Path Blazers Media Day 2022: What Did It Imply?

September 27, 2022

Portland Path Blazers Media Day 2022 has come and gone. Summaries of all of the interviews are littered throughout the location like a lot wrapping paper the day after Christmas. However what are we to make of all of it? Was something new, or completely different, revealed within the course of? That’s the topic of at this time’s Blazer’s Edge Mailbag.

Hello Dave!

Media Day is all the time so enjoyable. Name me silly however I [get excited] yearly. I’m prepared for issues to begin and I stupidly imagine that issues are going to be completely different. However perhaps this yr they’re! We’ve got a complete new line up and I’m enthusiastic about [Jerami] Grant and Gary Payton, Actual veteran assist! I would like your impressions about Media Day and the way you suppose it went. Are adjustments actually right here lastly?

Darlene

Sure, by definition! As you say, Jerami Grant and Gary Payton II will play main roles. Don’t overlook Anfernee Simons transferring to the beginning lineup and Josh Hart getting a full season (or not less than as a lot as he’ll keep for) with the workforce. It is a completely different look, a complete new lineup, for certain.

As to what to make of it, the Blazers themselves clued you in by what they emphasised and what they selected to not discuss.

A number of factors have been repeated all through interviews. They embody:

Damian Lillard is again and feeling good. Praising Lillard and affirming his participation have been near-ubiquitous amongst teammates. A part of that is likely to be deference to Dame himself. When a famous person returns to your franchise—he by no means left, however we nonetheless bear in mind the turmoil right now final season, mollified for now by an enormous contract extension—you acknowledge the king with gratitude. The gamers know that Dame makes the franchise related. In addition they know that his well being is the premise of all the things they’re making an attempt to do as a workforce. That confirmed.

Pleasure for younger gamers was increased this season than it has been since Lillard and CJ McCollum have been of their NBA infancy. Nassir Little, Keon Johnson, and Shaedon Sharpe bought talked about by individuals apart from Nassir Little, Keon Johnson, and Shaedon Sharpe. The younger gamers have been even referencing one another. It feels just like the Blazers try to refill the expertise pipeline left impoverished throughout the Neil Olshey period. This theme resounded extra loudly than scheme adjustments, veteran expertise inflow, or daring predictions. That’s one thing of a shock, given the high-profile low season strikes.

Flexibility—and its less-welcome cousin, uncertainty—have been recurring themes. When gamers did discuss in regards to the on-court product and rotations, they tended to spotlight the multi-skilled nature of the roster. “I can play with him, or I can do this factor, and I may also deliver this.” However apart from the plain trio of Lillard, Simons, and Jusuf Nurkic, no one appeared to know precisely what they, or the workforce, would be doing. This turned evident significantly in Josh Hart’s interview, the place he talked about his want to begin. It additionally confirmed amongst lots of the identical younger gamers talked about above, and within the veterans speaking about these youthful teammates. Not solely is the rotation, as but, un-set, you get the sensation that the Blazers themselves don’t know fairly what they’ve.

That stated, a way of positivity reigned. Virtually all interviewees have been upbeat. They appeared to precise real anticipation, even curiosity, over season and squad. The temper of the public-facing a part of the group seems to have lightened. They current extra like a workforce, much less like a few stars with mercenary veterans employed to mess around them.

That positivity has limits, although. Discover what the interviewees didn’t discuss a lot, if in any respect: competition, championships, and even wins. The workforce seems to be leaning on type, character, and leisure for certainty. “We’re going to have enjoyable and folks will take pleasure in watching us.” That’s most likely true, however it’s additionally not what the Golden State Warriors are lifting up as seasonal aspirations.

The Blazers themselves appear to have an unstated understanding that contending is just too nice a declare to make at this level. I’m certain all of them would declare it’s doable, however it’s not a cultural bedrock expectation but. They’ll must show to themselves that they will win persistently earlier than we see that change.

Total, there’s purpose to be intrigued by this new begin. Your expectations of whether or not the adjustments will really enhance the win-loss whole might have to remain in verify till we, they usually, have seen extra.

Thanks for the query! You’ll be able to all the time ship yours to [email protected]!

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