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Eggers and Patterson

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The Portland Tribune's Kerry Eggers has a GREAT interview with Blazers' GM Steve Patterson here.  You need to read it all because Kerry asks almost every meaningful question there is to be asked but here are my favorite quotes:

Everybody sees the marked improvement in our play. We're pleased with the development of the young guys. Brandon's playing like the rookie of the year he should be.

I love the wording there.  One of the things that's been in the back of my mind lately is that we'll know we're making progress when we stop being so happy about guys playing pretty well and start expecting it.  (Of course we'll still praise them for it.)

The team is definitely going in the right direction. ... (but) our chances next year depend on the draft, what other moves we make and whatever the contending clubs in the West do. For a new team to get in (the playoffs), somebody has to fall out.

I also think we have at least one more year to go and probably a move or two to make.  It seems Patterson is in tune with that...realistic about the need to get back but unwilling to make desperate moves just to stab at it prematurely.  I know it seems like the end of a long, dark tunnel right now but we all have to remember that making the playoffs is only the beginning of the journey, and in some ways the easiest part of it.  You don't want to cement yourself into a decade of 7th-9th place finishes in the conference just to say you made it.  (I'm glancing sideways at you, Minnesota.)  You want to build carefully and intentionally so when you break through there's a reasonable chance of following that up with something big.

Again, read the whole interview here.  It's worth it.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)