Good Evening Blazers Edge Readers:
These past few days have been a wild roller coaster ride of emotions, deflated expectations, and realization of a worst case scenario. During this time many of us, including myself have dealt with shock, denial, depression and anger, I even found myself saying mean things and personal attacks on my Blazer Brothers and Sisters for which I sincerely apologize.
But after taking some time to reflect, I have found that at minimum, there are a couple of things we can be really happy about:
1. There is only one way to go from here and that is up:
We lost B-Roy forever,Greg for possibly ANOTHER season, and LaMonster had to have heart surgery (granted it was minor, but it is different than having a tooth pulled). You know what I say? Good lets get it out of the way, Me and my children don't have to remember Brandon the way that I remember Ali and Holyfield, Old , beat up, and unable to compete. There is something to be said about leaving with your Honor intact . Also, we are the Blazers , were not the Front runners that throw a fit when EVERYTHING doesn't go our way (Fakers), our Identity as long as I have been around is enjoying being the team that everybody cheers against and doesn't believe in (76ers, Lakers, Pistons, Lakers, Bulls, Spurs, Lakers) so I for one feel very comfortable starting off the season knowing what we are up against.
2. I feel really good about this team as is:
I have been hearing a lot of talk about blowing up our team back to the dark ages as if that is some kind of strategy but I am not aware of anytime that an Indianapolis style , tank the season and sacrifice our coach for the gamble known as a draft pick has ever paid off (okay, I remember when San Antonio Kept out the Admiral when he was healthy and lost on purpose and got Duncan but that is the exception) plain and simple, it takes a loser to lose on purpose, competitors fight to the end like Jack Bauer regardless of the odds (sorta like the American Revolution).
Looking at our team, which is the team that gave the world champions their toughest challenge, it only seems that we have gotten better regardless of injuries (Which we do not have to adjust to on the fly) So I am going to go down the major players on the Roster and you tell me what you think.
Raymond Felton: Coming off career year, definite east all star without the politics , which is what kept him out, playing on contract year, good defender,good 3pt shooter. Upgrade over Miller in my humble opinion.
W. Matthews: Best FA signing in the League last year, good defender, Great shooter when open, good possibility he could improve this year now that his role is clearly defined.
N. Batum: Although I am not one of the fans that Compare him to one of the 50 greatest players in history (Pippen) I am very impressed with his ability to defend positions 1-4 when needed and his willingness to adjust to whatever role he is needed in, From what I have been reading he has worked on his game this summer and even though he was playing against Euroscrubs which is probably like playing against D2 college players over here, Learning how to dominate people and developing assertiveness can only compliment his all around game.
G. Wallace: Former All Star, All NBA defender, can guard 2-4, confident enforcer like attitude. I Expect him to return to All-Star status this year now that he has a clearly defined role, and having a true Goon like Kaptain Kurt is only to boost Wallace's assertiveness.
LaMonster: 2nd best 4 in the conference behind Dirk, looking to take over that number 1 spot this year, if not next, it is only a matter of time. Can you believe Toronto took Bargnani over LaMonster? that is insane.
Kaptain Kurt: True Old school enforcer, one of 2 men on the Team who played against coach, The Gold Standard in Ruggedness, Durability, and accountability. He just keeps on truckin, you know every night you are getting 100% with good position defense, A+ defensive communication and leadership and proud enforcer of the Maurice Lucas No Layup Rule. This guy makes his 6fouls count every night, I look for him to be one of the League leaders in Flagrant fouls this year And between him and Crash, they will provide a level of interior intimidation we have not seen around here in a while.
Cambyman: Former Defensive player of the year, Multiple All NBA defensive selection, like Kurt he is a great defensive communicator and Leader, great passer for his position and feared shotblocker. I believe Thomas will start at the 5 which will alow Camby to come of the bench as a defensive stopper which will help address some of his durability issues.
I will let you tell me what you think about our bench as it appears to be a bit of a wildcard at this point, we have an obvious shortage of Ball handling and 3 point shooting off the bench, but if I assume Camby and Batum will be our first players off the bench we have a solid 6 man rotation at 2-5 on this team
I fully expect this team to win the division this year and be in the WCF, and IF we can get Big Greg back for the playoffs it is a very strong possibility that we can win the title this year in my humble opinion. I would add that backup ball handling and 3pt shooting is the easiest commodity to get in this League so we should be in good shape with some minor moves or signings. Please let me know your opinions and any information on our bench players that may be useful.
Thank you for your time,