It has become apparent to myself and my group of blazer fans that the team's recent struggles can be partially attributed to the loss of one T-Bo from Starkville. Prior to the season, losing him at the end of this season seemed a foregone conclusion (or mid-season trade) due to his expiring contract and relative youth/talent.
The fact of the matter is, since his injury, the blazers have pretty much stunk. Not that Travis is much of a defender/rebounder (sometimes you gotta wonder about his bball IQ), but his length/height and athleticism allow him to "cover" some of the more difficult matchups at the SF/PF position (guys like josh smith, michael beasley) who have been tearing into the blazers recently.
Mainly though, without his offense, the 2nd unit is stagnat and borderline terrible. Rudy can make a few plays with the ball in his hands, but he is best in transition or spotting up behind the arc. Miller can't shoot a jumper (so he is worthless unless penetrates and gets to the line/dish for a dunk), Pryz is only good for putbacks, Bayless is apparently not allowed to play (or not earning his minutes during practice) although he has shown signs of at least being aggressive on the floor. I gotta give Dante and Juwan credit, both guys have played hard and well above expectations (although Dante needs to start hitting that 15ft jumper that i know he can make), but neither offers what T-Bo can (maybe Dante in a few years). The Blazers need Travis, to matchup with certain players on defense, but primarily because his ability to create a makeable shot for himself is needed for the 2nd unit. Since he can hit a 3, use 1 dribble and hit a fadeaway, or throw down a dunk, when he gets going teams have to respect him and sag off the other guys on the floor, making it easier for others to get the ball in positions to score.
I guess I'm saying that I believe the Blazers NEED to resign Travis. He is (I believe) Brandon's best friend, a tall and athletic 3-4 with the ability to score and natural gifts to in theory become a good defender/rebounder. Watching the "offense" over the past few games has been offensive, and the defense is on par with the Wendy Williams show. So while T-Bo is only going to marginally improve the defense (at least matchup-wise), he would make a huge difference for our offensively challenged 2nd unit.
So what do you guys think?
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