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Saturday Discussion: Leaps and Bounds

We have a special piece coming up tomorrow on the life and times of Andre Miller, but as you're waiting for that let's chew over yet another interesting and critical issue for the Blazers in the upcoming year.

When a team is on the rise (as the Blazers are) it's tempting to view their ascent as a natural progression.  41 wins follow 30-something.  54 wins follow 41.  60 wins follow 54, right?  When the team is also young (as the Blazers are) and mostly stand pat during the off-season (as the Blazers have) the default asumption has to be that the increase in wins will come from the development of players already on the team.

Whether either of these assumptions is true is an issue we're going to leave by the wayside today.  Let's assume that they are, or at least that they can come true for the Blazers this year.  In order to make this so we need players growing and contributing more than they have in the past.  So here are the questions of the day:

1.  Whose contributions do the Blazers most need to grow and in what specific ways?  What player's growth would benefit them most? (I'm particularly interested if you can make an argument for someone besides Greg Oden.)

2.  Who is most likely to actually have their contributions grow, in what specific ways will they contribute more, and why do you say that? 

Remember that these players need not be former rookies going into their second year.  Anyone can improve in a variety of ways for a plethora of reasons.  What are your votes?  Let us know in the comment section.

--Dave (