I've been following the Sergio v Bayless trials and the Agony of Outlaw issues as closely as anyone. I happen to be of the camp that likes what Sergio brings and sort of wishes Outlaw got traded for something steadier.
I have a different take, though. Instead of bickering about minutes and potential and points and assists and (foolishly) discussing the racial aspect of "basketball IQ", I've charted out a rather disturbing trend over tonight's game against Charlotte and the 10 games prior.
The Trailblazers have lost 10 of the last 11 quarters. They have lost virtually every first quarter that they've played in.
|Date||Differential||1st Qtr Total|
This is staggering really. I think this qualifies as a trend. Very, very obviously the Blazers are struggling mightily in the first quarter.
I think there are a couple of different reasons:
- It could be that Sergio really is better for the Blazers than anything else.
- It could be that Joel is that much better tha Oden and Oden's presence is hindering the first quarter.
- Outlaw really is way better than Batum... Batum's presence is hurting us in the first quarter.
And whatever else people can come up with. But it is very interesting to me that with Oden and Batum on the floor, Portland seems to be getting routinely spanked. With Rudy, Joel, and Outlaw on the floor (I'm thinking 4th quarter minutes here), Portland seems to be faring better. Someone is making up these points somewhere else.
I think there are enough terrifying implications in the first quarter trend to worry Bayless Enthusiast, Sergio Defenders, Oden Apologists, Swooning Over Rudy Women, and Batum Optimists. This is bad no matter what way you look at it.
This is, I suppose, what is worrying KP and Nate at these times.
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