As a Blazer fan, I'm disappointed, I'm upset, and I'm pissed off. I was so excited about this season as well as any other Blazer fan. But everything that could go wrong has gone wrong this season. This was suppose to be the year where the Blazers established themselves as a power in the west. This was the year they were suppose to show that they can challenge the Lakers, Nuggets, and Spurs for the western conference championship.
Though I am disappointed about what has happened this season there are some positives about all these guys going down. The obvious one is that it opens the door for new faces to get some significant minutes such as Jerryd Bayless, Dante Cunningham, and when they're healthy Jeff Pendergraph and Patty Mills. These guys wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to play if all the Blazers were healthy. Clearly I'd give anything to have Batum, Outlaw, and Oden back this season but Oden is clearly not going to happen, Outlaw probably won't come back, and Batum might and that is something to look forward to. But if both Outlaw and Batum come back this season then I think the Blazers will be in good shape for a late season run to maybe push for the 6th seed in the west depending on if they trade some of their young pieces for a really solid player who can fit in right away. But DON'T trade Andre Miller.
Now to the positive that some fans may not realize. I think the Blazers will end up with the 8 seed at worst, the 6th seed at best and that's only if what I just said happens. But if the Blazers end up with the 8 they'll most likely play the Lakers. That would be great experience for the Blazers. Though I do think playoff experience is the most overrated thing in all of sports. At the end of the day basketball is basketball. But if the Blazers played the Lakers in a 1 Vs 8 match up the Blazers would gain experience on how to play the Lakers in a 7 game series and how to beat them. I don't think the Lakers would sweep Portland in a 1-8 match up. It would probably go 6 games. But the Blazers would get some very good experience against a team that will probably be the best team in the west for the next 2 to 4 years.
If the Blazers get the 7 they could play a team like Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, or maybe even San Antonio. All of those teams the Blazers will probably have to see in the playoffs for the next 4 seasons to get to the finals. Maybe not the Suns but who knows. Though Greg won't get any experience out of this the Blazers core players Aldridge and Roy will. The experience the Blazers got against Houston last season was good but I doubt that they're going to see Houston in the playoffs that much in the next couple years. As much as Yao is praised he's an injury prone guy and the only reason he's not talked about like Oden is because he's made the all star team every season and has shown that he's a very good big man. Oden will get there when he comes back. When McGrady comes back he won't be near the player he once was. The Rockets won't be a team you'll have to worry about. But the teams you could potentially face in a 1-8 or 2-7 or even a 3-6 match up will be great experience for the Blazers and they'll come in next year focused and ready to go.