The chance for an NBA season actually happening this year is looking slim to utterly impossible. Therefore it is time for every Portland Trail Blazers fan to speculate the future. Obviously no NBA season means a long, depressing winter up in Portland, but could the NBA lockout prove fruitful for the Blazers?
There is no sadder story in the NBA than the saga of Brandon Roy’s knees. We all have seen how injuries have decimated a once-promising career. When Brandon Roy was at his best he was a top-five finisher in the league but now he is relegated to flashes of greatness followed by weeks of torture.
It is arguable that no player will benefit more from the lockout than Roy. The time off will give Brandon’s knees some much-needed rest and more time to heal. Maybe we see Roy work on developing his game into becoming a better shooter, passer and slasher in the long offseason.
Remember, Grant Hill suffered from chronic injuries for years but then he adapted his game to his new capabilities and found extended success. Time off from the court helped Hill lengthen his career and gave him a second chance.
Sure, Roy might never get back to his All-Star play, but there is hope that this prolonged vacation will at the very least make him stronger.
All of the statements made about Brandon Roy apply to Greg Oden and then some. Obviously Oden’s career in Portland has not started off the way he or anyone else would have wanted. While Greg will benefit from this lockout solely for the ability to get healthier, there is even more to it than just that.
What this lockout will do, more than anything else for Oden, is take pressure of his giant shoulders. He won't need to rush back to play because there is no season in which to play.
While Greg’s legs have plagued his career, his fragile mental makeup has played an equal part in his disappointing start. Extra time away from the basketball spotlight can only help this delicate big man.
Who knows, maybe the time off is exactly what the doctor asked for and Oden puts together the season he is capable of.
There is no more dedicated fanbase in the NBA than Blazer fans. Fans live and die with the Blazers no matter what the situation is. Portland is a city with only two professional sports teams and one of those is a soccer team. All sports fans in Portland follow the Blazers' every move.
The lockout will not stop fans from loving the Blazers because fans have no alternative sports teams to attach onto. In places like Dallas or Chicago, fans will forget about their teams and focus on football or baseball. As soon as the NBA returns, the Blazers will have thousands of people chomping at the bit to root for their team. Expect sell-out crowds, rowdy rallies and tuned-in home viewers once the NBA is reinstated.
Paul Allen is one of the richest owners in the NBA and the lockout will not hurt his pockets as much as other owners. I know that all NBA owners are super-rich but the lockout is still going to hurt their books to some extent. While many owners will not want or be able to spend money when the lockout ends, Paul Allen will be more that capable to shell out top dollar for big-time free agents.
Obviously Allen has been hesitant in the past to spend big coin on free agents but maybe, just maybe he will realize what he has been missing and make a big signing. They say absence makes the heart grow founder and the NBA's absence will make Allen's heart and wallet make up for lost time.
Older teams like the Spurs, Lakers and Celtics are in trouble from the lockout because they have rosters full of players who are in the later half of their careers. A lost season affects these types of teams immensely because old players only have so many peak years left. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant cant afford to lose a season when their basketball skills are on the decline.
The Blazers have a young roster that can afford to lose a season without suffering major setbacks. Here are the ages of the most important Blazers: Aldridge 26, Batum 22, Matthews 25, Roy 27, Wallace 29, Oden 23, Felton 27. The only player that matters who is over 30 is Marcus Camby while the rest of the team is just reaching their prime.
The ability to stay young during this lockout give the Blazers a major advantage going forward.