Kleeman’s Jump Hook: Portland’s Juwan Howard Is NBA’s Biggest Surprise

January 6th, 2010 by Robert Kleeman Leave a reply »
When The Oregonian first reported the Portland Trail Blazers would audition Juwan Howard to serve as a backup to LaMarcus Aldridge, I admit I chuckled a bit.

You mean, the 14-year veteran who averaged four points and a rebound for the Denver Nuggets and Charlotte Bobcats in 42 games last year? That Juwan Howard?

GM Kevin Pritchard was serious then. Now, the joke is on me and everyone else who thought the starter-turned journeyman's time had passed.

No one could have predicted the absurd rash of injuries that have befallen the crippled Blazers.

"Rise with us?" The team's new slogan should be, "Just call the ambulance."

In a season where Nate McMillan hoped his squad would build on a 54-win campaign and a first-round exit, taking many foes to school, he and most of his roster have instead been taken to the hospital.

The Blazers are so banged up that Pritchard signed two players through a hardship exemption, just so his coach could activate more than eight healthy bodies.

Portland reached the point of catastrophe long ago and left it in the dust.

Ailments have sidelined everyone from the ...

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