Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers: Will Raymond Felton and Gerald Wallace Push the Tempo?

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 28:  Raymond Felton #20 and Gerald Wallace #3 of the Charlotte Bobcats react during a game with the Boston Celtics at the TD Banknorth Garden on October 28, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Kristian WinfieldCorrespondent IIIAugust 12, 2011

There are two things the Portland Trail Blazers are league-renowned for: their quick, stingy defense and their painstakingly slow, yet effective offense. As a matter of fact, according to NBA 2K11, the Trail Blazers were the slowest paced offense in the 2009-2010 season.

However, since then there have been two blockbuster moves have gone down that could very well shift the way the Blazers offense is run. First, at the trade deadline last season, the Blazers shipped out Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham and a draft pick for the freak athlete and lock down defender, Gerald Wallace. Second, during the 2011 NBA Draft, Portland dealt Andre Miller, along with Rudy Fernandez, for Raymond Felton, an up-tempo, sharp shooting point guard.

Talks are brewing about how Felton will fit into the system, but maybe an increase in tempo isn't such a bad thing. During his stint in New York, Felton displayed his ability to knock down threes in transition on a consistent basis; something Miller could never do.

Then, after being traded to Denver, he played a slightly slower role as the backup point guard, but his three-point percentage skyrocketed to 45.9 percent.

When G-Wall arrived in Portland, he made an immediate impact on both ends of the court. If you've watched a Trail Blazers game after his arrival, which I'm sure you Rip City fans have, you've seen that he loves to push the ball, starting in the backcourt, and finish at the hole in transition.

He's brought defense, energy and athleticism to the Trail Blazers, and it looks like he'll be here to stay.

With Crash and Felton landing in Portland, a slight shift in tempo is imminent. The two will finally reunite and rekindle the chemistry they had back during their days in Charlotte.

I, as an avid Trail Blazers follower, predict that the change will be for the better, and not for worse. LaMarcus Aldridge led the NBA in alley-oop dunks last season (no, not Blake Griffin or Dwight Howard), and Wesley Matthews is another young, athletic guard who can get out in transition.  

If the Portland Trail Blazers can find that perfect combination of fast-paced and grind-it-out offense, they'll be a nightmare for defensive schemes across the NBA.

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