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Step away from the Trail Blazers, people. It’s about to blow.

Mar 4, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

Minnesota Timberwolves v Portland Trail Blazers

On another website, in the fourth week of the season, I had the Trail Blazers as the fifth best team in the league in an edition of the power rankings. They looked  awesome. I use that word a lot, but in the Blazers’ case, it was true. They played some of the best ball by any team this season in those early weeks. Gerald Wallace was doing everything, LaMarcus Aldridge was still LMA, Jamal Crawford was fitting in, the defense was superb, they were getting out and running.

That’s all over.

The smoke is coming from Camp Rose Garden and emergency services are on the way. It’s bad. Really bad.

After the Timberwolves, a fine team but by no means a dominant squad, walked into Portland and demolished the Blazers, scoring 122 points in their building, the Oregonian reports that the whole locker room nearly detonated.

Said one veteran: “You could spend a day in this locker room and you’d figure it out. Some guys really care. Others just want the season to be over.”

Who wants to win? Who wants to stay? Let’s make it simple: Can we please see a show of hands?

There are some hardworking players who still want to win. And there are loyal fans who want to see victories because they pay premium prices for tickets. And all of this is being undermined by a snickering, pouting, hollowed-out corner of the locker room that wants nothing more than to play out the final 29 games of this shortened season, collect a paycheck, and then, go on a vacation.

Joel Przybilla was ticked after the game, and bee-lined to the locker room from the bench like a guy thinking, “I came back … FOR THIS?!?” Gerald Wallace was so angry that he slammed over a large recycling bin in the arena tunnel, out of sight of fans, spilling paper and plastics that had to be picked up by some poor guest services guy in a red vest. Jamal Crawford sat by his locker, with a blank expression, and said, “It gets old.”

via Canzano: For some Trail Blazers, it’s time to cut bait and go elsewhere | OregonLive.com.

But the most concerning part was this quote from head coach Nate MacMillan, a tough coach who played many years in this league and knows as much about this game as anyone. He’s commanded a responsive, deep, strong locker room for years. Now, on why he doesn’t get a hold on things:

“If I lose it, I lose the whole thing,” McMillan said.

via Canzano: For some Trail Blazers, it’s time to cut bait and go elsewhere | OregonLive.com.

The coach can’t correct things because if he does, he’s afraid things will spiral out of control. That’s one of the worst signs you can find for a team. It’s one thing fro some of the players to have problems, another for the coach to be unable to rein it in lest the whole thing spiral out of control. He’s basically powerless in that situation. McMillan is likely fired. The Blazers, who looked so good just a few weeks ago, look so lost, and the organization seems to be on the verge of major roster and organizational change.

Such a good start that’s gone so terribly, terribly wrong.

The scavengers are going to come calling. Wesley Matthews. Jamal Crawford. Raymond Felton, to a degree. Gerald Wallace. The whole roster outside of LaMarcus Aldridge and, inexplicably, Nicolas Batum (who is a great player but could probably return a yield greater than his actual value at this point due to trade value perception) is essentially going to be up for grabs for the right deal. Chad Buchanan wasn’t really hired, he was placed in the position, the Blazers’ third GM in as many years. He’ll have to see if he can improve the team, stabilize things, or detonate the whole operation if so ordered.

Hang on, Blazers fans. It may get worse before it gets better.

  1. jmclarkent - Mar 4, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    They have some parts, I agree with the philosophy above. Everyone except for LA and Bantum (though I’d still listen to offers for either, you never know…) are available.

  2. stillbleedingblue - Mar 4, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    The best part, Crawford turned the Pacers down for the Blazers. Hahaha!

  3. zaktmt - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Crawford denied the Wolves and the Pacers to be on the Trailblazers. Hahaha good choice.

  4. sellahh - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    This is the team that played Dallas as good as anybody last year. They have a bad stretch. That’s it. You media are making a whole lot of something out of nothing, but that’s your job. But you people on the other hand should know better than to believe everything you read. They’ll figure it out and they’ll be in the playoffs and they won’t be a team you want to have a first round date with.

  5. goforthanddie - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Well, someone’s going to get a fine new coach next season, hopefully Portland will too. I just hope they don’t go taking on more payroll before the deadline thinking they have a shot this season.

  6. redbullenergydrink - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    “After the Timberwolves, a fine team but by no means a dominant squad, walked into Portland and demolished the Blazers, scoring 122 points in their building, the Oregonian reports that the whole locker room nearly detonated.”

    Don’t underestimate the Wolves, Mike. You’re making the same mistake the Blazers did Saturday night.

    • raidmagic - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      Or Matt…

      • redbullenergydrink - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:04 PM

        Yes, Matt.

    • SOSB - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:57 PM

      “He called them fine but by no means a dominant team”. they are 19-19, which is 16th out of 30 record-wise. How on earth is that underestimating them?

      • redbullenergydrink - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:11 PM

        SOSB, how dare you underestimate the MIGHTY Wolves?!

  7. Justin - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    It has begun… already hearing rumors about Jamal Crawford to the Wolves, Clipper, and some others…

    http://minnesporta.com/2012/03/04/timberwolves-pushing-to-acquire-jamal-crawford/

  8. glink123 - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Why can’t you just say Ray Felton and Marcus Camby are lazy pieces of dog crap?

    • profootballwalk - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:41 PM

      Agreed? what’s the point of calling out anonymous players, when you name the players it’s NOT?

  9. greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 5, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Batum will be a Timberwolf next season.

  10. 00maltliquor - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Wow, what happend to these guys? This team is talented and deep, I wonder who the guys just mailing it in are.

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