Are The Trail Blazers Contenders?
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/04/2012 7:32 PM

    Are The Trail Blazers Legit Contenders To Win The West?
    Yes- I've Seen Enough, This Team Is A Force To Be Reckoned With (57)
    No- It's Still Too Early, Let's See How More Road Games Go (25)

    From the Point Forward by Zach Lowe on CNNSI-

     And the Blazers just looked like the more polished team in the half-court Tuesday in Oklahoma City — like a team that knows exactly what it wants to do every time down. When Wesley Matthews found himself matched up with the shorter, lighter Daequan Cook, he transformed from a spot-up shooter/off-ball cutter into a one-on-one attacker from the perimeter and the post — and to great success. When Wallace, playing either forward position, drew Kevin Durant as his defender, he went to the block, where the Blazers fed him repeatedly and watched him bully Durant for easy baskets.

    He has this to say about Portland's long-two shooting percentage-

     On the flip side, the Blazers are taking a ton of long two-pointers and have hit 45 percent of them so far – the third-best mark in the league, and a number that isn’t going to be sustainable. Aldridge is taking 7.4 per game, second-most in the league (to LeBron James) and has hit a Dirk Nowitzki-like 51 percent so far from that range. Aldridge is a good shooter, but he’s never been this good.  Crawford is taking way more long twos per 40 minutes than ever before in his trigger-happy career, and he’s so far been able to make them at an above-average rate – typical for him — despite the increased volume.
    And he asks, can Portland keep up their good rebounding numbers?

    Portland was an awful defensive rebounding team last season — 24th in defensive rebounding rate — in part because Aldridge, for whatever reason, has never been much of a rebounder. His numbers are even worse this season, but Portland is covering for him by playing its small lineups (with Wallace at power forward) more sparingly than expected and getting massive defensive rebounding numbers from Camby, Wallace, Batum and  Matthews (remarkably sporting the same defensive rebounding rate as Aldridge). Even Crawford, heretofore one of the league’s very worst rebounders, is grabbing defensive boards at a career-best rate. The net result: The Blazers are second overall in defensive rebounding rate, having gobbled up 80 percent of opponent misses so far; no team even approached that number last season. 
    And in the end-

     We’ll learn more as the season goes on, but right now, the Blazers look legit.
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/04/2012 7:40 PM

    Lowe brings up a lot of valid points in his article, especially how we will fare on the boards as the season grinds on. I know that if Camby does down *knock on wood* we will be hurting as he's one of the best in the game. But if we can stay relatively healthy, I agree with him. This team feels legit. As Sarah pointed out in her blog after the Denver game that the team plays for one another. If Camby won't get the rebound then Wallace will or Batum will.

    But maybe most worrisome is the amount of long twos we are taking, and that is generally one of the worst shots to take on the floor since a step back gets you a three. I'm not worried about LA taking or making them as Felton has been spoon feeding him wide-open looks. Jamal is the one player who I think has been taking to many of those long twos. I'd like to see him take the shots he's taking but move back a bit and get the extra point on the scoreboard.

    You know, after the Clippers game I thought, "here we go again". This is a talented team that just can't play away from the BlazerManiacs and relies too much on isolation basketball. But their approach to the game against Oklahoma City made me feel like the LA game was an anomaly and the team really learned from their mistakes. Mistakes aren't bad, in fact they can be blessings in disguise as they help you going forward in the season. So as long as we stay aggressive and play for one another, we have a real good shot at a Top 4 seed.
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  1. Herr
    Posts: 643

    Posted 01/04/2012 9:49 PM

    They look like contenders, and I think they can be, especially after Dallas won.  We've got good defenders, good shooters, and our guys proved last night that they're not afraid to charge in and take a foul, or make an easy basket.

    The thing I thought was funny was that some of the NBA TV guys said "The RED HOT Trail Blazers".  I think the entire team would agree that they aren't "red hot" right now, but simply just playing together as a team.

      Also, add that a lot of injuries have been happening lately to Western Conference playoff contenders, I think its safe to say the Blazers are in great hands to get a good seed for the playoffs and win a couple of rounds.
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  1. Curvychloe
    Posts: 610

    Posted 01/04/2012 10:44 PM

    Duh,this is a silly question as long as the Blazers are healthy they are one of the best teams in the league,and the fact that the've been able to stay contenders after all thats happened just shows you how good we really are, Last year we were probably the second best team in the west if you think about it,we gave dallas a tougher run then anyone else out west,and in 2010 we again were probably the 2nd best team in the west,we almost beat Phoenix without Pryzbilla,a injured Camby and a Injured Roy,even Batum missed a game in that series,and after that Phoenix went to the west finals,so Its safe to say the blazers have been contenders for awhile just haven't been healthy and this year is no different,if we stay Healthy we are easily contenders,and its even better this year cause the Lakers aren't as good,Dallas was a one hit wonder,and OKC is Just plain ooverrated.
    I am a fan of Sexy Blondes at courtside
  1. Loveable Rogue
    Loveable Rogue
    Posts: 1

    Posted 01/05/2012 8:14 AM

    We have a deep bench. already 5 different blazers have had a game of at least 20 points. Most of our second team have had sparks of potential if we do find ourselves needing to lean on them more heavily. Thomas for example had a fair few minutes last game; and he is lethal from 15 foot, not strictly a long two but he really helped us out a lot. Jamal has now had 2 solid games and is proving that he is 'Mr 4th Quarter'. Should we play him for 40 mins a game i'm sure he would rival Aldridge's scoring rate!

    I am a fan of real team spirit being stronger than one or two big name ballers.
  1. CarlJ1
    Posts: 399

    Posted 01/05/2012 11:52 AM

    It too early for me to say if were contender or not I believe that we are on the right track to be contenders and also a contenteding team get out of the first round granted we had injuries the last couple of season but, it's time for this team to take the next step and until we do we will always be one step behind the elite teams. 
    I am a fan of Respect, Loyalty, Honor & Pride the same thing the Blazer & their true fans are made of RIP CITY STAND UP!
  1. Lenny90000
    Posts: 2

    Posted 01/06/2012 5:12 AM

    They are going to be even more fun to watch,and dangerous!
  1. Lenny90000
    Posts: 2

    Posted 01/06/2012 5:12 AM

    They are going to be even more fun to watch,and dangerous!
  1. Donaldson09
    Posts: 4

    Posted 01/06/2012 8:38 AM

    I agree Blazers are the toughest team in the league just give us our respect and let's play some basketball.  I agree with "Herr" we're not "The RED HOT Trail Blazers" they are a very talented team playing the game having fun running teams out of the arena with their shoes untied - GO BLAZERS!
    I am a fan of Nicholas Batum~
  1. Curvychloe
    Posts: 610

    Posted 01/06/2012 9:58 AM

    We are playing unselfish basketball,thats the best thing nobody cares how many points they score
    I am a fan of Sexy Blondes at courtside
  1. barnettfan
    Posts: 392

    Posted 01/06/2012 2:28 PM

    This is definitely a run and shoot team. It reminds me of the Suns run and shoot. With a couple of differances.1. Not so reliant on the 3 shot. 2. Defense is waaaay better. 3. When the shots are cold they seem to have the control to start taking it into the paint and not get wilder with their shots. I think Nate is kinda diggin this team,this might be a good shot at the money if our usual curse dont hit us. I do think we got a good shot getting out of the first round......
    I am a fan of
  1. Curvychloe
    Posts: 610

    Posted 01/06/2012 6:50 PM

    They have cuter jerseys then the suns
    I am a fan of Sexy Blondes at courtside
  1. xXKingBmoreXx
    Posts: 1

    Posted 01/06/2012 7:28 PM

    I've been rep'n Rip City hard from the East Coast ( Baltimore, MD ) since back in '88, The Clyde "The Glide" Drexler era. Love my Blazers!

    I vote YES the Blazers are contenders, They just need to take it one gm at a time & continue what they're doing it's a winning formular.

    GO BLAZERS ! ! !
  1. Joel Belgarde
    Joel Belgarde
    Posts: 7

    Posted 01/06/2012 11:51 PM

    As much as I would LOVE to say yes, after the way they fell apart tonight I just don't know.  Last night's game against the Lakers was awesome..where was that drive toniaaaaa   g ht? 
  1. Joel Belgarde
    Joel Belgarde
    Posts: 7

    Posted 01/06/2012 11:54 PM froze in the middle of that....As I was trying to say...where was that drive tonight?  Where was that team that played their heart out last night?  I don't think they made the trip to Phoenix...and if a back-to-back gets to them that badly, how will they handle the back-to-back-to-backs, and the 5 games in 7 nights runs?  I sincerely hope I'm wrong but....I guess time will tell

  1. EthanMoney
    Posts: 301

    Posted 01/07/2012 4:16 AM

    Portland still has a lot to work on. But so does EVERYONE in the West at this point. With that said. The way everyone is playing I feel we can mature into a contender this year.
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