Trail Blazers previews:
Mookie: ...a stern warning
1. What significant moves were made during the offseason?
This offseason was not about making moves, it was about capitalizing on moves already made. The biggest transactions for the Blazers that come into effect this year, actually happened in the Summer of 2007. That was the draft that netted Portland both Greg Oden and Rudy Fernandez. The potential of Oden has been a topic of both excitement and curiosity for a long time now and the fact that the NBA had to wait another year to see him in action only adds to the anticipation. Not much can be said about the big man that hasn’t already been said. One thing is for sure, his size on both ends of the floor instantly changes the makeup of this team and adds an extra headache for opposing coaching staff in preparing to face this rising unit.
Benjamin Golliver: Blazers Edge
2. What are the team's biggest strengths?
Not to go all Jay Bilas on you, but this year's Blazers' biggest strengths are depth, length, and versatilathleticism. Even with Martell Webster out until 2009, just reading the team's roster is enough to send Don Nelson back to the fridge for another beer (or 12): Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden, Travis Outlaw, Channing Frye... put those five together and you've got 100 yards of arms. Good luck game-planning against any combination of those five.
Coup and SJ: Rip City Project
5. The question representing all questions about Greg Oden...
He's big, he's smart, he's agile and he wants to win. As much as I dislike making comparisons to other players to determine another player's value, Oden is the closest thing to Shaq I've seen since the big guy starting taking half seasons off in 2002. The reason I didn't say Dwight Howard is because Dwight has skinnier legs than most people think and Greg's lower body, by all accounts, could move a bus Flintstones style.