Blazermania Redux?: Win Profiling the 2007-08 Portland Trailblazers
This is the 3rd leg in my 30 city "Win Profile" tour of the National Basketball Association's 2007-08 season. Today I profile the Portland Trailblazers, a team that is seemingly on the rise, and a team with a special place in my heart because they were the team the Bucks were playing when I made my first visit to the Milwaukee Arena as a shorty.
For Bucks fans, I'm doing these "Win Profiles" for a reason. When I am done I will have an invaluable database which I can use to provide an accurate comparative analysis of the as-yet-unknown Bucks roster in the fall. The database will also provide me with a summer's worth of interesting writing topics, as I will then have access to hordes of "Who's Best/Who's Worst" information I can compile into those fun, but meaningless summer lists that basketball fans love.
For those unfamiliar with Bucks Diary statistics, please read this brief primer. For those unfamiliar with the "Win Profile", here's a primer on precisely what each category means.
Blazers of Distinction
1. Best Overall Win Producer
Brandon Roy: 8.4 wins
2. Best Overall Win Contributor
Brandon Roy: (+0.189)
3. Best Offensive Win Contributor
Brandon Roy: (+0.280)
4. Best Defensive Win Contributor
Channing Frye: (+0.174)
Blazers of Infamy
1. Worst Overall Win Contributor
T Outlaw: (-0.180)
2. Worst Offensive Win Contributor
T Outlaw: (-0.327)
3. Worst Defensive Win Contributor
Steve Blake: (-0.109)
General Comments on the 2007-08 Blazers
1. Brandon Roy is a legitimate superstar in waiting. I've only done about 5 teams thus far, but his 8 wins puts him at borderline All-Star level, and his Offensive Win Contribution is outstanding. His defense is pretty fair as well, which really elevates his status.
2. The Blazers really need to upgrade from TRAVIS Outlaw. His defense is marginal, and his offense is abysmal. They can get more Win Contribution from that spot.
3. LaMarcus Alridge is a pretty good defender, but thus far his offensive game is below average. But he should match well next to Greg Oden in what should be a formidable frontline.
4. The problem is the second best Win Contribution the Blazers got last year came from the Prizzilla himself, Joel Pryzbilla. And it was his offense more than his defense. Thus I question how much if any Greg Oden can improve upon what JP brought to the party.
5. Jarrett Jack's an okay player. I'd stick with him and get rid of Blake, who has shown himself to be a whirlpool down which Wins are sucked.
6. Its maybe about time to say the whole Martell Webster thing was a mistake. He still isn't producing. If you read my post from a couple of days ago, you will know my feelings on high schoolers who came out. Almost everyone of them has some sort of chink that probably could have been improved upon with some collegiate seasoning. Its a shame, because this kid has tremendous size and some ability, his game was just never allowed to fully form itself at the pro level. As I said earlier, they don't do remedial skills training at the NBA level.
7. Channing Frye's got something to bring to the party. He's a pretty fair defender, and he's ended up becoming a better pro than Charlie Villanueva, the other question mark from that 2005 draft. He's worth holding onto.
8. James Jones looks intriguing as well. His defense needs a little improvement, but his offense is coming on strong. He's a building block for the future.
9. Where will the Blazers go? Hard to say. They actually produced more wins than their defensive and offensive efficiencies predicted they would. They have to get better on offense, though, to compete in the offense minded West. Greg Oden will not help them there. Thus I would go for a scorer from the backcourt in this year's draft. But, long term, defense wins championships, and they are building a solid foundation in that regard.
Correction: As Blazer fans have pointed out subtly, its TRAVIS Outlaw, not BO Outlaw. My apologies, but if I'm going to have time to put anything out, that's going to happen. As Bucks fans know, flubbing first names is an everyday thing on Bucks Diary. I enjoy the critiques, though, but I would ask you to be more specific. To me, saying I don't know anything about this subject or that is generally just stating the obvious, and not really advancing the ball at all. Plus, as a general debating point, ad hominem attacks are considered kind of weak. And, anyway, as readers of BD will tell you, if you want to really stick it to the author, take my argument down point by point with facts. That kills me. So-called "source arguments" (ie, attacking the source of the argument rather than the argument itself) can sometimes be fun to read, but mostly I'll just ignore them. So please... tell me WHERE I'm wrong. That's all I care about. But I truly appreciate any kind of feedback, so keep it coming!! That's what the blog is for! I need a "The What"!!