Even After A Loss I'm Impressed
I consider myself the ultimate optimist, why wouldn’t I be? I have a great job, around a great group of guys, and I get to listen to Wheels every night. So after another disappointing loss to the Sacramento Kings last night, I found myself looking at the situation the team is in, and ultimately smiling at where this team is and what it’s doing.
Let’s look at the expectations before the season started, I figured this team would win 37 games this season, 17-24 over the first half of the season (figuring 10-10 at home and 7-14 on the road) but they would follow that up with a 20-21 second half (15-6 at home, and 5-15 on the road,) But the Blazers have exceeded my expectations in a big way! The road record is just about exactly what I thought it would be, I predicted 7-14 (.333), the team is 4-9 (.300), but at home, the team has once again been stellar! They currently sit at 9-4 (.692) at home, which puts them on pace to win 15 home games in the first half of the season, which is 5 better than I anticipated. If they simply do the same with NO improvement in the 2nd half of the season they will come in with 42 wins, one game over .500. That would be a remarkable feat considering this is a team no one thought much about coming into the season.
Now, this won’t be enough to make the playoffs, but it’s a better start to this newest chapter in the Blazers history. Remember what happened the last time this team started a new chapter? Try 21, to 32, to 41, to 54, this time around the floor is set much higher so the resurgence should happen a whole lot quicker.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still some considerable deficiencies with this team, the bench has to become more consistent! They still have to figure what it takes to play better defense, BUT all things considered, I like where this team is and I really like where they can go. All-Star Lamarcus Aldridge, future ROY Damian Lillard, every-man Nic Batum, and the Iron-man Wesley Matthews (I know, he’s got a dent in the armor as I right this,) and Mr. Double-Double, JJ Hickson. If Luke Babbitt continues to develop and Meyers Leanard, Victor Claver and Joel Freeland continue to figure the NBA out, this team has a very bright future!
So in this time of giving, I think we should give this team a chance and I think we will all be happily surprised with what the end product will be.
On a personal note, I want to thank each of you for being loyal fans and I look forward to seeing you all at the Rose Garden this season.