As we continue to ramp up towards a new season I don't mind telling you I'm pretty excited. This season offers more potential good feelings than we've seen since the beginning of the 2000-01 season. Being pragmatic for a moment, however, I wonder how much there is to worry about. Sure, it seems like things should go in fantastic fashion, but are there any hidden pitfalls just waiting for us to stumble into them? That is the question of the day.
My biggest concern is probably the topic Iverigma posted about so aptly below: the offense. Despite being efficient, the Blazers could use a little shot in the arm offensively. I'm not sure they got it. There's also potential for some rough patches integrating Andre Miller and Greg Oden. Greg is not new, of course, but he'll feel more pressure to remain on the floor this season which pretty much mandates a larger offensive role. Miller, Oden, and Aldridge may prove the difference-makers this season. How quickly and consistently that happens will be one of the main stories of the year. It's not like the offense will fall apart. As long as you have competent backcourt players that's not going to happen, and Portland surely does. But you could well see a lack of cohesiveness and some pronounced stuttering, both of which will result in the ball getting dumped to Brandon Roy. That's not a bad option but the point of the season is to progress towards juggernaut status. That's not going to happen unless all cylinders are firing.
A lesser worry I have is the potential of players to grow unhappy. I am worried about Rudy Fernandez. It wouldn't surprise me to see issues this year. That's not because I think he's more prone to divisiveness than other players. It's mostly because of his talent, position, and expectations. I don't think this will hurt the team much on the court, but it could become a chronic itch. I also worry a little about Outlaw and Webster. One or the other of those guys isn't going to be happy.
The good news is that these worries are relatively minor and certainly speculative compared to those which preceded past seasons. Prior to this it was easy to come up with 3-4 limitations the team would have each year...serious limitations which would inhibit their progress. This year they can go pretty much as far as they're committed to with the caveat that surviving a complete playoff run is still beyond them at this point. Until they hit the elite of the conference later in the playoffs the only thing that can truly stop the Blazers is themselves.
So what are your potential worries or concerns for the season? Enumerate and discuss below.