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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
windows of opportunity (99-00 squads)

We always hear about how small the championship 'window of opportunity' is for a team, but rarely do we see examples. It occurred to me while making dinner that the '99-00 Blazer teams are a rather remarkable illustration.

Key players, in no particular order:

Sabonis - "retired"
Pippen - might as well be retired
Rider - playing in the Phillipines (?)
Steve Smith - might as well be retired
Greg Anthony - retired
Augmon - might as well be retired
Damon - useless

Guys still producing:

Rasheed
Brian Grant
Jimmy Jackson

Rasheed is everyone's favorite scapegoat, and many would say not as good a player as he was on those '99-00 teams. Grant is a guy who looked good for a year or two on his max deal (isn't that always the case?), and is now someone the Heat would love to get rid of. JJ has stayed solid, but he's bounced around a lot and been out of the league for a while.

Looking back, it's a bit hard to understand all the flak Whitsitt took for "breaking up" that squad. The subsequent years saw 3 more championships won by L.A. and S.A. teams that we couldn't beat at our best, at which point almost that entire nucleus was checking into old folks homes...

Pretty sad just how small that window is when you look back.

Dan
 

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The championship window, I believe, was really in the '00-'01 season. In ''99-00, we had a fun, exciting team, but we relied far too heavily on a streaky shooting guard (JR Rider) and a power forward with limited talent (Brian Grant). Although I'll tell you, that was one of my favorite Blazer teams of the last ten years.

That said, I believe you're mixing two different, though similar, rosters.

In '99-00 (the strike-shortened season), the Blazers featured a starting lineup, primarily, of Damon Stoudamire, JR Rider, Walt Williams, Brian Grant, and Arvydas Sabonis. Key reserves were Greg Anthony, Stacey Augmon, Rasheed Wallace and Jimmy Jackson. No Scottie Pippen. This team went to the Western Conference Finals and was dispatched by the San Antonio Spurs in four games, in part thanks to that dagger-in-the-heart, Memorial Day Miracle from Sean "by far one of the best in the NBA" Elliott.

Then, in the offseason, the Blazers traded JR Rider and Jimmy Jackson for Steve Smith (Atlanta) and traded Walt Williams, Kelvin Cato, Carlos Rogers (who made a short career out of being on the injured list), Stacey Augmon (who was later cut and re-signed by the Blazers), some luggage and a copy of Bill Walton's memoirs for Scottie Pippen (Houston).

Then, the '00-01 team, which made it within one quarter of the NBA Finals and a likely championship, was Damon Stoudamire, Steve Smith, Scottie Pippen, Rasheed Wallace and Arvydas Sabonis with Brian Grant coming off the bench at C, Jermaine O'Neal seeing occasional minutes at PF, Greg Anthony occasionally at PG, and Bonzi Wells at SG.

The following offseason saw one disastrous trade and another questionable one - Brian Grant for Shawn Kemp and Jermaine O'Neal for Dale Davis. That was followed by the ridiculous mid-year signings of Rod Strickland and Detlef Schrempf... followed by the end-of-year meltdown against LA, and the firing of Dunleavy. End of window, without a doubt.
 

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Originally posted by <b>Public Defender</b>!
In '99-00 (the strike-shortened season), the Blazers featured a starting lineup, primarily, of Damon Stoudamire, JR Rider, Walt Williams, Brian Grant, and Arvydas Sabonis.
You're off by a year. '98-99 was the strike season.
 

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How is Damon useless? He has hit big shots for us this year and management has so much confidence in him that they have run all our other PG options out of town.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That said, I believe you're mixing two different, though similar, rosters.
Correct. I didn't mean to imply that the team remained the same. I accidentally listed "squad" singular in the subject, but referred to "teams" plural throughout the post...

The point was, taking a composite of the key players from those two seasons tells the same story [as either season by itself], just more dramatically. The team basically had one or two years to capitalize with the players they had, and the odds of anyone beating the Lakers after '00 were pretty slim.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nathan, I'm assuming you're being sarcastic (you really ought to make it more obvious one way or the other), but I'll answer anyway.

Yes, Damon hits a lot of big shots at the end of games. I almost wish he wouldn't, because he only creates a fall sense of security. A smokescreen. Had ne not played so horribly leading up to crunch time, those shots wouldn't be necessary. And had he actually slowed down the opposing point guard, we might actually pull away down the stretch and win a few more of these close games.

All his big game shooting mentality does is fool Cheeks into playing him more.

Dan
 

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Originally posted by <b>Public Defender</b>!
The championship window, I believe, was really in the '00-'01 season. In ''99-00, we had a fun, exciting team, but we relied far too heavily on a streaky shooting guard (JR Rider) and a power forward with limited talent (Brian Grant). Although I'll tell you, that was one of my favorite Blazer teams of the last ten years.

That said, I believe you're mixing two different, though similar, rosters.

In '99-00 (the strike-shortened season), the Blazers featured a starting lineup, primarily, of Damon Stoudamire, JR Rider, Walt Williams, Brian Grant, and Arvydas Sabonis. Key reserves were Greg Anthony, Stacey Augmon, Rasheed Wallace and Jimmy Jackson. No Scottie Pippen. This team went to the Western Conference Finals and was dispatched by the San Antonio Spurs in four games, in part thanks to that dagger-in-the-heart, Memorial Day Miracle from Sean "by far one of the best in the NBA" Elliott.

Then, in the offseason, the Blazers traded JR Rider and Jimmy Jackson for Steve Smith (Atlanta) and traded Walt Williams, Kelvin Cato, Carlos Rogers (who made a short career out of being on the injured list), Stacey Augmon (who was later cut and re-signed by the Blazers), some luggage and a copy of Bill Walton's memoirs for Scottie Pippen (Houston).

Then, the '00-01 team, which made it within one quarter of the NBA Finals and a likely championship, was Damon Stoudamire, Steve Smith, Scottie Pippen, Rasheed Wallace and Arvydas Sabonis with Brian Grant coming off the bench at C, Jermaine O'Neal seeing occasional minutes at PF, Greg Anthony occasionally at PG, and Bonzi Wells at SG.

The following offseason saw one disastrous trade and another questionable one - Brian Grant for Shawn Kemp and Jermaine O'Neal for Dale Davis. That was followed by the ridiculous mid-year signings of Rod Strickland and Detlef Schrempf... followed by the end-of-year meltdown against LA, and the firing of Dunleavy. End of window, without a doubt.
Correct, just not the years. The 98-99 was the lockout/Memorial Day Miracle season and 99-00 was the GAME 7 :no: season.
 

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Originally posted by <b>NathanLane</b>!
How is Damon useless? He has hit big shots for us this year and management has so much confidence in him that they have run all our other PG options out of town.
He has hit 'some' big shots, but in between that time he's just not a very good basketball player. How often does he dribble down the clock at the end of a quarter then try to do some fancy shot himself? He almost always misses! He get's constantly torched on defense, it's a huge challenge for him to even make an entry pass, and his offense is limited to wide open jump shots.
 

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I'm thinking that there is going to be a new window opening for the Blazers and it is going to be two or three years out. I don't know if Miles is part of the future, but Nash brought back a young talent and then there are those draft picks. Maybe a youth movement is on it's way in Portland again?

I think Nash knows we can't win it all now and is building slowly for the future. Should be very interesting to see what his next move is going to be. :yes:
 
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