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Not so long ago, the fans of the Portland Trailblazers had such excitement for their new look Blazers. They were hoping for the door to completely close on the jail blazers’ days. Building around center Greg Oden and guard Brandon Roy they were the young run and gun team everyone was so excited about. But the bust of a career that Oden has become known for because of his repetitive knee problems and Roy’s shocking retirement destroyed the hopes of fans. With a 7-2 beginning to the season, it looked so promising, but locker-room disagreement festered, players like Raymond Felton and Marcus Camby were always calamitous, and entire season came crashing down. Combine that with a bench that forgot to ever show up and it was a disaster of pandemic proportions, then add insult to injury and throw in a fired coach, but 2013 should mark the beginning of a new era in Rip City basketball.
The new arrivals are changing the entire tone of Rip City; the Portland Trail Blazers are going to be a young and exciting squad this season. Damian Lillard, will be expected to help lead this young team, and will be backed up by Meyers Leonard. Young guys with limitless potential are always a great start to building to foundation.
The super talented but mostly unheard of Joel Freeland will give the team a highly sought after presence inside and down low. The team has added some veterans in Adam Morrison, Victor Claver and Jared Jeffries.
Trades are one area where Portland did not at all help them, but their strengths are going to be evident when they get out and execute the up-tempo offense that they have the potential to run. Thus far in the preseason we’ve seen the Blazers new run-and-gun style, and the humble opinion of this young lady, that it is super duper. They have young legs and a desire to make a name for them.
True success starts from the top down: this offseason, the Blazers hired a new general manager in Neil Olshey, and head coach, Terry Stotts. Portland is clearly rejuvenated, but they’re hoping for a quick turnaround that puts the team back into the playoffs sooner rather than later and start an entirely new era in Rip City.
And to my favorite part of the current Trailblazers: LaMarcus Aldridge who is the best offensive player in Portland. He has emerged into one of the top scorers in the entire league. Last season, Aldridge averaged 21.7 ppg. Aldridge must be able to carry the scoring load for the Blazers, especially after the departure of Wallace, Crawford and Felton. Aldridge will pick up the slack and should benefit from an offensive-minded coach in Terry Stotts.
Aldridge went public saying “I think every team in this league feels that I’m a number one and that’s why they double-team me and they scheme me the way they do it,’ Aldridge said. ‘If I wasn’t a number one, teams wouldn’t double-team me and teams wouldn’t try to take me out. So I don’t think there’s no need to bring in a number one. This organization can do whatever they want to do, but I think it’s definitely good to keep putting really solid pieces around myself, Dame, Meyers , and J.J.” so now he must back those words.