The Blazers enter this season with as much hype as any team out there. Understandable given the amazing amount of talent they have been able to assemble (buy) and the great moves made by their GM (owner).
They have the deepest roster of young talent in the league yet the highest paid player (and the only one making over $10m) is...you guessed it...The Expiring Contract of Raef LaFrentz.
This makes for an exciting team of Potental NBA stars but it does not make for a winning basketball team. Not yet it doesn't.
Watching these Blazers last night I got the feeling I was seeing some kind of under 25 NBA all star team. And I don't just mean their roster.
They played like an all star team of highly individual talents but with no cohesion or clear identity. They lack the things that winning teams have including an established rotation and role players who's job is not to score the ball.
These young all stars play like they are fighting hard for minutes and need to put up big numbers to stand out among their talented peers. They are playing against each other and not with each other. The exception is back up Center Joel Przybilla who lead the team last night with 9 rebounds.
They have assembled too much talent for one roster to handle. There is not enough shots to go around and the pressure to out perform their mate puts a premium on flashy stats and not on the disciplined aspects of professional basketball that makes teams like the Spurs win with less talent.
They will win games this year and they might even make the playoff's (thanks to the decline of the Warriors) but this is a Portland team that needs more James Posey's and Paul Milsap's and less Travis Outlaw's and Ike Diogu's.