Jan 16

mid-season analyzed

By Kassandra

if i could sum up the blazers season after 41 games, i don't really know which word i would use. tumultuous; tragic; resilient. to some extend, all would seem to apply in one shape or another. i know there are many who are analyzing this season at this point, so i hope i can shed some different light on it.

all things considered, at 21-20, we could be doing much better than we are, and we could be doing much worse. this team, much like last year's, has been hit heavily by the injury bug. we've lost Greg and Elliot for the season, and likely Brandon as well. Joel came back from his patella injury, then was lost for several games due to an ankle injury. we signed a backup center/pf right before the season began, and Fabricio was fitting in well to the fabric of the team when he was forced to retire due to a heart issue.

basically, things have not gone as planned, but as we have learned, this team has the ability to adapt. we're currently in eighth place in the western conference standings, three games behind denver in seventh, and a game and a half ahead of memphis in ninth. the tough part of the schedule is behind us, and the majority of our games are at home.

can we make the playoffs? i think so. with all that's already happened to this team, the guys are settling into familiarity with this group of players, and i think they will only continue to learn to play together and to each others' strengths. of course, there remains the possibility we could make a trade. if such a deal makes sense, then we should take a serious look at it. my hope is that we don't make a trade just for the sake of making a trade.

coaching has been inconsistent. at times, Nate has looked like a genius and at others he's looked lost. i give him some props for going outside his box and allowing the team to run more when is suits the personnel we have on the floor. i'm going to also give props to assistants Bill Bano and Buck Williams for aiding LaMarcus' improvement.

i thought i'd use this time to hand out my version of some mid-season awards:

most valuable player: LaMarcus. is there really any other name to insert here?. since becoming the number one option about five weeks ago, he's been our most reliable player, and during the month of january, he's averaging 26.5 ppg; or about eight-and-a-half points higher than his point average from last season.

most improved player: i've got to split this award between Nicolas and Wesley. Nicolas has performed well most of the season, and has done very well as of late. Wesley has provided the hustle and defense we anticipated when he was signed, and has had some productive games this season. i'd like to see some offensive consistency from both, however.

most inspirational player: Patrick. whether he is on the bench or in the game, he's the first to congratulate someone, help someone up from the floor and offering encouragement. off the court, he provided an olive branch to Rudy and has made contact with many, many fans on twitter.

biggest underachiever. Rudy. i'm sorry to say that, but i have to throw it out there. he's done well in spots, but just hasn't been the same player who impressed us during his rookie season. i'm confident that he still has it in him. we need to see him turn the corner.

only time will really tell what happens over the course of the second half of the season. for now, i think it's unfortunate that we're not ranked higher, but fortunate that we're not ranked lower. i'm very much looking forward to the second half of the season.

~ Kassandra


  1. i got another award; most durable player- Miller/ had it not been for that 1 game suspension, his consecutive game streak would still be intact. Thanks NBA for messing it up for another Blazer player.

    by blazerdarren77 on 1/16/2011 9:23 PM
  2. I agree with everything you've written, except that Rudy hasn't been the same player since the fall he took against LA his rookie year. I don't know if its his back or what, but he plays with one eye on the basket and the other looking to get hit. I think part of this is because he was always able to shake off the hits he's taken when he was able to go to the line, but the NBA refs don't let him get to the line like their stars. No one on the Blazers gets to the line like the NBA stars, but they still go out and work hard without looking over their shoulder.

    And Miller is way under rated as a player and person. Like I've said before, its hard to play for a coach like Nate. He's the same as a coach as he was as a player and that's why Roy is so good in his system. You work the ball into the hands of your #1 player and everyone watches him work to the basket. McMillion is the worst coach for a guard.

    by Bruise10 on 1/17/2011 3:10 PM
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