3rd in Northwestern Division
6th in the Western Conference
Luke Babbitt – Trade – Minnesota Timberwolves
Wesley Matthews – Free Agency – Utah Jazz
Elliot Williams – Draft – Memphis
Armon Johnson – Draft – Nevada
Fabricio Oberto – Free Agency – Washington Wizards
Jerry Bayless – Trade – New Orleans Hornets
Martell Webster – Trade – Minnesota Timberwolves
Probable Depth Chart
Point Guard Andre Miller Armon Johnson
Shooting Guard Brandon Roy Wesley Matthews
Small Forward Nicolas Batum Rudy Fernandez
Power Forward LaMarcus Aldridge Dante Cunningham
Center Marcus Camby Fabricio Oberto
When I look at this roster, the only problem I see is the small forward position. That’s the only problem. The rest of the positions are solid. Andre Miller is able to dish out the ball enough as that is proven by his 7.2 assists per game average that he has had over his career while averaging 14.5 points per game. He’ll need to up his assists per game average a little bit more (get it around 9) while keeping his points per game around 13-14 points per game and the point guard position is great. Brandon Roy and Rudy Fernandez both are able to score the ball with ease. Roy averages a solid 20.2 while Fernandez averages 9.4 points per game in an average of 24:30 minutes per game. The shooting guard position is more than solid as they’re able to score with ease especially with Brandon Roy leading the way. He’ll need to keep up his career averages while Fernandez needs to get into the double digits per game column, although it will not hurt the Trailblazers if he does not. What teams need is a solid scoring option (or two) at the shooting guard position and that is exactly what they have. They’ll be able to succeed there. The small forward position has problems. Batum isn’t good and he has averaged a total of 6.9 points per game with 3.1 rebounds per game and only 1 assist per game. He doesn’t contribute much which is going to hurt the ‘Blazers this year, especially since Babbitt is a rookie and we can’t figure out for sure what kind of production that he can produce for the Trailblazers this year. The down low game is awesome for the ‘Blazers which is what I love to see. I love the down low game and getting rebounds for teams and Aldridge (17.9 points per game and 8 rebounds per game) and Camby (10.3 points per game, 10 rebounds per game) do just that. They get down low and get in there to get the rebounds and score points. 28.2 points per game and 18 rebounds per game between the two players is going to scare a lot of teams and make them get the 6th seed in the Western Conference.
With a solid starting lineup, besides the small forward position, this Trailblazer team is in good shape to have a successful season. They do lack the depth to do any damage in the Western Conference if a starter goes down (besides the shooting guard position). Let’s say a guy down low goes down (Aldridge or Camby) and the Trailblazers are done for (depending on length of injury of course). This team just needs to stay healthy, continuing performing and they have the sixth seed in the Western Conference to them.
6th seed in West
What? The Small Forward position is the ONLY problem? Ok Dan, time to throw out the cheesewheel in the fridge, its gone rancid and done something to your brain. Andre Miller is not even close the player he was- and he and Roy were fighting before the season. Roy seemed like he took a step backward last year to me. Nicolas Batum is not a world beater, but he does seem so far like he discovered he can get the ball in his hands faster if he plucks it off the glass. The big problem here is, to me, LaMarcus Aldridge. He still plays like he did at Texas, and that was 6 years ago. Looking at huim play you think, ton of talent- should be much better, and if he was in year 2, you would think he could be a solid PF for a contender- year 5? Not so much. I love Camby- but he’s wasted here. Portland ammassed talent for years, and to use a baseball analogy, they got mostly singles and doubles, but now they are leaving men on base. Portland needs to do something, but its not the SF position that needs some love, its the PG (and coach) They will make the playoffs, but no one outside the Rose Garden sees a threat.