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.
We’ve been building to this all day, and here it is. This final awards post is to name Portland’s Most Valuable Player for the quarter-season. Note that when we’ve done this in the past, we’ve added an asterisk: “Besides Damian Lillard”. It’s a mark of team evolution that we’re removing the boundaries this year. It’s a true free-for-all. If you think Dame is still the MVP over the first 18 games, by all means name him! For the first time in a long time, there might be some debate over that, so we’re leaving open the possibility, at least.
Have fun in the comments and thanks for participating in our quarter-season awards!