Portland Trail Blazers: 3 Things to Worry About in 2011-12 Season
This season in Portland has so far been confusing. Just when the team looks like they are about to command respect in the West after handling the Thunder and the Lakers, they came out flat yesterday against the Suns.
They make you believe that they might possibly be a top four Western team with outstanding play one game just to make you change your mind during the next.
You have to question which Portland team will show up on any given night and so far the fast-paced team with defensive prowess has usually showed up. But the up and down start to the season has given some fans a reason to start worrying a little.
I will give just a couple of reasons why these fans might be right to have some troublesome thoughts for the year.
(3) Injuries Have Become Inevitable in Portland
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Of course I put up a picture of Greg Oden under the slide titled injuries. Oden is a constant reminder of just how unlucky the Trailblazers really are. Roy retired, Oden still literally suits up for games, and Aldridge missed almost all preseason with heart surgery. So far this season has be lucky for the Blazers in terms of injuries, but can Portland avoid what has become inevitable and remain healthy?
I feel bad even mentioning injuries in an article because I don't want to be that guy that breaks the little luck they are having but it's always going to be a fear on every Portland fan's mind.
(2) Can Portland Keep Up with Their Own Pace?
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It's great that the Blazers are finally running and scoring points in a timely manner. No more snail-paced half-court offense. However, can they keep up with themselves?
Wallace busts his tail off every night, but in a condensed season can he keep it up? Especially in back-to-backs?
Aldridge still isn't 100 percent. So can he find his legs soon enough to come out with energy on a nightly basis?
The two old wise men of Camby and Thomas are... well, old. Can these two find the fountain of youth and give Portland a spark? Or are they going to start deteriorating as the season progresses?
These are all important questions, and if you judged by last night's game against the Suns, you do not want to hear the answers. They were obviously lacking some energy last night and this season depends on them finding it.
(1) Who's Going to Break the Shooting Slumps?
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In the two losses this season, Portland has looked awful. You can't just decide you want to shoot 20 percent for half the game and expect to win. They brought in Crawford hoping he could be the role player that Brandon Roy had assumed last season. While Crawford hasn't looked bad by any means he needs to step up when the going gets tough and add some instant offense.
LaMarcus Aldridge needs to become the man as well. Aldridge is our franchise guy now and the team needs to be able to trust him. When nobody can hit a field goal, Aldridge needs to start knocking down open jumpers. Somebody has to break the cold shooting slumps and a future all-star should carry that responsibility.
Portland can have off nights now and then and maybe that's all that went on last night. They are human and sometimes it's just hard to score. If this season is to be "their time," then they have to start making shots when they need them, especially when they play at such a fast pace.