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2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews: Portland Trail Blazers

Posted by Neil Paine on October 20, 2010

Welcome to our 2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews, in which we contact the finest team bloggers on the web and ask them to contribute their thoughts on the squad they cover. What follows is their take, along with the team's depth chart (courtesy of, projected 2011 stats via our Simple Projection System, and polls where you get to have your say. Enjoy!

Portland Trail Blazers

Coach: Nate McMillan

2010 Summary:
Record: 50-32, Finished 3rd in NBA Northwest Division
Pythagorean W-L: 51-31 (11th of 30)
SRS: 3.18 (11th of 30) ▪ Pace Factor: 87.7 (30th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 110.8 (7th of 30) ▪ Defensive Rating: 107.1 (15th of 30)

2011 Depth Chart (with 2010-11 projected per-36 minute stats ... yellow = newcomer)

PG Andre Miller 34 16.2 4.1 6.3 1.3 0.2 2.5 0.454 0.2 0.223 0.813
PG Armon Johnson 21
PG Patrick Mills 22 17.2 5.5 3.5 0.9 0.6 2.4 0.460 1.2 0.401 0.714
SG Brandon Roy 26 20.8 4.5 4.8 1.0 0.3 1.9 0.477 1.1 0.350 0.794
SG Rudy Fernandez 25 13.7 4.1 3.1 1.4 0.3 1.7 0.409 2.5 0.387 0.850
SG Jerryd Bayless 22 16.7 3.6 4.6 0.8 0.2 2.6 0.423 0.8 0.325 0.829
SG Elliot Williams 21
SF Nicolas Batum 22 13.4 5.7 1.9 1.1 1.0 1.2 0.498 1.8 0.403 0.825
SF Wesley Matthews 24 14.0 3.7 2.3 1.2 0.3 1.7 0.489 1.1 0.388 0.827
SF Dante Cunningham 23 13.1 7.9 1.2 1.2 1.1 1.0 0.498 0.2 0.315 0.684
SF Luke Babbitt 21
PF LaMarcus Aldridge 25 17.5 7.6 2.0 0.9 0.8 1.4 0.496 0.1 0.302 0.769
PF Jeff Pendergraph 23 11.1 8.1 1.0 0.8 1.2 1.3 0.578 0.3 0.362 0.840
C Marcus Camby 36 9.7 12.9 2.8 1.3 2.4 1.6 0.473 0.1 0.313 0.679
C Greg Oden 23 15.8 11.6 1.4 0.7 2.4 2.5 0.575 0.1 0.372 0.699
C Joel Przybilla 31 8.0 12.3 0.7 0.5 1.9 1.8 0.559 0.1 0.339 0.667

2010-11 Blogger Outlook by Ben Golliver, & CBS Sportsline

The Greg Oden Waiting Game

After a summer that saw relatively little roster turnover – a Wesley Matthews signing here, a Martell Webster trade there – the Portland Trail Blazers have looked surprisingly inconsistent and unfinished so far during the preseason.

This can mostly be attributed to the continued absences of centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla, who are both rehabilitating from serious knee injuries, and the loss of backup big man Jeff Pendergraph to a season-ending torn ACL suffered during a preseason game in Utah. The Blazers will look to compensate for their temporary lack of interior depth by slowing the pace down, sending five guys to the glass on both ends of the floor and shooting a ton of threes. Matthews and maturing French forward Nicolas Batum give Portland two reliable spot-up threats to space the floor for both all star Brandon Roy and versatile power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Portland will use this improved perimeter versatility to keep pace on offense and will also try to outlast teams by employing a high-energy second unit that features foul-drawing savant Jerryd Bayless, hard-working Dante Cunningham and (at least for now) Spanish marksman Rudy Fernandez.

Given the roster’s evident talent, the organization has been hungry for a deep playoff run dating back to last fall. But despite coming off back-to-back 50-win seasons, the vibe during training camp has been all about lowering expectations and waiting-and-seeing for Oden’s return. The only problem? Nobody seems to know when that will take place. So while a third consecutive trip to the playoffs seems a virtual certainty, specific goals for these Blazers are left to balance indefinitely on a single surgically-repaired patella. Again.

Poll Time

9 Responses to “2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews: Portland Trail Blazers”

  1. natsthecat Says:

    Wesley Matthews really should be a choice for MVP. While I love Batum, I think Matthews is more assertive, so may end up being the difference maker this year.

  2. michael breneiser Says:

    i agree with natsthecat for the most part,but... if GO comes back and does what we all have been hoping he was drafted for...then there will be no question who will be the MVP, difference maker, as well as overall fan fave! GO has the whole (blazer) world in his hands!

  3. Ian Says:

    Last year was truly horrific for me as a Blazer fan, watching player after player go down with injuries. I can only hope this year will be better, but I'm afraid to have such high expectations as I did last year. Nate McMillan's caveman offense certainly won't do us any favors, though.

  4. LukeBabbittFTW Says:

    What the heck is "caveman offense"?

  5. 1ofthe7 Says:

    For Ian.....

    ... It was a bit nightmarish as far as injuries go, but it could have had 'nightmare on elm street' on our hands if it weren't for Nate.

    He is a very good coach. Maybe not 'phil jackson', sure. But even red auerbach didn't reach phil's ring count. But Nate is, I believe, in the top 3.

    Most other coaches would not, or rather 'could' not get what Nate did out of his team. Any team for that matter.

    Give him a chance.

  6. Ian Says:

    I've given Nate a chance for several years, but he was totally outcoached in both the 2009 series against Houston and the 2010 series against Phoenix. By "caveman offense", I refer to the continued insistence that 4 guys remain relatively static while we see Brandon Roy isolation after Brandon Roy isolation. Roy is great, but I think Portland succeeds largely in spite of Nate as opposed to because of him. I mean, Nate went on record early last year saying that he didn't want Greg Oden to focus on offense! What a ridiculous load of crap!

  7. Ian Says:

    Don't get me started on the fact that Nate McMillan actually decided to start Steve Blake over Andre Miller for a good portion of the season, as well. Blake had a nice year (for him) in 2009, but he has never been anywhere near as good as Andre Miller- you know, the guy Portland ended up paying $7 million per season to get after years of putting off spending in order to get capspace in the summer of 2009.

  8. T.Smith Says:

    Ian, the inability of our spot up shooters, last year, to hit open shots made iso's for Roy an effective O. Steve Blake started but Miller got his minutes in while Blake was around. Blake new the offense better and Miller was a better fit with 2nd unit. This year spot up shooters crowd the bench. I think the 2nd unit key this yr will be for Bayless to adapt a more Tony Parker style of play. Getting free throws is great but on his way to the rim, when the "D" collapses, I know somebody gets open for an easy shot. You want to motivate a big man? Give him highlight reel dunks a couple times a game. G.O. was drafted for his "D" not his "O". Anything he gives you as far as points is a plus. Honestly, I wouldnt run a play for him until the final 4 minutes of each half. Anything else he would get to that point would be off hustle and scraps.

  9. Ian Says:

    I think it's extremely foolish to refuse to run plays for a guy who was drafted to be more than just a defensive presence and who showed great promise on offense (the advanced stats back me up on this). Steve Blake may have known the offense better, but quotes from Aldridge and Oden reveal that they really liked playing with Miller. I hope this season turns out better than last year, but I just feel that this team won't advance in the playoffs with Nate as the coach.