The PG Dilemma

Oh, the great PG Dilemma. If I had an STD for everytime someone talked about Portland’s need for a PG I’d probably be dead by now. With Steve Blake’s underwhelming play during Portland’s first-round exit, the spotlight has been pointed directly at the PG position. Despite all of the differing opinions I’ve read over the past few days about the Blazers and their PG issues, I think there are two points that nearly all agree on:

  1. To make the next step into the contender-dome, Portland’s going to have to upgrade the PG.
  2. Sergio Rodriguez isn’t the answer. At all.

Those seem pretty consistent with everything I have read. The first point is no shot at Steve Blake, just the truth of the situation. And this isn’t judging Blake for his performance in the post-season because that wouldn’t be fair. On the surface if you just look at his stats, the numbers don’t look so bad. 9.8 points, 6.2 assists, 1.5 turnovers 48% from the field and 41% from behind the arc…not too shabby? Not good enough. Steve Blake is the definition of solid. Just a solid point guard and would be a home run and a half as a backup. He fits well on this team with his ability to shoot and (deleting the playoffs from my mind) his ability to not take anything off the table. The only problem is…he doesn’t really put much on there. Ben from Blazer’s Edge made what I felt was a really good point about how Blake not being a playmaker hurts this team. It makes this team overrely on Brandon Roy. Before the season and during the season, I defended Blake by stating that this team doesn’t need an elite PG because that would overlap onto B-Roy’s area. And now after seeing what happened in the playoffs (The Roy and LMA show featuring no one), it’s clear that Portland needs someone else on the court who can make plays. To make the next step from just making the playoffs to making noise in the playoffs, something has to change. We can make the playoffs all day with Blake at the helm, I’m not worried about that. But to win a series…there’s got to be more. And this is where my criticism of Blake comes in. Do you want solid for 31-38 minutes a game or 20-25 minutes a game?

Over the past few days, the talk has been running rampant. Everyone’s been wondering who would be a good fit for this team. Kirk Hinrich? Andre Miller? Jason Kidd? Truth be told, I’m not feeling any of them. As well as Hinrich played in the Boston series, I don’t think he’s the answer. Especially not at his current price tag with him set to make $26.5 million over the next three years. I’d wholeheartedly take Hinrich as a backup for cheap but to say he’s the answer to take this team to the next level makes me wonder what alcohol is in the Kool-Aid everyone has been drinking. Yes he’s scrappy, yes he can defend three positions, yes he can shoot…but everything else about him screams slightly above average. Andre Miller? I’ll pass. He fits some of Portland’s needs, he can penetrate and create for himself. That’s cool. Not so cool? He’s also turning 34 soon and shoots the ball a ton, which is even more un-cool because he can’t shoot. He averaged 12 FGA’s a game this year which is three less than LaMarcus Aldridge averaged this year. That unsettles me for some reason. And it’s not a recent thing, for his career Andre Miller has averaged 11.7 FGA’s a game. Lastly, it’s not like he’s a proven winner or anything that’s going to take this team over the top. Fun fact: an Andre Miller led team has never advanced past the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Again…I’ll pass. Jason Kidd? Intriguing and I think that’s the best way to put it. I’m not going to say I want him but I’m not going to say I don’t want him either. For a year or two at a cheap rate…I’d have to think about it. Mentor Bayless for a year or two, throw lobs to Rudy/Oden/LMA/anyone who wants one, flash that ‘aw, shucks’ smile of his a couple times. I’m still thinking about it. The idea is being entertained in my head.

But that leaves me to this….assuming Sergio is dunzo… What about Jerryd Bayless? Wouldn’t you rather see what he has in his second season than any of the guys I listed above? I know I sure would. A lot of question marks surrounding him…but remember all the question marks we had about LaMarcus when it was finally his time? Exactly. And I’ll talk about this later, but that’s kind of the luxury the Blazers have going into next year. I’m sure they’d love to make moves…but they don’t have to right now. Keyword is have. I don’t know if Bayless is the answer but he deserves the shot before we make some sort of serious move. I’d like to keep Blake if at all possible and adding a new PG would push Bayless to the #3 spot which is just no bueno with a young talent like him.

All in all, what do you think? Keep Blake? Give Bayless the ball and see what he’s got? Go after Kidd, Hinrich or Miller? Anyone else in mind? Drop a note.

Tags: Andre Miller Blazers Free Agency Blazers Need Blazers Need Point Guard Blazers PG Blazers Point Guard Jason Kidd Jerryd Bayless Kirk Hinrich Portland Point Guard Portland Trail Blazers Steve Blake

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