Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Blazers-How bad will it get?

That is the question I asked before the season, before the brief glimmer of hope when they reached .500 and were in first place. Here is all you need to know:

They are last in the league in point differential: -10.53. There are only three teams with a point differential of more than 5 ppg, and the next lowest to Portland is Atlanta at 9.00. What does this mean? In a league where the majority of the games are decided by single digits, the Blazers are getting blown out more often that not.

Right now, without Darius Miles, they are not a competitive team. They will continue to not be competitive until he comes back. Even then, they won't be good enough to compete on a nightly basis with the majority of the league, not just the upper echelon, but the majority of the league. The winning formula in the NBA is simple: your elite players must carry the offensive load. The problem Portland has is they only have one semi-elite player, Zach Randolph. Darius could be one, if healthy, and if he wants to be, but he isn't healthy and has never appeared to be that guy.

Bottom line: it will get far worse before it gets better. Better doesn't come until.......well I would say next year, but how will they get better? They will not have salary cap room next year, or really ever. That is exactly what John Nash told a small group of us media members before training camp during a Collective Bargaining Agreement information session. So to get better, the young players must improve and that is a long and slow process.

More later.....
Thank you and goodbye...