2008-2009 Portland Trail Blazers Season Preview
2008 Portland Trail Blazers basketball preview from Maddux Sports handicappers. In addition to the free team preview, you can evaluate NBA odds for upcoming pro basketball games.
The young Portland Trail Blazers (41- 41) managed to put in a decent season in 2007- 2008 despite the loss of Greg Oden to a microfracture of the knee prior to the start of the season. They had a 13-game winning streak early in the season and managed to finish with a .500 mark. Although young, the club is talented. The Blazers traded their leading scorer Zach Randolph and with Oden out, it was expected that the team would not be able to score. Brandon Roy and others stepped up, offering more points last season than they did the season before. Although Oden was out for the season, the rest of the club managed to stay healthy and in playing the same rotation for the entire season, the Blazers discovered their team chemistry.
The team rarely shot from the paint. Instead, they opted for mid-range jumpers, which meant most of their shots made it to the basket. They had a low percentage of threes and foul shots. Coach Nate McMillan played a slow paced offense, playing a straight half court game. The only club that was slower was Detroit. Basically, they played the old time game of hoop. Their defense ran the same way—daring opponents to shoot. They team has very few steals and were below average on committing fouls.
Portland drafted guard Jerryd Bayless and signed guard Rudy Fernandez from Spain. Fernandez is a shooting guard, offering depth off the bench, Forward Ike Diogu has the potential to give quality minutes while allowing frontcourt starters to rest.
The trio of swingman Brandon Roy, forward LaMarcus Aldridge and center Greg Oden is awe inspiring. They are the most talented triumvirate in the league. Oden is a shot blocker and a fine transition player. He’ll offer points and rebound too. In his second season, Roy became a major player, putting up 19.1 PPG, making 5.8 APG and grabbing 4.7 RPG. Aldridge, who was also in his second year, grabbed 7.6 RPG and putting up 19.1 PPG. He hit 48% of his shots from the field. Forward Travis Outlaw brings a solid point production. Last season he averaged 13.3 PPG.
The Blazers added depth at guard over the summer. Roy, who plays both forward and guard, is a versatile, skilled athlete. McMillan is hoping that he can draw more fouls and play better defense, making him an all around player. Portland is looking to rookie Bayless, who was named MVP in the NBA’s Summer League, will be their point guard for the next decade. Steve Blake, who enters his sixth NBA, will be ready to go in when and if Bayless struggles.
The Portland Trail Blazers look to finish second in the Northwest Division and in the playoffs. There are high hopes with Oden on the floor. Despite his talent, Oden is a rookie and that has to be kept in mind. Coach McMillan acknowledges that there’s a lot of excitement around the long anticipated arrival of last year’s top draft pick. There’s a lot of hard work ahead in making Oden and company into a team.