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Quick Observations from a Night of Basketball

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I watched a couple other games last night and I have two quick observations:

  1.  Kevin Durant looked pretty much like I expected him to.  You could sure see flashes of talent but basically he was taking too many tough shots.  I was surprised to see the Sonics use him on the weak side so much.  He was the fifth player in many four player sets.  However this did seem to open things up for them a little.  Basically he needs to drive a lot more and run hard both ways.  The key to his scoring will be getting way more than the 4 free throws he got last night.
  2.  I got three words for ya:  Lu...Ol...Deng.  This guy is a player and a half.  I only watched a couple quarters of the Bulls-Nets game and he did more amazing things in that 24 minutes than I saw the whole last season for the Blazers.  It's not just his scoring either.  It's his defense, rebounding, being in the right place at the right time.  This kid is WAY for real.
I guess this is what I mean about celebrating, yet also being reasonable about, all the Blazers' young talent.  We do have some of the best young guys in the league but they also have a lot to prove...even the ones that are playing well now.  It's easy to get myopic and forget that Chicago has Deng and Orlando has Howard and so on.  Right now Deng is clearly better than any of the smalls on our roster, even the celebrated rookie version of Roy.  I know that's heresy but it's true.  (I'm not saying it could never change either.)  I believe that we will develop into one of the best teams in the league in a few years.  But it won't be because of talent alone and it won't be without a lot of hard work.  It's not an automatic gift just because of the names on our payroll.

Fortunately our guys have more than talent going for them and they work hard!

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)