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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Strictly hypothetically speaking...

This team is nowhere near making the playoffs this season or next season, but:

What would it take??

A few puzzle pieces:

1. Everyone stays healthy.


2. Outside shooting:
Portland is 28th in 3ptFG pctg (25%), 29th in 3ptFG made, and most importantly, 27th in 3ptFG ATTEMPTED! I think that we've got the talent on the roster to hit from the outside, we just need to shoot!
Dixon shot 38% in college. Jack 44%. Blake 41% (Almost broke 40% in 27 second half games last season). Monia and Webster can both hit from long range as well.
If this became a strength of Portland's, something other teams feared, it'd invariably make the rest of the offense flow a lot better.
3. Western Conference parity; Serious health issues for other teams.


4. Darius comes of age:
He becomes a serious issue for opposing defense. His shot starts falling, and his ballhandling woes go away. Most devastatingly, however, his size becomes an issue for opposing 3's. A few blocks and a few steals per night become commonplace. He has the tools... can he listen to Nate for 82 games?


5. Randolph gets healthy, learns to pass:
This is probably the one thing about the Blazers that will keep them from becoming competitive anytime soon. But if Randolph's head popped up and he began to see the court, guards would begin to get the open looks that will keep defenses spread out. As well, his defense must improve to a level where his man isn't blowing up nightly.


6. Jack & Bassy: Two-headed monster?
I think the future is bright for at least one of these guys (Jack), and the other still needs a lot of experience. But even in 6 games this season, I've seen Bassy go from insecure to semi-confident. And he's beginning to find the right moment to blow by guys (is anyone in the league faster off the dribble?) If Jack can keep up the production off the bench, Nash may have found a sick backcourt that would make other teams jealous.


The question is....



Do YOU believe in Miracles?​
 

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I think #3 is going to be more of a factor than #2 and #1 and #3 are the two that we need to be most concerned about, as well as the two that we have the least control over. As far as #3 goes, all we really need is for the Northwest Division to fall apart (the division winners get automatic playoff berths), and that is already starting to happen, I just hope it keeps up. Of the ones we have some control over, I agree that Zach's passing and defense and wether Darius can keep his good play going for the entire season are the things most likely to keep us out of the playoffs.
 

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What would it take?

KG is revealed as the entertainment director of the Viking's Love Boat cruise and suspended for the rest of the season.

Former team-mates Sloan and Weis get into a 4th qtr fist-fight. Their respective teams join in and 8 or 10 key players wind up with long suspensions and/or broken shooting hands.

The Nugs' charter plane crashes in the Rockies. The players panic and turn on each other in a frenzy of canabilism.


Then there is the REAL long shot scenario - Webster actually gets on the floor, shoots lights out, and we stop playing 4-on-5 on offense! :biggrin:
 

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Re: Hypothetical: What would have to happen for Portland to make the playoffs this ye

Good observations, Samuel!

I agree that this team is nowhere near making the playoffs, and I find it funny that Quick yesterday essentially said there's no reason that they can't make the postseason. How many times is this guy going to be up and down this season? A lot if this is the approach he's going to take.

The reality is that Portland has won 3 games they should have - against EC teams with sub-.500 records. Atlanta is winless, NY is pretty bad and even Chicago does not look like the team they were at the end of the season in 2004-05.

I'm sticking with my 30-32 win prediction for the season. Long road trips are coming, and perhaps some injuries (it would be foolish to believe that all the major cogs will be able to play every game).
 

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Re: Hypothetical: What would have to happen for Portland to make the playoffs this ye

Storyteller said:
I agree that this team is nowhere near making the playoffs, and I find it funny that Quick yesterday essentially said there's no reason that they can't make the postseason. How many times is this guy going to be up and down this season? A lot if this is the approach he's going to take.
Notice that Canzano this morning jumped on the "they could make the postseason!" bandwagon.

I think much is being made of the Blazers coming "this close" to beating Detroit and Minnesota. I think Portland will come within a few points of lots of teams this season, though, as they're out-executed and out-foxed in fourth quarters. I believe we watched the mirror image of the Blazers the other night with Chicago - it's a team with lots of talent, but some inconsistency and execution problems. At home, those tend to be overcome by emotion and confidence - on the road is another story, as we saw with the Bulls' inability to close out Portland.

While I think the Blazers will flirt with .500 for much of the season, I think Portland will likely fade late in the season when the better teams kick their games up a notch to get in playoff position. 35 wins is a worthy goal, 40 would be remarkable. Playoffs? Unbelievable.
 

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just a hunch, but they would have to be the 8th best team record wise in the west.
 

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Re: Hypothetical: What would have to happen for Portland to make the playoffs this ye

tradetheo said:
just a hunch, but they would have to be the 8th best team record wise in the west.
Theoretically, this isn't true. They could have the 11th best record but still win the NW division title and make the playoffs.

Realistically, though, you're right.
 

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Re: Hypothetical: What would have to happen for Portland to make the playoffs this ye

canzano is just planting a seed folks.

You know, "I think they can make the playoffs, as should you!"

and if they don't make the playoffs (reality)...he'll just say we should be upset and demand the team fix the problem! I mean, damnit, we expected them to make the playoffs (after 6 games)!!!

just ignore him and he'll go away.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Hypothetical: What would have to happen for Portland to make the playoffs this ye

Chris Dudley made a good point yesterday in the chat.

He said, essentially, that the 'oh-they're-so-young' card can't be played as successfully as we think it can, because though we're the second youngest team in the league, the entire nba is going through a serious sea change: everyone's young! There are the Detroits and the San Antonios, but besides that, there aren't the same amount of cagey vets around as there used to be.

Also, I want to add a few important things I left out:

7. Stop thinking with the standings:
If there's one thing that Portland has learned so far this season (Denver game aside), it's that the teams they play are only as good as they perform THAT NIGHT. Sure, they were on a road trip, but there's no reason a team like Portland should be able to compete for almost 48 minutes with Detroit. They're freaking stacked.

8. Play with the 3 things that Nate preaches, and you'll beat teams you shouldn't:
Take care of the ball, take good shots, and keep moving.

Something I'm concerned about, though, is that these players aren't used to practicing hard and will thus experience a lot more injury problems this season because of it.
 

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I love how the team is playing, but I'm afraid the overall youth will catch up with us in the long haul.
 

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Zidane said:
We trade for...Kobe bryant nuff said.Id rather keep our current young players though.
You'd rather keep a bunch of unproven young players than trade for Kobe Bryant, who's young, in his prime and is arguably one of the top 20 players EVER to step onto a basketball court? Are you kidding? That's absurd.
 

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Canzano just can't catch a break, can he? He gets grief for being negative and is shot down when he's positive. He even upped his season prediction for wins after seeing McMillan conduct practice.

The fact is, the Blazers aren't always going to lose close games; as they get more experience, they'll be in more games and will learn to trust eachother down the stretch.

So what would it take? For the team to scrap. Not give up. Listen to McMillian and buy into the team concept for the first time in years. Hard work will translate into wins. It might not be this year, but just imagine what this team can do after playing with each other this season and finding a shooter (either in the form of Martell or a free agent/trade acquisition).
 

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Re: Hypothetical: What would have to happen for Portland to make the playoffs this ye

I pointed out in another thread that this tean is

one three pointer mader per game and one free throw made per game, away from being 5 and 1.

Players like Jack and Monia and heck even Telfair need to be a little more willing to take that open 3 pointer, Dixon too. Free throws, well we are getting to the line plenty, but we have to make the shots.
 

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Re: Hypothetical: What would have to happen for Portland to make the playoffs this ye

PTW the team is averaging 27.5 free throw attempts per game, but is dead last in the NBA with 62% FT shooting

Opponents are attempting 20.8 Free throws per game but making 71% of those.
 

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Re: Hypothetical: What would have to happen for Portland to make the playoffs this ye

Samuel said:
5. Randolph gets healthy, learns to pass:
This is probably the one thing about the Blazers that will keep them from becoming competitive anytime soon. But if Randolph's head popped up and he began to see the court, guards would begin to get the open looks that will keep defenses spread out. As well, his defense must improve to a level where his man isn't blowing up nightly.
This is BS. Randolph has done a fantastic job of looking for open men this season. Why is he doing so much better at this than last season? Because Telfair and Jack are getting him the ball a lot sooner. He actually has time to try working a move and pass out of a double team. He doesn't get the ball with 3 seconds left on the shot clock like he did with Van Exel and Damon.

What we really need to worry about with Randolph is his defense. Is it ever going to be any good? If he scores 22 it doesn't do us a whole lot of good if the other team's backup power forward scores 24.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: Hypothetical: What would have to happen for Portland to make the playoffs this ye

ebott said:
This is BS. Randolph has done a fantastic job of looking for open men this season. Why is he doing so much better at this than last season? Because Telfair and Jack are getting him the ball a lot sooner. He actually has time to try working a move and pass out of a double team. He doesn't get the ball with 3 seconds left on the shot clock like he did with Van Exel and Damon.

What we really need to worry about with Randolph is his defense. Is it ever going to be any good? If he scores 22 it doesn't do us a whole lot of good if the other team's backup power forward scores 24.

Talk to nate about that. Zach's passing is his #1 concern.
 
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