Quick disclaimer: this post may be somewhat disjointed and ramble ever so slightly, but I wanted to capture my most recent thoughts about the team in a diary-style post as I haven't been on BE to comment as often as I would like, and simply needed a place to voice my thoughts!
November 1, 2013--5:55am: My daughter was born at Providence St. Vincent, weighing in at a respectable 7 lbs, 13 oz. She is my second child, first girl, and I couldn't be more smitten by giving my almost 2 year old son a baby sister. She is beautiful, and my love for my children is beyond words. This young dad is a huge softy when it comes to his kiddos.
However, behind the long list of things in life that I deem to be more important than basketball, the Blazers still managed to grab my attention while we were at the hospital. When we were moved to our temporary closet-sized room later that afternoon, the first thing I checked upon arrival was if the TV carried the Blazers game against the Nuggets that night. I was pretty pumped to find out that they did, and my wife was even kind enough to let me watch most of the game! Life was good: the Blazers managed their first W of the season, I had a new daughter, and we were eating inspired Mac n' Cheese hospital food!
Since that date, I've managed to catch most of the games live or on the DVR between naps and chasing our toddler around, but it's been a much different experience watching the game (or at least trying to watch the games) in a 1 TV household with kids that deservedly require my attention. All of that to say, I wanted to capture my thoughts about the team from what I've seen so far, and welcome everyone's feedback as well:
- It's easier when you're winning like the Blazers have been as of late, but it seems as if this team really enjoys playing together. I think it was after the 1st Sacramento game where I caught LaMarcus with a huge grin on his face in the 4th Quarter, after Lopez had a few great defensive plays down the stretch. LMA in particular looks like he's having a lot more fun than he has been in the past few years, and that has translated positively across his game and effectiveness. Looks like the new players have elevated his game as well.
- The unselfishness of this team (currently) is a lot of fun to watch. They have no problem moving the ball around to get the best shot available, and we're incredibly fortunate to have such good shooters on this team. Someone will always be open!
- Even though the season is early, it looks like nearly every active player in the current rotation is embracing their role. The dudes that know they won't make any All-Star teams (Freeland, Lopez, Mo WIlliams) still recognize their value to this team and how their minutes can positively or negatively impact the W-L column. Seems hard to come by in this league!
- Similarly, I think that will speak volumes to the guys at the end of the bench (Leonard, Barton, Crabbe). They want to make a dent in this league, but hopefully will realize after watching the current bench rotation that you don't have to be Lebron to do it.
- The Blazers' control at the end of the games has been refreshing. They haven't looked panicked like they often did at the end of games last year.
- I will be disappointed if they don't finish with a record slightly better than .500. Like Dave has said all along, the Blazers' strengths will win them games when they're humming at 100%, but the chemistry and composure I've seen from the team so far makes me believe this team will be slightly better than I initially projected. LMA's 7th seed projection feels about right.
- Last note--I have HUGE expectations of Damian. I think he'll be an All-Star, but not until next year. My hope is that he's able to get more consistent as a whole this year. He has to be a leader for this team, and I'm nervous he's trying to do too much on his own, hence some of the shooting dud games thus far.
Perhaps most importantly, don't freak out if you miss a Blazer game, or aren't able to enjoy the game in "real-time". I admittedly love being a dad much more than I love hanging with you guys on BE, so for all of the other fellow dad's on BlazersEdge, let's make sure we're keeping things in perspective ;)
Hope to see some of you on some upcoming GameDay threads soon enough. Missed you guys, but for good reason! -Anitachampionship