Oh man, am I discouraged! I’m not disappointed with the effort or the choices of the team in any way, but I’ve never been more discouraged with the Blazers’ outlook—both the short and long-term. Brandon’s knee just doesn’t look good in terms of durability. Whatever is actually going on inside that knee, it can’t allow him to make a consistent impact in even the first 20 games. What a dismal feeling that’s got to be for Brandon and the team as they consider 82 games of what may be the most miserable season in recent years.
And Oden!?! Oh, Oden! What a depressing career this guy is having. I hold NOTHING against him, but what a ridiculous string of awful luck for both knees. All the pressures of #1 and he goes microfracture season #1. All the pressures of #1 and his comeback bid destroyed by the patella hand grenade early in season #2. All the pressures of #1 pick, a comeback bid destroyed in season #2, Durant attaining superstar status and now inexplicable microfracture needed on the other knee for season #3. Adios, Oden! See you—maybe--in Season #4, if we ever see you again at all. I’m still not for trading him; never have been; but I now admit that I don’t have a clue what we should do with him. I guess it’s good we didn’t re-up his contract so we can see what the market offers him and have the chance to match it, but the future chemistry is just ugly in Portland at this point. We all love comebacks, but three?!? I’m afraid his days on the court are over—all before they ever truly started. If I were Oden’s agent I’d just as likely tell him to start over in a new place than tell him to stay in Portland. I’ve always said, “This guy will come back and will surprise people and will contribute at least like most low first-rounders do. He might even shock people and find his groove.” But now, I am just discouraged and can’t claim any wisdom of what I’d do if I were Cho. The future has never looked more bleak—even in the JailBlazer days, since we didn’t have high expectations (only frustrations) for those guys anyway.
The last four-ish years in Rip City have been an incredible crucible of hope and “about-to-explode” excitement constantly cut at the knees (most of the time, literally) by injury, injury, more injury and then some injuries. I fear this season will be a huge step backward in terms of wins and it will test the morale more than ever of McMillan (will he want a contract extension or head to South Beach?) and all the star players who have been waiting in the wings for the injuries to finally cease and the “greater things” to come to Rip City. Oh, boy. I’m discouraged and see no light—only tunnel in the future!
I’m afraid the silver lining may truly be faded to gray and reduced to the cartilage and ligaments in the four Oden and Roy knees. I’ve been amazed with the perseverance and overachieving results of the past two seasons, but this one looks really grim to me. I’m afraid that losing badly through this season, winning what we can in the lottery and then rebuilding seems the most logical way. But what a depressing way—to have to rebuild when you so fully rebuilt with Aldridge, Roy and Oden yet never got more than a first round playoff loss out of that wholesale rebuild. Ouch. It’s time for true Blazers to hang in there, but I fear the 'hanging in' will be without any playoff excitement for perhaps several long years.
I’m usually the optimist in life, but this one zaps it all for me. If there were ever a time for some miracles, it would be now for the Blazers. I just don’t see it.