Hi! Portland fan here...one who is VERY happy Gerald Wallace is playing for the Blazers. Sorry for your loss!
Am a season ticket holder and pretty rabid fan. Went to the game last night against Houston and pretty much ALL of the Blazers EXCEPT Gerald Wallace, did not play well. Batum played offense well. NONE of them played defense..again..except for Wallace.
He is freaking amazing. I could tell that he was nervous and had some shots blocked/turn overs but my God, what an athlete. He made one play where I was..."OMG..I have never seen ANY player do that...EVER."
Anyway, the team is in flux right now. Marcus Camby was on the court for the first time 2 games ago after being out for 16 games..about 2 mos., Brandon Roy just started back after missing 30 games, since Dec 15th. Gerald has now played in 2 games. So the Blazers essentially have 3 new players to figure out how to play with one another.
To further complicate things, the ALPHA DOG...Brandon Roy is not the Brandon Roy of old. His knees have seriously affected what he can do, minutes played. This may never get better. LaMarcus Aldridge has emerged as the star of the team and as the leader in Roy's absence.
Since Roy has been back the Blazers have been 1-3. They won one game in OT. Brandon Roy played well in this game. He went over his "prescribed time limit" because the roster was so short and the game went into OT.
Camby came back to play on the same night Gerald played in his first game.
It seems to me the Blazers are deferring to Brandon Roy...LaMarcus Aldridge is slipping back into old playing patterns..other players are just freaking standing around when Roy has the ball...the players aren't moving on offense..they aren't playing defense...it's a mess.
Gerald Wallace came out in a post game interview and said he felt like it was his fault for messing up the team's chemistry. While this is a very gracious thing to say...it is completely not true.
Brandon Roy is messing up the team chemistry. I don't think it's all on him. I just think the players are playing the way he used to when he actually could play very very well....and they know that Brandon LIKES this. It's something he has grown to relish. It's one of the reasons it took his ABSENCE from the scene for other players to flourish.
To me this is not the mark of a good leader...it is the mark of a talented smart player who enjoys being in the limelight as the "leader" of the team. Willing to take the big shot...clutch player...who can no longer count on his body to deliver the "goods".
LaMarcus and the rest of the team seemed to work well together...in a cooperative way. Though LaMarcus was the number one option on offense, others felt ok scoring, cutting, MOVING, to make things happen on the court. They played very well together. It seemed more like "leadership by committee, a team supporting one another ".
Now Brandon comes back and they just stand around..even when BRANDON IS NOT ON THE COURT!!!!!!!
So my question is this....could Gerald Wallace become the team leader? A vocal team leader, who will enjoy making sure the players play together and play hard to win? I know that is what he is about as a person, but is he someone who would feel comfortable in this role? Because Brandon's "" is not doing this team any good whatsoever.
Please let me know...and if any of you have contact with Gerald Wallace...please let him know that HE DID NOT MESS UP THE TEAM'S CHEMISTRY!!!!!!!
I think the team will get back on track. I certainly hope so. In the mean time, I would go to the games just to watch Mr. Wallace play. What a treat.
And he will be starting tonight I am guessing. He has more than earned his starting position. The coach mentioned some lineup changes may be needed. He also said they may go with small ball...Marcus Camby was on the court last night ...it is too much to say he "played"...seemed like there was minimum effort there. Not sure what the story is with him. So Camby may not start.
I am rambling...please let me know what you think. Thanks