This Blazers team reminds me of other .500 teams.
The 1978-79 Blazers without Bill Walton.
The 1994-95 Bulls without MJ.
The 2005-2006 Lakers without Shaq.
Notice the similarity? Those teams were powerhouses when they had all their star players. Without them, they were mediocre, losing as many games as they won.
The Blazers are built around Greg Oden. They won't be great until GO joins the team at the earliest, and maybe not until he gets a year or two of experience.
Not to mention the rest of the team is very young and needs more seasoning.
The important point is that these Blazers have established a baseline level of play without GO; that is, they are already a .500 team or better without him. They have a solid foundation upon which GO, Rudy, and the mysterious free agent that Kevin Pritchard hints that he is targeting in 2009 can be added.
That's why I'm satisfied with the current team, even though they've been losing more than they're winning lately. I know they will take a quantum leap into elite status within the next two seasons, and possibly as early as next season, depending on what GO is getting out of his benchside game analysis.
I believe no trades are needed right now. We don't need to make the playoffs this season, though the experience would be invaluable. Keep our young guys, give them more time to develop their skills, and then they'll be better players we can keep or valuable players to trade when the right time comes over the next two seasons.
The Blazers have 16 games remaining against teams that currently have worse records than their own 28-23 record. If they go 13-3 against that motley crew and lose every one of the other 15 games, they'll finish 41-41. Who among us, back in October, would not have been thrilled with that record? Some of you, I know.
So let's hear it: are you satisfied with the Blazers finishing at .500 this season or do you want KP to make a trade now to get them into the playoffs?