I think we are still a better team than last year(yes I heard about Oden). I am trying to compare last years starter and backup players to this years projected starters and backups. This is how I see it breaking down:
06-07 lineup 07-08 lineup(projected)
1.Jack vs. 1.Jack (upgrade) Jack will improve upon last year, he could be a big surprise
2.Roy vs. 2.Roy (upgrade) I think Roy will be MUCH better this year, expect him to lift the pressure off Mr. Oden with his fabulous play.
3.Ime vs. 3.Travis (even) Travis brings better rebounding and scoring, but Ime brought better defense and the 3 ball.
4.Zach vs. 4.LMA (downgrade/even) LMA probably wont bring 23 and 10, but defense and team chemistry will definitely improve.
5.Joel vs. 5. Joel (upgrade) Joel was a non-factor last year, I hope/expect that he can contribute a little more, possibly a lot more.
1.Sergio vs. 1.Blake (upgrade) and I think a very important one. Point guard play was very sketchy last year, we will have much better players at the point this year.
2.Webster vs. 2.Webster (upgrade) Webster will be a better player this year than last, perhaps a breakout guy.
3.Travis vs. 3.Jones (even) defense is about even with a slight edge to Jones, Scoring and rebounding should be about the same with a slight edge to outlaw.
4.LMA vs. 4.Frye (upgrade) LMA was hurt and only put up 9 and 5 last year, Frye can do better than that.
5.Magloire vs. 5.Raef (downgrade) Mags was fairly important last year. I hope and think that a healthy Raef can be a factor, but to be safe I will assume he wont be.
- Dickau vs. 1. Sergio (upgrade) Dickau played ok, but Sergio can change a game when he is feeling good.
- Dixon/Jones vs. 2. Green (even) Green probably wont get much time, but neither did Fred Jones and when he did get time, he was very unimpressive.
- Miles vs. 3. Miles (even/upgrade) Probably wont be a factor, but anything he could give us would be an upgrade.
- Raef vs. 4. McRoberts (even/upgrade) Raef played 27 games and averaged 3.5pts and 2.5rbs. I think Josh can match or beat that, most likely beat it.
- Gingerbreadman vs. 5. Oden (even) Come on. Oden has more of presence and impact while sitting on the bench with crutches
Now here is a very important part, we have guys that could be surprises this year and tip the scales. Just look at Outlaw, Jack, Blake, Webster, Jones, Frye, or even Joel, Mcroberts, and Miles(left out LMA because I expect him to take a big step forward). I don't see any of these guys taking steps back on last year, and they could all easily take big steps forward.
So what do you think? Am I anywhere close? Please feel free to dismantle my argument in any way you like, I want to accurately gauge how our lineup will look without Greg Oden. My opinion is that we are still better than last year, and with a couple nice surprises, we could be in a playoff race come March and April