Oden- done for the year. Prezbo- done for the year. Nic Batum's missed the entire season so far. Rudy Fernandez didn't play in December and probably won't suit up again until February. Travis Outlaw could be out until April. So where does this leave the once-promising Blazers?
Sitting nicely at 20-12, actually. Winners of four straight, including three victories in a row against Western Conference playoff teams.
How in the hell is this happening?
First and foremost, it's been Herculean efforts nightly from Brandon Roy. There's also the emergence (or should I say unleashing?) of Jerryd Bayless. Throw in solid contributions on both ends from graybeard Juwan Howard. And it's certainly no coincidence that the team is 13-3 when Andre Miller starts this season. Yes, you read that right. 13-3 with Miller starting. On the flip side, they've won six of seven since moving Steve Blake to the bench.
Can this improbable success continue? Roy's nursing a shoulder injury. LaMarcus Aldridge just missed some time with a balky knee and now he's being asked to log heavy minutes at center. And they still haven't played the Lakers or Celtics yet this season. We'll see...
Pictured: awesome Roy Etch-A-Sketch