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The Oddest Blazer’s Edge Mailbag You’ll Ever See

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Match answers and wits with Dave Deckard as he fields Portland Trail Blazers questions rapid-fire.

NBA: Preseason-Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

The Blazer’s Edge Mailbag fields all kinds of questions about the Portland Trail Blazers, but no matter how many we address, there are always more in the hopper than we can get to. To partially rectify this, and as a thought exercise of sorts, today’s Mailbag is a little...unique. I’ve taken nine questions from my inbox and challenged myself to respond in ascending order, using just one word for the first answer, two words for the second, then three and so on. This will be a little bit different than the usual 500-word essays, but see how I did. If you have a better response within the word constraints, place it in the comments for sure!

Here we go with your questions.

Dave,

After last night’s game do you think that Meyers Leonard can finally...

No.

.

Dear Dave,

What’s the most important thing that we can do with Caleb Swanigan?

Have patience.

.

Dave,

Which will be more important in the longer term, Al-Farouq Aminu or Moe Harkless?

Neither one, really.

.

Dave,

I’ve been wondering what would make Evan Turner worth his contract. This preseason (large asterisk for small sample size and it being preseason) he’s been shooting 50% on 3’s! And he’s been great at running the second unit.

Backcourt defense, veteran composure

.

Howdy Dave,

Word is Suns are looking to trade good ol’ Jared Dudley. I was always of the opinion he would make a nice addition to the Blazers roster, even in his older age. Thoughts?

Dump Meyers Leonard for him.

.

Hello Dave,

I've seen this called out more and more recently. Specifically, it is being used about a certain polarizing player on the Blazers, and it seems like a perfectly nuanced topic for you to address. So, here goes:

When does criticizing a Blazer's player or employee become cyber-bullying?

Don’t get personal; just talk basketball.

.

Dave,

I noticed a lot of ISO plays for our big three in the Kings game (and really a lot of ISO plays for Nurk this whole preseason). I don’t feel like it’s our actual game plan for the year. It feels more like Stotts is giving his players room to practice certain skillsets. I would see 3 Kings players surround Dame as he drove to the basket, but he wouldn’t pass. That doesn’t feel normal to me. I know he’ll shoot in traffic, but he also likes to set up other guys. Do you think practicing ISO has been a focus of the preseason? My guess would be that these players are pretty well versed with Stott’s flow offense and so it’s good to practice other aspects of the game. I’ve watched as much as I can, but definitely haven’t caught every full game. I’d love to hear your take on this. Thanks!

Sometimes passes create scores, sometimes the inverse.

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Dave,

What’s your definition of success this year?

47 wins is success. 42 wins is trouble.

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Dave,

We’re talking alot about rotations because Portland’s is unstable but not every rotation has to be obvious to be good. What’s the best and most surprising 9-10 man rotation you’ve seen? Could be Blazers or other teams. I just want some hope that not everybody has to be Golden State to make it. Whose the most surprising group to you that had big time success that we’d recognize?

Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, Boromir, Merry, Pippin, Frodo, Sam, Gandalf.

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Keep sending those questions to blazersub@gmail.com! Or if you want to ask a question I can answer in ten words, put it below in the comment section.

—Dave / @davedeckard / @blazersedge / blazersub@gmail.com

Don’t forget to come together with other Blazer’s Edge Readers on opening night at Spirit of ‘77. Details through the link.