GSoM friend Dave from the blazing hot SBN brother site Blazers Edge represents the very best that the sports blogosphere has to offer. He's leads up a really classy community that features "Portland Trailblazers Talk All Day, Every Day!"
Their equivalent to our GSoM motto courtesy of the unstoppable one is "144 more regular season games until Portland returns to the playoffs." You know I wouldn't be all that surprised if the Blazers actually cut that number by 82 games and made the West's elite 8 this season.
Make the jump for Dave's thoughts on how LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy compare to Andris Biedrins and Monta Ellis, a Darius Miles comeback, and a nonsensical Warriors and Blazers deal that would bring Greg Oden to the Bay.
Golden State of Mind: Although the Blazers are a few games below .500 they've received big contributions this season from second year players LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy. What is the ceiling for this young big man and guard combo? Will they ever be good enough to merit All-Star spots in the future? Do they complement Greg Oden well (particularly Aldridge)? How would you rate them compared to the Warriors young talents Andris Biedrins and Monta Ellis?
Dave from Blazer's Edge: . One of them will be an All-Star next year. Both of them will have played in the game before their careers are over, perhaps multiple times. Unlike many bloggers I am fairly hard-hearted in my assessment of my own team’s players, especially when talking on somebody else’s site where people don’t care about your mushy fan sentimentality. But honestly, the sky is the limit for these two. Roy needs to get a little better defensively. Aldridge needs to bulk up more and get a little more superstar-type selfishness/meanness. If those things happen, watch out.
Both players should complement Oden to a "T". Lamarcus is smooth, quick as a gazelle, and can hit from 8-20 feet in a variety of ways. He’s quick-footed on defense, often stops opposing wings on the perimeter, and can also bring a nasty help-side block. He doesn’t have enough bulk to defend the paint or guard opposing centers. He also lacks a true low-post game and prefers to operate away from the basket. Guess who that leaves plenty of room for on offense and on defense? Oden's rebounding ability will also allow Lamarcus to get out on the break. That will be a scary thing. Brandon likes to drive but he really shouldn’t be hurt by Oden’s block presence either. In fact there have been any number of plays this year where guards have penetrated and dished to center Joel Przybilla near the hoop, only to see Przy fumble it or get his dunk blocked. Oden isn’t going to get his dunk blocked. Oden is going to break people's arms on the rim when they get in the way.
Biedrins is a far better rebounder than Aldridge at this point. He may also be a little tougher. Aldridge is quicker and has a more versatile offensive game. Right now I would say they’re not far apart in value, depending on what you need. I think Aldridge has more upside, though he may never match Andris on the boards. Monta Ellis is a better pure scorer than Roy and is likely to remain so. Roy has a far more rounded game. He is a better passer, a very smart player, and will be far more likely to fill up the stat line than Monta.
Golden State of Mind: Who would've thought back in 2000 when Darius Miles walked up and gave David Stern a hilarious hug that draft day that this lanky forward's career would go like it has? Miles is on the Blazers' books for 2 more years in addition to this one. Do you see Miles ever salvaging his NBA career in a Blazers uniform?
Dave from Blazer's Edge: No.
Golden State of Mind: If the Warriors came knocking on the Trail Blazers' door tomorrow with a package of Andris Biedrins, Monta Ellis, and Patrick O'Bryant for Greg Oden (works on ESPN Trade Machine) what would the Blazers' front office say? What would the good people of Portland be happy if a trade like that went down?
Dave from Blazer's Edge: Oh, Portland fans would be happy alright. We’d happily march out into the streets, happily string up effigies of General Manager Kevin Pritchard and every significant member of the front office, and happily burn them with our happy, happy gas cans and torches. Then we’d douse the fire by relieving ourselves on it, cheerfully scoop the ashes into a sack, merrily traipse our way down to Blazer headquarters, and joyously dump them in the radiators, washer fluid reservoirs, and gas tanks of every luxury automobile in the parking lot.
At that point, having fully expressed our unmitigated bliss, I believe people might start getting a little cranky.
All of us at GSoM wanted to thank Dave for taking the time to be on our blog show. Definitely check out the Blazer's Edge game thread during tonight's game. I think they're the only blog that routinely whops on us in terms of game thread comments. Gotta give them props for that.
Dave also miced me up for a Q&A over at Blazer's Edge. He asked me 3 very tough questions- there's no softballs between us SBN brother sites! Definitely head on over there and check it out.
- The Blazers have a bevy of young hopefuls in Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster, and Sergio Rodriguez. Fans hope one or more of them will turn out to be great. But the Warriors have two young guys in Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins who are outperforming all three Blazers on that list right now. How good do you think those two will eventually become? What's the range between their ceiling and minimum? Franchise players? Stars? Starters? Role players?
- Stephen Jackson is getting national attention for his improved play. What caused this transformation? What exactly does the improvement look like? Do you still have concerns with his off-court behavior? Most importantly, how long can you depend on him to keep it up?
- The Warriors surprised everybody outside of a few scouts and a few hundred thousand of their fans by toppling Dallas last year and reaching the second round. How far do you think they can go this year? Also what do you think their eventual maximum is? Would this team, as constituted, ever be a serious championship contender? (You could also throw in what they need to do to get there if you think there's a path.)
Should be a fun one tonight!