I’d never claim the Blazers’ beat is the sort of job where the stories write themselves, but for turmoil junkies, it certainly looks as though Jason Quick — today delivering the autopsy from Portland’s Friday night loss to Seattle — has a dream gig. From the Oregonian :
Zach Randolph had 13 points and three rebounds in 27 minutes and did not play after coach Nate McMillan took him out with 3:30 left in the third quarter. Randolph took off his sweat band as he headed toward the bench, tossing it into the stands, after which McMillan and Randolph exchanged a wordless stare.
“I felt like tonight he didn’t have it,” McMillan said, stone faced.
More than likely, McMillan was irritated with Randolph’s defense, which was more than a step slow against Sonics forward Chris Wilcox, a $2.8 million player who looked more worthy of a $10 million salary than Randolph on the way to 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
When asked why Randolph didn’t play for the final 15:30, McMillan said it was for defensive reasons.
“Our transition defense was slow in getting back, so I wanted to get some speed in there and see if we could contain the ball,” McMillan said.
Randolph, who emerged from the showers carefree and laughing, said he had no idea why he didn’t play after being removed.
“I ain’t got no feel for him,” Randolph said referring to McMillan. “What did he say? Did you ask him?”
When told McMillan felt he “didn’t have it,” Randolph had no comeback.
“If that what he says,” Randolph said. “I don’t know. I’m trying, he took me out of the game.”
Of course, John Nash still thinks blogs are responsible for the gloomy atmopshere surrounding his club.
Thursday’s ill-advised death-knell dish to Larry Hughes aside, it seems as though LeBron has the whole crunch-time thing sorted.