Near Future: Starting 5 and A Certain Virtue
By Shaun Reesing Posted in: BrandonRoy, future, Hawks, Lakers, LaMarcusAldridge, MarcusCamby, BrandonRoy, future, Hawks, Lakers, LaMarcusAldridge, MarcusCamby
Among other things, I am a fan of keeping cool.
In a moderately philosophical discussion with my Dad this afternoon, I came to the conclusion that I, like so many others, sometimes get caught up in wanting results NOW. It doesn't take a genius (I hope) to figure out that you won't win all 82 games, but it still seems as if after every single loss I sit wondering what we (our team) could have done to win it. It is, of course, easy to say this after the fact. In a dreamy/realistic scenario we would be Spuring
(need I say more?). But let's look here and now. LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Houston: 14 points in... Wait! Did you say 14? Yes.
Memorable performances against the Spurs, Bulls, and T-Wolves highlighted his run at stardom which lasted several months. I've also got some news: It's not over.
To me, his minor (and temporary) decline began in the latter stages of the heartbreaking OT loss to the Lakers in late February. On four or five straight possessions, Aldridge caught the ball at about eight feet outside where he would have liked to, thereby making it extremely difficult to do his post work which had been the bulk of his success. This really carried over into the Atlanta game. And it didn't help that he was working against Pau Gasol and Al Horford, two All-Star (cough) posts that can defend very well. I think this was then compounded by the return of Marcus Camby to the five spot, which slid LA back to the four, and slid some of his effectiveness right over with him. In spite of the return of Brandon Roy (who I love), the remainder of the season and the Playoffs rest upon the shoulders of LaMarcus Aldridge, since he has really been our rock for the last three-four months, which is why the following starting lineup would, in my opinion, adhere to that need:
LaMarcus Aldridge | C:
As I said before, 85% of LA's rise to stardom was in the low post, so we don't want Camby clogging things up down low (not that he's a nuisance or anything).
Nicolas Batum | PF:
Batum, though sometimes shaky and inconsistent, is a hustler and a shooter (and French...). He and Wesley Matthews are the Blazers perimeter defenders, and really very similar players, so don't be surprised to see this position change between the two throughout the season.
Gerald Wallace | SF:
Take it from the man himself, headband and all, he is more effective as a starter. He can shoot, pass, block shots, rebound, do everything, and... He gets out there and he can set the tone in the early going.
Brandon Roy | SG:
This will likely take some time once the minutes embargo is lifted on Roy. Great player, he just needs to play more and maybe become more of a sharer, as he is one of few star wing players that doesn't need the ball in his hands all the time to be effective.
Andre Miller | PG:
He's the methodical guy that annoys the heck out of me by bringing the ball across midcourt with 17 on the shot clock. At the same time, he is the king of the alley-oop, and he will get out and run on a fast break. His savvy nature could lead to some spectacular oops to high fliers like LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace. As a side note; we are a little thin at this position on the bench as both Rudy Fernandez and Wesley Matthews are 2-guards. Look for Some more playing time for Armon Johnson and Patrick Mills.
I do believe that there are even brighter days ahead, days that can be shared by the whole team and not just between three or four players. GO BLAZERS!