I think we can generally agree that the PTB organization has found a workable core in Brandon, LMA and Big O. They're young, gifted, smart and talented. I like it and you should too.
In looking at any group of factors, it's often easier to analyze it by way of comparison. Giving the core a new nickname, so to speak, isn't just my attempt at being hip or funny. I'd probably be wide of the mark if I tried for that reason alone. My intent in comparing this group to something outside themselves is to remove the personal aspects which can get dicey.My first thought was Rock, Scissors, Paper. This has a lot of problems. For one, Roshambeau is all about conflict (they work against each other) so I quickly "scrapped" the idea.
My second thought was Earth, Wind & Fire. Because I truly get off on late 70's R&B, this immediately resonated with me. Secondly, there are three distinct elements. All three have strengths and weaknesses, and they're generally complementary. So here I go.
- Earth is the rock. Steady, balanced. It is what supports us. Without Earth we're left suspended in vast emptiness. In Jewish folklore, Earth is embodied in the Golem. Per Wikipedia, "The word golem literally means "rock.".... Having a golem servant was seen as the ultimate symbol of wisdom and holiness...". The only answer to the earth is to try to rise above it, but what comes up must come down.
- Wind is motion. Ride on the wind and you fly. Run and gun. It knocks you down, blows you over. You just need to hunker down and wait for the wind to subside. In our big three, Lamarcus Aldridge clearly is and always has been our wind. When Lamarcus is going strong the other team just better get out of the way and wait until he's done.
- Fire is the most dangerous and volatile of the three elements. It can do the most damage. It causes the most fear. It's also the one element which obviously has weaknesses. A small flame can be doused with ease, but a raging fire is the most destructive thing on earth. Here's where it gets interesting.
The only element which has a clearly defined actor is Wind. Last season, Brandon Roy served played two roles. Brandon was the Earth and also the Fire. We relied upon him, he was our rock. He got hot and was impossible to stop. He got cold and we all got doused.
I submit for your consideration that Brandon is inclined to be the flame, but he must be the rock. As the most purely talented athlete on the team, with a freakish knowledge of the court, he has what it takes to be the guy who we can always count on. By his very nature he's rock steady. He doesn't get riled up. He's methodical. He's the Natural.
For the Blazers to reach full potential, Brandon has to relinquish the flame. Greg has such ridiculous amounts of strength you may think he should be the rock. But we gets into foul trouble and has to leave the game. Even without fouls he gets tired quicker and has limited minutes. The damage he inflicts has to be strong and lethal. When he walks onto the court the other team has to quake in fear.
Again, fire is the one element which can be attacked. When preparing for our big 3, let the opposing team focus on Greg, try to put him out. We want them to approach us and say, "Brandon is going to get his. We can't stop him." That makes him all-NBA. That's the same game approach we have to use with Bryant, CP3 and James. Let them focus on Greg, deal with Brandon, while LMA runs circles around them.
What's your analogy for the Blazers and what does it teach us?