Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Looking Ahead: Next Year's Minutes

Thinking ahead to next season, what do the Blazers really need? Where might there be available minutes to be had?

Rather than screw around with the 5 positions, let’s go back to our age-old proven recipe of “guards”, “wings” and “bigs”. Looking at the situation from a very high level, here’s how I see the minute requirement next year:

Jack – 30
Roy – 30
Rodriguez – 20

Webster – 25
Outlaw – 25
Udoka - 15

Randolph – 35
Pryzbilla – 20
Aldridge – 25

Bear in mind that there are 240 minutes available in an NBA game (5 players * 48 minutes). The above totals get us to 225 minutes. You can say that players like Pryzbilla, Aldridge, Webster and Roy deserve more than what they’ve been allotted above, but I think once you look at the season-long average, this is what you’ll see. Assume for argument’s sake that the above is accurate. Where do the remaining 15 minutes come from? Clearly, you need more than an 9-man rotation over the course of an NBA season, and the above assessment doesn’t even take Darius Miles, Raef LaFrentz, or Portland’s likely-top-10 pick into account. Clearly the team is light in the “wings” department, as I don’t consider either of those three players to be a legitimate NBA starter yet. I think what it boils down to is that we’ll probably be okay with the existing players at Guard and Bigs, but Portland could use another Wing. Whether that comes through the draft or this year’s trade deadline remains to be seen.

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