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Pre-Season Begins

At last after a ton of waiting finally we get to see a real game.  Or, well, at least a partially real game.'s a game with guys in real jerseys.

There's a temptation to make a lot out of the pre-season just because it ends a long drought and it's the first eye-witness Blazer basketball most of us have seen for the last six months.  That's great.  It'll be fun.  I'm stoked too.

But in the midst of this we should remember that pre-season tells us nothing about the team.  Whatever conclusions you draw from it, flip a coin.  Heads they will hold in the regular season, tails they'll disappear at the opening night tip.  My reaction will be exactly the same if the team goes 0-7 this pre-season as it will be if they go 7-0.  Either way...whatever.

Pre-season can tell you something about individual players.  First and foremost, you can start to get a sense who the coaching staff is favoring.  They'll get minutes in the first game or two and then probably in the very last one.  If you see a guy play at the very beginning and then not show up much he either did extremely well or very, very bad.  You can also get some idea of how players have progressed if you can remember accurately what they looked like at the end of last season.  Even this must be taken with a grain of salt though.  Failure in pre-season indicates more than success does.  Let's hope we don't see much of that though.

The basic questions are probably the best ones:

  1.  Will Travis or Martell get the bulk of the "young guy coming into his own" minutes?
  2.  Is Sergio or Taurean Green the third point guard?
  3.  Can we run without coughing up the ball every second possession?
  4.  Has Joel's free-throw line stroke improved as much as everyone says it has?
I honestly don't think we'll know about the starters at point guard and small forward until just before opening night.  The coaching staff will want to keep all options open and everybody playing hard.  Besides there are criteria for starting beyond just who's better, especially at small forward.  It may go to the guy who is steadier or who fits better with our obvious starters.  Or Nate just may want more punch off the bench.

If you can think of more questions you think will be answered add them below.

If you go tonight e-mail me an eyewitness report of your impressions afterwards and I'll post it.

--Dave (