The Portland Trail Blazers’ season has had a lot of ups and downs, more so than any other team. There has been the nagging hip injury to Wesley Matthews that kept him out a few games, the wrist injury to LaMarcus Aldridge that has kept him from performing at full potential, and the injury to Nicolas Batum that kept him out for one or two games. But somehow, the resilient Blazers have managed to claw their way to a winning record, despite having arguably the worst bench in the NBA.
The main issue for the upcoming Blazers is depth. Aside from Luke Babbitt and the currently injured Meyers Leonard, their bench is completely atrocious, averaging about 10 points per game. In addition, every starter except Damien Lillard has missed a game this season, with Matthews missing nearly more than a half a month, causing the already shallow bench to become even shallower.
Despite these problems, the Blazers have managed to stay in the playoff picture, and currently are in the seventh seed. They have beaten inarguably good teams such as the Knicks, and have an 8-1 record in their last nine games. Of course, the win against the Knicks had a special significance, as the Blazers were able to beat the abominable Raymond Felton and his team. Getting Matthews back will further bolster the Blazers win-loss record, and with Meyers Leonard coming back soon, they appear to be primed for a spot in the playoffs come the end of the season.
Of course, no article on the Blazers would be incomplete without an update on Brandon Roy’s status. However, it is not looking promising for the former all-star, as his knees have given out on him again, preventing him from playing at all this year except for five games. If he wishes to avoid knee replacement surgery later in life, his only option is to stop trying to come back and peacefully retire, although it may be too late to avoid. However, we still have Portland representation in Minnesota, with Luke Ridnour, Kevin Love, Rick Adelman, and others with local ties playing or coaching there, so Roy’s absence does not destroy all of our sympathy towards them.
And now, we will take a look at other former Blazers. Martell Webster is sucking in Washington, although he did cut his hair. Rudy Fernández went overseas and bailed on the NBA. Raymond Felton is in New York and is doing well, showing that he was just lazy last year in Portland. Jamal Crawford is in a similar situation in LA, being the critical bench player for the Clippers. Other Blazers are other places, but are not doing anything especially exciting or notable.