reubenw's Blog

reubenw

Apr 15

What a year for the big guys

By reubenw
How about the Blazer front line?  With all that has happened this year, it is a testiment to the team how solid this crew is.  Lamarcus has grown to a dominant force that demands a double team.  While sometimes the team forgets to run the offense through him, he still manages to produce.  I have seen more post moves from him in the second half of this season than in two years prior.  His numbers do not truly express the impact he has on opposing teams.  If the Blazers where a run and gun team he would easily avg 23 a game.  To truly appreciate his performance, look at what he has done since a true center has rejoined the lineup.  That true center being Mr. Camby.  What a godsend he has been to this organization.  Who would have thought losing Joel and Greg would be one of the best things this team could have asked for?  Camby has shown these guys what high basketball IQ and effort will do for one's success.  This team didn't even know what a tipout was before All-Star break, and now you can atribute at least two more boards per game to someone other than Marcus making the smart play, not to mention the 15 he makes on his own.  I love the toughness and heart of Joel, and I still think Greg will make the difference in Portland's next championship, (which is coming soon) but Marcus has to come back next year.  It is so obvious the mark he has left on this team, I hope he is rewarded for his efforts and leadership.  The man has carried the team on more than one night, and he has proven that points aren't the only thing that make someone a true superstar.  And let's not forget about the Insurance Policy.  Howard is the consummate professional.  He does everything this team needs him to do and he is smart enough to know exactly what that is.  He is the enforcer and the ambassador all at once.  His smile is infectous and has undoubtedly played a major role in keeping the spirits of this young team alive all year.  Who else can smile and laugh with the person he just fouled so hard it was called a flagerant?  The man is a class act and a throwback to the good ol days (which he played in too).  Again basketball IQ is a very large part of this man's game, and you can see it affecting the young guys almost as much as his love for the game does.  Speaking of young guys how about that second round pick?  Dante is going to be a solid player for years to come.  I have no doubt he will play over a decade.  The guy is fearless, seemingly egoless, knowledgable and a pure athlete.  I think he is the sole reason we said goodbye to Travis.  While his scoring is not at Outlaw's level yet, it will be.  I love the way he attacks the boards, the way he steps into his shot and buries it without hesitation.  This guy is only going to get better.  Last but not least is JP.  The guy is tough, passionate and relentless.  He saved this team in January with his effort and hustle.  You could see Howard was getting a little worn out, and JP stepped up to provied that energy and tenacity we needed.  I'm glad he got some playing time last night against GS.  He deserved to end this year on a high note.  His numbers are truly misleading and everyone who follows this team knows his true value.  This year is not over but it is already a glaring success.  Thanks for a great year fellas.  Good luck in the Playoffs.

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