Looks like we made it (Barry Manilow voice)! We have finally reached the end of the 2012-2013 Blazers season. It has been a long and arduous 7 month marathon with some enjoyable moments, many regrettable moments and enough basketball ineptitude to last until the end of time. We Blazer fans were graced with Damian’s emergence as a solid point guard to lead the team into the future. Nicolas also began to show some of his immense promise after signing his new contract, but unfortunately was hampered by a nagging wrist injury and KO’d by a bum shoulder. LA had another solid season, albeit with so many jumpers that it made Jamal Crawford jealous. Wesley was Wesley: tough, determined, overtly confident, and possessing paper mache ankles. This, however, is where the accolades end.
The defense didn’t exist. The bench was nondescript. Not in the sense that it can’t be properly described, but in the sense that any word used to describe it could not do it proper justice of how feloniously horrific it was. In my opinion it was criminal that Victor Claver and Joel Freeland (who was jerked around like Martell was by Nate in his first few years) weren’t given ample opportunity throughout the season to show their talents. I understand the wins were coming, but they weren’t achieved in sustainable ways. It seemed like a wasted investment to let them atrophy on the bench. JJ Hickson’s double-doubles inflated his ratedness among the fanbase and led to squabbles of whether he should stay (for the love of all that is good, he better be gone). Meyers Leonard struggled enough in his first year to be given the benefit of the doubt, even though the statistical profiles and the eye test do not lend to him figuring out the NBA any time soon. It’s ok though, he has “potential” and “[insert list of intangibles that were not apparent all season but are possibly there because he seems astute and teachable].”
But it’s ok! IT’S OVER! And much like Mordor after the ring was destroyed, the Blazers season exploded in a fiery and rocky Doom-tastic manner over the last 3 weeks. If there is one regret, it’s that the (hope for the) season didn’t end sooner. Regardless of the potential 13th straight loss or the potential 34th win, one thing resonates with me: lowered expectations can be a boon for one’s sanity. Thank you for all those wins early, but tank you for crashing when it counted most.