As the Portland Trail Blazers plod their way through what is pretty much so far another fair to middlin season, let us take a look at the numerical factors that have or have not been considered. Sometimes the sports fan wishes that coaches and management would get out of the “strictly basketball” mentality and use a little imagination. A look at the numbers can yield some food for that imagination, and then it can be applied in practical basketball terms.
Old man numbers here indicated before the season even started that the numbers encouraged coach Terry Stotts to get over his morbid fear of playing rookies (Dame was an exception), and work the rookies into the system early. And, get over the rigid adherence to an eight or nine man rotation and play your talent. Well, good things have happened when these suggestions have been implemented. And what a pleasant surprise that sometimes these numerically inspired strategies were!
As we come to the mid term rest period for those who did not make the all star game and the other frivolous activities of the mid season break, here are some numerological factors to be considered and to be watched as the team heads into the final half of the season. Play the Swan. Caleb has been getting some playing time in the G league, and should be given further opportunity to put his mighty energy efforts back on the big floor.
Why not give him a chance playing at the 3 spot? Small forward, you say? Heresy. He is a power forward! Stereotypical blindness, I say. It is worth giving it a shot (so to say), since none of the other players on board have shown any consistency there. Caleb is numerically due to show what is to come (especially next year), and if given the proper chance and circumstances to blossom.
As the second half of the season develops expect CJ to further blossom and could very well eclipse Dame as the scoring leader (especially next year). He continues to expand his versatility on the court and will maintain his excellent shooting. He will give us a clue as to what will come and even better things next year.
There are rumors of the Blazers looking to make trades, or acquire another “star quality” contributor. And, that could be good. However, they might have more potential at home, and therefore want to give some of their youngsters further time and see what happens. Zach Collins has already started to shine and contribute in a meaningful way. How about playing him at the 4 spot with Caleb at 3 and Nurk at center? That is a lot of hustle and potential rebound power.
The Blazers have talent up the gazoo. Will the new talent produce before the end of this season? The numbers say give them a chance, and give the team a chance at greater versatility.