Rip City Rising?

A new era in Blazers basketball?

Maybe, but the early results remain eerily similar to the previous year's campaign. After three games, the Blazers have yet to chalk up a win and look as lost on the court as Darius Miles looks in the gym. While the season is way too young to draw any conclusions about the team, it is not too early to point out what is wrong and what needs to change.

For one, the point guard position is up in the air, leaving leadership at the position in question. The starter thus far, Jarrett Jack, has managed to make only three shots in as many games. While the point guard does not always have to be counted on to score, his measly three baskets are a cause for concern because he's attempted more than four times that amount. And worse, the most important stat for a PG, the assist, has also eluded him. He has eight assists in 3 games, compared to nine turnovers. And because the point guard is expected to run the offense, his game has effected the rest of the team.

What seems to be troubling the Blazers is their adjustment to a new, fast paced offense, as well as the lack of defense. When the team attempts to push the ball and run the court (again, the PG plays a huge role here), they look confused, tentative and not completely confident in their attack. This often leads to a turnover, poor shot selection, and/or a cluster fuck of people running around without a clue. This is true on defense, as well, where players seem lost or disinterested. This is another reason Jack has disappointed thus far, as his backup, Steve Blake, appears much more suited to cover opposing guards.

Our big men, too, have shown much to be desired when it comes to pounding the ball inside and grabbing rebounds. Joel Pryzbilla is by far our best rebounder, but due to a weak offensive unit, he is often replaced early by Channing Frye, who subsequently plays poor defense.

There is hope, though. Our two prized draft picks from last year, Brandon Roy and Lamarcus Aldridge, are both averaging about 18 points a game. And not too far behind them is Martell Webster, who, in his third year out of high school, has found some confidence and consistency, while averaging over 16 points a game and showing hustle on the defensive side of the ball. I think that with some consistent play from the PG (a committee of Blake and Sergio Rodriguez most appeals to me), and letting Pryzbilla log more minutes as a defensive-minded, veteran center, we should be able to string some wins together. Our core of Roy, Aldridge and Webster, look to be great, but getting smart and consistent play around them will be key. Let's hope the PG question gets answered soon, and that the rest of the players find their grooves. The home opener is on Wednesday, and it would be very sad for them to lose their fourth in as many games.


Oldie said...

A win at the opening will be especially important...the last time the Blazers lost their first three consecutive games was back in '86. Not even sure how much further back you'd have to go to match 4 initial losses.

Kes will be disappointed you didn't mention Outlaw.

I'm rooting for the Gypsy Wizard...

Anonymous said...

this is a very true reflection of blazer's presently...I think you are right about the PG...JACK SUCKS!!! and sergio rules or blake but jack well you just keep crying man with no leadership...and yes I am saddened that you did not mention my man the one and only outlaw!!!!crawwww (the crowd going wild)crawwwwww....hehehe

luckygreen said...

There is no shortage of Blazer fandom here. I love you guys.

Props to the gypsy and the sheriff.