I've been a Blazer fan for a long time. And No, I don't think that makes my comments or observations anymore valid than anyone elses. But in all my years of following The Blazers I don't think at seasons end I've ever felt like this.
This is the first post season where I just don't know how to feel. There was plenty to be proud of this season, the way this team responded, hung in and remained competitive in the face of adversity. But at least initially, right now, it's hard to feel too good about a season that featured so much injury. The imagery of Oden and Przybilla is just too hard to erase.
Nothing ever seemed to get settled this season. It started with turmoil and injury with Batum being injured and then the "rough" assimilation of Andre Miller. But then it seemed all season just when you thought things were being cemented or settling down, there was another gear grinding change of gears. I guess in light of the massive amount of what seemed to be never ending adversity and change this team did amazingly well, but it got so bad at points that it was "almost" funny. When your coach get's injured, trying to fill in for players that are injured, what can you do? Then the post-season started with Brandon out.
I hope I can grow to appreciate this season more. But I'm also strangely worried about the foundation of the franchise. Another area where the illusion of stability suddenly became the reality of instability was management and ownership. Given the team adversity, we were also dealt the sudden Tom Penn/Kevin Pritchard story line. With what seemed a unified and functional Blazer management suddenly reverting to vague statements and covert acts of questionable agenda.
I'm leaving a lot out. So much happened. But I don't know if we are heading into a time of improvement and solidification or if we are about to witness a storm. In the wake of this past season, the only thing I'm relatively sure, is that I think this off-season is going to be huge as far as defining the direction and health of the franchise.
If it was an unsettled season, I'm hoping it's an off-season where some things get settled. There were many reasons why Phoenix beat us, but one of them was Phoenix was a team that was settled. Everyone knowing their roles. While Portland seemed forever in a state of adaptation, with enough depth to tantalize with the potential of success, but ultimately not enough to get us over the hump.