So we're an angsty lot waiting for the cake to come out of the oven. I think their are some bright spots and big questions worth airing that I haven't heard much discussion on lately.
1). Assistant Coaches: When they were announced we talked at length about the paltry NBA value of O's book, the inexperience of Buck, and the set of Bernie's ways. Since then I have heard little to no speculation concerning their influence on the Blazers. I believe they might be a significant factor in the team not firing on all cylinders yet. My understanding is that Assistant Coaches are the Sergeants of the brain trust hierarchy. They are the go-between for head coach and front office to individual players. When you integrate a new batch of ACs to the system you might be disrupting communication and causing more kinks to be ironed out.
On the plus side I really think that once the head forms this beer will be clear and potent. Bernie might be rough on the rookies but I believe he'll aid in picking up the tempo in practice and on court. We all have high hopes for Buck instilling his work ethic in LMA and GO and ther rest of the team. O could very well be saving his best know-how for job security.
2) Youth and injuries: Not only have we had terrible injuries to players in the last year+ but they are injuries to young players. While their bones may mend quickly due to youth there skills suffer setbacks and for all intents and purposes their games are put on hold just trying to recover. I clued into this when I was arguing that Batum should have been taught to back smaller players down and Billy Hoyle reminded me he only played 37 (?) games last season. His game was put on hold and when he and other injured young players are thrown back into the mix their confidence may not have mended as well as their bones.
On the plus side we are looking at having all but one of our heavy hitters in November and they will be able to grow their skills and confidence together as the team gels.
If these prove interesting I'll write more.