Breaking down the Blazers...Part One

From Breaking down the Blazers...Part One

Aug 08, 09
Breaking down the Blazers by position....Part One

Its starting to look like the Blazers roster is shaping up nicely for next season and some team officials have indicated they think their won't be any more personel moves before the games begin. Originally, I thought I'd begin this series with the 1 position, but with todays big news about the Brandon Roy contract I found myself thinking about him.

Other than perhaps center, the 2 is the strongest position on the Blazers.
Brandon Roy, starter
Rudy Fernandez, backup
Bayless, & Blake may play limited minutes at this position

All star Brandon Roy, recently rewarded with a five year contract worth over eighty million dollars, is the unquestioned leader of our team. If you look back at the impact Brandon has had on the Blazers one might go so far as to say that the day he was drafted was the end of the Jailblazer era. On and off the court he has been a model of what ownership and fans alike want from a player.

Draw up a list of how many 2 guards in the league are better than Brandon Roy. Or even a list of how many players are better than Brandon Roy. Your list might not be the same as mine, but it in any case it won't be a long list. For the Portland Trailblazers, Brandon Roy has been just what the doctor ordered.

What can we expect from BRoy this year? Brandon is not the kind of person or player whose performance will drop after they get their big payday. I think we can all assume that barring injury he will have another allstar season. With a deeper team, I'm hoping Nate will be able to reduce Brandons minutes just a little bit, and turn over some of the offensive responsibilty to Andre Miller. I think last years playoff series with Houston showed not only how much the Blazers rely on Brandon, but that at times they rely on him a bit too much making them a bit too predictable. Miller will help with that, and I'm looking forward to seeing opponents not knowing from which direction the Blazers are going to attack them.

Second year guard Rudy Fernandez is a player who could start for many teams. Last year he teamed with fellow countryman Sergio Rodriguez to form the Blazers Spanish Armada. Rudys acrobatic dunks and three point shooting were at times spectacular. A seasoned veteran of international and Olympic play, in many respects Rudy was no rookie. However, I do think the physical play of the NBA took some getting used to for him. In some ways I think he may have been underutilzed last year. Much of the time offensively he was little more than a spot up three point shooter. In Europe Rudy was accustomed to having the ball in his hands a little more and has a bit more to his skillset than we shown. He has proven to be a deadly and willing passer, and before the Blazers picked up Andre Miller there was talk of playing him some at the 1. Rudy is never going to be a lock down defender, but has quick hands and is capable of disrupting an opponents offense and picking up some steals.

Its unfortunate for Jerryd Bayless that he didn't grow six inches this summer. During the Las Vegas Summer League he didn't impress anyone with his performance as a point guard. In fact, he was outplayed by Pooh Jeter. What he really is, is an undersized 2 guard. Jerryd is well liked by fans for his hard work in practice and aggressive style of play. He is also in the unfortunate position of having to compete for minutes at the two positions he plays with teammates who are better than he is. His jump shot and three point shot are not what they were in college and need improvement. And these are areas where we can reasonably expect him to improve. Fans enjoy his aggressive drives to the basket, but I think he is overrated as a finisher as he commits a lot of fouls, doesn't pass well off the drive, and often gets his shot blocked. I think it will help Jerryd if his role is more clearly defined as a 2 or a 1, and then put him to work on what he needs to do to earn time at either position.

Steve Blake may also see time at this position due to his shooting ability when Nate runs a three guard lineup.

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Where the (modern) Blazers went wrong and more at Not Your Father's Water Cooler

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