They're whispering about microfracture with Spencer Hawes. Suddenly, I'm not very hungry. In fact, I'm nauseous. In fact, I'm going to throw up.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim is out pretty much the entire preseason and probably beyond. Kenny Thomas is limping, though Reggie Theus thinks K-9 (woof!) is just tired. Our frontcourt just went from "clogged" to "in the game for Mikki Moore, #55 Adam Parada."
Honestly, it's not that bad. If Brad Miller and Mikki Moore and Justin Williams and Ron Artest are healthy, we have an OK front line. Add Kenny Thomas, and we still have an OK front line. It doesn't help clearing out contracts, because... well, Shareef is one of the contracts which would be primed for clearing: His post moves are still (fairly) revered; his contract is not atrocious if he can give you 25 minutes a night. Right now, he can't and his value is slip slip slipping away.
As for the #10 pick in the draft? I feel terrible for him. Not to project, but he looked incredibly sullen on Monday. He shared the shortest chats with nominal team mates, he sat by himself while waiting for stations to open, he talked with a rehearsed script about his goals ("playing time" was #1) and what he'd learn playing behind Brad (passing, of course, and running an offense) and who he modeled his game after (Hakeem, Duncan -- guys with excellent footwork). He doesn't seem like a smiley guy in general, but he played cracked his grimace the entire time I was around him. And if you know me, you know I spent almost all my time observing Hawes, Miller and the Big Three.
It was hard enough for me to face the world at age 19, and I'd just moved across town with some friends. Spencer's been shipped 800 miles away, living out of crates in a town he doesn't know with pressure we can't imagine to not only perform now but exceed expectations now. We shed a tear for Greg Oden -- he's a hero in Portland and will be until he assaults a nanny. Spencer? We didn't exactly embrace him here, did we? For all the pressure I know he's put on himself, we (the collective fan base beyond StR) have added heaps. Hey it's fair -- he's the one making a few million this year regardless of how many minutes he plays. But if we can relieve any of that pressure to let him know it's OK, we don't blame him for being injured, we'll wait until his body's ready to perform? Then we should.
I don't think Spencer will be at the Tuesday game -- he'll probably be in Seattle, ironically. But if he is, or they mention him over the PA system: Scream your f*cking head off. Let's support this kid. Let's make him a King.