April 27, 2009

What if...Durant was Here?

The post that many knew was coming has finally arrived.  What if the Blazers had prolific-scoring-future-perennial-NBA-All-Star Kevin Durant right now instead of foul machine, Greg Oden?  The National Post has it covered.
With Durant and Roy, Portland would have been a legitimate threat to topple the Lakers this year, and in many years to come. With Oden, the Blazers are a nice team that might one day get serious.

This point has been made before, but it's being driven home right now. This is the first playoff run for Portland's collection of young talent, and the first chance to see just what — besides experience — it is missing. And it is missing a third scorer, and another star. Right now, this is Darko Milicic over Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
Amen.  As angry as Portland fans may be with me for agreeing with Bruce, I just can't help it.  Kevin Durant was the right choice 2 years ago and the impact would have been noticed immediately, not 5 years from now which we can only dream about with Oden.

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Stop Making Stupid Statements 4/27/09, 1:32 PM  

And I guess we're supposed to pretend that Yao would forget how to play in the post if we had Durant instead of Oden. Because it's not like we've used 40 or so fouls on Yao this series. Wouldn't it be awesome with Channing guarding Yao when Pryz is in foul trouble?

Claiming Durant would have been the better pick is easy to say when things aren't going well for the Blazers. I expect that kind of statement from fair-weather fans, not true fans.

Brandon spoiled everything. He was the man the second he stepped on the court his rookie year. Fans now expect that from all the other young players. People harped on LA because he wasn't wasn't putting up 20-10 his second year. Now people are giving up on Greg because he didn't win us a Championship (yet).

Yes, we need another scorer--someone who can create their own shot, and someone with a brain (sorry, Travis). That is not Greg's fault. Greg needs to continue to develop into a force in the middle. Game 3 showed flashes of that talent.

But if you are giving up on Greg after he helped us get to the Playoffs in his Rookie year, then go root for the Lakers. You'll get your instant gratification--however shallow it may be.

Give the Blazers three to four more years, and we'll be the powerhouse of the West, courtesy of Oden, Roy, and Aldridge.

Matt 4/27/09, 1:40 PM  

Is that a Canadian website weighing in on a player who has still played less than one year of NBA basketball?

Oden is getting screwed with tickey tack foul calls every single game. He will get there, it takes time to get accustomed to the NBA circus.

kellex 4/27/09, 1:42 PM  

I was never on the Oden bandwagon and publicly expressed my backing of Durant. By no means am I just saying this because things aren't going well. :)

All I'm saying is that the author of that article is right - Kevin Durant would have have provided a 3-headed scoring machine that would have made the Blazers possible Championship contenders RIGHT NOW, not just in "3-5 years" as everyone keeps saying with Greg.

Obviously that is a "what if" statement and is practically a waste of time at this point. But the "what ifs" surrounding Greg should also be considered a waste of time. At least we now see that Durant was a lock and are still saying "what if" with Greg.

Anonymous 4/27/09, 4:35 PM  

well put Kellex!!

For The Love... 4/27/09, 4:43 PM  

Durant is a lock? Durant sure can score, but what else can he do? His presence on the Thunder does not make them a better team. Heck, for a while after the All-Star break, the Thunder were winning more games without Durant than they were with him.

Durant + Roy + Aldridge does not necessarily equal greatness. There have been other teams loaded with prolific scorers--Golden State, Phoenix, etc--and yet they weren't Championship teams. Yes, they were fun to watch, but that's it.

If the Blazers had Durant, there is no way that they'd be contenders this year. Please. That's a ridiculous statement that neglects a lot of keys to this year's success. Batum's defense has been important. So has Travis's scoring off the bench. And Rudy's development. Do you think those things happen if Durant is here? No. Also, this was the year that Lamarcus emerged. If Durant was on the Blazers, he and LA would be getting in each others way regarding development.

People need to stop comparing the stats between Durant and Oden. The NBA is not a Yahoo! Fantasy League.

kellex 4/27/09, 9:42 PM  

I'm comparing intangibles, which is something we have yet to see from Oden aside from a permanent pouty face.

Ryne Nelson 4/28/09, 7:34 AM  

Kellex, you're right in that the Blazers would be a scoring juggernaut, but they would have huge problems on the interior as well as on the defensive end. I know I have a site named after Greg, but I don't think you're valuing how rare a player like Oden really is.

kellex 4/28/09, 3:10 PM  

I'm sure I'll value it in 5 years. :)

Everyone is so caught up in how rare Greg is, but I would argue that players like Kevin Durant might just be as rare.

Anonymous 7/7/09, 8:33 PM  

your hindsight is 20/20

Anonymous 7/7/09, 11:27 PM  

the most absurd thing about this article is citing BOSH 4th over WADE 5th as draft blunder on the scale of DARKO. Sure does suck getting saddled with the league's 9th best player in a draft when the Raps could've had the 3rd. I imagine Blazer fans would gladly give anybody on their roster (save for Roy) for Bosh in a heartbeat.

If Detroit wanted a raw PF in that draft, how about DARKO over BOSH as the blunder.

Anonymous 7/21/09, 12:24 PM  

interesting... and whose shots would durant be taking if he were here? there's not enough shots for this "3-headed" monster you speak of

kellex 7/21/09, 12:29 PM  

Aren't you one of those expecting Oden to be the third piece of the "3-headed" monster? So I ask you the same question.

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