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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is it just me, or do the Blazers seem to have lost some of the fire they had at the beginning of the season? They don't seem to be playing as hard or with as much spirit as they did in the first 4 or 5 games of the year. Zach definitely seems to be suffering some kind of malaise, and so does Telfair, especially on the defensive end. What's going on--is the team getting discouraged?
 

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They have been living out of a suitcase for the last few days. For young guys too young to even go to a club, it's tough. For guys old enough to go to a club, but limited in their activities by the watchful eye of Nate... it's tough too. [:D]

And then there was that whole Ruben thing. Maybe it's made them a little depressed. Who knows.
 

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The team just isn't good. They had a very easy schedule to start the year and some people saw tootsie rolls when they won a few games.

They might be discouraged, or they might be tuning Nate out... I don't know that either of those things are the case, but I think that this is just a tough season with a young team and they'd lose plenty of games irrespective of emotional issues.

Ed O.
 

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Talkhard said:
Is it just me, or do the Blazers seem to have lost some of the fire they had at the beginning of the season? They don't seem to be playing as hard or with as much spirit as they did in the first 4 or 5 games of the year. Zach definitely seems to be suffering some kind of malaise, and so does Telfair, especially on the defensive end. What's going on--is the team getting discouraged?
I don't think they are getting worse I think they are playing about the way we can expect. One thing to keep in mind this team has been exceeding expectations, they now may be coming back to earth.
 

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There's absolutely nothing surprising about the Blazers' recent lack of success. They're young and they're on a long road trip. In the NBA, that's an combination that almost always results in way more losses than wins. Young guys get discouraged easily on the road and, too often, you can almost read the acceptance of defeat in the Blazers' body language when things start to go against them.
 

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Ed O said:
The team just isn't good. They had a very easy schedule to start the year and some people saw tootsie rolls when they won a few games.
I think that's the misconception that a lot of NBA critics have this season. The truth of the matter? There aren't very many good teams in the league. So this notion that the Blazers, being bad, shouldn't compete this year is false. Most of the league is either young, young and overpaid from their first contract, or old and overpaid from their second contract.

So I think Nate is correct in insisting that the Blazers not let their lack of expectation about the season get to them. There should be a inordinant amount of games available this season by scrapping (taking care of the ball and taking high percentage shots).
 

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They are going to have their ups and downs. They are young with a new coach/system so they are not going to be consistent. If we judge by each game they play we're going to think they are better/worst every other/few games. What is this season about? Growing. It's normal to take steps back, to revert to taking jump shots instead of passing it around and playing D. When we start to more consistently play team ball we'll be growing. The more growth the more consistent play.
 

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Not sure what fire you're referring to.

They've played pretty lackadaisically all season except for about 4 or 5 quarters, which in comparison may have appeared to be better than they were.
 

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No, they are not getting worse. Same people with more experience.
Just starting to set in that they are not as good as they thought they were. Emotional players do better rebounding and defense when they are hitting some shots.

They still have stretches where they are not too bad however.
They had their highest scoring first quarter of the year I think.
When they pass the ball around and move they are not all that bad.
Monia is one of the few players that does that and he just was not hitting his shots last night. He was wide open on occasion and just missed.
Zack is a very emotional (maybe selfish) player and if he does not hit his first few shots or he does not get his touches he gets down and just does not play much of anything.

Many of our "veteran" laden rosters of the last few years however were poor on the road as well. There just was no one who shot well last night except for maybe Miles. Telfair had scores but did not play defense well.
With Zach non existent, Telfair struggles to get any flow going.
They missed Theo on the second unit badly.
We might want to be slow to trade him as some do.

I watched the game on TIVO late last night and my observations might be poor as it was very late and I usually watch it a second time before I comment on games. Anyway, they looked very slow and lethargic mid way through the second quarter on. Maybe they will get some practice in before Sunday's game.

Don't loose hope just yet. :biggrin: :angel:
 

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Samuel said:
I think that's the misconception that a lot of NBA critics have this season. The truth of the matter? There aren't very many good teams in the league. So this notion that the Blazers, being bad, shouldn't compete this year is false. Most of the league is either young, young and overpaid from their first contract, or old and overpaid from their second contract.
Hmm... not sure that I buy this. I don't look at the best teams and see an increased concentration of good players. The Spurs are a deep, veteran team but they're not much better than last year, and the Pistons haven't added anyone, either.

I don't think that the whole NBA is suddenly bad, and without an increased concentration of players in the good teams, I reject that there aren't very many good teams in the NBA.

Being overpaid has nothing to do with whether they can play or not, and I seriously doubt that most of the NBA is old or young unless there's some fluke where the normal distribution is messed up for some reason.

Ed O.
 

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I think you guys are over analyzing this team to death after ever game. We're a 30-35 win team, which is not bad at all considering our youth, and the way we finished last season.

Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
 

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Considering we are on one of the longest road trips scheduled in the NBA this season, the Blazers can't be judged by it. They lost their Energy guy on the first game and played the tail end of a back to back in Miami. They looked so tired in Miami, not that that is an excuse, but these guys are young and aren't very conditioned. I think they are doing fine. My expectation is that they should get blown out every game, so to have it only happen under 5 times is pretty promising.

I think the NBA as a whole has had a much different start this year. Mainly because top teams from last year started poorly or retooled teams are coming alive. Overall, I think the point production is above what it was last season, I haven't checked the numbers, but with players averageing 30pts a game, eight players over 25ppg, there has been a lot more high scoring games. IMO, this is one of the most exciting seasons in recent history.
 

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Don't think that they are getting worse, I think that it is called a road trip.
 

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Ed O said:
Hmm... not sure that I buy this. I don't look at the best teams and see an increased concentration of good players. The Spurs are a deep, veteran team but they're not much better than last year, and the Pistons haven't added anyone, either.

I don't think that the whole NBA is suddenly bad, and without an increased concentration of players in the good teams, I reject that there aren't very many good teams in the NBA.

Being overpaid has nothing to do with whether they can play or not, and I seriously doubt that most of the NBA is old or young unless there's some fluke where the normal distribution is messed up for some reason.

Ed O.
A few notes: The best teams do have an increased concentration of good players. It'd be nice if we were in a league where the best teams won only because they were the best 'teams', but that's simply not the case. The path to winning a championship still involves the compilation of good players with tools.

The league is made up of a few top teams, and then there's a large dropoff in consistency. Your contention may be that it's always been that way, but things are definitely changing. The youth movement in the NBA is underway, and there are plenty of opportunities for a team like Portland to make up some wins against the many other teams in various stages of rebuilding.

And the last comment, well. Ed, are you really saying here that overpaid players don't take it... just a little easier? Maybe not train as hard? Hey, that's pro sports. And besides the nfl, with its abundance of non-guaranteed contracts, the notion of 'contract-year-players' has become more and more common. The first people who will confirm that sentiment is the players themselves.
 

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Redbeard said:
Considering we are on one of the longest road trips scheduled in the NBA this season, the Blazers can't be judged by it. They lost their Energy guy on the first game and played the tail end of a back to back in Miami. They looked so tired in Miami, not that that is an excuse, but these guys are young and aren't very conditioned.
According to our insider Nathan Bishop, in contrast to the last couple of preseasons run by Mo, Nate focused practice a lot more on running plays and conditioning, then letting the guys scrimage. I've seen nothing to indicate that they are in poor physical shape relative to other teams. I'd guess that percieved lulls by the players is probably more due to them being discouraged/frustrated about the quality of their play then them sucking wind... of course that fits in with what a lot of us have been predicting for some time now.

With the talent assembled, it's probably going to be a long season.

STOMP
 

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Samuel said:
A few notes: The best teams do have an increased concentration of good players. It'd be nice if we were in a league where the best teams won only because they were the best 'teams', but that's simply not the case. The path to winning a championship still involves the compilation of good players with tools.
Of course the best teams have better players... I'm pretty positive that Ed's point was this hasn't been trending moreso then in past years... which I thought was your point.

The league is made up of a few top teams, and then there's a large dropoff in consistency. Your contention may be that it's always been that way, but things are definitely changing. The youth movement in the NBA is underway, and there are plenty of opportunities for a team like Portland to make up some wins against the many other teams in various stages of rebuilding.
Change in the league is constant. There is always a youth movement underway, and there are always opprotunities for a team to win (or lose) more games then they have. Again, it seems you're referencing things being different now then in the past... can you site some statistical evidence of this or is this just your impression?

are you really saying here that overpaid players don't take it... just a little easier? Maybe not train as hard? Hey, that's pro sports. And besides the nfl, with its abundance of non-guaranteed contracts, the notion of 'contract-year-players' has become more and more common. The first people who will confirm that sentiment is the players themselves.
Sure but... players in all sports have been fielding these same complaints from frustrated fans for decades now. I don't believe the guaranteed pay/hard work dynamic is limited to Portland, or has changed in the last couple of years as it seems that you're contending. Facts are that through superior diet, conditioning, equiptment, and medical advances, players are in much much better shape then they were decades back when the dollars weren't so large. I've heard many players talk about the advantages these various factors give them, and watching ESPN classic games you can clearly see the differences in the bodies.

Basically if I'm accurately characterizing your opinion, I disagree.

STOMP
 

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STOMP pretty much nailed it... it's about the changes in the makeup of the teams and the league, rather than just the state of the team.

I don't disagree with your last post, Samuel. I just don't see what's different about the NBA this year than any other in the past, say, 20.

Ed O.
 

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Ed O said:
STOMP pretty much nailed it... it's about the changes in the makeup of the teams and the league, rather than just the state of the team.

I don't disagree with your last post, Samuel. I just don't see what's different about the NBA this year than any other in the past, say, 20.

Ed O.
Besides the Miamis, Detroits and San Antonios... most of this league is really young. And it hasn't always been that way.

I mean, maybe you and Stomp know that... but I think it's much more telling than perhaps you think it is.
 

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I think we are going to see an inordinate amount of ups/downs from the '05-6 Blazers. I honestly have no idea from night to night if they are going to get blown out of the building or have a chance to win . . . especially when we're on the road. Who in the world would have predicted we would go into Memphis last week and pretty much dominate? Memphis looks like a playoff team and we smoked them on their home floor. Think not? Well, they just went into Dallas last night and beat the previously unbeaten (at home) Mavs by 20. After beating Memphis on the road, you think this team might be finding its rhythm. Well, maybe not . . . they get hammered by Miami (which is understandable), but then by Orlando? Things looked pretty awful after that game. How do they respond? They go into Atlanta, find themselves down by 13 late in the 3rd, and looking like they might be on their way to another blowout loss. They go on a 18-2 run and hold on the win the game. You just can't figure these guys out if you try. Somebody said we're a 30-35 win team, so sit back and enjoy it. Who's to say what we are right now? Does anybody on this board think they have a beat on this team? I sure don't. Some nights I think we're a 25 win team. Others, I wonder if we can play .500. It's nuts.
 

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Samuel said:
Besides the Miamis, Detroits and San Antonios... most of this league is really young. And it hasn't always been that way.

I mean, maybe you and Stomp know that... but I think it's much more telling than perhaps you think it is.
What's the evidence that the league is younger than it has been?

I just don't see it. Sorry.

Ed O.
 
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