Rudy Fernandez

Portland-The Struggle to Survive

Greg Oden– first overall pick of the 2007 NBA draft-Injured

Brandon Roy– three time all-star-Injured

Marcus Camby– defensive player of the year in 2006-2007- Injured

With the deprivation of three exceptional players, it is almost unfathomable that Portland is still holding the 8th seed in competitive West. It’s even harder to believe that the Blazers were recently on a five game winning streak. Although this Portland team has become injury prone, key players are stepping up and are making the best of what they have.

First off, LaMarcus Aldridge has been an outstanding player thus far. Playing at an all-star caliber, Aldridge is making his team look competitive. Bound to make his first all-star appearance, LaMarcus Aldridge since December 15 has been averaging 26.3 points per game as well as 10.3 rebounds per game. Aldridge has stepped up as much as he can since his team has been plagued by injuries and has really been the go to guy for the Blazers. Secondly, Andre Miller has also helped his team out a lot. Currently in his 13th season, Miller has been a valuable asset. He constantly gets it done on both sides of the court averaging 1.7 steals per game while also dishing out 7.1 assists per game. Essentially, Andre Miller has stepped up in the absence of Camby and Roy and continues to produce solid numbers. Next off, Wesley Matthews has really established himself on the Portland Trailblazers. This un-drafted player has filled much of the void at the shooting guard position in place of Brandon Roy. Matthews has been quite the contributor, averaging 16.2 points per game, and even more staggering, Matthews has averaged 22.7 points per game in the last 3 games. Moving on, Rudy Fernandez has been a spark off the bench for the Blazers putting up some descent numbers as well as making the highlight reel every once in a while. Lastly, Nicolas Batum has also been showing progression in the absence of Roy and Camby. He recently scored 23 points and then four days later scored 24 points. Batum has shown some potential during this period of injuries and has been a solid small forward.

Hopefully this array of talent continues to mesh well together as well as keep on winning ball games. It is important they keep on winning games in order to hold their spot in the playoffs. These next few weeks will really test this Portland team.

Bottom Line- Portland is a solid team that could have a promising future if Roy, Camby, and Oden ever get back onto the court.