Tortured’s State of the Blazers

Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by TorturedBlazerFan, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. TorturedBlazerFan

    TorturedBlazerFan Well-Known Member

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    TBF’s State of the Blazers:


    There's been a lot of talk about where the Blazers are at, was the WCF’s a fluke, or luck of the draw, was winning 53 games just a matter of health and good chemistry while other teams had to integrate pieces and learn to play together. Are Stotts and Neil Olshey the guys to steer the Trail Blazers ship, to a Trail Blazers championship.


    So as a fan, I decided to I wanted to give a layman's take on where things are at and where it looks like the Blazers near future is going.


    So lets start off with Neil Olshey.

    Neil has been a GM that is hard personally to listen too, he often comes across as a salesman to the public. Just giving us the company line, and every 6 months or so the media around Portland tells us he was close to making a move that would have altered the fates of the Blazers, but it never quite materializes. It’s really hard to gauge how much of that is true, so we have to judge him based on what happened.

    Neils Draft record has been pretty good. Sure there's been flops in there, but guys like CJ have panned out, and their current young players in Simons and Zach look to have a lot of potential.

    Neils trades have been kind of alright, with some of them like getting Rodney Hood and Nurkic looking really good and some like Aaron Afflalo looking bad, though I think there are reasonable excuses that, that years iteration of the Blazers failure’s weren't because of that trade but because of Injuries to Wes Matthews, Rolo, and LMA.


    Overall I've never been super high on Neil but Id says he’s done ok. His major failures have been in free agency, for the most part, 2016 is really all one needs to say on that. He did pick up Kanter, and Curry recently that were adequate additions to the team.


    GM: C+


    Terry Stotts:

    Boy, this is rough and besides some foreshadowing about the Blazers forwards will probably be the “toughest” grade to dole out for the team. Terry’s had regular season success with the Blazers when at times it seemed like they wouldn’t have much.

    He’s also had a lot of playoff failures, where it seems like things tightened up and he just fails to make adjustments, especially in-game. Some of it may be because he’s been in Portland for a long time and we’ve just seen the sets too much and his (lack of)motion offense have gotten to the point when it feels like there is collective moan in Portland when they run the 3 man weave, or run a PNR into a trap with no angle to an outlet (again).

    For what it's worth I thought he showed some growth this year in the playoffs making changes (in between games) to how they did things.


    Overall he’s probably an above average NBA coach, but is he the coach that can lead them to a ring? I really have my doubts here.


    Coaching: C


    The Roster:


    The guards-

    Well, this is an easy one. Dame’s straight up a baller even if he’s struggled with traps. CJ he may struggle at things like finding open players, and defense but he’s also one of the few players on the team who can straight up just get his. The dudes a scorer, and when he’s on he is fun to watch. When he’s not making baskets it can seem like he doesn’t do much else but he and Dame definitely make a good, and close to an elite backcourt.


    The bench here has always struggled to have competent backups especially for setting up players, but Curry and Hood who is kind of a tweener have been good.


    Guards A


    Forwards:

    Well... Yikes, what to say. Aminu and Harkless have been their steady starters (not sure why sometimes), for four years. Their defense has been the calling card.


    The problem is, I think both have some decencies on defense. They’re both are good defenders, but I'm not sure they’re elite. Offensively while they both have games here and there of giving the team 15-20ish points, there’s a lot of games they may as well not be on the court offensively as well. Zach, in my opinion, is the PF of the Blazers future especially if he continues to fill out and get better.


    Overall...

    Forwards C- (and I am close to giving them a D here).


    Centers:

    It was really unfortunate what happened to the Blazers at the end of the season in regards to their centers. Injuries took what should’ve been a strength and made it a question mark. Nurkic, his growth into the Blazers 2nd best player, his ability to pass, take up space on defense occasionally hit 15-18 foot jumpers and be a presence man I missed him out there.

    Their depth of Kanter (also a decent center who got hurt), Zach, and Meyers have been pretty good. It's really unfortunate the injuries they had here.


    Centers: B+


    The future: 2016 still casts a shadow over the franchise but fortunately those contracts are expiring next summer. They have a lot of decisions to make this summer, a lowish draft pick, and not a lot of cap space. Next year may be a bit of a downer especially if it takes Nurk a while to get back going.


    Overall the 2018-2019 run was fun, but what the future holds is in flux both with how Nurk comes back and what NO can do with the lack of flexibility he created.

    The Blazers run to the WCF’s “earned” NO and Stotts extensions, let's hope those weren’t overreactions.

    I wrote all this while on a phone will fix grammar and spelling when I get to a computer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  2. tester551

    tester551 Well-Known Member

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    Fair take & I agree with most of it.

    Personally, think you are glossing over CJs negatives a bit too much. As you said, when his shot is off - he doesn't contribute much else. Thats a big problem.

    I think a lot of Portland's playoff success this year was due to CJs shot being mostly on.... although I'm not sure you can always count on that
     
  3. James lamphear

    James lamphear Well-Known Member

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    After watching 5 games of there regular season games what notice more often about our guards they look to shoot first and pass second. Yes Dame average close to 7 assist a game the majority of them is to Nurk or CJ. At time very lackluster on his passes that usually lead to turnovers. CJ doesn't make anyone better around him he looks for his and when in trouble then he pass majority of the time or take a bad shot. Now do i fault them not totally because the offensive is built around them to be the scorers for the team. Plus really there only 2 play makers on the starting lineup and that Dame and Nurk. Back to Dame the best I have seen Dame play probably was when CJ and Nurk was out. He had to trust others players but his play was more balanced too. He also was getting double figures in assist at that time too. CJ best overall game was when Dame was out too. Am I wishing they would trade one of them not at all but looks like to me sometimes that there competing against each other and the rest team suffers. I look back majority of the box scores when Dame and CJ together shoots more then 40 shots in a game we have losing record but when they don't I believe at the time when I did that we was like 20-8. This is just my observation of Dame and CJ playing together. Now do i think that both of them really good players my answer is yes but they might excel overall in there game if one was traded and if I had my choice it would be CJ.
     
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  4. CupWizier

    CupWizier Well-Known Member

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    Great, more posts about why we are such a horrible team and this is after one of the most successful seasons in a long time. :dunno:
     
  5. swish3

    swish3 Well-Known Member

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    This analysis ignores what we learned in the Playoffs where we were close to beating GSW and winning the WCF. In WCF Games 3 and 4, Terry started Meyers with the revelation that there for significant stretches of the game, we could beat GSW with the combination of better shooting, screening, passing, rebounding, and physical defense. With the combination of Zach, Meyers, Dame, CJ, and Rod playing at their best, we led and might have prevailed. What is needed is to add plays with passing that the Raptors have shown breaks down GSW blitzes and double-teams, to make substitutions to keep up intensity, and to feed the hot hand.

    The major new achievement this year was getting a 15+ point lead over GSW in the WCF, and we did it in 3 games! We also celebrated 5 consecutive swish3 scores (and 25 points) in the 1st half of Game 4 that could have been carried through in the 2nd half for a win if we featured plays for Meyers. And expanding on that new success and also featuring our growing strengths, next year we will take the next steps. With the outstanding performance that we saw in that game, next season we can continue as we start Meyers at Center (or alternate with Nurk on his return) and can rely on 20-30 PPG Center scoring while adding 12+ PPG scoring from Zach and Rodney and opening more shots for Dame and CJ as our scoring power progresses.

    Instead of a tortured outlook, let's celebrate what we accomplished this season, plan to power ahead, and look forward to a Championship next year!
     
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  6. James lamphear

    James lamphear Well-Known Member

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    No one saying we got horrible team but just showing some flaws that we got on the team.
     
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  7. CupWizier

    CupWizier Well-Known Member

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    Actually i have seen it posted by a couple posters today that we were not a good team this last year and some who have said we were lucky.
     
  8. James lamphear

    James lamphear Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was very good season and every team has some luck in some games they won but it doesn't take from the wins and the success we had this year. Last year 49 but back it with 53 the next season and get to WCF then that being successful. Do we flaws sure as sure every teams. Does out players have flaws from top to bottom on roster we sure do. But what we have is resilience on this team and we got good chemistry on this team. That 2 things and little luck we take you along ways as team and a player.
     
  9. CupWizier

    CupWizier Well-Known Member

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    Yep, it was a very good year and hoping for more improvement.
     
  10. blazerfan11

    blazerfan11 Member

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    I would say the team is very good and has the ability to beat any team that does not effectively double team our guards. If the other team can do that, the Blazers are in trouble.
     
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  11. TorturedBlazerFan

    TorturedBlazerFan Well-Known Member

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    I dont really feel like I was making a case that the team is horrible, but if thats the way you interpreted it than ok.
     
  12. Hoopguru

    Hoopguru Know where you are going or end up somewhere else!

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    You have to have players that are willing and ready to pass out of a double team.
    K Leonard is a master at it. And Lowry isn't to bad either.
    Both have been deep in the offs over the years and the experience helps them deal with it better.
    Dame, will get better at it and I don't thinks its just coaching, you the player to deal with it and get better.
    Toronto has exploited their bigs against the warriors front court, we did some but not nearly enough.
    With Nurk back, and hopefully Collins taking that 3 year year leap and a few more players that Dame & CJ trust, we could be right in the thick of it again next year.
    The fun part is supposed to be the journey!
    Rip City is on a journey!
     
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  13. CupWizier

    CupWizier Well-Known Member

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    It was mainly just a general comment to what will likely follow. You did however mention in an earlier post that were weren't a good team this year.
     
  14. TorturedBlazerFan

    TorturedBlazerFan Well-Known Member

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    I don't know, “good”, “bad”, can mean different things depending on context. Compared to GS... eh, they weren't very good. Seemed like GS slept walked through much of that series. However if I take the entire league into account Id have the Blazers somewhere in the 4-8ish range. So, “good”, might be the right term.

    I will be amending the OP at some point this evening, with a little more about how I felt about the team overall, are they horrible? no. Can they win a championship? I dont think so.
     
  15. Wizard Mentor

    Wizard Mentor Wizard Mentor

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    A team with C- forwards does not finish 3rd in the West.
     
  16. TorturedBlazerFan

    TorturedBlazerFan Well-Known Member

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    Portland just did.
     
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  17. Tince

    Tince Well-Known Member

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    Of the 16 teams in the playoffs, where does Portland's starting forwards rank? 15th?
     
  18. borim69

    borim69 Well-Known Member

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    I would grade Olshey and Stotts a grade higher. Unfortunately NO could trade for Leonard and he will still be remembered for ET. That is just the nature of the game. the Blazers last year before the all star break pretty much stunk the place up and would have been lucky to make the playoffs. After the All star break we got Kantor, Hood and Curry and we did not look back. The first half of the season the only bright spot was Jake Layman and he disappeared out of the rotation when ET came back and I do not think that was fair. Jake had a little slump going on and then pop no more Jake. Hood took his minutes after the break when he should have taken Turners but I think they know that now. The season after the Allstar break was pretty much amazing outside of the injuries and even those were a blessing in disguise. It allowed us to go a little deeper in the bench and we found out what our team is capable of.
     
  19. TorturedBlazerFan

    TorturedBlazerFan Well-Known Member

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    Portlands forwards other teams in the playoffs
    Aminu, and Harkless were their starters. Milwaukee started Giannis and Nikola Mirotic it's not close. Toronto has Siakam and Leonard, also not close. Philly started Tobias and Butler, also not close. Celtics started Marcus Morris and Tatum, closer but Tatum's better than the Blazers forwards. Indiana Bojan and Thad young, also somewhat close we can call this a wash if you want. Brooklyn started Joe Harris and Jared Dudley, another close one I'd probably give the edge to Brooklyn. The Magic started Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon I'd take Orlando's forwards over the Blazers. Detroit Luke Kennard and Blake Griffin, well Luke is the weak link here no doubt but Blakes way better than Moe and Aminu.

    Thats just the east. In the west GS even without Durant is starting Draymond and Iggy much better than moe and Aminu. Nuggets are starting Milsap and Torrey Craig, another one that Milsap is better than either and torrey craig is about the same as ours, but Nuggets overall had an advantage at forward. The rockets in the playoffs were starting PJ Tucket and Eric Gordon in the playoff, also better than the Blazers. The Jazz, starting Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles, I'd call this a wash as well. Thunder Jerami Grant and Paul George this one belongs to OKC, spurs were starting Demar and LMA they're better than Moe and Aminu as well. In the playoffs the clippers did some weird things line up wise they actually had Patrick Beverley listed as a forward with Danilo Gallinari, so clips win that too.

    This isn't really meant to disparage the Blazers, but their biggest weakness by far in my mind are there forwards. You can say they aren't "c-" but I don't know what else to say, it's not a strength for them. Though I think it can become one, Zach is looking good he grew up quite a bit in the playoffs, found some things he needs to work on! If they can keep hood to start at the 3 or found someone else next year they could be better.
     
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  20. TorturedBlazerFan

    TorturedBlazerFan Well-Known Member

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    I didn't mention ET much on purpose, because I didn't have much nice to say... I tried to give some positives for everyone I mentioned.
     
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