I've just listened to a number of interviews and watched some video, from the blazers webpage, of the practice, and I'm amazed.
LaMarcus has received RAVE reviews. We just need him healthy.
Oden has been working on his play but it definitely sounds like he's behind the curve of expectations. It ALSO sounds like he's rapidly fixing that though. We have some great coaches working with him.
It also was said that Oden has a tendency to cruise on offense and pick up the intensity on defense. This is what I observed from him and something I was worried about with him and a reason I gave for wanting durant.
However, Bayno has teamed him up with Aldridge so that they practice together and the intensity improved.
All in all I was VERY happy to hear what I as hearing and to see what I saw.
I think Oden will be lower than mainstream expectations but surprise after the all star break. I think Aldridge is going to DOMINATE this next year and it's a matter of stamina as to how he finishes.
Webster sounds like he's doing well and the highlights showed some great plays and MOVEMENT. We'll see how he does.
Jake and Blake were showing laughing and joking together, which seems like a good sign.
It's only practice and they're only highlights, but I saw guys moving and passing the ball unlike ANYTHING I saw last year. Quick sharp ball movement and intense finishes.
I'm not ready to make my official prediction until the beginning of the season, and I want to see some preseason play... but... I may need to revise my 28-42ish area prediction. I thought 42 would be a major over achievement and I still lean that direction but... if those weren't just highlights but how the team is really playing together...
Wow... that is a serious team I saw. If that was real, that team will dominate all but the top tier teams.
We'll get a flavor in the preseason of whether that's real or not.
Short of it... I'm really freaking excited.