The Blazersland Mailbag April 2020 edition is here!
Do you think we should scrap the season and maybe the next season if it improves public safety and it takes two years to distribute a vaccine and halt the spread internationally and domestically? Do you like the idea of virtual sports events that are only viewed through a stream and the end of mass gatherings of people for any unnecessary purpose moving forward? – riverman
Lives are always more important than sports. If it is going to save lives you hold off on finishing the season until it is safe to play out, for players, arena staff, and fans alike.
The NBA will not start up until it finds a way to do it safely or until it is deemed safe to do so. The NBA may not have a chance, but to scrap the season as time goes on and the coronavirus is still here.
But, they are trying hard to find alternative ways to get the league going again as soon as possible. After all they are a business and have basically no money coming in. They are already working to open team facilities. Maybe it is the beginning of the return, but we are still looking at months before the season resumes.
The NBA is considering finishing this season in the fall and pushing back next season to start in the winter. That is becoming more likely. We will see how it plays out.
Virtual sports events maybe the future, especially if the virus is seasonal. But, it’s not the same for the players or fans without people in the seats. I don’t think it’s the end of mass gatherings for events like sports, but it will be awhile before we see fans in the stands again. Not only does safety play a factor, but the trust of fans and their willingness to sit close together in arenas will play just as big of one.
Is Whiteside a keeper or flash in the pan /does more harm? -MickZagger
Hassan is a keeper if the Blazers can get him on a team friendly deal and is willing to come off the bench. He does harm, in the starting lineup be cause he doesn’t help facilitate the offense. He has made a home in the paint and rarely defends at the perimeter. He leads the NBA in blocks, and is a double double machine. But, his numbers are empty stats because of his otherwise inability to make his team better. Thus, why I said he is a keeper as long as he agrees to come off the bench. He won’t do as much harm there, and can in fact be a benefit to a weak bench.
Some players say it would take 3-4 weeks to get back into shape and some say it would take a couple weeks. I don’t buy that it should take 3-4 weeks, maybe two at the most and they should be ready to go. What percentage of Blazers do you think have played some ball somewhere, friends, their own court, etc? – Hoopguru
It would take a month probably for many players. A few are staying in shape to be ready, others aren’t doing much and will need more time. The NBA its guidelines it set for returning, it involves a few weeks of individual workouts and a few of scrimmages because not only do players need to be in physical shape, they need to run the floor and get the feel again. Get their bodies used to playing again. We don’t need guys getting Injured because they were rushed back.
Zero percent of the Blazers have played an actual ballgame since the league hiatus, unless you include NBA2k20. Dame has been throwing up some shots by himself at his house, I am sure other players are doing that much too. But, yeah as for actual basketball, nil.
Could this lockout last long enough for Pau to join the Blazers coaching staff and with Nurk and Zach back, will we see a bench of Hood, Melo, Whiteside, Trent, and Ant next season? How shocked would you be to see Whiteside come back on a team friendly deal and accept a bench role?
It definitely could. We might not see hood back till early 2021 though. Achilles injuries are tough to come back from, but it sounds like he will be staying. Melo might stay, he does like it here, but he may retire or go elsewhere. Whiteside also has said he likes it here, but would have to take a team friendly deal and a bench role, which he could very well do. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hassan do that. Not at all.
If the Blazers part ways with Whiteside this summer or whenever free agency is, who is a free agent you think the Blazers should target? – James
Someone like Otto Porter Jr or Montrezl Harrell, though the Blazers probably can’t afford him.
What kind of things are the Blazers doing to keep the team together and cohesive while they are all separated? – Joshua
There isn’t much they can do. I know they have been keeping in contact with each other over the phone and facetiming each other. Other than that its waiting.
If the NBA decides to do another tournament like the Horse competition during the downtime which do you hope they do most?
First off, I enjoyed the Horse tournament even with the technical issues. If the NBA does another one it should be a slam dunk contest, skills competition, or 3pt competition.
These can be more exciting for fans than the horse competition. Maybe have players do it indoors, send professional cameras, have the players be prepared.
What do you think of Sabrina Ionescu going 1st in the 2020 WNBA draft? – James
It’s awesome. I am a duck fan and not only did she go first, fellow ducks went #2 and #8. It is probably bittersweet for Ionescu though because the Ducks were primed to make a deep run for a championship in the NCAA post season, and she can’t get that back, but hey she is a WNBA player now. Congratulations to her!
What would you guys think of the NBA permanently ending the 2019-20 season as it is, and just moving on to next season? – Brian
On one hand the Blazers were just about to make a run for the playoffs with Nurkic and Collins set to return. It’d be a bummer not to get to see the Blazers make that run and try and keep their playoff streak alive.
On the other hand, it was a terrible season for Portland. Injury after injury, only 29 wins…maybe it would be good to put the season out of its misery and start fresh again.
Will basketball return this year? – Jason
If it does it won’t be till late summer or the beginning of fall at the earliest. It will still be awhile and if/when it does return it will look different.
What player should the Blazers draft? – Robert
My top pick would be Precious Achiuwa. Kid is a beast. He is going to be a star, perhaps the next Greek Freak.
I would also look at moving up to get Onyeka Okongwu out of USC or Obi Toppin out of Dayton
If the NBA decided to just do the playoffs with the current standings, meaning the Blazers would miss out…who would you root for? Which teams could you not stand to see win it? – James
would root for the Grizzlies over the Lakers even though it would be futile. I would root for Dallas probably because it would be fun to watch Luka Doncic in playoff mode. I would root for the Raptors because I want to see if they can repeat without Leonard or Green.
I wouldn’t be able to stand it if the Lakers of all teams won of course. As a Blazers fan, I enjoyed watching their long playoff drought. I hate for the Rockets to win too for that matter. And the Jazz, no thank you after what they did to the Blazers.
That is the April 2020 edition of Blazersland Mailbag. If you want to see your questions answered in the next edition, submit them via the mailbag form at Blazersland.com/submit-questions/ -OR- by emailing them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org