Consequences of Change

Nate is stubborn. This is one of the top four statements of BE, along with Blake/Outlaw sucks and Roy's selfishness (good one). But is Nate really stubborn? Maybe in some ways, but this is not the same team from last year.  I would say there is four main changes from last year, A healthy Oden (last year really doesn't count), Webster, Batum's injury, and last but not least, Andre Miller.

I don't include Travis Outlaw's injury because it is still recent. Hopefully Cunningham can step up, I'm hoping this will help us become less reliant on one man shows in the 4th. I'm still going to miss that instant offense at times.

Greg Oden has quickly made it clear that he is just as important as Roy is to this team already (some might even more so). A defensive big man seems like he should be plug and play, but Oden is dominating just being on the court. To take true advantage of this the blazers, Blake and Roy especially, have to do something they've never had to do. Post pass. This will take some time to get used to (LMA doesnt really count), they are already starting to get some aspects of it, but I will be happy if they are fully comfortable by post season.

Batum and Webster go hand in hand. Webster is about as much plug as play as you can get, he is an excellent role player. He's stepped it up on the defensive end and, while inconsistent at the moment (rust), he's ready to go lights out at the drop of a hat. The problem is, Batum was our glue guy last year, those fast break swats got the crowd going like nothing else did. He is not easily replaced.

Andre Miller is the biggest change here, you can not insert a point guard of that much difference and not expect things to get a little mixed up. Andre and Steve are different in about every way possible, and those are our quarterbacks. In fact lets try that route.

Imagine this is a football team that loves to play run heavy, give our star running back the ball and let him work. Sure our quarterback isn't great, but he he has no problem handing off the ball and can put daggers into the other team with the occasional play action pass deep. He may not be the accurate pocket passer threat, but he was instrumental to the win total of the team last year.

The fan base doesn't like his lack of ability to control the game from the pocket and in the off season the team picks up a tried and true, veteran quarterback. He is very accurate, but doesn't throw the deep ball well. The team has a great supporting cast in his receivers, but they are used to the deep ball, and have problems adjusting to close routes.

Opposing defenses key on this lack of deep game to sag inside and put more people in the box which gives our star running back far more difficulty, not to mention having far less touches. Suddenly our fan base is calling our running back selfish for not being as efficient running routes and going away from his strength. The coach seems to be trying to getting the new quarterback integrated with the team but starts the inferior quarterback because he works with the team better. For this of course he is called stubborn.

Interesting problem our football team is having. This can go on and on, but while there is no doubt there is more talent on the team, it doesn't seem to mesh as well. Is it hard to imagine that there are games early on that this team cant seem to put it together, even on certain teams it should have beaten? The bottom line is that this team is still learning a new system and needs time to put it all together. Whether Miller starts or comes off the bench, the team will put it together, but there will always be bumps in the road.

I may have gone a touch off topic, back to Nate. This is a lot of change to go with, but Nate is stubborn right? I distinctly remember him saying that he would in fact like to run if he was comfortable with the point guard running it. but too much change all at once isn't good. That brings us to Blake (remember that other quarterback?). He is our time machine, our glue guy. Nate hopes when he is on the court the team can return to playing without over thinking the new system. Andre may be out playing Blake, but Nate doesn't look at it in an individual perspective. The greatest sum of parts doesn't necessarily create the greatest whole. To put in in layman's terms, Nate is trying to keep change in a gradual pace. He doesn't want to just turn into a running team, he want a hybrid team. He wants a team that can both run and slow the pace down when needed. And of course always be able to defend.

Nate will never be a coach that lays it all out to the public. We need to read between the lines rather than just yell START (insert any player not currently starting) and call for Nate to be fired. Believe in Nate, Believe in Roy and Believe in their connection. This team will get it done.

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