I know Portland hasn't made the playoffs yet, but it's looking more and more likely that there is no way that Phoenix and Dallas can catch them. So we're probably going to make the playoffs and be in at least the seventh slot.
I still don't see us as a championship team yet and I see us losing several games in the future. So, when we lose these games I'd really rather see constructive discussions than the usual criticisms of Nate, calls for a new point-guard and a new small forward.
We don't need a new coach. We don't need to make changes to our small forwards and our point guards are not losing games for us.
1. Nate is one of the reasons Portland is doing so well. He has been a fine coach and done some spectacular stuff with a very talented young team. After losses it may be easy to look back at a game and see what he did wrong, but he does so many thing's right it's amazing. He's got two 29 year old players having career seasons after nobody projected much for them. He's got 3 rookies making significant contributions to a play-off bound team. Instead of bombing 2 on 2 web-forums we should be launching a Coach of the Year campaign for Nate.
2. Small-forward is not an issue right now. Our projected starter has been out all season. Since the all-star break Travis has started a campaign to be included in 6th man of the year discussions and Batum has played better than all expectations and will definitely develop into a solid, if not allstar, NBA starter in the next few years.
3. Point guards are not losing the games for us. While point guard may be our weakest position, when Portland loses it normally can't be placed solely on the point-guards. When we've lost, it seems to come from inconsitent play from LMA or Roy coupled with no bench scoring from Travis and Rudy. It's normally on low-rebounding games and games when we settle for a lot of jump-shots. None of this is the point-guards fault. Sure we don't have the best defensive point guards in the league, but they aren't what's killing us. If that were the case we would have lost all our games vs. Utah, New Orleans(although we got one fluke win w/CP3 out), San Antonio, Phoenix and New Jersey. The quality of the opponent's point guard's offense has not been the determining factors in our losses.
This is a pre-emptive post. After the next loss when I see the normal handwringing I can link to post directly and save some breath. I'm not saying there aren't areas to improve, but let's focus on the important stuff.