I already touched on this subject once when I mentioned the name of our championship-caliber PG Stevio Blakeriguez, but I think it's worth examining in greater detail.
In a lot of ways, the Blazers are a team of the future. They are young, full of potential, and seemingly have years of dominance ahead of them. But just as importantly, I think the structure and makeup of this team is also an example of where the league is headed. As we've seen the NBA develop in the post-MJ era, we've seen how it takes more than one superstar to win a title. The Lakers needed Shaq AND Kobe, the Pistons needed Sheed, Billups AND Co., the Spurs need Duncan, Parker and Ginobili, and the Celtics needed their "Big Three." The Blazers have continued this trend with our own (hopefully) version of a Big Three, but I think we are also taking it a step farther.
This team (with a few notable exceptions) seems to rely on multiple players to fill the individual positions on the team. We use the combined powers of Blake and Sergio to satisfy the point guard duties (with a dose of Brandon, as necessary). We use GregZilla to man the center spot. We use Batum, Outlaw and (soon) Martell to fill the 3 spot, and LaMa gets key help from Outlaw and Frye to add some scoring punch to the 4. Apart from Brandon, and possibly LaMa, this team doesn't have any one player that really gives us everything we need by themselves. And even though many of us clamor for trades to give us the all-in-one-package PG/Small Forward/etc. the truth is that the Blazers' depth is moving us beyond that sort of setup.
This team is all about diversification. We're not putting our eggs in one basket. If Blake is getting torched and is cold from distance, Sergio can hit the occasional 3 and push the pick and roll more. When LaMa loses his stroke or can't rebound, let Frye or Outlaw spread the defense more. Martell can run and shoot, but if he's cold, so can Batum (and Rudy and Travis). Having one guy that can do all of these things is great, but when that one guy is off, who picks up the slack?
With this team, we're spreading the minutes enough that full-time starters are a thing of the past. Guys might start and then not come back in. Bench players might play more than starters. It's a new NBA, and that requires a new way to win. I think this Blazers team is going to win multiple titles, and in doing so, they are creating the blueprint for NBA success for other teams.
Let's just hope we stay healthy and get ours before other teams get wise.