Alright, full disclosure, I'm not into basketball too much. I grew up playing soccer and its hard to see a ball coming at me and not think GET YOU HANDS OUT OF THE WAY AND KICK IT, so I'm a really terrible basketball player too.
Living in Portland for a few years, though, has made me a die hard Blazer Fan. I love our team and have become interested in the NBA for the first time in my life. Honestly, if you ask me about a player on another team (unless its Kobe or Lebron for example) I'll have no idea who you're talking about. That said, I watched some tape of games from the last couple of seasons and I'm convinced that we are one of the best teams in the league. Click on to read my analysis of our team going into this season.
Last year was a nightmare scenario. Regardless, no excuses, lets get 50 wins and 6th seed and push the Suns to 6 games. The next series went 4-0 in favor of the Suns so lets give our hurrah to our crippled team of yester-season.
Lets focus on the now:
Exhibit A: Brandon Roy - The only nice thing I have ever heard Kobe say about somebody is about this guy right here. Very few people in the league are on this guys level. If Brandon were on a worse team he would score more per game. He alone could carry a team to a decent record, maybe get himself and his team into a playoff position but by himself would not make a championship team.
Exhibit B: Aldridge. Yes, thats it. There are a lot of teams who would sign Aldridge for a max contract and build a team around him. The only reason that he isn't a all star is that he is surrounded by very talented players and he is willing to play a secondary role in the offense because the Blazers win more games that way.
Exhibit C: Batum: I had to get my basketball fix by watching France in the FIBA World Cup and he is developing into a multi-faceted player who can put it on the deck, create confusion, get his own shot or pass to the open man. He really led the French team in that series (especially impressive is his performance against Canada where he scored 24 points to lead his team to a victory when no other French player scored more than 8 points).
Exhibit D: Miller. Do I have to say more? OK, watch this clip from last year. Lets rely on this guy! Really, he is very very good. Especially with Roy's handling skills. Very few backcourt pairs can penetrate into the paint like this combo.
Exhibit E: Camby is the man! I really like this guy. He knows how to work any kind of system and totally rocks while doing it, way to tip the loose ball to someone open. Woop!
Exhibit F: The Bench. Look at these guys. No. Really. Look. At. Them.
Lets discuss this, first of all Matthews is a great addition to the bench. Great shooting and great defense. I expect to see him contribute as a 6th man on the defensive side. Especially when battling the Miami Thrice. In him and Batum we might be the most equipped to handle the 3 Kings among the other west coast teams. Then we have Bayless who is super quick and getting better. You may not love him but look around the league and see who is the backup point guard in Golden State this year. Bayless might not be your dream player but he is getting pretty good for a backup point. Then you have Cunningham who is one of my own personal favorites, great hustle and an under-rated shooter (I hear that he is going to open up his trey shot this year, if so, power to him). Then you have Fernandez who may or may not be a factor this year but I think that once the season is underway he WILL want to compete.
Exhibit G: By the time the playoffs happen it is very likely that we will either have Pryz and Camby or, and consider this as an alternative fantasy, Oden as a healthy center in the playoffs. Either is fine with me. Without bringing up our centers I have already laid the groundwork for a good time. Lets do it!
Lets go Blazers!