In honor of the release of The Desolation of Smaug and the Blazers' stellar record, I have decided to release the much anticipated (not!) second edition of the LOTR Portland Trail Blazer rankings (first one here).
Much has changed, although some has stayed the same in the last couple years. Brandon Roy has sailed off to the Undying Lands, Rudy Fernandez succumbed to the evil personality, "PGOTF" now has a name, and the consistent LaMarcus remains the rightful king.
Terry Stotts - Gandalf: One of the most important characters in both putting together and guiding the team. Uses somewhat unconventional methods, like giving up points in the paint, shooting three pointers, and sending little hobbits on quests. Leads his team to unexpectedly good results.
Damian Lillard - Frodo: One of the smallest guys on the team, he is the great hope for the future and often portrayed as the main character. Hopefully he'll be able to destroy the ring/win a ring for the good side.
LaMarcus Aldridge - Aragorn: While his smaller teammate is often portrayed as the main character, we all know who it really is. He remains consistent, leading his team in the good times and the bad. He will soon rise from obscurity as a ranger in the wild/good player in the lottery to become king/a superstar on a playoff team.
Nicolas Batum - Legolas: Is often quiet for long stretches, but has a lot of highlights and often looks like the best player when he is featured. Great from long distance and popular among the young, female demographic.
Wes Matthews - Gimli: Not the biggest guy around, but he sure has heart. Has perhaps the most competitive spirit on the team and is not afraid to go head-to-head with bigger creatures (like Carmelo Anthony or an Uruk-hai). Often is neck-and-neck with his above teammate in numbers.
Robin Lopez - Eomer/Theoden: Leads the much needed reinforcements, replacing sure defeat with hope. Especially valuable because before he arrived, there was a lack of cavalry/starting center. Doesn't receive the greatest share of credit for the good ending, but it couldn't happen without him.
Mo Williams - Samwise Gamgee: Brought in to help out his fellow shorter-in-stature teammate. Provides rest by carrying him/giving him time on the bench. Sometimes takes the pressure off by being the main hobbit/ball-handler. Never allowed to carry the one ring of being the best point guard on the team for long.
Dorell Wright - Faramir: Does most of his damage from long range. Not a main character, but an important one nonetheless. Passed up by general managers/his father for other players/his brother, until he finally finds a good fit. Rejects evil (taking the one ring/playing for another team) for good (helping Frodo/playing for the Blazers).
Joel Freeland - Treebeard: A really big creature who initially doesn't look like he is going to contribute. Decides to become a part of this world/the rotation and passes up on spending time in his home country to focus on contributing to the team.
Thomas Robinson - Eowyn: Faces the pressure of being royalty/a high lottery pick. Fears neither death nor pain/miss nor turnover, but being locked up in a figurative cage, until overtaken by old age and left with no chance at glory. Finally gets a chance after being relegated to leading women and children/playing for the Sacramento Kings. Somewhat reckless on the court/battlefield.
Meyers Leonard and Will Barton/Pippin and Merry: Silly young characters who initially don't look like they belong on the team, but who will hopefully be able to contribute with more experience. Right now though, the best they can do is provide a little entertainment. Although he does have a fondness for them, Terry Stotts/Gandalf has a hard time not getting irritated at these two.Bonus: Meyers/Pippin convinced Freeland/Treebeard to become a contributor with his terrible play/persuasive speaking.
Victor Claver/Fredegar "Fatty" Bolger: Was able to play a very limited role with some success on the book/last year's team. Just not good enough to make it to the movie/this year's rotation though.
CJ McCollum/Boromir: Looked like the best when he was playing for Gondor/a mid-major, relegated to a contributor once he joined some more prominent characters. Looked like an important member of the team until he succumbed to lust for the one ring/injury. But, is given an opportunity for redemption.
Neil Olshey/Elrond: Doesn't actually get out there, but did a great job in helping to put the team together and provides some wisdom.
Chris McGowan/Peter Jackson: The most important man when it comes to the film/business side of the operation. Generally does a good job, but offends some purists when changes the name of the Rose Garden/cuts parts of the book.
Paul Allen/J.R.R. Tolkien: Sometimes makes you scratch your head, like with his love for arduous, extensive histories/mediocre point guards. But uses his writing talents/resources liberally and has put together some real masterpieces. None of it would be possible without him.