It's been apparent for some time that the Blazers just aren't physical enough. They got pounded on the boards last season, and they've since lost two of the most physical players from that team--Zach and Ime. Even apart from rebounding, the Blazers just get pushed around a lot. In today's Oregonian, Nate acknowledged the problem. But the question is: can anything be done about it, or are we doomed to a sub-30-win season?
As Nate mentioned, the plan was for this team to get out and run. But you can't run if you can't rebound. You also can't run if you can't force turnovers, and that also requires physical toughness (as well as speed). Even next year, when Oden comes aboard, physicality will be a problem for this team unless changes are made. Travis Outlaw is just not a power forward, and wishing won't make it otherwise. And while Frye is bigger than Travis, he's too soft and too slow. Even with Travis playing the three, the Blazers are in trouble on the boards. Neither he nor Martell is a strong rebounder (although Martell is showing some improvement in that area.)
During the recent homestand, the Blazers' glaring physical shortcomings were obscured by their all-out hustle. But in the course of an 82-game season--with half of those contests on the road--your weaknesses will come to light. And the Blazers now stand exposed at the "96-pound weaklings" they are.
I'm a big KP fan, but I suspect that, as a former point guard, he may have had a blind spot concerning the need for rebounding and general physicality. Unloading Zach was necessary, and Ukoka's agent made resigning him unworkable. But effectively replacing those guys with Frye and James Jones made a bad problem much worse. This could get really ugly. (Some might say it all ready is.)
You could argue that this is a learning season, and that the Blazers should just stand pat and fix the "beef problem" next year. But what does getting pummelled night in and night out do for a team's learning curve? I'd suggest that it could badly damage morale, and even lead to injuries to the "Big 2."
So I feel KP and Paul Allen need to bite the bullet and try to unload Frye, Jones, and others in order to bring in at least one big, strong, fast guy who can rebound and defend (not necessarily score). Is that do-able? Is that advisable? What do you think?