Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thinking Like the Blazers

Apparently, Oregonian columnist John Canzano is amongst the group that sees the renewed Durant talk coming from the Blazers as pure smokescreen.

You know the Blazers are going to pick Greg Oden with the No. 1 selection. So does your spouse. So do your children. So does the family dog. But if you ask the Blazers, they'll tell you they just aren't sure, and that there isn't a consensus. Nevermind that none of us believes them.

One NBA source explained Tuesday that Pritchard and Allen probably don't want to tip their hand because they love the national attention it's garnering them. A second source said the Blazers don't want to announce that they plan to select Oden because they're waiting to see if the Sonics love Durant so much they'd be willing to swap picks and sweeten Portland's fortune. A third source said it's just the Blazers being the Blazers.
Hate to disagree, but at least here in Seattle it doesn't seem like everyone knows the Blazers are going to pick Oden. A bunch of times yesterday, somebody - a co-worker, a friend, my grandfather - said to me, "I just have a feeling that Portland is going to take Durant."

Canzano goes on to link the city of Portland's excitement about the pick to Oden, not Durant, but I'm not sure I totally agree there either. The Oden or Durant poll on once swung almost entirely to Oden, but since Durant's workout last week, it's down to 69-31 in Oden's favor. That means there's been a lot of votes for Durant in the last week.

I made a point of asking Sonics GM Sam Presti during yesterday's availability whether the Sonics front office is trying to read the Blazers.

"It's crossed my mind a couple times," joked Presti, "but we can't spend all our time trying to figure out what they're going to do or what direction they're going to go in. We'll be prepared either way and we feel good about it."

Oden or Durant? I think we all feel pretty good about it.