From Nate after the last game:
Well, I think it was, for me, it says, it's an old saying that it's amazing what you can do when no one cares who gets the credit. Ok, and I think early in the year we were concerned about minutes and rotation and shot attempts and combinations and this team is just playing. And they're playing free and they're playing guys whatever minutes they play with or get they're going out and they're making the most of it. They're rotating them in and they're executing down the stretch on both ends of the floor. I think you see a team now that's free as far as their thinking and how they're playing. They've been able to come up with some good wins."
The bottom line for me the past week is this: The Blazers (Brandon Roy+) are happy to be a 54 win, 1st round playoff team. Surround Brandon Roy with a bunch of guys who are just happy to be on the court. Make Brandon the central figure of the offense. And he'll be great. And the team will play together, "scrappy", inspired ball.
Give them the personelle to go further (a legit dominating center, a high caliber point guard, a deep supporting cast) and they self distruct with "concerns about minutes and rotations and shot attemps and combinations".
My initial reaction to each victory is euphoria, but it doesn't take long for that to fade and i'm left wondering... if we are this good playing without 6 rotation players, how good 'should' we have been with them? Why were we so much worse? What will prevent us from self destructing again as we add the pieces back (that will inevitably lead to the concerns mentioned above?)
I once heard a sportscaster say that you cannot underestimate the importance of having the right blend of experience on a team because older players know their roles. Juwan Howard won't complain playing 1 minute per game, even if it follows a period in which he plays 40. Maybe the "fix" is that we need a better mix of experience. We need to trade away some of our youth for comparibly talented seniority. Seniority that gives us more flexibility at the expense of future upside.
In any case, our recent play has been aggrevating because it makes me wonder what we should have been before.
What do y'all think?