Monday, December 17, 2007

Blazing a Trail of Success

Brandon Roy Trailblazers

The Portland Trailblazers are probably the biggest and most positive surprise in the West so far. The team had high expectations for this year as they would be adding a franchise superstar at the Center spot. A guy likely to dominate for a decade or so. But a brief bit of bad luck hit leaving Greg Oden, the 2007 #1 draft pick out to recover from knee surgery. This led many fans all over to question not only how bad the Blazers would be this year, but if they would have continuous problems with Oden due to his knee. Well so far this year one question is being answered, the Trailblazers aren't bad at all.

Portland is currently blazing the trail of a 7 game win streak in the NBA, second only to Boston's 9 game run. This season they have 5 players scoring in double figures, including last season's ROY, Brandon Roy, and another sophomore sensation in LaMarcus Aldridge. The other 3 are Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster, and Jarret Jack. Not household names, but they are definitely picking up the slack in the absence of a marquee player like Greg Oden. Jack, Aldridge and Roy also have their names on this year's all-star ballot for the West.

You can tell that the stats of Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge will most likely improve, and these young talents are going to form quite a nucleus. Once Oden gets into the mix next season, Roy should see his assist total move up as he feeds into the big guy. 3 point shots may also increase, as this team could take on the look of an up-and-coming San Antonio. The Spurs attack is based on a solid inside-outside game with Duncan kicking the ball out to sharpshooters or taking it to the hole himself. A guy like Oden should be eclipsing Duncan in the very near future, and with a talent like Aldridge at his side, it's going to be even rougher for teams trying to score inside or rebound.

So far the Blazers have managed to start quite a hot streak, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them ride the momentum of their young stars into a battle for the 8 spot for the playoffs.

Check out the official Trailblazers website for more info on the team.

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