FanPost

I don't care who starts, or who finishes, I love this team...

I realize that our chances of a championship are not very high, this year. And that our "bigs", such as they now are, aren't very big. Nonetheless, I like our diverse mix of players and their good character. And, in the big picture, our bigs are plenty "big", when we get them back (hopefully for the beginning of next year, if not sooner).

I previously went off on the whole Andre Miller thing, but I was wrong. I hope he stays in Portland and brings us his great skill set for years to come. Shying away from the whole celebrity thing certainly doesn't make him a bad person, and he's shown nothing but a willingness to give his all on the floor. Besides, if nothing else, this rash of injuries we've suffered has proven (to me anyway) that we can't have too much depth. Some say we have "a glut" of guards, but it seems to me that we are but an injury or two from our "glut" becoming, "Quick, we need to trade for a point guard!"

From the beginning, my impression of Kevin Pritchard's vision for this team is that he wants to let these guys grow together, over years, not months–much the way the Blazers of the late 80s/early 90s were allowed to grow together. I recently saw some interview clip of Clyde talking about how that team, for the most part, was together something like 7 years before they had the great success we came to know. If only we had gotten Sabonis (All Hail, Arvydas!) when we drafted him, we might have been too much for even Jordan's Bulls, we might have been the dynasty. And if I'm not mistaken, this long-time "growing together" was the case also for the Bulls of that era, to boot.

The success we seek will not come immediately, but must be built up. I like watching this team grow and learn–to the point that I find myself not all that disappointed when we lose starters to injury, because I know that it will allow players like Bayless to get significant and meaningful minutes. Really, how much floor time would Jeff Pendergraph and Dante Cunningham have gotten this early in their careers had our starters not been injured? (Not that I like seeing guys get injured, but I do like the opportunities it has given our new guys.)

I'm sure some will point to the Celtics as an example of a team that didn't need a lot of time to gel, but "the big three" on the Celtics were never a long-term solution. They were more like a "let's get a championship NOW solution." They're not looking so much like championship material, this year. And they didn't repeat last year, let alone threepeat, this year.

So, I've come to appreciate our adversity–knowing that it will make us stronger–and I have become patient with this team. I've found that not having HUGE immediate expectations for our young team has allowed me to enjoy watching them even though I don't expect a long run in the playoffs. And should we play beyond our years, come playoff time, all the better–just icing on the cake. YAHOO!!

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