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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Trailblazers & Oden

Well first things first! I'm a huge Portland Trailblazers fan and have been ever since MJ retired (for the 2nd time). I hated the image they got from players like Wallace & co. but am very happy they have great young talent currently but this season is turning into a fiasco.

With injures to Mills (my favorite Australian player, I was distraught to discover Portland signed Miller [who's been fantastic IMO] and was keeping both Bayless & Blake...) Pendegraph & Batum before the season began, McMillian wouldn't be having too much trouble finding minutes for everyone. Then the injuries started to creep in. First Outlaw, then Rudy and now Oden.

I said in the pre-season Oden was going to have a stellar year and whilst he certainly wasn't rocking the boxscore, he had really given Portland an inside defensive and offensive presence and had one of the best efficiency ratings in the league. But now he's gone for the season. I wish him the best of luck in recovery and hope we can see him on the floor for a full 82 games + playoffs soon. But what about Portland? Without Rudy for a couple weeks and Outlaw and Batum out until at least the All-Star break, they are down to 9 players.

Without Oden and when Rudy, Batum & Outlaw come back they are still arguably a better team than last year with a year under most of their belts and the addition of Miller. Once again I think it's up to Roy to help carry this team but on the whole they need to stay more consistent. Too often last year Roy pulled them out of a hole (Game 2 against Houston) because 8 other players couldn't shoot over 40%. However, to start the season he didn't seem in sync. Sure he dropped 40+ on Houston and his rebound and assist averages are excellent but his shooting % and ppg are down. Whilst there is a certain adjustment to make with a vet PG like Miller and Oden playing consistently, Roy often looked lost. I think for Portland to really challenge next year Roy needs to learn to play off the ball more and still be able to drive when a big man is down there. With this team Roy doesn't need 25-30 ppg, he needs 20/5/5 and to shoot a high % and when the going gets tough in the 4th, win it.

So whilst I believe this year is a bust in advancing beyond the first round of the playoffs I hope McMillian is able to utilise the year and improve the team play and work out the rotation. I think Webster should be dropped by the end of the year as Outlaw and Batum have been playing better and seem to have more potential and I would love to see Miller & Mills playing but can't see that happening anytime soon.

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