Nice article on the Blazers.
For the Portland Trail Blazers the 2008-09 has to be considered a success, but perhaps not in a way many would expect. The team made its first appearance in the NBA Playoffs in six seasons, earning homecourt advantage in the first round after a 54-28 record placed them fourth in the Western Conference. The team – players, coaches, and front office – was all legitimately pleased about the 13-game improvement from the previous season, but they also know this is just a step in big plan.
What Went Wrong?
To be honest, not a whole lot. Portland's biggest issues this season were in the area of consistency, from all sorts of places. They would like to get the point guard position to be more reliable, so they know what to expect when they turn to the reserves. Right now Steve Blake, the incumbent starter, is probably better suited to a reserve role on a top team. The problem was that Sergio Rodriguez and Jerryd Bayless both failed to really take control of the reserve spot by producing, even when Blake was injured.
It's a little unfair to call it something going wrong, but the progress of Greg Oden being stilted by the midseason bone chip in his knee hurt both him and the team. Oden missed 15 games with that injury and it came right at a time when he had begun to show how dominant he could become. After his return from the injury he looked a little gun shy and began finding himself in immediate foul trouble every time he stepped on the court. However, anyone thinking Portland is starting to think twice about choosing Oden over Kevin Durant in the 2007 NBA Draft is wrong. Oden still shows too much promise and the organization is 100% united in giving Oden everything he needs to become successful.