I was going to give you a nice, full-blown preview today, but thanks to some last-minute work complications I’m going to have to keep it short. Sorry, folks. But first things first, I came across this nugget in J.A. Adande’s chat today:
Ali (Calgary, Alberta): JA!!!! What’s up at the lounge? Do you agree with Ric Bucher’s assesment of the Thunder having a brighter future than the Blazers? He goes on to saying that he doesn’t feel the Blazers have their superstar either hinting at Brandon Roy not being a SUPERstar. I’m sure there are many angles to this debate, what’s yours?
J.A. Adande: (3:33 PM ET ) I think Roy is a superstar (pending playoff validation) and the Blazers roster has more good young players. I like Durant, but he hasn’t exactly turned the franchise around, has he?
Say what? How did I miss this? What is Bucher thinking? (Note: In my haste to get to work, I missed the original comments by Bucher, which you can find here) I normally love Bucher’s non-sideline reporter work, but there is no current arguement for the Thunder’s future over Portland’s that makes any sense to me. I might have my homer hat on, but if I’m not mistaken the Thunder don’t have any big men, which tend to be important to long-term success.
There’s two paths Buch could be thinking along. One, that Sam Presti is a vastly superior GM to Kevin Pritchard that he will eventually build a better team than Portland. Okay, that’s an opinion, but one based on a hypothetical scenario, not current talent. Let’s move on to two: That Kevin Durant is such a vastly superior player to Roy that he can carry a team to the Finals with no star big men. Basically, that Durant is LeBron good. I’m not buying that, not yet.
We could go on and on and you can call me a homer all you want, but you should know by now we have no problem pointing out Portland’s shortcomings. Oden is not a sure thing, Brandon has his injury concerns and there’s still a bunch of “rookies” involved in the rotation. The Thunder could even beat us tonight because they do have the weapons to jump on you and sustain the attack. But based on both current talent and success, there is no way you can argue for the Thunder over the Blazers without leaving crater-sized holes in your argument. It just can’t be done. Buch, you’re better than this.
This is, as always, open to discussion, however. Who do you agree with?