Halfway Point.
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  1. blazersforlife234
    blazersforlife234
    Posts: 347

    Posted 01/16/2011 9:48 AM

    So we are at 21-20, at the halfway mark... so this is a good time to do some dissecting.

    The facts (obvious):
    1. We have been bit by the injury bug again...
    2. Wesley Matthews has been a great surprise, and LaMarcus Aldridge has played the best basketball of his career the last month and a half
    3. We have a bad knack of blowing leads 
    4. I believe we will make a significant trade before the deadline
    5. Our strength of schedule is .514 (the league average is .500 obviously), so being optimistic, we have an easier schedule from here on out.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/playoffodds

    http://espn.go.com/nba/standings/_/group/2

    http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/powerrankings
    Now the playoff odds and power rankings are totally mathematical and up to John Hollinger, so they don't hold truth to a lot of people... But the standings are interesting because right now, we'd be in the playoffs as the 8th seed and play AT San Antonio in the first round..... that would be a tough series.

    We're on pace to win about 45 (hollinger has us at 43, straight numbers say 42) games or so... which would be still be very impressive given what we've gone through this year.

    Kind of a long post... but I just wanna hear everyone else's thoughts on what the second half will bring to this team
    I am a fan of winning.
  1. Just Tim
    Just Tim
    Posts: 36

    Posted 01/16/2011 11:09 AM

    I am pleasantly surprised at the competitiveness of this team despite all the issues they have faced so far. Those issues have included:

    1. The loss of the two biggest talents on the team, BRoy and Oden as well as several others, Pryz, Elliot among them who are also affected.
    2. Nate's typical pattern of trusting his rookies (or young players)  briefly then burying them when they make mistakes.
    3. A brand new GM attempting to get up to speed in a new position on a team with major personnel issues.
    4. The consistent inconsistence of our "Spanish MJ".
    5. Rarely having a consistent big three or even big two on offense.  LMA has been incredible but, as I've said before, most NBA defenses can force you to your second or third option. 
    6. Our new coaching staff does not seem to have made a huge difference in our defensive game yet as evidenced by the shooting percentages of our opponents.
    7.  Luke Babbitt is clearly pressing and playing too fast when he is in the game and needs to relax and let the game come to him.

    On the positive side, there are some very positive signs upon which we can build.

    1. LMA is now the true inside/out threat we have all craved. His defense is strong and his "hustle stats" are up.
    2. Wes is the steal of free agency this year. I believe he will remain in the starting lineup even after/if BRoy returns.  Can't afford to keep him on the bench.
    3. Nicolas has elevated his game significantly since summer ball.  His incredible work on LeBron seems to have carried him to a new level.  He also is one of the rare players whose offense seems to feed off his defense.  Perhaps some of the credit should go to Buck Williams for that.
    4. Andre remains crafty and competitive and seems to be consciously more vocal with his team.
    5. Marcus Camby is a "glue player."  His good connection with LMA must be considered in any trade discussion since they feed off each other so well.  The high/low post action absolutely helps LMA's numbers significantly.  For whatever reason, LMA often receives the ball in better scoring position from the high post than he does from the wing.

    Ok enough rambling.  I do also expect a major trade before the deadline and expect them to improve their record over the second half, if for no other reason than the increase in home games and a lighter schedule.  Good luck Blazers and keep rollin'!
    I am a fan of cheering our hardworking Blazer team to a championship!
  1. TayC
    TayC
    Posts: 1804

    Posted 01/16/2011 5:07 PM

    See the thing about Aldridge though, i think Marc Jackson said it the other day, If he had stayed in Chicago, Chicago's active big men would of rubbed off on Aldridge making him as good as he is now a couple years ago, and if you put Aldridge in someone else's spot like Taj Gibson, that team would of won a championship, or even this year.
    My point is Aldridge has always been this good, this is the the type of player he is, the reason why he was drafted 2nd.
    If he had been put to use a while back, this team wouldnt be just discovering this part of his untapped potential, however i think that due to all the disappointment that has gone on this season, it is one of the few things keeping this team up.
    But i am over here imagining how good this team could be if their played just played naturally.
    Like the next guy who can blow up, even later on this season, is Batum. Let Batum work the ball around by himself like Melo a bit. Let him work the D and find his shot, but tell him if its not there dont force it and make the pass. Dont have him blossom into someone who will force the shot anyway, let him know his boundaries early on.


    But overall LA is on top of his game right now, he is the glue holding this popsicle stick team together
    I am a fan of The Blazers ♂, the £-Train, and of course, The ¤ King. ™
  1. Jonsey86
    Jonsey86
    Posts: 13

    Posted 01/16/2011 6:20 PM

     I think that if Lamarcus, Batum, and Mathews can sustain their current level of play along with solid minutes from our bench we win 50. However consistancy I think is the biggest factor. I am always optimistic when it comes to our Blazers so 50 might seem a bit of a stretch but I'll stick to it and hope I am right. Good post!
    I am a fan of The season starting on time
  1. PersianBoi
    PersianBoi
    Posts: 49

    Posted 01/16/2011 7:13 PM

    While Watching the HEat game, i remeber Mike saying after Batum's block on LeBron that he will gain momentum for the year, and that's exactly what's happening
    I am a fan of winning games on the road with Patty's threes
  1. PersianBoi
    PersianBoi
    Posts: 49

    Posted 01/16/2011 7:13 PM

    While Watching the HEat game, i remeber Mike saying after Batum's block on LeBron that he will gain momentum for the year, and that's exactly what's happening
    I am a fan of winning games on the road with Patty's threes
  1. blazerdarren77
    blazerdarren77
    Posts: 216

    Posted 01/16/2011 10:45 PM

    This team has been a better 2nd half team the past couple of years so i have every reason to believe the same will happen again this season.
    I am a fan of THE ROSE GARDEN FOREVER!!!
  1. bwinman
    bwinman
    Posts: 11

    Posted 01/17/2011 11:32 AM

    We've got to play better on the road if we want to stay above .500.  We've still got another 9 back to back games, so even though our strengh of schedule drops a bit, it is not going to be a roller coaster by no means.  I think the guys are playing better as a team now, than earlier this year, and we are playing better in the 4th quarter.  I don't think we'll hit 50 wins this year, unless we go on a tear and have a 10 game win streak.  I see us finishing with 45-46 wins.
    I am a fan of LA as an All-Star.
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