The Original Start for this Article is in Green Below
(Update 2/21/20)- While one game does not a career make, this game tonight is important for Annfernee Simons, and will be an key marker point as to his progress as an NBA pro, as well as shed light upon his future place in the league.
(Update: 1/22/20)-The recent acquisition of Trevor Ariza just might give the blazers the stronger small forward they have needed for a long time. Without superherculean effort Caleb may have seen his last days. The numbers suggest they may have gotten a diamond in the rough and potential long term contributor from Gabriel.
(Midseason Comments) Here we are at the half way point of the season and certainly not where the Blazers (or this writer) thought they would be. Everyone associated with them is aware of the loss of three starters and two potentially key rotation players to injury. Not to mention the usual nicks and bruises that have temporarily taken out others. I remember when writing the original article that I felt a nagging pressure to repeat “if there are no major injuries”.
There remains some hope of getting onto the tail end of the play off line up, but this does not look like the year for them to be champions. That includes even if Nurk and Zach get back.
This observer has noted for seasons that the Blazers could use a strong dependable well above average scoring, rebounding and defensive minded small forward, and the same for power forward. That with an off the bench sixth man candidate who can bring consistent scoring from the bench would go a long way to secure what they want. True, not so easy to go out and get these guys.
How about this for next year: Dame, CJ, Melo, a returned LaMarcus and Nurk for starters. Off the bench comes Ant, sixth man acquisition, Rodney, Zach and Hassan. Could be the best second unit in the league. With trades and timing this is not such a stretch to be reached. Could be a little tough on the pocket book, but not impossible. Some players might have to make some concessions to huge salaries.
(Update 11/19/2019) Well, the “Melo” fellow joins the Trail blazers today.
What does that mean in the numbers? I just did a quick look to answer that for myself, and one thing jumped out immediately. His destiny number is a 9 (nine), and the full name of the blazers is a 9 (nine). The destiny number is calculated different ways by different practitioners. For me it is the sum of all the letters in the name combined with the sum of the life number. In the name is what you are and the life number is what you do with it.
Will Carmelo stay and become a part of leading the Blazers to that coveted championship? If LaMarcus Aldridge (a pure 90 ninety) comes back next year, and Melo stays at the small forward that would be quite a punch. That is especially so if they both remain healthy and still competitive. Terry Stotts is a good coach, but it still remains to be seen if he is a great coach. If he is unable to win with Dame, CJ, Melo, LA and the Nurk, there will have to be some serious questions about his future with the team.
(Updated Prelude 9/30/2019) With one day left until the blazers start practice for the new season here are some numerical insights from Old Man Numbers. Please mister coach Stotts, drop your fixation with the 9 man rotation and play the talent.
I have said this for two years, and last year when they played 10 or more they had a better record than with the 9 man rotation. AND, you do not wear out the core group expending a high rate of energy chasing the score from behind and losing. There are 12 to 13 players (maybe more) on the roster who could be starters or rotation players on numerous teams in the league. You have endless flexibility. Your numbers say that your strength is dexterity of play and the capacity to dream up unusual and unconventional combinations. Let’s see it this year!
Imagine an offense 3 point barrage combination of Dame, CJ, Hood, Zach and Pau Gasol. Or a second 3 point barrage offense unit of Anfernee, Baze (the Blaze), Mario, Tolliver and Gasol. Or a defense of Dame (for scoring and control) Baze, Mario, Zach and Hassan. Just think of the flexibility, focus and fun of running the other teams ragged with a reoccurring replacement of fresh faces that they cannot match. Get out of conventional NBA thinking and play your talent! This could the most dramatic and exciting team of all time to watch and to win.
I have already declared they will have a ring soon with the determination of Dame and company along with good coaching, excellent management, and support from the top (Jody Allen). The fans are excited and ready, along with everyone in the organization. Time to make it turn into a reality!
(Below is the Start of the Original Article)
It has reached that that time of the year (June 2, 2019) again to ponder upon Portland s fortunes of fate for the NBA season to come. Right up front I am saying that the magic number is 56 wins plus or minus three. This is assuming there are no major injuries, accidents, or events that distract from the goal of the season.
If I had a flux capacitor 100 buzzigawatt thermodynamic computer, and a lot of time to waste, I could probably provide a close probability of such happening for all of the expected playoff teams. However, since I have neither, I will have to go with the same assumptions as the NBA redundants and pundits that there are no major unforeseen incidents to detract from this assessment.
If Pau Gasol stays healthy he will, along with dispersing wisdom to the young, provide far more punch than the redundant pundits of the NBA predictably pronounce. Hassan both behaves and enjoys, while pouring in points and preventing well the other team from doing so. Anfernee comes of NBA age and will be a significant contributor by the end of the season. The two small giants will be improved and contribute consistently as always. Rodney continues his form from the play offs. Gary Trent remains more inconsistent than ready for the big time. Nassir needs more time to flourish. Bazemore fits and adds to the Blazers fight.
Zach is back and improved, but not yet a star. Hezonja is a pleasant surprise and dark horse for the sleeper award this season. Tolliver produces well for his pay. Skal gets some additional minutes and turns in some exciting moments. Jaylen Hoard is an x-factor question mark, and is more likely to surprise than disappoint. This says he could outperform Nassir Little this first year. Nurk will be able, as they say, to take his time coming back. He will flourish by the end of the season and contribute, but is not yet back to his full steam of the 2018-19 season.
Imagine this for starters: Dame, Baze, Hood, Zach and Hassan, Four players who can pop the three pointer, and harsh defense in the front court. It would be tough for anyone coming through Hood, Zach and Hassan. What happens to CJ you ask? Try this for a second team: Ant, CJ, Mario, Tolliver and Pau Gasol! FIVE players who can hit the trey all on the floor at once!
True, the defense would be a little porous. However, most second units in the NBA suffer when it comes to defense. I cannot image any other team having that much fire power in their second unit. Takes pressure off of Anfernee, and lets his natural abilities prosper and take over. Would TS have the imagination to go so far out? You still have a lot of potential talent left with Trent, Hoard, Nassir, and Skal. Any one of them could be fit into a rotation as they blossom and produce.
Certainly credit has to be given to Neil Olshey and his contribution to this year’s roster. It is probably his finest year considering the limitation of reserves in the cash register and position in the draft. Now it is upon Terry Stotts to demonstrate his best with this diverse and potentially loaded talent pool.
One thing might be mentioned that no one in the organization will tackle, because of a little issue called their job! That is the Paul Allen factor. He clearly was attached to this team, supportive in their progress and enthusiastic about seeing them succeed. The numbers indicate he was more involved in the process than will be spoken about in public. He clearly had player favorites and put his stamp upon selections and decisions. He could at time micro manage and let his strong will be known by subtle means or simple parental pressure. Clearly that was his right as an owner to see it done his way.
With his passing Neil has increased freedom to make basketball decisions by basketball people. And, Terry will be able to coach more comfortably in his zone. It would be great to see Stotts loosen up in his public communication and let go of the dead pan stoic persona, thus allowing his known humor and more sparkling personal presence to shine.
I am a big believer that life goes on in various forms, and that in Paul Allen’s soul progression he will soon see the success he always wished for. It seems Dame has made it his destiny to stay and make the Blazers NBA champions. The management and coaching staffs are poised to make this happen. They are attracting the player combinations to bring them closer.
With the power vested in me, I declare that they are going to reach their goal within the next two or three seasons! I am old man numbers and that’s the way I see it!
Subject to change upon illumination! 🙂