Deframer32

Apr 08

Balancing the Present and Future

By Deframer32 Posted in: Blazers, RaymondFelton
After the flurry of activity around the trade deadline there have been many changes for Rip city. The departure of Gerald Wallace and the board-crashing Camby had me convinced that Portland's front-court was too thin to sustain a workable roster. The acquisitions of Okur and Thabeet were no comfort. There have been a number of factors, however, that have given glimpses of a bright future.

Balance is a difficult thing to achieve. Mcmillan's dismissal could be seen as an attempt to address both present and future problems, while the stacks of draft picks in Portland's lap is obviously an investment for the future.

None of these attempts at balance convinced me that things were going in the right direction.

The glimmer of hope came from Raymond Felton and JJ Hickson.

Felton has not been a fan favorite and his rocky start in the first few dozen games seemed to be another blow for Portland fans, but, dribbling off the foot excepted, Felton has been meshing with the team and even exceeding expectations as of late. I now feel an electrifying intensity in his plays. His dishes to Aldridge over the last few weeks have exhibited stellar point guard play as well. I think, though it took a while, that he is playing well with this team (the jury IS still out).

JJ Hickson has also breathed fresh air into the team. His alley-oops over the last few games have been fun to watch and he has great hustle. His game under the basket has yielded plenty of offensive boards and at 23 he shows signs of paying off even more in years to come. 

All of this is to say that in the struggle to improve things for the team down the road I sincerely hope that Hickson and Felton don't get lost in the changes that will inevitably happen over the summer.

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