The Portland Trail Blazers are off to a 10-8 start to the 2022-23 regular season. In a micro view, they’re not happy at losing four straight games in their last four tries. In the macro view, however? It’s not bad. In a rough 20-game stretch to start the season, emerging .500 or above will be plenty acceptable. Portland is already assured of doing that, which means we can set aside the analysis and critiques on this American Thanksgiving holiday, 2022 and instead engage in a little appreciation...or mostly so.
The Blazers aren’t quite one quarter of the way through the season, but the difference between 18 completed games and 20.25 isn’t enough to change the overall trends or our assessment of this year’s Blazers crew so far. Waiting until the first quarter of next Tuesday’s game versus the Los Angeles Clippers won’t change our vision enough to matter when it comes to today’s project, the Quarter-Season Awards. Throughout this holiday, we’ll be posting various categories for you to comment on. For each, simply pick the player you feel fits the description best and explain why. You have free rein to define terms as you wish, name second-place award winners and honorable mentions, whatever you wish. It’s supposed to be a fun way to pass the holiday. You can help make it so.
Our first award is one of the most nebulous, but heart-stirring: Most Inspirational Player. The Blazers have an official trophy for this at the end of the year: The Maurice Lucas Award, named after the championship power forward, coach, and franchise icon who spurred the people around him to greater heights. We’re not going to hew to their criteria exactly. “Inspiration” could be anything from on-court hustle to rousing speeches to demeanor on the bench. Make it what you want it to be and tell us who your player is.
Note that this is one of the categories that’s independent of talent and role. If you think a player getting four minutes, max, qualifies as an inspiration, by all means name him!
Have fun in the comments and watch for further award categories coming throughout the day!