FanPost

Which Blazers Will be Helped/Hurt by the Lockout?


Besides annoying the crap out of every good fan, the lockout affects more than just rich people's pocketbooks.

There are the Shawn Kemps of the world, coming to camp hugely overweight and out of shape. The injured players given more time to recover, but forced to do so without help from the team. The young players who miss valuable opportunities for growth.

Here is a summary of which Blazers stand to gain, which stand to lose, and those who are in between. This is purely basketball related, not economically based.

The Winners:

Greg Oden:

Gets some valuable recovery time with less pressure. With a predicted return in January, he may be ready to go on day one if the season is delayed. Could a shortened season be just the prescription for the big guy? His weight will be the key, if he comes back healthy and lighter that would be huge. If he gains significant weight that's the end.

Brandon Roy:

While Roy has less hope for actual recovery, the extra rest should help him. His balky knees may never allow him good mobility again. I have no worries about him keeping himself in the best possible basketball shape.

Wesley Matthews:

Wes should have time to finally let his nagging ankle injury heal completely. He may be the hardest worker on the team,  so I don't worry about him getting too out of shape. I am sure he will be working on his game, though it would help to have a coaching staff around him.

Nicolas Batum:

While the rest of the league spends months away from formal basketball activities, Nic will be doing his normal off-season routine: playing lots of basketball. He will be playing for France in the EuroBasket tournament and for SLUC Nancy in France after that. I expect continued development from him.

Neutral/Unclear

LaMarcus Aldridge:

With the amount of work Aldridge put in last year to improve, a longer off-season could make Aldridge scary good. He is currently working on his left hand and still has plenty of room for improvement in his game. He is borderline in the winners category, but after his breakout season last year, the lack of continuity may hurt.

Marcus Camby:

On the positive side, Camby's nagging knee injuries should be able to heal. On the downside, while basketball is frozen, Marcus's age is not. Worst case we could see him retire if the season is delayed long. He is one of the rare players who was a part of the last lockout though.

Gerald Wallace:

It is hard to define where Wallace should land here. Being a new Blazer, I don't really know about his off-season habits. I have a hard time seeing him coming back very overweight, but he doesn't strike me as a total gym rat either. If training camp is lost or shortened, that will hurt someone newer to the team like Wallace. He becomes a lockout loser in that situation.

Losers:

Raymond Felton:

His struggles with weight, and more specifically, cupcakes, have been well chronicled on the 'net since his acquisition. One national writer pegged him as one of the most likely players to come to camp overweight. I would hope that Felton would be highly motivated and that would keep him in good shape. Let's cross our fingers that a trim, lean Felton will be joining his new team. Any time away from his new team will hurt Felton. 

Elliot Williams:

E-Will had the most to prove in the Summer League that didn't happen. He could have fought fora rotation spot and earned himself some playing time over the summer. After missing his first year, more missed development really hurts badly. Nobody really knows what we have in Elliot.

Luke Babbit:

After a disappointing rookie season, Babbit needed every opportunity to prove himself. Going from star player to small role player is a hard transition, it won't be sped along with practicing in a gym alone. Luke really could have used Summer League to gain confidence, work on his role as spot-up shooter, and get used to playing with NBA athletes.

Armon Johnson:

AJ is highly motivated and a hard worker. His game should improve, especially if he works on his jump shot. But he is another casualty of a lost Summer League, he needs more experience as a floor general with NBA teammates and defenders.

Nolan Smith:

Basically every rookie is hurt by the lockout and loss of Summer League. Nolan is no exception. His hard work may limit damage though.

Chris Johnson:

For an older (26 years) sophomore like Johnson, missed development may hurt even more. I would have loved to see him in Summer League. He is one of few players that would be helped by gaining weight though, which will hopefully happen. To see him come back with 25 pounds heavier would be nice.

There is not much to say about Patty Mills, Jon Diebler, and the Big Feudal (Earl Barron). Patty will play overseas, not much will change for Diebler, who would likely play elsewhere anyway. Barron may be slightly hurt, as he could've assured himself a spot on the roster with a strong Summer League.

I really would have like to see  what  Johnson, Smith, Williams, Babbit, Barron, and C. Johnson could have done in Vegas.

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