Sunday, February 9, 2014

The quest for legitimacy

(I'd write some nice paragraph about some athlete you've never heard of, in regard to the Sochi Winter Olympics. But there are so many names, most of which none of us have heard before in our life, so I'll refrain from that for now.)

The Portland Trailblazers are 36-15 this year, which is good for third-best in the competitive West. It is a surprise to many that this team is performing as well as they are, since they were considered to have a ceiling of 7th best in their conference. They have surprised us all with (currently) the NBA's best offense, led by a rejuvenated front court trio of Nicolas Batum, (All-Star) LaMarcus Aldridge, and Robin Lopez, all three of which who are having career-best seasons. 

The backcourt is also one of the leagues finest, with second-year (All-Star) Point Guard Damian Lillard coming back and playing better than he did in his rookie season when he won Rookie of the Year, and Shooting Guard Wesley Matthews jump-starting his dusty career to become a top-15 SG. But the question remains: Are the Trailblazers legitimate title contenders? 

Although they are averaging a crazy 108 points per game, they have just the 26th-best defense in the league, allowing a mediocre 103.5 points per game. Portland also allows teams to shoot better than themselves percentage wise. Not only is the 108 point mark unsustainable come playoff-time, the 103.5 point mark is. 

The bottom line is that this team is too young and inexperienced, as well as lacking on the defensive end, to win an NBA Title...this year. If they add another defensive-minded player or two, then title aspirations aren't too far-fetched. But this team still needs time to gel.

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