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
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
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.