Cliff Gardner

Saturday, March 07, 2009

I figured it out!

Recent road losses to the Spurs, Rockets and Nuggets have made it clear that the Blazers lack a certain veteran toughness and what I like to call "the crazy factor," i.e. the refusal to be bullied. I have a solution: Latrell Sprewell. He solves all of those problems right now. Here are some reasons why this is a brilliant move:

1) He's good. Anyone remember how awesome he was? He can shoot and defend. If we bring him off the bench at small forward, we can keep his minutes to maybe 20-25 a game so even if he has lost a step with age (he's 38) or if he's not in great shape, it'll be ok.

2) He's a proven playoff performer. Remember that time he carried an eighth-seeded Knicks team to the finals? Blake is the only guy on our team with playoff experience--we could use some of that, especially if we end up with a 6-7-8 seed and need to climb up the back of the west bracket on the road.

3) He's crazy, but not too crazy. The Blazers tend to get pushed around a lot, especially on the road against good teams--see the latest Denver disaster for evidence. If the toughest guy on our roster is Joel Przybilla, we're not scaring anyone in April/May. Plus, since our team is currently made up entirely of nice guys, even if Spree went off the reservation so to speak, which I think Roy/Aldridge/Nate would prevent as much as possible, the damage would be minimal since he wouldn't have anyone to be crazy with. Spree acting up in Portland would get the same reaction as someone swearing in church.

4) He'll play hard every night or go back to sleeping under a bridge. This would also serve to keep his craziness in check. Just to prove this point, I'm in favor of signing him to a series of ten-day contracts to see if he measures up. If it works out, we can sign him for the rest of the season at the fairly-cheap veteran pro-rated minimum, which is something like 1.5-3 million. If not, cut him and we still have ten games before the playoffs to get back into rhythm/un-do any damage done by Spree. My point is, it's pretty much all up-side for us.

He can set us Spree at last. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. But seriously, think about.


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