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Punk Rock or Polka?

Hey folks, checking in from my road trip because I have a question that's been running through my head for the last few days and I can't shake it.  So here you go.

For the last couple of years we've heard each off-season that a primary goal for the new season will be to make the offense more up-tempo.  Now that Andre Miller is on board we're hearing the refrain redoubled.  But the fact remains that each new season comes and the offense doesn't pick up much pace and yet remains decent, if not good in certain aspects.

In some ways this seems to me like a guy who cooks great meat and potatoes dishes but doesn't uses spices all that well.  He knows that real cooks use spices copiously so every meal he serves is accompanied by an apology about their lack, even though he knows full well the dish he made is fantastic.  At some point isn't it OK to be a down-home cook, reveling in what you do and leaving the other stuff aside?  Stop apologizing and pass the pot roast!

On the other hand every cook needs to have some knowledge of seasoning.  The Blazers' offense may be efficient but more points wouldn't hurt.  There just aren't many more difficult points to be had.  The area for growth is the easy ones.  You don't have to be the Wizard of Curry and Cardamom to figure this out.  The Blazers pot roast is just plain undersalted.

I don't believe Portland should become the kind of team that runs at any cost, falling into the halfcourt only when the quick attempt is impossible.  That's going to forfeit half of the strengths of Brandon Roy and the bigs.  I'd like to see the Blazers run when possible but be completely comfortable operating in slower sets, so that the running game and halfcourt blend seamlessly together.  Portland's goal should be easy shots, period.  The first look at those come off the break, of course, but if there's no clear break attempt that doesn't change anything.  Easy is still available later in the clock.  I also see the Blazers being as devastating, if not more, on the secondary break as the primary.  They may never have a clear advantage in speed with the first two players down the floor, but the third and fourth may kill their men, especially if one of the first two is a shooter who can spread the floor.

What's your take on the best tempo offense for the Blazers?  Do you want to see a flat-out run no matter what? Do you consider the running game just a garnish to the main course of the halfcourt?  Or do you see Portland somewhere in the middle of the continuum, and if so, where and why?  Think this one through with me and talk it out below.

--Dave (