OK, that's not exactly what KP said (on The Fan Tuesday afternoon). What he said was that the one thing he took from the Blazers-Rockets playoff series was, "Let's get some toughness and some physicalness in here...We may need to go out into free agency and look at something like that."
Please excuse the "I told you so," but since my earliest comments & posts at BE back in '07, I've been saying EXACTLY that. In fact, I've often specifically cited the Houston Rockets as the type of team who would be able to exploit the Blazers' lack of toughness & physicality during a playoff series--when the intensity always ratchets up and the officials are forced to let a lot of contact go.
What I saw in the Rockets that the Blazers lacked was an abundance of "Maxsaps"--Millsap/ Maxiell type forwards off the bench who bring plenty of toughness and plain old muscle to the playoff fray. During the regular season, you can get away with fielding a trio of beanpole, jumpshooting power forwards like LMA, Trout, & Frye. Even during the playoffs, there's a place for a supremely talented finesse foward like LaMarcus. But you must balance him with some beef, because teams like the Rockets come at you with Maxsaps in waves.
Back when I was saying all this, a few agreed. But a lot more folks didn't see it. They felt that if the Blazers needed any added toughness, the addition of Greg Oden to the roster would fix it. I replied GO and Przy wouldn't be enough: that when the going got rough, those two would be like the little Dutch boy trying to hold back the waters with his finger in the dike. Having a big, tough center isn't enough when the refs swallow their whistles and the opponent has bruising forwards--and available fouls--up the ying yang.
My most controversial suggesting back then was that perhaps the fact that KP had been a point guard caused him to overlook the critical role that physical bigs play on championship teams. After all, the Blazers at that point were fielding four point guards (Jack, Sergio, Green, and Blake), without a Maxsap in sight. (Josh Roberts & Raef LaFrenz? Please!) I suggested this possiblity in a post entitled, "Where's the Beef," and convinced absolutely no one. Our genius GM might have a blind spot? Heresy!!
Well, perhaps KP's point guard background has had nothing whatsoever to do with his failure to field a more physical team up to this point. But judging from yesterday's comments, KP himself has come around to the view that the key missing ingredient on this talent-loaded young Blazer squad is toughness.
Brandon Bass, Big Baby?? I don't know who our Maxsap is going to be, but you can bet that the '09-'10 Blazers will be featuring a back-up forward (or two) who NO ONE is going to shove around. And that will pay big dividends in next season's playoffs.