Simple question: Who is This Year’s Most Irreplaceable Blazer
I don’t want to jinx us even talking about this subject, but… I seriously disagree that the premise in another post that any ONE injury would decimate this squad. Sure, some might be tougher than others to fill, but with our depth, I think we can withstand injuries better than other teams… OK, so think about it, and vote, or read my take after the jump.
Which Blazer would be most difficult to replace?
- Camby. Maybe the toughest to replace, his D rebounding and top of post passing is so critical. But no Camby means that Kurt Thomas gets more time, and he did well there last year, and I think he could reach 10 rpg if given 25 mpg. I’m happy with CJ as the second center. And, this would mean more time for LMA at 5, which, if paired with GW, Nico, Wes, and Ray… is a pretty good unit against anybody. More GW at 4, also OK.
- Aldridge. Yeah, OK, it’d be tough. But we demolished Utah without him, and it means more time for the Rhino, which would be fun! Crawford would have to get 35+ mpg to pick up the scoring slack, and GW would have to play more 4. This would lead to more time for Nico, who should also help pick up the scoring slack. And, who knows, maybe even Luke can play well with a regular shift or two.
- Crash. His energy might be the hardest thing to replace. But his absence would give Nico the starting job, 35 minutes, and 20 ppg… I’d be OK with that. And this would also clear time for the Rhino, which doesn’t hurt us too badly. And, we could also move Wes to the 3 for spot minutes against smaller 3’s,
- Felton. "Devastating"? Yeah, we’d have more turnovers, fewer lobs and assists, but.. Crawford starts at the 1, and we give some good time to Nolan, who’d be fine against 2nd string 2’s. Maybe Nico plays more at the "point" (for D), with Crawford at the 2 on D, 1 on O. Paired with GW, LMA, and Camby, that’s a L-O-N-G unit…
- Wes? I personally think Wes may be the most tradable player on the team (if is defined as good value at a reasonable price, and not "here, take our crap for your salary relief"). This would open up time for Nico, and more importantly, EW. I believe in EW, and want to see him play more. Love Wes’ D and hustle, and he is another streaky shooter you just feed when hot. But we could totally not miss a beat…
- Others? Personally, I find it difficult to make a winning argument about a bench player being the most difficult to replace, but if Crawford goes off like I think he can, I could see his ability to create being a key loss at the end of games. And Nic's versality on D makes me think that a guy like Nate would have him higher up here on the list...
Oh, and one last note? I just wanted to keep this about the players, so obviously while Nate keeping this ship afloat is critical, please just concentrate on the players for this poll.
So, personally? While I wouldn’t wish our recent injury history on anybody, I think this year’s team is very well suited to withstand the loss of one or even two players for the typical couple of week injury time span. After all, its much more common to have a player sit out a game or 3 than be lost for the season. For a short time, our guys can make do without anybody, IMO.