This next season is probably the biggest season for this group of Trail Blazers. Of course, you could say that about each of the last 3 seasons. As a life long Blazer fan I've had my doubts about this team. When I saw them lose in the first round to the Rockets it was clear to me that they weren't as good as I thought they were. Maybe that had to do with Greg Oden not being able to stay on the floor, Travis Outlaw and Rudy Fernandez completely disappearing, or Nic Batum being only a rookie and being ineffective. I guess my point is, it was that groups first time in the playoffs. We all had our hopes high that year and we ended up disappointed.
Last season was the most fired up I'd been about a season in quite some time. It was the year that Portland was going to be a top 3 team in the west. They were going to make it to the Western Conference Finals at least. Greg Oden was going to silence the critics who say that the Blazers should have taken Kevin Durant, Brandon Roy was going to be an MVP candidate, LaMarcus Aldridge was going to be an all star, Nic Batum was going to have a breakout season, and Outlaw and Rudy were going to light it up off the bench and one of them was going to be the NBA's 6th man of the year. Batum unfortunately starts out the season injured, Rudy isn't what we thought he'd be, and Outlaw gets injured early in the year.
After we knew the severity of the Outlaw injury and we knew that Batum was going to be out for a while it didn't matter. Greg Oden was playing the best basketball of his career. He couldn't be stopped. He was confident, dominant, and despite the fact that he was still getting screwed over by the refs he was probably the best player on the Blazers in the first quarter of the season. So all the injuries were covered up by the play of Oden. Then, Aaron Brooks drives and goes for a layup, Oden jumps and the next thing we know he's rolling around on the ground holding his knee. Honestly when I was watching it live I thought it was Martell Webster who went down. I don't know why but I did. When I realized it was Greg Oden I got really quiet and sat there in disbelief. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?!?!?!
We all know how last season went. All the injuries, it was horrible. I remember watching the Blazers play at LA against the Lakers late in the season and beat them without Brandon Roy. I felt good about that win. When they went in to the playoffs I believed that they could beat Phoenix. Though they didn't, I felt good about the team at the end of the season as most Trail Blazer fans did.
As the summer winds down I've heard all the rumors and all the opinions of Blazer fans. I was as mad about the KP firing as anyone else was. It didn't make sense to me. But in a way it's a good thing because the new GM doesn't have the attachment to the players that KP did. Now Rudy is going to be moved a year later than he should have been but still at least it's going to get done. But here's the thing people...
THIS TEAM WON 50 GAMES LAST YEAR!!!!!!
People are saying they'd trade Brandon Roy for Chris Paul.... Why? I get that Paul is a better player than Roy but you'd still be in the same situation you're in. One star. Trading Roy for Paul won't make the Blazers the best team in the west. They'd still be from that 2 to 6 range which isn't bad. But Paul for Roy doesn't make them a championship contender.
If the Blazers could get one season with everyone completely healthy think about how sweet that would be. If Oden could play anywhere from 60 to 75 games, Aldridge is the all star caliber player we thought he'd be, and Brandon Roy's knee is okay then you're looking at a 55 to 60 win team.
Last season was the worst it could get right? There's no way it could happen again is there? Oden can't get hurt again. There's no way! I'm looking forward to the Blazers being a force this season. LOOK OUT LA!!!!