Monday, July 31, 2006

My Blazer Pick

There were a lot of fantastic responses to the weekend question of which historical Blazer you'd pick to add to this team. The suggestions were:

Arvydas Sabonis
Buck Willaims
Maurice Lucas
Terry Porter
Fat Lever
Jerome Kersey
Shawn Kemp (but not when he was a Blazer, so I don't think this counts)
Scottie Pippen
Kiki Vandeweghe
Larry Steele

You can keep the discussion going, but I thought I'd weigh in with my pick. The criteria were that a player can only be taken after the first time they put on a Blazer uniform, it was to help this year's team, and no Clyde or Bill. I must admit I was sorely tempted to take a point guard or a small forward, and thus Porter, Lever, Vandeweghe, and Kersey were all on my short list. But in the end I decided to trust in our young guys. I wanted someone who would contribute to the games of Jack, Webster, and Roy and make it easy for them to be out on the court. I couldn't bring myself to pick a power forward because this question didn't give me the magic power to trade Zach. That's why in the end I settled with Sabonis...even the older, wearing down version. He was much more spry in his first couple seasons here than the old guy people remember seeing last. He can play on the high post and perimeter on offense, which leaves tons of room for Zach to operate down low. It also draws a man out to guard his long-range shot. If Darius could learn to quick cut when Sabas is holding the ball at the top of the key, Miles could dunk all day long. Sabonis would also be an easy outlet for the guards on offense and would get them the ball back in positions where they could score. He's smart enough to make those kids look better. He also sets picks when needed. On defense he's a nice companion to Joel at the 5-spot. He takes up a lot of space, which is something that's still lacking on this team despite all Joel's effort and shot blocking ability. He shows well and gets back on the pick and roll despite his huge size. Some will complain about him not being able to get up and down the court but I'd argue Sabonis would help our running game better than any big man we currently have. The first step to fast-breaking is rebounding and outletting the ball. You could be pretty sure that Sabonis was going to get rebounds that came near him. Nobody got around that wide body to beat him out. And nobody since Walton was better at getting the ball out after rebounding. He sometimes did it with his back to the play. It wouldn't matter if he didn't make it back for the dunk finish. Darius and Zach and the guards could do that. A first-year-Blazer Sabas would be good for at least 15 and 9 on this team and he'd probably up everybody else's scoring average by a couple of points to boot. For his brains, his unique size, and his skills, he'd be my guy to add to this year's team.

--Dave (


Blogger BLAZER PROPHET said...

My only problem with Sabas is that he's no leader at all. He kept to himself. A team like this needs a 'player' as well as a veteran leader. Not a vocal leader who all too often mailed in his game (Pippen) and led an insurrection against a coach as well as faked his way thru community relations- but a respected & quieltly determined player who goes around to people one on one in a locker room and gets his point across.

I'll still take Larry Steele. Porter would be #2 on my list.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I am hoping that B-Roy, Webster, and Jack form a triumverate of leadership in the coming years. I think the potential is there in all three guys. Right now it doesn't show as much because they're young and because the vets are anti-leaders. I also hope that in the coming years we'll see that most of our players don't have to be whipped into line, and thus the leadership needs will lessen. But you're right, the no-brainer picks were the ones we eliminated, Drexler and Walton, either of whom would have gotten everybody else in line pronto. Porter would also serve that purpose very well. I wonder if Larry Steele would have enough of an impact on the game to get people to listen to him.


12:28 PM  
Blogger BLAZER PROPHET said...

Uh, Dave, it's "triumvirate".

1:40 PM  
Blogger BLAZER PROPHET said...

Like you, I also hope our younger players emerge into leaders. Good leadership means better team chemistry.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

You're right. I always make that typo. Six demerits on my blogger card.


2:44 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Dave said...

...and a rap on the knuckles from School Marm...

3:54 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

LOL...say what you want about this blog, but you ain't gonna find this discussion anywhere else. I mean, how many other sites even HAVE a resident School Marm and a horde of grammarians to monitor their polysyllabic words?


4:20 PM  
Blogger Scott R said...

Enough of the big words. You all are hurting my head! Us sports fans aren't supposed to use words like "triumvirate" or "polysyllabic". LoL..

I do agree with you on Sabas. not the Sabas we got, but the Sabas we drafted. I still stand by my guns that had Sabas come over in 88 when we drafted him Clyde would have a lot more jewelry on his fingers and probably would never have worn a Houston uniform. Subsequently, MJ & Pip wouldn't have nearly as much jewelry on their fingers. I think Sabas would fit in extremely well with our club and the B. Roy would provide all the leadership needed for this team. Good Call Dave!

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Dave, I have to disagree. Not that your reasoning isn't sound, but what this team needs to LEARN is hustle, guts, determination, and a killer instinct. You're not gonna get that with the ultra-quiet, flashy-passing Sabas. Sure he'll improve guy's stats, but I want more. I'd rather have KERSEY dunking all day from poked-away steals and blocked shots and leading the guards on fastbreaks, than Darius and the guards catching passes.

In other words, Sabas only makes the team better as far as how they fit into the flow of offense. I want someone to teach them what heart and hustle can do out on the floor. Nate can teach them the rest. Those 90s teams were good without Sabas...these guys can be too.

3:12 AM  
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