OK…most of you will think I’m crazy to write this post immediately after a terrible loss to Phoenix tonight but – counter-intuitively enough – I think it actually buttresses my argument. The reason I say that is because the basis for this post is more macro than micro. Sure…the Blazers are going to lose games that they should have won and vice versa. Hence, the basis of my argument has less to do with specific games and more to do with the makeup of the team over the entire season and how that all relates to other contending teams in the league.
It is my contention that 2 of the starting 5 players on the Blazers’ roster are top 10 in the league at their position and LMA is top 3 in the league at PF. In addition, I am prepared to say that the Blazers’ bench is top 10 in the league thanks to an incredible off-season that added a combination of solid veterans and highly coveted young players that each also feature contracts that increases – rather than decreases – the organization’s cap flexibility.
In addition to having 3 out of 5 top 10 NBA starters, the Blazers have fantastic role players. Role players are often overlooked but they are crucial to a team’s achievements. It is nearly impossible to have 5 of 5 starters who are all stars. Egos, playing style and minutes get in the way of continued success for such a situation.
So…the Blazers have a very solid starting 5 (with 3 of 5 being top 10 at their positions), they have a much improved bench that can compete with any team in the league, they have cap flexibility and they have one of the wealthiest and committed owners in the league.
With all of that said, how is it that many of the "experts" are predicting a 38 win season for the Blazers? Why is it popular to hedge toward failure rather than success? How come all of the aforementioned data is overlooked in favor of predictions of collapse?
My frustration with those unanswered questions has prompted me to construct the following argument and subsequent challenge:
The Blazers have one of the best starting 5 units in the NBA.
The Blazers have one of the best benches in the NBA.
The Blazers have one of the most committed and wealthiest owners in the NBA.
The Blazers have one of the most flexible rosters regarding cap space in the NBA.
In order for an NBA team to be elite, it must possess most – or all – of the aforementioned attributes.
The Blazers possess all of the aforementioned attributes.
Therefore, the Blazers are an elite NBA team.
All of the premises are true and the conclusion logically follows the premises. Hence, I submit to you the following CHALLENGE:
Please provide substantive evidence that my argument is false.