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  1. #1
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    Can the Blazers enter championship mode?

    Early over the summer, Coach Terry Stotts said that teams with a top-10 offense and defense were in championship mode.
    Portland had the best offensive rating the first half of 2013-14, and the second-best rating over the entire season. When its offensive abilities slipped a bit in the second half, it actually ratcheted up and had a top-10 defense as it battled for playoff position.
    Can the Blazers reach the championship zone with this roster? So far, our two most important players have been two of the weaker defenders. But it seems like they've been improving.
    Is it all about the improvement of guys like Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge? Will it take a trade?
    I personally think Portland is growing from the inside, but that it should be open to trading anyone not named Lillard or Aldridge. Because Portland's not at the same level as the contenders right now, and it's increasingly apparent that their needs to be a sustained improvement in defense or a change in personnel.

  2. #2
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    A lot of success has to do with the organization doing what is necessary in the subtle ways behind the scenes. Good coaches, good equipment, good medical staff, lots of resources available like nutritionists, reinforcement of good attitude, culture promoting inspiration, motivation, success, and player happiness. I think we've been doing that which will help us become an elite team.

    Part of the defense problem was from not having a bench last year. Not only is a bad bench a bad bench, but it throws the starters off to carry the extra weight. I think as our bench clicks more this year, we'll see better defense and better consistency.

  3. #3
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    Given that 4/5 of our starting lineup is still relatively young we can afford to not panic and blow this team up and just see if we grow enough internally to make a run. Look at the Thunder or the Nuggets. Both those teams panicked and traded away core pieces thinking they needed to make a move and they got worse (Thunder have KD so he mitigated that).

    If Lillard takes the next step to superstar we will become championship contenders. From there we need to keep tweaking the bench and supporting pieces around our starting lineup. The most important thing to remember right now is: don't panic.
    2014 Bulls Forum NBA Redraft Champions!

    PG: Jose Calderon / Aaron Brooks
    SG: Wesley Mathews / Tony Wroten
    SF: Chandler Parsons / Andrei Kirilenko
    PF: LaMarcus Aldridge / Kyle O'Quinn
    C: Roy Hibbert / Kelly Olynyk

  4. #4
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    The Blazers are in our current championship window. That window begins with LA and ends when he drops in skill. So here we are...5 year window without another Star being drafted accidently or a trade to extend that window. Large markets usually can trade for talent to extend windows. Small markets get bad then draft good and compete again. So a large market drought is usually shorter then small market (which can be long depending on the talent being drafted and the ping pong balls).

    LA is a top 5 player in the league right now. Can Lillard and bench grow fast enough to take advantage of LA while we have him? Can Lillard ascend into a top 5 guard? Do we get a few veterans this off season to ring chase by coming here at a discount! This summer will be the big determining factor.

    Our chances this year...I believe that we can do better then last year a couple games and reach the 2-3 seed. We are a 3-6 seed team. Top 7-8 overall.
    So Say We All!!!

  5. #5
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    I think we are fortunate to have a good organization and good group of players who have decided to come together and put the team first. As long as that and our health continues we are contenders. And a lot of health comes from having a good organization (equipment, staff, low stress workplace).

    It's tough to say what we'll do because if the team first attitude breaks, the whole thing breaks. But with the organization making strides to be a player-first organization, it makes it easier for our guys to stay happy.

    I think looking at our organization compared to others, we are in one of the best positions for a contending window.

    A lot of the other teams with talent don't have the organization behind them to put much together. The exceptions are pretty much SAS, and DAL. But both have major starters who are so old, it's questionable how much more they can hold up.

    I think we'll be a much better playoff team this year. We have a great balance of guys, and a healthy motivated Kaman will be a nightmare for other teams. Just in preseason we were already finding ways to use him that left other teams helpless. And with the extra weapons, our younger guys are having an easier time fitting in and playing productively.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kao Sorn View Post
    LA is a top 5 player in the league right now.
    He most definitely is not. Aldridge is good, but he's arguably not even a top-10 player in the league maybe a top-5 power forward.

    1. LeBron James
    2. Kevin Durant
    3. Anthony Davis
    4. Russell Westbrook
    5. Blake Griffin
    6. Stephen Curry
    7. Kevin Love
    8. James Harden
    9. Dwight Howard
    10. Carmelo Anthony
    11. Joakim Noah
    12. LaMarcus Aldridge.

    Power forwards:
    1. Anthony Davis
    2. Kevin Love
    3. Blake Griffin
    4. LaMarcus Aldridge

    Aldridge is a beast offensively, but he falls a bit short defensively.

  7. #7
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    Coaches said LA was the top power forward. #1. It is certainly opinion but to many have that opinion to start ranking people above him.

    I think he can hold that top 5 all NBA also. To much hype given to Blake which gets him the nod on the All NBA team and All-star starts. LA deserves the spot. Sure I would rank Durant and Lebron higher then him but to say a guard is better is merely opinion.

    "Aldridge is a beast offensively, but he falls a bit short defensively." You mention this but rank Melo and Harden higher even though they are worse defenders at there position. LA isn't a horrible defender...more like average.

    Maybe I would move him to 7-8 because there are so many good guards in the league. But I still would love a dominate Big man to anchor me.
    So Say We All!!!

  8. #8
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    I think the best PF is up for debate between LMA and Davis. Blake is a glorified volleyball player and Love is terrible on a good day on defense

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrblisterdundee View Post
    (null)
    lol ur opinion is funny ... Noah in front of Aldridge is too laughable

  10. #10
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    With OKC having a Westbrook injury apparently, it lines up with a feeling I had. I felt OKC was degrading, and their hard efforts over the last several years is crashing back on them now. I don't think they have the quality of organization behind them to really keep their good thing going and it's showing.

    I think this might be a year of injuries, with other teams running into similar things. Good news is teams who win from teamwork are going to have an advantage considering that any one piece isn't necessarily as important as Durant or Westbrook are to OKC. Like if we lost Aldridge I think we'd be able to function better than OKC without Durant. But also our organization has been taking the steps to make our behind the scenes stuff as great as possible, which really helps minimize problems.

    A happy, flowing team with a good training staff and team-amenities makes it that much easier to keep healthy.

    We'll see, but this could be a great year for us.

    I just don't see San Antonio being as healthy as last year, and OKC obviously isn't. And after those two it's pretty open. I could also see LAC having some issues, considering they are common with CP3 and Crawford and they don't have much of a bench. And the East is pretty open too. Could be interesting!

  11. #11
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    The injury to Westbrook is going to take the Thunder out of the top 3. This is a fact. They could seriously drop 7-8 games which in the west will take them out of home court advantage.

    Injury free for us will lead to a challenge for the 1-3 spot for sure. I had the Spurs, Thunder, Blazers, and LA as the my top 4. Now I'm pushing the Thunder to 7. Spurs, Blazers, LA, and Houston. Dallas, Warriors, Thunder, and Memphis.

    This is shaping up to be our year!!! Lebron/cavs will struggle there 1st year for sure, the Spurs never repeat, the Thunder hurt bad, the Pacers out of it, and the Bulls are holding there breath that their age/injury issues don't strike them for the 4th year in a row.

    Injury free and we have just as much a chance to win this year as any other 2nd tier contender (LA, Houston, Warriors, Dallas, Blazers)
    So Say We All!!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrblisterdundee View Post
    He most definitely is not. Aldridge is good, but he's arguably not even a top-10 player in the league maybe a top-5 power forward.

    1. LeBron James
    2. Kevin Durant
    3. Anthony Davis
    4. Russell Westbrook
    5. Blake Griffin
    6. Stephen Curry
    7. Kevin Love
    8. James Harden
    9. Dwight Howard
    10. Carmelo Anthony
    11. Joakim Noah
    12. LaMarcus Aldridge.

    Power forwards:
    1. Anthony Davis
    2. Kevin Love
    3. Blake Griffin
    4. LaMarcus Aldridge

    Aldridge is a beast offensively, but he falls a bit short defensively.
    LMAO Anthony Davis 3 westbrook 4 griffin 5 kevin love 7 Noah 11

    Power Forwards
    1.Aldridge
    2.Davis
    3.Griffin
    4.Love

    Your telling me, Love & Griffin are better then Aldridge..... you would get laughed at anywhere. - Love has no defense he can rebound but Aldridge makes him look dumb! Same with Blake Griffin why do you think every PF take mid range jumpers......because of the master at it Aldridge why does blake griffin try to play mid range when he can't shoot? Love wants to sit outside now bosh switched to center LA has the Complete Game....He is the New Version Of Tim Duncan

    anthony davis you have a case but he doesn't know how to win! putting up points and setting your team up to win are different, why do you think there was the super teams being made? because a bunch of players couldn't put it together by themselves and against the old heads of the league made them look stupid and the players with that complete game I've seen Aldridge put up very defensive games and some games he doesn't because he trust his team Davis will be just like Kevin Garnett if they don't put a team around him there
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  13. #13
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    A few teams so far this year have shown they currently have more mental toughness and focus than our team. Like Memphis getting the win the other night.

    The top teams know how to win on bad days, which is something we are getting better at, but aren't as good at yet. We'll need to develop that consistency and composure to really contend for a championship.

  14. #14
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    I REALLY like this team as a legit championship contender. They remind me of Mavs championship team that is laying in the weeds in really competitive conference. LMA is actually pretty similar to Dirk, confident scorer who can eget his buckets even vs elite defense. lillard is my favorite player in the NBA. reminds me of a young billups, ice water in the vains. even a better scoring option, legit #2 option but not a selfish player, his D isn't on billups level. i don't know a ton about dame's defense, he got torched by parker last yr but his steals are up. probably the least defensive minded starter but not a total lollipop.

    I think the starting 5 is best in the NBA. what makes it unique is i think all 5 can score and all 5 can defend. most teams seem to have a specialty player or 2 or 3 in their starting 5 that expose a weakness on one end. also, this team has better continuity and coaching than most.

    the challenges are the bench. kaman's been great and i hope he can stay healthy. i know blake is a fan favorite but I'm not a fan, i think come playoff time he will be exposed bad like usual. it would be nice if crabbe can turn into that surprising, key player off the bench. they really need to develop robinson or barton or even wright to add something to the team. too much is relying on the starters and not in good shape in case of injury.

  15. #15
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    I think it'd help if Batum stepped up significantly, and another wing was playing well off the bench.

    Or if one of our bench guys like CJ, Crabbe, or Barton became good enough to start, and Batum could come off the bench like a 6th man. That would give Batum the opportunity to take more shots, and do more.

    It'd also be nice to have another big man option. Like if Meyers became good, or Freeland. A combo of Meyers and Kaman could be awesome considering they could play inside and out.

    But the nicest thing about this team is they have repeatedly surprised by what they can accomplish. Last year they were better than our guesses, this year Kaman and Blake are better than we guessed. It's a nice trend for us.

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