HEAD COACH NATE MCMILLAN: Nate McMillan is in his fourth
year as the Trail Blazers’ head coach, coming off a season in which he
posted 41 wins, a nine-game improvement from the season prior and
Portland’s first season of .500 or better since 2003-04 … McMillan has
bettered the Trail Blazers by 20 wins since his first year in Portland,
averaging a 10-game improvement each season … Among the 23
head coaches to reach the 300-win plateau during the last 20 seasons
(1988-2008), only Jeff Van Gundy (42 years, 320 days on 12/04/04)
and Mike Fratello (42 years, 312 days on 1/02/90) hit the milestone at
a younger age than Nate McMillan (43 years, 225 days on 3/15/08).
ROY POW-ER: Brandon Roy was named Western Conference
Player of the Week on Dec. 1 for his performance during Portland’s
four-game winning streak from Nov. 24-30 … The NBA All-Star averaged
20.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists while shooting 50.8%
(30-for-59) from the field … Roy has received the honor three times
now, all in December, after being named in consecutive weeks last
season (Dec. 9 and Dec. 16) … Clyde Drexler is the only other Trail
Blazer in franchise history to win the award more than twice.
HEAD START: Portland is 15-10 after 25 games, the best record for
a Trail Blazers team 25 games into the season since starting 17-8 in
2000-2001 … Sixteen of Portland’s first 24 games this season were
contested away from the Rose City … The 1988 Lakers were the last
team to face more road contests (17) in the first 24 games … Fifteen
games have matched Portland with playoff teams from 2007-08 …
Eleven of those 15 games were played on the road … Twenty-four of
the Trail Blazers’ first 35 opponents made the playoffs last year.
30-30-30: Brandon Roy netted a career-high 38 points and added
a game-high nine assists in a double-overtime loss to the Clippers
on Dec. 12 … He has posted 30-plus points in three consecutive
games, the only three games of 30 or more points by a Trail Blazer
this season … Roy is the first Trail Blazer to reach the 30-point mark
in three straight games since Zach Randolph, who accomplished
the feat from Nov. 6-10, 2006 … Roy has scored 20-plus points
in more than two-thirds of Portland’s games this year (17) … The
third-year player has notched at least a share of the scoring lead
for Portland in 17 contests and the assists high in 11 games.
20-20-20-20: LaMarcus Aldridge has netted 20-plus points in four
straight contests for the first time in 2008-09 … The third-year forward
out of Texas now has eight games of 20 points or more on the year.
ODEN-ODEN: Greg Oden notched his team-leading eighth doubledouble
of the season Dec. 12 vs. the Clippers with 15 points and 15
rebounds … His 15 boards is a career high … He has led Portland
in rebounding a team-best 11 times … Every game Oden has
grabbed 10 rebounds or more, he has added at least 10 points …
Oden has only reached double fi gures in scoring only once without
notching 10-plus rebounds.
CLOSE AT HOME: Six of Portland’s nine home games have been
decided by four points or less, or overtime (Portland is 4-2).
WORKING OVERTIME: Four Trail Blazers saw a career-high in
minutes in Portland’s double-overtime loss to the L.A. Clippers on
Dec. 12 (Aldridge, 54; Roy, 53; Oden, 42; Fernandez, 38) … The
Trail Blazers are now 1-1 in extra time this season after fi nishing
last year with a 5-2 mark.
THIRD ONE DOWN: Portland’s 120-112 double-overtime loss to
the L.A. Clippers marks the team’s first three-game losing streak
of the season.
SLEEPLESS INSIGNIFICANCE: The Trail Blazers are 4-3 in the
second games of back-to-backs this season … Portland fi nished
the 2007-08 season with a 12-7 record in such contests.
BLAZING TRAILS: Despite falling to Utah, 97-88, in Salt Lake
City, Portland has won eight of its last 13 road contests and four
of the past six … The Trail Blazers didn’t reach eight road wins in
2007-08 until Jan. 21 … The last time Portland had a .500 record
or better in its first 16 road games was 2002-03 (9-7).
CLOSE CALLS: Orlando’s one-point win on Dec. 9 marked Portland’s
first defeat of three points of less this season … The Trail
Blazers had won all four games decided by three or fewer points
this year after going 10-2 in such close contests in 2007-08 …
Portland also snapped its streak of winning eight such games in
a row, dating back to last year … The Trail Blazers are 25-10 in
games decided by three points or less since the beginning of the