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Robson: Blazers Earn C- For 2011-2012 Season

Britt Robson of SI.com gives the Portland Trail Blazers a C- for their 2011-2012 season. ------------------------------- In the previous two years, the Blazers persevered through an onslaught of injuries to make the playoffs. But after winning seven of their first nine, this was the season it all fell apart. Portland suffered from a point-guard swap that sent Andre Miller to Denver for Raymond Felton, who lacked Miller's thick skin in dealing with taskmaster coach Nate McMillan. That conflict exacerbated the impact of Brandon Roy's retirement; even when ravaged by knee injuries, Roy was a playmaking sage in the backcourt and a trusted alter ego for McMillan. A slew of close losses sapped team confidence, and by the trade deadline, Portland cleaned house, firing McMillan and dealing Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace, with Wallace fetching a top-three-protected first-round pick from New Jersey. The Blazers also finally cut ties with 2007 No. 1 pick Greg Oden, who along with Roy epitomized how much Portland was shortchanged by medical misfortune. With a wealthy owner, a loyal fan base, the New Jersey lottery pick and All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, the circumstances exist for a rapid rebuilding. But by most any measure, the 2011-12 season was a step backward. ------------------------------- The Charlotte Bobcats (F), Golden State Warriors (D), New Jersey Nets (D), Orlando Magic (D+), Sacramento Kings (D) and Washington Wizards (D+) scored worse. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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