Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE
NBA Preseason 2012-2013, Game 8:
Portland Trail Blazers (4-3) @ Portland Trail Blazers (3-3)
Player Focus: Paul Millsap
Did the Portland Team Shaman cast a hex on Sap after we matched the offer sheet a few seasons back? I'm only asking because he hasn't really shown up against them in recent memory. Well, it seems like he hasn't shown up in any of the preseason games this season either. I'd love for that to stop as soon as possible though, as he's the most complete player on our roster. He's a near All-Star. And he does a little of everything.
Every year he gets better and adds something to his game. I'm still struggling to see what it has been this season though. I can give him a pass though for not showing up in the preseason right after his grandmother passed away. For what it is worth, in 22 MPG in the preseason so far he's still averaging 8.8 ppg and 7.2 rpg . . . and 1.6 spg. So the three things he did well last season continue to be things that he's not sucking at. (Per 36 mins it's 14.4, 11.8, and 2.6)
He hasn't looked very good shooting the ball though, having had games where he shot 3/8 and 3/9. He's also shooting 55.6 ft% this season. He was one of the few guys who was reliably making face up jumpers last year from midrange and inwards. He's going to need to find that soon because he's our only hope for a really "strech-kinda" bigman. (Unless Marvin Williams is converted into a running 4 vs. certain teams for matchup reasons...)
STILL. THOUGH. We need Millsap to start playing like the almost-All-Star that he is. He needs to play more like a man-sap. Especially if he's going up against freakin Joel Freeland or whomever. No disrespect to all the skinny bigs on the Portland Trail Blazers bench -- but Millsap SHOULD eat your lunch. The fact that he did not last game is not because you guys did anything right. He's been in a funk all preseason.
I'm going to try and see if Sap shows something this game. Otherwise, I may have to expect him to turn it on for the regular season after sleep walking through the last month of basketball somehow? I don't know if Millsap has a switch like that. He's like a coal fire. It's a slow burn, but when it starts it doesn't cool off for a long time. We haven't seen any fire from him so far.