This article courtesy of Rip City Report
The Blazers making the playoffs last season was a victory in its own.
For all of the NBA insiders that believe the Blazers shot themselves in the foot this offseason, you are wrong.
Sure, they had a PR mishap with the firing of fan Favorite Kevin Pritchard. An event that caused much of Blazer nation to panic .
But guess what? The Blazers still have their all-star guard, Brandon Roy .
LaMarcus Aldridge, a guy that averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, and two assists while playing completely out of position as the teams only big man due to injury.
Everyone tends to think LaMarcus is a soft player, but forgets that he banged around in the paint for much of last season once both centers (Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla) to season ending injuries.
LaMarcus went through the season pulling down rebounds at the pace of 10,11,12, and even 15 a game.
Sure, LaMarcus doesn't remind us of Brian Grant or Buck Williams.
And yeah, LaMarcus does tend to gravitate towards the perimeter.
But he has some killer post moves and when he is facing a bigger, more powerful forward, he uses those post moves to get to the foul line.
LaMarcus is just fine.
The Blazers are just fine.
Greg Oden is set to return to action and I believe he will play in 65 games or more next season.
This is a feat that the former number one pick has never accomplished. He came close in his first NBA season (not his first year) but was sidelined because of a chipped kneecap among other injuries.
Greg played in 62 games that season.
The Portland center has been very good while he is on the court.
Averaging 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in just 23.9 minutes a game.
Plotting his per 48 numbers at just around 22 points, 17 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks.
Again, Greg Oden is dominant when he is on the floor, he just needs to get one healthy year under his belt to build confidence in his body. (read: Former Golden Boy Looks To Return To Golden Form )
That will happen next season.
They've added a young defensive specialist with Wesley Matthews, who, when paired along side Nicolas Batum , will form a formidable defensive lineup that will challenge the likes of the best offensive threats.
A tag team between Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews is sure to slow down Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Paul.
Combine that with the length of Marcus Camby, Greg Oden, or LaMarcus Aldridge and you have a very solid lineup both offensively and defensively.
But most certainly defensively.
Again, the Blazers are just fine.
They will steal the second seed in the western conference and advance to the western conference finals.
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