jd 11.30: pitchfork reviews the blazers

Marcus Camby (7.4)

For a player with such an illustrious pedigree and fine NBA resume, Marcus remains remarkably underappreciated outside those fans who have followed his teams before he was unceremoniously dumped for some odd reason or another.  The second overall pick, former defensive player of the year, and perennially one of the best three rebounders in the league, his departure at the hands of some ungrateful and philistinian front office at the trade deadline has nonetheless been an annual event. 


Andre Miller (8.1--best new reissue)

The simplest way to a successful and rewarding career: Find something you love doing, then get paid to do it. Miller has figured out exactly what he was put on this earth to do--transforming the NBA--a young man's game, into his personal YMCA of off the backboard self-oops and outrageous up and unders. But while his rejuvenation of an awful Philly team proved his staying power and solidified his cred, there was a creeping worry that as long as Miller stuck with injury vampire, unable to shoot schtick, we'd be stuck having the same arguments for and against him over and over again. So, the question going into the 2010 season: In 2010, is a newly minted Dre fan someone who just simply hasn't heard of him before? Or is he capable of converting those still on the fence?

If there are still holdouts, the arguments against Miller are getting slimmer. This season is a reminder that, despite the number of young combo guards and gunners he now makes the indisputable argument that he is the archetypal pure point.

LaMarcus Aldridge (5.2)

Roybot has repeatedly called Aldridge her "favorite living hoopster" ("and not just cause he's fine as hell," she assured us). Roybot's taste in basketball is usually sound, and LaMarcus is talented. His taste for the sweet fallaway, fast break ally-oop and pick and pop jumper were instrumental in the team the Blazers were supposed to contend with,  and his fingerprints are visible all over the pleasantly surprising 2008-09 season. As a possible complement to Greg Oden, Aldridge's physical gifts and sweet jump shot make him a tantalizing proposition.

As a 65 million dollar man in the NBA, the 2010 season manages to render the jury still out. His 2010 playoffs, unassisted by his heretofore first banana, showed his decision-making in the block to be abysmal, his leadership questionable, and his offensive game outside his jump shot lacks the confidence required to lead an NBA offense.  It is hard to conceive of a more disappointing performance from such a talent given the game's greatest platform. The 2010 season, the sequel, is still a bumpy, but it tweaks his formula enough to at least hint at the promise Roybot sees in him, though the end product means the jury is still out.

Brandon Roy's Defense

NSFBE, apparently.

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