Should the Portland Trail Blazers Play an Uptempo Offense with Raymond Felton?

Joshua GraberContributor IIOctober 16, 2011

Raymond Felton, The Blazers New Point Guard, loves to run!
Raymond Felton, The Blazers New Point Guard, loves to run!Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Let's take a moment to stroll down memory lane. Travel back with me to the 90's, when the Portland Trail Blazers were battling the likes of the Detroit Pistons, LA Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz for NBA dominance. We had Kevin Duckworth and Buck Williams grabbing the loose balls and rebounds under the basket and snapping an outlet pass to Clyde Drexler or Terry Porter. One of these fast-breaking guards would push the ball down the middle, leaving three-fifths of the opposition behind the half court line wondering what just had happened. Finally, for the grand finale, Terry or Clyde would find a sprinting Jerome Kersey screaming in from the wing, and shoot him a pass.

Jerome would almost literally thunder his way to the basket and throw the ball through the cylinder with so much force you almost felt the arena rafters shake in his wake. Or more than likely, it was the seats that were shaking and not from the slam-dunk, but from the raucous crowd that had just exploded into a deafening roar that left you holding your hands over your ears for fear of permanent hearing loss.

OK, let's fast forward to the current day Trail Blazers. Today's Portland team has been instructed to play a methodical, intentional, think-before-you-act style of play that is about as fast as rush hour
traffic along the Interstate 5 corridor through the city of Portland at about 5 p.m. The Blazers have been regarded for years now as being the slowest team in professional basketball. In fact, sometimes down the court, you may be more excited watching a chess game than the Blazers.

OK, OK, you got me; I am exaggerating a bit, but my point has been made. The Blazers are slow, slow, slow and would be better off if Coach Nate would take them off their leash and let them run, just like they did in the 1990's, and, well, every decade in their 40-plus year history for that matter.

We now have a thoroughbred in the shape of Raymond Felton who would love to teach the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge and Nic Batum how to go from defending the ball to scoring some points in under 10 seconds. Add to the mix a recently acquired Gerald Wallace who is explosive and exciting, and we may not only win a few more ball games, but at the very least, be a more exciting team to watch (which would generate more ticket sales and thus more revenue for the team).

Let me ask you, loyal fans, what do you enjoy watching more? A  five-yard dash by pedigree racing snails, or a Mustang GT blasting off the starting block in a street race? Did I need to ask? I think not.