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Expectations: Josh McRoberts

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Continuing our foray deep into the potential Blazer bench we look at expectations for young Josh McRoberts today.  As far as I can see, there's one that overrides all the others:

Dude is seriously going to get a nickname.

I have no idea whether it will be your standard contraction, something vaguely McDonald's-oriented, or something way out there.  We may have to see him play a little before he's christened.  But it's going to happen.

Beyond that, we know a few things:

--The kid has a natural feel for the game.  Alternately he came from a program where he really learned to play.   Take your pick.

--He does a really good job moving the ball for a big man.

--His offense is going to be adaptable enough that he won't be ashamed to take shots.

--He's going to have some trouble rebounding against athletic and especially quick players and real trouble defending.  Getting better at the defensive/rebounding end will be one of the main criteria for whether he sticks.

--All of this is a moot point because he's probably never, ever going to play.  Look at the list of people in front of him at the big positions.  Greg Oden, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Channing Frye are mortal locks to eat 80 minutes a game between them.  That leaves about 16 for Joel Przybilla, Raef LaFrentz, maybe Travis Outlaw, and McRoberts to fight over.  The chances of the rookie coming out on top there are close to nil.  Besides that, McRoberts needs some open space in the lane to make his game work.  If there's one thing the Portland lane will NOT be this season it's open.  OK...maybe it will be more open in the minutes Josh is playing because that'll be as far from the first unit as you can get without falling off the court, but still.

The bright spot for Josh is that he'll have a chance to bang with the guys in practice and learn the right way without being forced into a situation he's not ready for.  It's been a long time since this team has had that luxury.  Big guys are always in demand.  If he distinguishes himself--or at least shows a little work ethic combined with some promise--there's no reason to think he can't pick up another contract, especially if the Channing Frye thing doesn't work out.  He'll also get more units of applause per bucket than any other Blazer.  Nothing to sniff at, I suppose.

Add in anything I missed below.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)