The first full month is behind us and things look pretty good at this point wouldn't you say? Possibly the toughest opening schedule in the history of the NBA posed no threat to the heart and work ethic of these young stud-muffins (Did I just say “stud-muffins”?). With that ridiculous comment said, lets take a quick look at the month of November and see what the team can possibly improve on as the next and possibly even more difficult, month of December lies just around the corner.
After the last 2 weeks, this score is creeping towards a full blown A. Offensively, they continue to shoot the lights out from deep and on any given night seem to have another 1-3 players step up and make the difference. The reason they don’t get the A? They continue to live and die by that damn deep ball. Teams in the past like the Suns or Warriors have gone down this road and the outcome is usually not satisfactory. Just keep scoring 100 per game boys! (8-1 when scoring 100 points.)
For most of the month the Blazers were giving up way too many damn points. In fact, for almost half of it, they were giving up more points on average per game than they were scoring which is remarkable considering their record. They were also allowing opponents to shoot over 50% far too often but have finally pulled both numbers well down. Greg and Joel have really formed a solid duo with either unit that controls the paint better than almost any team in the league. They out rebounded Miami the other night 55-28. Eek.
Star Power-ness A-
While Brandon Roy has been unstoppable, LaMarcus Aldridge has been so inconsistent that my bi-polar sister is getting annoyed. They still deserve an A in this category as Roy is able to elevate any category into elite status these days. Aldridge has also come on strong over the last week and embarrassed the hell out of RAW-sheed Wallace or what many are calling his idol. For the first entire month of the season, I would say the friendship between these two has officially paid off in uncharted ways.
I’ve been bagging on him a lot lately and have felt the wrath of Blazer homers far and wide. (Just so we are all clear, I love criticism and in fact, welcome it over praise as it starts good banter and forces fans to research and become much more knowledgeable.) He sits in the middle with a C because of his lack of toughness and intensity. Well, he’s also been sitting on the fence deciding whether or not he really wants to be a dominant center in this league. Luckily for you homers, he’s starting to tip towards that side.
Coach of the Year anyone? He deserved the damn award last year and if the next few months are similar in any way to November, it should be a landslide for Dr. Nate. While the team was starting to really find a groove with Joel in the starting line-up, he switched it up and forced Greg into action. The first game made this move look like quite the dewsy, and now, it almost looks ingenious.
- Your thoughts on the first full month of the 2008-09 season?