I have an affliction. It is something I have no explanation for, and I am wondering if anyone else is going through the same thing. The Blazers have been my team since I was 6-year-old. I was the annoying, precocious 9-year-old calling into the post-game radio show asking questions that the hosts did not know the answer to. Basketball is an addiction for me, and the Blazers are my drug. This new generation of Blazers is among the most likable teams I have ever followed. That is why I am so perplexed by why I can't seem to get interested in this season until Greg Oden returns. I like B-Roy, despite signs of a troubling new "me" attitude. I love Batum. I'm intrigued by Wesley Mathews. For some reason, though, all I want to see is Greg.
Interestingly, this didn't really start after his last injury. I got pissed every time Nate took him out of the lineup or he got in foul trouble. I was frustrated when anyone else shot the ball, even though it was so clear that he was not the best offensive option. My basketball mind knew better, but his potential drew me in. I realize this might be blasphemy here, but I would have taken a 45-win season where the team learned how to play with Greg that set them up for 60 this year, than a 50-win season with a playoff appearance. I'm not interested in winning a first round playoff series. I'm not interested in giving the Lakers a run for their money in the Western Conference Finals. I want a team that has the potential to win it all. It does not have to be this year, but the potential to reach those heights has to be visible.
The Roy quotes about an offense that runs through him, the Rudy dust-up, the plateau LaMarcus reached last season, the lack of potential for improvement with Andre, the injury to Joel, and the whole KP thing are all contributing factors. I admit that I don't believe this team can win a title without a contributing Greg Oden. Without him, I don't see that potential to reach unexpected heights. Is anyone else less enthusiastic for this season than they were for last? Are there any of you that can't bring yourself to completely care until you can see Greg on the court?
This is the first time I've posted in a long time, so apologies if this was covered elsewhere.