It was a startling performance from a group that even had McMillan chuckling to himself before the game, saying he could never imagine at the beginning of the season sending a starting unit out on the floor that included Raef LaFrentz at power forward and Jamaal Magloire at center.Odd that the coach is laughing at his own moves.
It turned out well though, because Portland beat the Northwest Division Champions 94-89 without its leading scorer Zach Randolph and rookie standout Lamarcus Aldridge. Stellar games from Travis Outlaw (his 25 points kept the team in it for 3 quarters) and Brandon Roy (29 points overall and 25 in the second half) led the team to victory. It was the best game I've attended all season, even if the dizzy bat bastard didn't win free McDonald's Value meals for a year for my section.
Let's get back to Raef Lafrentz though. Some have called him one of the most overpaid athletes in the NBA and they probably are correct. The guy makes $11 million per year and barely plays. In the five games I've attended he's only seen mop-up duty in maybe two games. In fact, he's only played in 19 games this season, averaging 9 minutes a game. Part of that is injury issues from the beginning of the season and the other part is getting experience for Lamarcus Aldridge or showcasing tradebait Jamaal Magloire (who the team never traded...BOO!).
Anyway, in the little bit of game time I've seen of him, Lafrentz has looked solid...not $11 million solid...but solid. He hustles and plays defense and even has a decent outside shot. And by all accounts, it appears he's been a good teammate and role model for the younger Blazers. So, maybe Lafrentz should stick around. Next season Magloire will be gone, leaving Joel Pryzbilla and Aldridge as the remaining big men. Lafrentz should get more PT then and earn more of his salary.