Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What We Know So Far

Finally, after a long offseason of dreary, disappointing news, the Blazers are back on the court! As sad as it is that the Rose Garden is (officially) no more. The newly dubbed Moda Center has been received with,  not much enthusiasm by fans. CJ McCollum, our instant offense, sixth man combo guard draft pick, who showed a lot of promise in summer league, broke his foot sidelining him indefinitely. What's worse is that he broke the same foot that sidelined him for the remainder of his season his senior year. But not all news is bad! There have been some really encouraging things so far this season. Here are a few.

Wesley Matthews Big Jump Forward
Wesley Matthews has gotten significantly better since his mediocre, injury filled campaign last year. After plateauing over the last three seasons, he has shown improvement in almost every part of his game. He is doing something now that I have never seen him do as a pro. He can now create his own shot and has done a fantastic job moving the ball. Between his improvement off the dribble and his improved playmaking, he has gone from role player to legit scoring option, which is huge for the Blazers. 

The Blazers New and Improved Bench
The biggest problem for the Blazers last year (apart from the ever present injury bug) was the Blazers awful bench. They averaged a league worst 18.5 points per game last year. But so far this year, it's actually been a strong point. Mo Williams is a perfect 6th man who brings experience and consistent scoring off the bench. Joel Freeland is the new White Gorilla. He fits a perfect role for the Blazers and creates dozens of second chances. Dorrell Wright hits the corner three and plays great defense. Thomas Robinson is a tenacious rebounder with a lot of potential and CJ McCollum will (hopefully) be coming back soon after the all star break.

Rip City still has a ways to go before it is a top 5 team in the West, but between the player development and the much better free agent signings of late, I am optimistic. I see playoffs in our future this year and hopefully for years to come. Oh and I forgot the most important move this offseason. NO MORE JAY JENSEN!!!!!!


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