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News » Portland Trail Blazers Getting Inside 2009-10-08

Portland Trail Blazers Getting Inside 2009-10-08

Portland Trail Blazers Getting Inside 2009-10-08
The advent of training camp brought one fact clearly to the forefront -- the Trail Blazers have depth and a nice nucleus of talent.

Coach Nate McMillan said he will use a 10-man rotation through the preseason and may go with it during the regular season. There are 11 players on the roster who seem capable of starting.

"We have a lot of talent," All-Star guard Brandon Roy said. "I go up and down our roster -- we have a bunch of guys. I'm excited to be out there and no longer have to pace myself to make sure I'm ready for the fourth quarter of games.

"I'm excited about our practices. It's going to be fun. We're going to have some great battles. I'm going to be able to get better on the defensive end going against some of the guys in practice. We have everything you want. No more questions about what we need. We just have to go out and do it."

The biggest questions seem at point guard, small forward and center. McMillan said incumbent Steve Blake remains his starter at the point, with free-agent signee Andre Miller providing competition. Miller said he wants to be the starter, and Blake does, too, though he has a healthy respect for Miller.

"He's a great player, a great point guard," Blake says. "I've had a lot of respect for him all the years I've played against him. He's one of those guys who always causes problems. He can post you up, he's a great passer. I look forward to us being on the court at the same time and being able to use our assets."

Nicolas Batum was the starting small forward as a rookie last season, but he'll get competition from Martell Webster, Travis Outlaw and Ime Udoka. Webster, returning after missing virtually all of last season with a stress fracture of a foot, said starting is not his priority.

"I don't care about the starting position," Webster said. "That doesn't mean much to me. What I'm taking on my sleeve is being on the court when the buzzer sounds. I want to finish games."

Greg Oden's goal is to be the starting center.

"I love Joel (Przybilla) to death," Oden said, "but I want to start."

The starting five at practice this week includes Roy, Blake, Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and Joel Przybilla.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 8, 2009


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