Well, that time of year has finally arrived.
It's the time when family and friends gather to celebrate with each other, to share their triumphs and tragedies of the previous year, and to share good will amongst those closest to them. Many families will gather from miles around; perhaps other states; perhaps even in other countries.
New faces will be greeted cheerfully and welcomed into the warm, comfy environment. They will become immersed in the festivities, filled with the joyous sounds of the season.
Some faces will be absent, yet missed very greatly. Some have moved on. Some will be unable to attend. Still some may just be able to return.
Mostly, everyone will be excited for the joy of the moment and gifts of many kinds will be exchanged. They will look to the promise of what is to come. Who will be treated to good fortune? Who will have that special moment? Who will further himself the most?
Needless to say, these wondrous moments of the season will be toasted with great anticipation.
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You don't need me to tell you that the NBA regular season starts today, and that the season may not have happened due to the lockout. I don't think there's an elf at the North Pole who doesn't know about the ins and outs of the lockout and the eleventh-hour deal which was made to make this season happen.
Five nationally televised Christmas Day introduce fans to the 2011-12 NBA campaign. But Blazers fans are much more concerned with Monday night when the Blazers host Philadelphia at the Rose Garden.
Four new faces have already integrated themselves on to the Blazers roster, so much so that team captain LaMarcus Aldridge has already remarked about the chemistry the team has. We got a glimpse of these guys in the pre-season and should be treated to some incredible and exciting moments during the season.
Each player on the roster should get some meaningful minutes given the condensed schedule. That should be a good thing for Blazers. There's a striking group of starters and several veterans coming off the bench. What the youngsters may lack in experience, they make up for it in exceptional athletic ability and desire.
And character, well, we've got that too! You'd have no trouble inviting any and each of these guys to dinner while setting out the fine china. They're friendly and focused. As anyone on twitter can tell you, each guy engages fans with enthusiasm and optimism. It's a real treat to follow the guys; so much so, I thought I'd list the following guide to the Blazers' twitter handles:
LaMarcus Aldridge: @Aldridge_12
Nicolas Batum: @Nicolas88Batum
Marcus Camby: @MarcusCamby23
Wesley Mattews: @wessywes2
Jamal Crawford: @JCrossover
Elliot Williams: @EWill901
Craig Smith: @CSmeezy1
Nolan Smith: @NdotSmitty
Armon Johnson: @AJALLDAY1
Additionally, Chris Johnson's wife, Tammy, updates what's going on with Chris via her twitter account, @MissTJohnson.
As for myself, I don't want to make predictions, but I am optimistic. While some on this team are new to the Blazers, it seems like we have a lot of depth. It's been a few seasons since we've been able to say that. I believe we can make a strong run to -- and into -- the playoffs.
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Personally, I don't watch a lot of the NBA other than the Blazers. I'm generally too busy to try and keep up with it all. I am glad there will be games being played rather than none at all. I will miss the players who are gone, but I am excited to see the new guys. I am extremely optimistic the Blazers have a good shot in the west.
But to take a step back, I would like to take this part of the blog to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season, and new year. Who knows really what the season will hold? What we all should anticipate is that there should be a lot of excitement, fascination and pride in our Blazers. The time is now.
Tis the season.
In Kassandra's Words features regular blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @PDXKass