Following a five game winning streak to end the preseason, the Blazers are ready to start the 2013-14 regular season against the Phoenix Suns tonight at 7 p.m. PT. Here is a short review of the team. Enjoy!
Monday, October 7, 2013
Damian Lillard is one of the most important pieces of the Blazers long term future. Paired with Meyers Leonard after the 2011 draft, the Blazers look to build for the future and show that Portland is a place for rookies and free agents to want to go. After winning Rookie of the Year last year, a lot of people wonder what does Lillard has to offer? It’s quite obvious really, everything.
The most important Blazer in the immediate future is LaMarcus Aldridge. Now, some might say no it’s Damian Lillard. Although you could make a great case for Lillard being the most important, it’s a moot point. Aldridge sets the pace on offense, and he needs to be an anchor on defense. Lillard may run the point and set up the offensive plays, but Aldridge will be the reason this season that the Blazers rise or fall.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Nicolas Batum is the final and most important international Blazer on the team. He has been with the Blazers since he was 18. Four games into his rookie year, Batum replaced Travis Outlaw as the starter and never looked back. Each year since coming to Portland he has improved in every facet of his game.
Remember when Wesley Matthews came over from Utah and took over for Brandon Roy? That’s what I thought, it’s still a tough memory to deal with, especially because he hasn’t had the same impact as Roy. How can the two be compared though? Trying to compare Matthews to Roy is just unfair to Wesley. Although he is not Brandon Roy, Matthews has done more than Roy in some respects.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Another Blazer from across the Atlantic made his debut last year. Victor Claver of Spain joined the Blazers after being drafted by the team in 2009 with the 22nd overall pick. Similar to Joel Freeland, Claver plays on his home country’s national team. However, Claver is a little more decorated than Freeland.
The biggest Blazer from across the pond, Joel Freeland is looking to show what he can do in his second season with the Blazers. Listed as a Forward/Center, Freeland stands at 6’10” and he played in England for 6 years before joining the Blazers last season. He was drafted with the 30th overall pick in the 2006 draft; yes the same draft the Blazers acquired Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. However, after he was drafted the Blazers encouraged him to continue learning and honing his skills in the European circuit.
The big man in the middle, Meyers Leonard has had some interesting talk from the media this off-season. John Canzano, columnist for the Oregonian, has said Leonard is the key to the Blazers return to the playoffs and a deep run at that. Leonard is still pretty far out from being the player the Blazers need in the middle, but that’s why GM Neil Olshey went out and grabbed Robin Lopez. With time and wisdom, Leonard will become the Blazers answer at the five spot.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
One of the more high-flying, high-energy players on the Blazers is fan-favorite, Will Barton. Better known for his nickname Will “The Thrill” Barton, the Memphis product has been showing the NBA how big he can be. Taken with the 40th pick overall in the 2012 draft, Barton has been a great player since high school. Coming out of Brewster Academy he was a highly touted recruit. ESPN and Scout.com had him listed as the BEST shooting guard in 2010.
Mo Williams is probably the most unexpected addition to the Blazers. He was a late addition on August 8th. After spending time with four other franchises Williams found his way to the Pacific Northwest. He has spent two separate stints in Utah, four years in Milwaukee, two and a half with Cleveland and one and a half with the Clippers.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
For the next addition of Blaze to Glory, I’ll be discussing another newcomer to the Blazers, Dorell Wright. The nine-year veteran has played for three other teams before signing with the Blazers this off-season. He played six years for the Miami Heat, two for the Golden State Warriors and one for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Another Blazer newbie is a young-gun, Thomas Robinson. An ESPN top 100 player out of high school has been with two other teams before the Blazers and he is only in his 2nd year! Robinson was a top five draft pick in last year’s draft, which means the Blazers have three of the top 11 players from that draft, Robinson at 5, Damian Lillard at 6 and Meyers Leonard at 11.