instead of him. KP and Nate are on Cloud 9 right now.

7:37: Just as I’m about to write Bayless looks a little flat he hits a three pointer. And then chirps off to the referee about not getting a call.

Coup: Might’ve been the first baseline shot I’ve see him take.

Throwing this out there…I hate Bayless’ mad face. It rubs me the wrong way I don’t know what it is about it. Just makes me furious.

Coup: It’s a little too middle school pouty.

7:39: Blazers have cut the lead to 31-23 with a little over 3 minutes left in the first half. Bayless and Koponen are a combined 4-18 but each have 5. They look a bit fatigued…wouldn’t blame them they’ve been carrying the load all week.

7:40: Bayless with a foot on the line two. Showing the jumper, taking what the defense is giving him I have no problem with that. He literally had to take that shot the D was about a million miles off of him.

Coup still doesn’t like his release and thinks it needs to be 50% quicker.

7:43: How pissed was Dale Ellis that his son turned out to be a big man instead of someone he could teach to shoot? What a waste.

7:44: The Mountain Man with another foul, this time fouling Robin Lopez. The announcer calls him Brook. Holy crap they need to be beaten up by someone’s posse ASAP.

Coup: Too bad we can’t make ‘Robin better value than Brook’ jokes since it was only 5 picks difference.

What we can make do is Andre the Giant jokes and a lot of them.

7:45: Batum with one of those random layups that he has been getting from being in the right place at the right time. I guess I should give him props for that. He’s…..so French.

7:46: The majority of Finland’s shots have looked good and have been good shots but they are all short. 40-28 Phoenix with 2.7 seconds left in the first half.

More insanity from the announcers now they are talking about Amare.

Coup: I don’t get that “Amare…never wanted to guard center” There’s like 5 centers in the league.

That and Amare can’t guard anything.

7:49: Bayless knocks down two free throws and then Phoenix goes for a full court pass….that bounces out of bounds. SUMMER LEAGUE BASKETBALL!!! Blazers get to draw up a play that more than likely won’t work and will only serve to make Monty Williams feel better about himself.

7:50: Koponen ends up with a wide open shot that goes in and out. Suns up 40-30 at the half. Lopez has 6 and 5 (1/5 shooting), Alondo Tucker has 13. Bayless has 9, Koponen has 5 and Batum has 6. The big story is the offensive struggles for the Blazers. 28.9% shooting from the floor.

Coup: Sonics fans must hate it when the media just assumes they will become Blazer fans. I can feel their bitterness.

I hate that with a passion. Why does everyone just assume that people will forget the rivalry and just like the Blazers because they are close? If anything they will more than likely be the first to jump on
the ‘I hate the Blazers’ bandwagon thanks to the combination of losing their team and our annoying bandwagon fans. And yes we have them.

7:55: The most unbelievable piece on the Lopez Twins is going on right now. Really. No other words for it. We’ve heard extended speech from them for minutes.

Coup: We know their older brother is black..and Chad Ford likes black one-strap backpacks.

And that’s just a piece of it. Numerous pictures of the Twins growing up, them talking, Chris Wallace. Literally Coup said their older brother looked like Steve McNair. And he does. Came out of nowhere. Just classic. You need to go see it. The Lopez Twins need to be followed by a camera at all times during their career. Every interaction between Shaq and Robin Lopez needs to be filmed. Get on it Stern.

Coup: Is Chris Wallace George Bush’s cousin? I mean that’s too easy but seriously he looks like a politician.

I was shocked that’s what Chris Wallace looks like but that explains the Pau and Mayo trades. He looks like a southern politician or a used car salesman. He could be related to Colonel Sanders. I want to thank NBA TV for putting that together. From the bottom of my heart that made up for replacing Kamla and Snapper with mindless clones.

Coup (as the second half begins) By the way this is the first time I looked at the score.

8:03: Bayless comes off a screen ala Reggie (sorry Rip), curled and nailed another jumper. Followed that up with a pull-up two. Deep. Showing off the jumper…this is good. Once he adjusts he’ll keep his foot off the line.

Coup: Bayless having a retro-Marcus Banks game
Me: *angry look*

Coup: With what we’ve seen of him I actually like it.

I’m still mad you called him Marcus Banks.

8:04: THE MOUNTAIN MAN SCORES! I’m really mad that he didn’t scream. Speaking of screaming, Bayless did as he threw down a one-hand jam. Spud Webb-ish. And yes I only said that because they kind of look a like.

8:06: Crowd is feeling the Blazer comeback and Bayless is feeling it period. He’s made 5 of his last 6 shots. This time another pull-up, again feet on the line but he’ll get over it. Phoenix calls time out and the crowd is cheering. Blazers cut the lead to 45-42 with 6:02 left in the third.

8:08: Koponen’s beautiful outlet pass to…uh…someone gets negated as Robin Lopez blocks it before it can’t touch the backboard. Volleyball style. Insert your own Andre the Giant joke.

8:09: THE MOUNTAIN MAN SCORES!!! Again no scream after his left hand scoop.

8:11: Off topic…..My mom just gave me her review of Brokeback Mountain. “Cowboys used to do sheep and now they do each other? I don’t get it.” No words.

8:13: The announcers draw my ire by saying the Blazers need a veteran. No we don’t. Coup is also sick of hearing that.

Coup: Nate just made the point, the experience comes from coaching first.

Brandon Roy is as mature as they come this isn’t the Clippers of the early 2000’s people.

8:14: Diana Taurasi gets her face time on an ‘Expect Great’ commercial. It’s about time the WNBA started doing those for their best and most marketable players. Coup agrees saying much better. Speakng of the WNBA that Outdoor Game was horrendous. And I like to defend the WNBA. First off there was no cool visual. The Hockey game was great because of the snow. That basketball game just looked like a regular game at a different arena. And then the team choices were bad. The Liberty and Fever, no “big” names and neither team is entertaining at all. Any WNBA showcase game has to have Taurasi, Sue Bird, Becky Hammon or Candace Parker in it. Period.

8:19: The game is tied at 50. I muted the announcers. They were just driving me to the brink of insanity. I think Nate is still talking…I really feel at this point he’s tired of talking.

Coup: How much new can they say anymore?

Not much. I’ve heard it all at least a million times it’s making my ears bleed. I almost miss everyone making fun of us because they didn’t keep saying the same things over and over again.

SIKE!

8:22: We don’t know whose on the court.

Me: Who the hell is in the game right now?
Coup: I can’t tell.

I see the Mountain Man and the scrappy PG with the Troy Hudson dreads. He shall be called Troy Hudson Jr for the remainder of his time on the court. He’s about a year too late, last year Nate might have fallen in love and put him on the roster before trading him for a Grand Slam at Denny’s.

8:24: Bayless checks back in to take the last shot. He passes the shot off and ummm….we miss. 55-52 Suns at the end of 3. Bayless went off in the third and has 19. Finland is MIA, seems flat with only 5 points on 2/13 shooting. Batum meanwhile is indeed still French.

8:25: NBA TV runs the Team USA Road to Redemption commercial back to back times. Ok…WE GET IT! Stop. It.

Coup: I’m pretty sure most of those guys don’t feel like they need to redeem themselves.

8:26: The two announcers are clearly trying to stay on the NBA TV payroll with their third mention of NBA League Pass in 10 minutes. Ok. WE GET IT! It’s awesome.

8:27: THE MOUNTAIN MAN DIVES! Saves the ball. Get that man some flannel.

8:28: Bayless comes off a pick, drives on Lopez and then hesitates and goes by him. Lopez got shook out of his boots. He of course missed the layup because in Summer League you can’t cross or shake someone and score too.

Coup: MJ vs. the Knicks?
Me: BLASPHEMY!!!!!!
Coup: Ok, ok….Dwayne Wade lite.
Me: Ok.

8:29: Bayless nails a three-ball…..Coup says too much dribbling. JR Pinnock with a breakaway dunk as the announcers continue their man-crush on him. It’s getting scary. By the way the Blazers are actually up 3 with 7:44 left in the game.

8:30: Batum gets called for a foul and shoots the referee one of those Euro looks. He’s so freakin’ French.

8:31: Robin Lopez dribbles past Maric, spins and almost dunks it for the and one. In other news, Alexs Maric’ professional career is on life support as he just let Robin Lopez dribble by him.

8:32: Maric gets a rebound and goes for a dunk but Lopez blocks it. Someone else fouled but ladies and gentlemen, Robin Lopez owns Maric’s soul. It’s official.

8:35: By the way they showed Brian Wheeler on camera. Oh boy. Let’s just say he looked less like he should have been at a Summer League game and more like he should have been on a ‘To Catch a Predator’ episode of Dateline. I went there.

8:37: Coup: Bayless with a strong rebound. Don’t have any insight on that but a strong rebound.

I got nothing either. Bayless hits a stepback fadeaway over DJ Strawberry to put the Blazers up 1 as Troy Hudson Jr. commits a foul on the other end. And yes I was just trying to fit another Troy Hudson Jr. comment in. Sue me.

8:38: THE MOUNTAIN MAN BLOCKS! THE MOUNTAIN BLOCKS AGAIN! AHHHHHHHH!!

Coup: Hill making the roster?? Ok maybe not. But he’s looking like a bearded Pryzbilla. Who by the way needs some facial hair.

Big Joel is as nasty as they come…give him some facial hair and he’d get 4 fouls for just checking in the game.

8:40: Batum with the ultimate Frenchie moment. He snags a big rebound. Yes. He goes back up for a putback…it hits the backboard and nothing else. Unreal. So French.

Speaking of The Mountain Man Steven Hill…he should either go do MMA or we should hire him to be the next Hippie. Just like we should hire Jemele Hill to be the next Dancing Lady. And you’d have to be Blazer fan to get that one.

8:44: Marcus Vinicius gets an and-one and then the Blazers turn it over on an inbound and DJ Strawberry gets an and-one. Except he misses the free throw. Koponen penetrates and finds Bayless in the corner who hits a three. 69-66 Suns wi
th 1:46 left.

8:45: Bernard Robinson takes a pullup jumper. Oh. No. What are you doing?!?! Just out there shooting a David Robinson looking jumper. Sheesh.

Coup: Robinson don’t do that.

8:46: Of course Batum decides now of all times to be aggressive and take a pullup jumper. Back rim, Phoenix rebounds and calls timeout. Way to go Batum. You already know what he is. Also kudos to Dan Majerle for being the coach and not saying anything for half the huddle. So smooth. I hated him growing up but he’s the man now.

8:48: Somewhere there was a technical foul and Bayless hits the technical free throw. Then he penetrates and finishes….count the bucket and one over Robin Lopez. The announcer calls him Brook again. Ugh.

Coup: It’s Summer League but I like how Bayless tries to split the defenders every time he sees daylight. Not easy to teach that I’d imagine.

8:50: Troy Hudson Jr. fouled DJ Strawberry who nailed both free throws to put the Suns up 3.

8:51: Bayless spins off Strawberry and scores. But then he screams ‘And 1’. CUT THAT OUT. Gosh that’s so annoying. Biggest pet peeve. Literally anyone under the age of 21 does that.

Strawberry then poops his pants and gets an 8 second count. Bayless tries to go one on one, loses the ball. Claps for it back but Koponen attacks. He finds Bayless who hits a floater. Blazers up 74-73.

8:53: Jumpball with 1 second left…Suns get it but Tucker takes a dribble and tries to shoot. Blazers win.

Coup: Nice cheer for Summer League.

Bayless high-fives the fans behind the Blazer bench. He had himself a game. 36 points, 14/26 shooting. 11 for 13 in the second half. He can score people. Tonight he showed off his perimeter game.

Coup: Nothing really needs to be explained about Jerryd, he brought the whole package tonight and was the sole reason we won. Finland had a few nice passes but was invisible for large portions of the game, which is at least better than visibly turning the ball over a lot *cough cough* Jarrett Jack. Batum is being aggressive, but the rawness of his talent really came through. He needs to find consistency in his movements…especially with footwork.

Watching tonight…oh boy. You can’t help but smile.

Coup: Put it this way…if fatigue is set to max so starters can’t play much more than 35 minutes, we should have the best team in NBA 2K9.

And I cannot wait for that. Half of my hatred for Jarrett Jack came from his video game performance in NBA 2K8. Although it is going to bug me watching everyone just jump around and try to be the Blazers. If I could I would go Cherry Darling on all of the bandwagong fans.

Coup: You should have to enter your social security number and area code to do that like retro NBA Jam.

Over on TrueHoop, Maurice Brooks had the following to say:

“There is no need to have a vote for MVP tomorrow because Bayless clinched it with his performance tonight.”

Enough said.