FanPost

A failed rebuild

The first-round matchup against the Rockets has me very concerned about the long-term future of this team: In all likelihood, the Blazers will lose this series. Losing in the first round, after two seasons of missing the playoffs is not a bad thing on it's own. The season was a success. But I'm afraid the "mini-rebuild" as a process was a complete failure.

But looking at this team, I see nowhere to go but down. Of their starting five, Lopez, Aldridge, and Matthews had career years - they aren't likely to improve in the future. Batum remains as tantalizing as ever, but basically he is what he is - I don't see a "breakout" year from him coming essentially ever. Lillard figures to get better, especially as he continues to improve around the rim and progresses to, at least, a league average defender.

Being pit against Houston 5 years after losing to them in 2009 only makes it all the more stark: Houston beat us then; completely rebuilt, and is poised to beat us in the playoffs again this time. Oh, and in the meantime, the Rockets won more games than the Blazers did over that span, even in the lean years.

The point is, almost everything fell right for the Blazers this year - even the bench provided value in Robinson, Williams, Wright and a sprig of Barton/McCollum - and it still wasn't enough to sniff contention. The team is capped out, completely bereft of draft picks, and the only tradeable piece we have is last year's #10 pick (who looks like a competent, but unspectacular future NBA player. A poor man's Jamal Crawford). Basically the team is snookered and without any way to improve from here on out.

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