Glad to be back! I took a hiatus on the mailbag for the holiday season to spend time with the family. I hope all of you had a happy holiday season. Now, let’s get in gear! Here is the 1st Mailbag of the new year! I give you the January Mailbag!

 

What are you looking forward to with the Blazers in 2020? – TorturedBlazersFan

Well Tortured, more than anything I am looking forward to the return of Jusuf Nurkic. The Blazers just aren’t the same without him. Yeah, Whiteside can score, rebound, and host block parties, but Nurkic just has a deeper presence. He helps facilitate better ball movement with pick and rolls and opponents just seem to feel more threatened with him around. His presence puts his teammates and the fans at ease.

Also looking forward to the trade deadline. Neil has a lot of work to do with the expirings of Whiteside and Bazemore. It will be like Christmas waiting for the mid season trades to come.

Also looking forward to this team to finally find an identity. Tired of all this invisible man losing bullhockey.

 

Do you foresee the Blazers trading for Kevin Love or Otto Porter Jr? – BigGameDamian

Love yes. Kevin has already stated he wants to play for his home team and has had verbal food fights with the Cavaliers general manager. I believe there is a distinctive chance he will pack his bags and head to Portland at the deadline. It would be a move to bolster the roster not only for a run at the playoffs, but for the next few seasons when the Blazers can come back healthy.

I am not sure about Otto Porter Jr. I’d love to have him. I think he would be a perfect fit here in Portland, but with already signing Carmelo Anthony, I don’t see it. I don’t think he is on Neil’s radar.

 

Has there ever been a dumber coach than me who managed to keep their job half as long as I’ve kept mine? – Terry Stotts (Parody)

As bad as I just want to say no just for the sake of humor and leave it at that, I won’t. I have better taste and better humor. First of all, I don’t think your stupid Terry. Not at all. I think you’re just stuck in your way of thinking. There seems to be a bit of one way street stubborness in your coaching methods. Too much isolation not enough team play. A successful team requires engagement and trust in one another.

Here are a few tips.

Get rid of the damn index card:

Coach by instinct, by watching the game, not by minute allocations you have predetermined. Tear it up. Throw it away. Take off the training wheels.

Trust your other players:

Yeah, you have a lot of injuries on your hands. You have to rely on some young players. But, force feeding Lillard and CJ all game is too damned predictable. Draw more plays around the supporting cast. Get them involved. Open things up. Build Morale. Maybe then you can help your team find winning ways again.

 

Can we get a decent backup point guard and move Simons to the 2? My eye doctor at the VA clinic is a Blazer fan from Portland who lived in San Antonio the last few years and asked me if Lemarcus would come back…she’s a huge fan of his …she saw my Blazer hoodie while getting my eyes tested. – riverman

That would be most agreeable river. The Blazers terribly miss Curry running the team off the bench. Not that it isn’t a good thing for Simons to learn how to be a floor general for an NBA team.

As to who, Darren Collison is seeking to return to the NBA after retiring last summer. He’d be perfect. Otherwise the Blazers could trade for a package that includes a point guard (Maybe with the Spurs for one of their guards, perhaps Murray)

That said, the Blazers will be more focused on the front court at the deadline. So a back up point guard is unlikely.

For the 2nd part of your question, I hope your eyes are alright. Could Aldridge return. It is another possibility. If the Blazers don’t go after Love, they might pursue Aldridge. The Spurs are having a bad year (as the Blazers are) and have already been the subject of trade rumors regarding Aldridge, DeRozan, and other guards.

Lillard and Aldridge have already both discussed the desire to play alongside each other again, earlier this season. If the Blazers could put together a package for Aldridge and Murray, it might be worth it.

 

Are the Blazers Considering making a trade offer for Andre Drummond? – Steve E

I haven’t heard any rumors or heard anything about the possibility of Drummond coming to Portland. He has been mostly attached to trade rumors with the Atlanta Hawks, who is the only team I have heard has had actual negotiations with the Pistons.

I have heard the Celtics, Mavericks, and Raptors are interested. I have also heard that Drummond has recently had a change of heart and his first choice is to stay in Detroit.

Drummond has a $28 million player option he has been said to be unlikely to take, though he seems to be warming up to accepting it and staying in Detroit. There is no guarantee he accepts it if he is traded to Portland or elsewhere.

It would be a terrible risk on the Blazers part to trade for him. One, he would just cause another redundancy problem. Who would start him or Nurkic? Drummond wouldn’t want to come off the bench. The Blazers already have an expiring in Whiteside with the same issue. They need to trade for a player with a longer contract to bolster the roster, not mess it up further with more confusion.

If the Blazers do keep Whiteside, he is more likely than Drummond to stay and more willing to come off the bench. Though neither are very willing to do that. Hence a needed traded for a player that will remain under contract into the near future.

 

Talk about the lack of ball movement that has become so unusual? – Joao

Look…listen…nevermind. I won’t come at you with a Neil Olshey signifier. I’ll do you a solid and cone at you with it straight. The lack of ball movement is astoundingly and excruciatingly evident. The players look like snails out there. They more than often find spots and lock in place like the gravity of the opponents defense is keeping them from being able to move.

It’s tough to watch. It’s worse than musical chairs at a retirement home. A lot of it has to do with turnover. No, not turnovers, though that is certainly one of the effects. Turnover as in the Blazers have 8 new players this season. And, with several injuries the Blazers are relying on younger players more than they had expected. Spot players have become rotation players.
Unfamiliarity has run rampant.

The results are deer in the headlights, botched plays, and an unceremonious lack of ball movement.

 

Why are our guards not moving the ball? Does it have anything to do with melos iso play or lack of trust in the new players? -Elijah

See above. Dame and CJ are Portland’s best players. The Blazers don’t have a lot of other talent to rely on. The product is the ball being in either Dame or CJ’s hands, in an attempt to take the scoring load and help the team to wins.

Ironically, it is the reason they are losing. Dame and CJ’s iso ball is all to predictable. Opponent defences know exactly what to expect and how to stop the Blazers.

Lillard and McCollum need to play more through their teammates then a part from them. If they play off the ball more, they will open up ball movement, make opponent defences jobs harder, and created better opportunities not only for Dame and CJ, but for the rest of the team.

Another reason is without Nurkic, the pick and roll has been near non existent. We sit a little, but Whiteside isn’t great at it. He is a player who likes to stay in the paint and protect the rim. Nurkic has the ability to come out, to help move the ball. The Blazers miss him terribly.

 

Remind everyone to vote for our Blazers for All Stars
-David

You got it David! Portland fans make sure you vote for your favorite Blazers for the All Stars. In the first results, Damian Lillard came in 3rd in guards ahead of Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook. Carmelo Anthony came in 8th in front court voting.

If you want Dame, Melo, CJ, or Whiteside to make it….vote vote vote!

That is the January 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 mailbag@blazersland.com

Editor-in-chief
Leave a replyComments (1)
  1. stampedehero 7 months ago

    With impressive wins against the Rockets ,Lakers and Jazz, we should pay homage to the Dame! We must recognize the Ariza trade. It’s no fluke that Ariza’a arrival has generated more team urgency to reach .500 for the season or the last playoff spot. I can’t wait until Nurk comes back in March so another beloved Portland big man joins the resurgence. .

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