Tagged: Portland Trail Blazers


Portland Continues Blazing Trail to Nowhere

I am sure LaMarcus Aldridge will get a kick out of these quotes from Nate McMillan  when he reads them.

“I’d like to see us add some guys in their prime to the roster.

Not content to stop there, McMillan adds:

“We have young; we have old. Let’s see if we can get some guys in their prime.”

Granted the Blazers do have some older players, Marcus Camby, Andre Miller, and Gerald Wallace aren’t spring chickens by any stretch of the imagination.  And yes, guys like Nicholas Batum,  Warren Matthews and Greg Oden are still young.

But, when I think of the Blazers, I never think ‘gee, that’s such a young/inexperienced team” or “damn, that team is too old to contend.”  No, like most fans, my first thought is, “if this team could stay healthy they’d be lights out.”

Were it not for Brandon Roy’s knee injuries they’d have an inside outside combo entering its prime, and which is rounded out by a solid group of veteran and young role players.

Put another way, imagine if Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire had Roy and Aldridge’s supporting cast of Miller, Camby, Wallace, Fernandez, Batum and Matthews?  Not only would the Boston series have turned out differently, but there’s a good chance that Miami would not be facing Dallas in this year’s finals.

McMillan might have tried going this route with his quotes to avoid rehashing Portland’s injury woes.  However, there’s a reason that this topic continues resurfacing, no team has been besieged by injuries like the Blazers in the last five years.

But hey in McMillan’s eyes I’m either too young or too old to know what I’m talking about.




brandon roy

Blazers Appear Doomed for Another First Round Exit

It appears that the consensus pick to pull off an upset in this year’s NBA playoffs will not live up the lofty expectations of them (again!).  After getting beaten handily last night by the Dallas Mavericks the Blazers are well on their way to another first round exit.  This year was to have been different.  They got the matchup they wanted and were led by late-charging all-star LaMarcus Aldridge.  But Rip City is about to meet the fate of their recent basketball predecessors and set in motion another long season of what ifs?

In this case the problems may very well have nothing to do with the Blazers personnel.  The Mavericks were likely offended by being picked as everyone’s likely upset and the weak link among upper echelon teams and their sense of pride is not allowing them to be defeated.  Having what seems like a gazillion years of playoff experience among the players in your rotation doesn’t hurt either.

What concerns me about this Blazers squad however is that so much attention has been paid to how better they might be if Brandon Roy or Greg Oden were healthy, and not enough to weather the players on this team are simply capable of playing well in the playoffs.  The case may very well be that the Blazers players are just not suited to excel in the playoffs and that the team consider importing a player with some playoff mojo to help them with next year’s run.

For example, think of how different this series would be if the Blazers had been able to pry Stephen Jackson away from the Bobcats instead of Gerald Wallace.  Jackson has the right blend of crazy and moxy to rile up this Blazers squad and instill fear in their opponents.

One can understand the organization’s crusade to move away from their “jailblazers” past, but,  it is also true that  the adage nice guys finish last exists for a reason.