Let me get this out of the way. Knock on wood. Salt over the shoulder. And whatever other hex breakers you might think of. I know, I know, we're only 5 games into the season, but I am starting to get the sneaking suspicion that the Blazers might have a bit of an aura about them this season. Who would have thought Armon would come in a be this good this soon? And LMA showing a sudden aggressiveness and energy that his game has lacked for the first 4 seasons? Brandon Roy is healthy and seems happy. If Matthews has anything, he's got passion. And all is quiet on the injured center front, which is only good news if you ask me.I have a sneaking suspicion both Joel and Greg will come back and really contribute before this year is done.
Perhaps most importantly, this team is starting to smile again like it did 2-3 years ago when the guys were just a bunch of young buddies who didn't know any better. Some may pooh-pooh team chemistry, but last season it seemed like the pendulum swung too far, too business-like. There is definitely a place for that "taking care of business" attitude, but it seemed like the joy of the game had been sucked away as well. I don't know if it was the injuries or what, but the team seemed heavy--as if it were carrying a giant weight around all year. And the fanbase seemed to hold its collective breath, expecting greatness far too soon. In some ways I think the injuries of last year are a metaphor of the Blazers crumbling under the pressure of too high expectations. This year the fans seem to have a healthy curiosity about the team, rather than a do-or-die expectation.
All of these things point to the good if you ask me. We have some tough tests coming up in the form of the Thunder, L@kers, Hornets, Jazz, Nuggets, and Grizz. I am excited to see how we stack up, but not worried at all because I know Joel and Greg will give us a boost late in the year. This team is already good, but not as good as it will be at the end of the year. A fortune-teller I am not, but I am starting to believe there could be something special brewing for us this year.