This seems to be the slow time of the NBA season when sports writers fill idle time by picking the breakout player for the coming season for their respective teams. My definition of breakout may vary somewhat from the typical sports beat writer. I would probably go for CJ or Meyers. However, I have already acknowledged CJ as my Blazers numerical player of the future, so it would be redundant to pick him again. Both he and Meyers pretty much showed what they can do in the play offs last season, and in a sense, have already had a break out.
The other acquired players mostly have some experience in the league and show promise of potential break out make up. That leaves Cliff Alexander and Pat Connaugton as the two fresh faces with the largest element for potential surprise, since both are rookies with no previous pro experience. I have already picked Pat as my numerical sleeper of the 2015 NBA draft.
His numerical pedigree suggests a Wes Matthews like similarity in his career progress and personal approach to the game. He was a second round pick and has much to prove to make it in the big time. This year may not be overwhelmingly obvious in terms of him making the starting five, or even becoming a steady rotation player this season. However, his dogged determination and willingness to studiously develop his best skills in order to compensate for other weaknesses will earn him a respected and productive slot in the Blazers’ scheme of things.
While I’m at it, I might as well go for broke and say that, contrary to almost all doom and gloom demise of the Blazers projections for the coming year, my prediction is that the team will have a breakout year and be a big surprise of the League. This is a risky prediction, since the coming year 2016 is a number 9 universal year (2+0+1+6=9).
The number 9 traditionally brings things to an end and accentuates getting rid of the aspects of life that are not working well. It is also the number of dreams, ideals and vision. If you clear out the garbage, you allow the best and purest to prosper and rise to the surface. The season starts in 2015 (still an 8 universal year), so it will be after the first of the year that results of which I speak will be more likely to occur.
After the loss of LaMarcus Aldridge and three other starters from last season, Damian Lillard has been designated the new team leader. You will see that one of his prime numbers is a 9, which also happens to be a prime number of the organization. It is only numerically fitting that he has inherited the throne from the departing king. Unlike the reticent Aldridge, Dame takes his roll willingly and with enthusiasm. His focused attention to the ideal goal of winning a championship will be very significant in bringing this team together and inspiring the best from each player.
Terry Stotts also has a 9 with a couple of 5’s to go with it. This means he will have a chance to thrive with his own coaching vision (9) and get to display more of his adaptability and diversity (5) with this new group of talent. I say he thrives sooner than later and flourishes with the opportunity.
My previous pick of the most likely to succeed CJ McCollum also has a prominent 9. He and Dame share friendship and similar passion to be the best, and CJ will be an important compliment in the process of attaining success this year. Chris Kaman has a 99 (9) prime number and may prove why the Blazers decided to keep him this year. This could prove to be a superb year of his late tenure in the league. Mason Plumlee comes in with a 9 personality number. This can mean that his career starts to jell in Portland, and his youthful passion adds to the chorus line of success. Noah Vonleh brings a 9 soul number into the mix. So, too, with Allen Crabbe. Same for Ed Davis. That’s a lot of 9’s, and bodes well for the development of a highly competitive team.
Do not interpret this to mean that I am saying the Blazers win a championship at the end of the 2016 season! I am saying that they will be far better and more exciting than the gloom and doom preseason Blazers pundits declare. From a numerical perspective they play far better after the first of the year, so the early season (still under the influence of the 8 year) may look pretty rough. When the new year starts in January, they will begin to turn potential into results, and this suggest that their record after the all-star break can be one of the best in the league.
In summary with all of the 9’s in a 9 year things can be very very bad, or very very good. The pundits of Blazers doom for this season have their case, and it easily could go that way.
I have previously stated my Blazers bias, which can twist my numerical interpretation. However, my twisted predictions and interpretations for the Blazers have run about 85% or better. Therefore I will go with bias.
I say they reach the high side of the 9 vibration this season and produce a year of surprises, unexpected superlatives and multiple reasons for the Blazers fans to get excited. (Submitted 8/11/15).
(Additional Comments) Since posting this piece readers have inquired asking for exact numbers that reflect my optimism for the coming season. If I were to put a figure on the number of wins it would be 47 to 49 with a range of + – 3. That suggests at the best 52 wins, which would be a great surprise to fans and the organization; and a shock to the rest of the league (and better than last year). The downside would be 44 wins, still well beyond the expectations of other prognosticators.
I am picking seven games that will be key barometers for the season. This does not mean they are picked to be winners. Their combined win and loss record will give a clue as to the season progress. The games are 11/8/15 (L), 1/8/16 (L), 1/26/16 (W),/All Star Break//, 2/25/16 (L), 3/6/16 (L), 3/24/16 (L), and 4/5/16 (W). These will tell a lot about how the season goes. Three are before the all-star break and four afterward. If they win two or more before the break, that will be a very good sign. Two or three out of the four after the break would also be a good indicator they could come close to the predicted high of 52 wins. Any less suggest a middle of the road performance or below the predicted low of 44 wins.
I have anointed this team THE DREAM ORPHANS, since most of them were traded, overlooked or discarded. They dream far beyond anyone else’s expectations.
Here is their theme song (sung to the tune of The Beatles “Daytripper”).
Got a good reason, for winning our games right now.
Got a good reason, for winning our games right now.
We are THE DREAM ORPHANS, winning regents, yeah!
It took you sooo long to find out, but you’ll find out!
(Author’s Update February 26,1016) After the disappointing loss to Houston, they most likely will not reach the optimistic prediction of 47-49 wins + or- 3. This puts them in the range for around 40, which is still far more than any of the sports writers or pros picked. Time will tell. Anyway, it’s been fun watching them.