Playoff Postmortem: Portland Trail Blazers

(image from

Brandon Roy provided some inspiring moments before
bowing out against the Dallas Mavericks
(image by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
This Portland team represents the epitome of a dependent variable. There are so many other extrinsic things to consider before anyone can even write a prognosis for this team.

Consider the following:

-       Despite the health issues concerning Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, the Blazers were still able to put a respectable team on the floor every night. They went 28-14 in the latter half of the season and clinched a solid 6th spot in the stronger Western Conference.
Has LaMarcus Aldridge already replaced Roy as
the leader of the Blazers?
(image by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
-       In the absence of Roy, a new star emerged: LaMarcus Aldridge. He was 14th in scoring and rebounding and was a close runner-up for the Most Improved Player of the Year plum.
-       Rudy Fernandez seemed to regress, but Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum more than made up for it by showing flashes of brilliance on both ends.
-       Andre Miller was an outstanding fit as the floor general! He upped his FG% and assists, and gave Portland a reliable playmaker.
-       Acquiring Gerald Wallace was a master stroke. It might not have enabled them to overcome Dallas in the 1st round, but he, together with Aldridge, provide a more-than-solid pairing around which the rest of team could be retooled.

It was by no means a bad season for the Blazers, perhaps just an unfortunate one. With two of their biggest names hampered, and with the playoff loss to the Mavs still fresh, it might seem like this team is in for a grim offseason.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Keeping Oden and Miller, developing Matthews and Batum, assimilating Wallace, taking care of Aldridge, and maybe trading Fernandez and/or Marcus Camby for a young, quality, legit center can make the Portland faithful sell out the Rose Garden for next season.

Nicolas Batum has sick hops, and great upside
(image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Gerald Wallace will be a cornerstone of Portland's future
(image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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