OK, I admit it, this is a bit of a come on. I will, however, present a little defense of JC in a minute. Having just watched game two of the NBA finals and of course, marveled at the talent of these two teams, I couldn't help but think what it would take for the Blazers to get back to this biggest of games/series.
There are certain similarities between the two teams. Most prominent is that they each have two or three players that are consistently capable of both knocking down a jumper AND successfully driving to the hoop for a layup or a dunk (I'll call these playmakers). So how many players do the Blazers have that are able to combing these two skills? I believe that the answer is none. The exception, at least for a few more hours is Jamal Crawford. OK, he doesn't belong in the same universe as James, Wade, Durant, Westbrook or Harden, but he approximates those skills better than anyone else on our current roster. Remember, I did say consistently capable. So what do the Blazers need to do? Obviously not hold on to Crawford; I'm over him as is everyone else on this site.
We will need to draft smartly and mine the nuggets from this and perhaps the next draft that are potentially able to achieve these skills. I'd prefer to let smarter people (Olshey & friends) do that mining, but those players are essential to getting anywhere in the NBA playoffs. Sorry, Brandon Roy, you were one of those such players; wish you were still here and healthy.
The other thing I noticed about the Thunder and Heat is that after these playmakers, their rosters are pretty much filled out with skilled role players. Defensive specialists, rebounders, and three point shooters. Now, I think the Blazers have some skilled role players such and Nic and Wes. Lamarcus kinda fits the Chris Bosh role in that he has some great skills, but he needs to rely on others for his points. Who else? Babbitt has one skill; the ability to shoot the three, however, I wouldn't want him in a clutch situation. Who else do we have? Elliot Williams? He has show an Oden-like ability to stay on the floor. That's pretty much the current roster.
So, what do we need in this upcoming draft? Probably not players without numerous skills. I hate to pick on anyone in particular, but Kendall Marshall probably fits this description. In addition to needing at least two playmaker types (I'm not suggesting that we'll find Lebron James in this draft), we also need interior defense and rebounding. As has been stated here for a number of years we also need a point guard. Hopefully one that can combine a modicum of facilitating skills and the ability to get his own shot from most anywhere on the floor.
Bottom line is that we probably need at least three players to become relevant again. Two playmakers of the James, Wade, Durant, Westbrook ilk (there are others who possess these kind of skills--I'll not list them) and a rugged interior rebounder/shotblocker. I think trading up in this draft would allow us to get one of those three players at most and that is not even a slam dunk. So I'm not convinced that moving up is the answer. As our esteemed GM said, we need to acquire assets--lots of them. Ok, he didn't actually say the last part, but it was implied.
So who in this draft is potentially capable of filling one of those three voids? Talk amongst yourselves and be civil, please. Actually, I'll get this started and throw some names out: Beal, Drummond, Lillard, Rivers and Waiters.
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