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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wait 'til next year... or the year after that... or the year after that...

Don't look now, but the Blazers, who started the season with 5 wins and 12 losses before their miraculous 17-1 surge, have gone 7-15 since then. They're basically out of playoff contention and playing like a team that's tired. Given that they're the youngest or second-youngest team in the league, they should not be tired. And with no rookies, by now they should understand what it feels like to be in the NBA in late February. They should be peaking, not peaked.

Granted, Roy is exahusted and hurt, but Blake, Jack, and Webster were disasters last night against the Lakers; Sergio hardly plays any more, so don't expect him to get into the flow; and when you've got LaFrentz on the floor playing out his money, you know the season is lost. Portland's a jump-shooting team that shot 10 percent in three-point attempts -- embarrassing, unless you're one of their homer announcers.

The Blazers' problems are numerous, but their offense is especially lacking. One wonders whether coach Nate McMillan, who got himself ejected last night for arguing with coprocephalic referee Steve Javie, is ever going to be able to coach a serious winner. Even if Greg Oden had been around, would the outcome have been any different? The official Blazer faithful line is that of course it would, but you've got to wonder.

As much as fans get attached to players, everyone on the team except Roy and Aldridge seems eminently expendable at this point. Package a couple or three of them up along with this year's lottery pick, and the Portland squad may get the experienced player who can take it into next year's playoffs.

Or play the hand you're holding now, add another rookie, and wait -- maybe a lo-o-o-o-o-ong time.

Comments (14)


Would you please stop kicking the Blazers when their down?

I was astonished that the new point guard from Denver, that's just looking for a chance, was DNP Coaches Decision!

You're opinion of Javie is spot on. I think the word snuck through my filter because of the spelling.

Is there any reason why we can't know why Sergio isn't playing?

I found myself watching Tennessee-Vanderbilt instead of the Blazers last night. I don't see how the Lakers could get Paul Gasol. It doesn't seem right on a hoops justice level. And with Yao Ming coming up hurt with the always career-threatening stress fracture of the foot, I wondered if the magic of the NBA season could be ending. But then the Obama call to Oden cheered me up - especially when he said he wasn't feeling Greg's new mohawk. That's funny. I think the plan now is to follow college hoops for awhile. Saturday's Tennessee-Memphis game was electric. And I still hold out hopes for a great NBA playoffs. At least the Blazers got us through the All-Star break. They were a legit Cinderella team for a couple of months, but lately they've just been playing like they have glass slippers on.

Would you please stop kicking the Blazers when their down?

Well that kinda limits things, eh?
Face it, the "up time" this season was a fluke. The Blazers are back to normal.

It's all very simple. The Blazers are tired and bored - they're tired of playing hard each game and bored with each other. They have the talent to make it into the playoffs, as they showed by their stellar play in December, but they lack the motivation. They get paid the same huge salary for each game no matter what the outcome. They need someone besides the now-injured Brandon Roy to light a fire under their arses. The Blazers are doggin' it.

With the demise of Blazer Cable, I was initially bummed we in the hinterlands could not watch the cinderella story unfold. Oh well. Now we follow the two local freshmen phenoms - Love from LO and Singler from Medford. UCLA and Duke receive a fair amount of air time and both are winning programs with both freshmen starting. I no longer miss pro hoops. Check out ESPN tonight at 6:00PM for Duke Georgia Tech. Go Singler.

Oh ye of little faith.

It's time to inject Beranrd Hinault's three rules of bike racing (and life) into this discussion.

*Believe in yourself

*Never panic

*Don't be upset by the moment

Pat, your three rules sound like Hillary's credo at the moment. Go Hillary!

Moses, you think Hillary isn't panicking?

Clearly she's not a fan of late-70s, early 80s European bike racing. Another hole in her "experience" mantra.

Jack is becoming a total head case with all of the un-forced turn overs. It's a frustrating and painful thing to watch.

I was at the Celtics game on Sunday and they looked good during the first half, but then Roy went down with the ankle injury and the Celtics decided to actually play like they were supposed to.

I see a lot of potential but the team is still raw. I don't think it's time to throw in the towel and mix up the roster just yet.

The third youngest team in NBA history is about to finish around 0.500 (in a brutal conference) for the season, throughout which they were missing the centerpiece of their franchise. This is a team built around player development, not winning games now. In a couple years, with a couple scrappy vets, things will be very different.

The winning streak didn't mean we're a dynasty and the losing streak doesn't mean our future is overrated.

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