Despite the Portland Trail Blazers sporting a 3-6 record and losing a few heartbreakers, franchise morale feels high — from players and fans.
Speaking personally, I’ve enjoyed the start of the new Trail Blazers era, save for the first few losses of the season. Just from reading the comments on this site and X, it seems most fans feel a similar way. The team is showing consistent effort, different players are showing great flashes and even most of the losses have been entertaining. This is the beauty of lowered expectations that comes with the early part of a rebuild — that losing record doesn’t sting as bad and you can sit back and enjoy the smaller narratives and developments as the season progresses.
Head Coach Chauncey Billups said something last week at the Trail Blazers practice facility that captured the joyful aspects of watching this new team.
“I’m looking forward to every single game,” Billups said at media availability on Nov. 6. “You start to learn more and more about [Deandre Ayton], about our new guys... this process is just that.”
This process that Billups is talking about is what I’ve taken joy in, too. Every game is a fresh lesson in learning about new players and the makings of this team as a collective. This process is the subject of our community discussion question today:
What has been the most exciting development through the early part of the Trail Blazers season?
There are plenty of nominees, including but not limited to: the growth of Shaedon Sharpe; the breakout play of role players like Toumani Camara, Skylar Mays and Jabari Walker; the addition of new veteran players Deandre Ayton and Malcolm Brogdon (and Robert Williams III before he unfortunately went down); improved defensive play and hustle.
There isn’t a correct answer. This question is your oyster and aimed at what speaks to your fan experience. While I think the early flourishes from Sharpe may be the most important development — or the fact the defense has shown a pulse after years of atrophy — I’ve maybe had the most fun watching a second-round pick like Camara come out of nowhere and become an invaluable part of the rotation. I feel a similar way about the recent play of Mays and seeing him earn an NBA contract. When those guys are on the floor, I’m glued to the screen to see if they can keep performing at a high level or if Camara can get get under the skin of another opponent.
Then again...the play below and what it says about the potential of Sharpe has crept into my mind multiple times this week, so maybe my answer has to be Sharpe!
How do you see it, Blazer’s Edge community? What’s your answer to the question? And, if you want to take on the flip side of this process, be my guest. What has been the most frustrating development so far this season? (I would imagine that answer might have something to do with offense).
Let us know in the comments below!