I'll say this for Subterfuge Stevie and Pritchard, at least they generally grasp the concept that if your team isn't that great, you might as well crush teams on the boards and dumb down the game. It's not that fun to watch, but it is more competitive. The Blazers have built a nice group of front court depth, nobody is really that great, but they do rebound and everyone does something well. The season preview continues with a look at the forwards and centers:
Martell Webster. Word came out today that he will be playing SF until Miles is ready to go, I included him in the guards so I won't say much other than I am moderately interested to see Jack, Roy, and Webster grow as a group.
Darius Miles. The lightning rod. It's easy to get drunk on talent, and obviously Paul Allen was drunk when he ordered that deal for Miles (allegedly). He can still be great, can still dress at halftime after throwing a tantrum like a 5 year old girl, and can still not stay healthy. Best case scenario, he busts his ass and throws up a few triple doubles and we can trade him to the Knicks.
Z-bo. We all know what he can do, 20 & 10 guys are hard to find, but guys who play Fast & The Furious in downtown in front of the police station and stage 2 man bachelor parties are not. I'm pretty much at the end of my fuse with Zach, but because of his deal he will be tough to unload. I'm afraid we're stuck with him for a while, but at least he does have PER's of 19.98, 19.56, 18.68, and 16.94 the last 4 years. He's the only guy on the team that is legitimately above average right now, and if Roy is as good as we think he is, Zach could have a big year. Of course it came out today that he has Bells Palsy too. Terrific.
Joel Pryzbilla. Gosh, 5 years kind of seems like a lot doesn't it? It's just for the mid-level and that's about right. His PER's are 15.57 and 15.32 as a Blazer, he's basically a league average center signed for league average money. The years are scary. That being said, he could lead the league in blocked shots with about 41 per game if the Blazers have Rodriguez, Dixon, Webster, and Z-bo on the floor with him at any one time.
Raef LaFrenz, blah.
Jamaal Magloire. From now on he will be known as The All Star because of of the Oregonian. I would ordinarily ask if we can stop with the "All Star Center Jamaal Magloire" but since they keep after it, I'll play along in a snide, mocking fashion. It's not like he's Shaq or Yao. On the bright side they had a profile of The All Star a couple days ago and he said that he would have a problem if he wasn't the starter. Excellent. This guy should fit right in.
Travis Outlaw. Exhibit A for why you should never trust the Vegas Summer League.
The Marcus Aldridge. Jack, Roy, Morrison, Z-bo, Joel...sorry, just can't discuss The Marcus in rational terms right now.
So that's the front court. Lots of big bodies, Joel and The All Star are both really tough rebounders and defenders, Z-bo can obviously score and get you the garbage points off the offensive glass (highly underrated), and they clearly have a glaring weak spot at the small forward position. That being said, I expect the front court to at least be league average this season, particularly at the 4 and the 5. Small forward looks like a disaster but it's a long season, maybe Webster can knock down some shots, maybe Outlaw will actually be useful, or maybe they'll get someone in trade that can fill the gap for a year or two.
Next up...the front office.