That being said, if you're going to put out a Trail Blazers preview, I'm more than likely going to read/watch it. The folks over at the NBA.com mothership obviously put a lot of time end effort into their previews, so I'm more than happy to do my part to get the word out.
Here's Eric Snow, Brent Barry and Andre Aldridge's (no relation) video preview.
Here's the interesting-yet-creepy "secret scout" breakdown.
On the written side, Howard Scott-Cooper writes that the new svelte edition of Greg Oden is ready to turn the page on the last two seasons:
This is the perfect time and place for him, it turns out, not the center of his crumbling universe. Among the many things that went right for the resurgent Trail Blazers last season, tying for the second-best record in the Western Conference alleviated an incalculable amount of pressure on Oden to be great already. Being good enough to start and put a lid on the basket makes him a difference maker and a potential hero. Strange given the '07 perspective, but true.
Sean Powell, also writing for NBA.com, lists GO as one of the "make-or-break" players of the 2009-10 season:
Can you imagine that, two years removed from a no-brainer draft decision, there are rumblings the Trail Blazers should've taken Kevin Durant instead? That says plenty about Durant, but also something about Oden, raw and hardly the impact player many expected him to be. Big men develop slowly, and Oden did suffer leg injuries, so patience, please. Still, Oden can make everyone in Portland exhale if he learns a pet move, elevates himself to third option on offense and grabs more than seven rebounds a game. Is that asking too much too soon? No, it isn't.I'm going to use "pet move" in place of "go-to" move from here on out. It sounds much friendlier.