No less of a basketball luminary than Steven A. Smith has posited that the 2013-14 Blazers are "a piece away from winning it all[.]"
What if they are zero pieces away from winning it all? A team that, last season, posted a thirty-three win total, has opened seventeen and three.
We can't know what the ceiling of this Blazer's squad is until they've reached it. All of the pundits, and most of the fans (on bleacher report, I don't know why I read it. Apparently, I hate myself.) have gone on and on about the flukiness of the hot start and given any number of reasons why it isn't sustainable, and I'm not writing this to argue the sustainability of the record, just that we shouldn't start messing about with the personnel until we know how sustainable it is.
Assuming that from here on the Blazers play .500 ball which - barring catastrophe - is a reasonable assumption, they will still have amassed fifteen more wins than last season. I'm no math... person, but I think that's a large uptick.
We also have no idea why it's happening. Okay, we have an idea, something about scoring more points than the other team. But we don't know what pieces do what, to make it happen. Is being guarded by a possibly spastic Will Barton in practice making Wes shoot OUT OF HIS MIND!?, like, historically good... in the entire NBA. Okay, probably not, but we don't know.
So, I know, if you've read this far – first, thank you – second, you're thinking, what the hell are you gettin' at Winnder? Mostly that I'm terrible at theses, but also, I can see no reason to mess around with player personnel until this season plays out. Yes, the whole season. All of it, until those athletic young men are finally sitting on their davenports with their feet on the ottoman; thinking, "I wonder, what's in the ice-box?" Then Mr. Olshey should look at the entire body of work, and along with much brighter basketball minds than mine, decide what piece they do or don't need to achieve, or sustain, success.
Now, I'm gonna antithesis all over the place. If one could find greater front court depth for not a whole lot, (insert usual suspect pine riders names here.) one should probably do that.
Thanks to Eugene Saxe for getting me thinking about this.