The Portland Trail Blazers starting five was one of the best five-man units on both sides of the ball this season. There's a caveat, however, one that applies to every team of such quality: The Blazers' starting five was great…when healthy. When they weren't healthy – when they were decimated by injury after injury – the Blazers became less formidable and transformed into another middling playoff team. The Blazers, at full strength, were considered fringe title contenders. Is that good enough? Or do they need to break up the core to go beyond a perennial dark horse status? Dave Deckard of Blazer's Edge has some thoughts:
"This leaves the Blazers in a sticky situation, caught between good and potentially great. They might be 2 players away from doing something really special but 10 other teams can make a similar claim and all of them will be looking for the same kind of help the Blazers will require. Moving from dismal to playoff team is relatively easy compared to moving from playoff team to legit contender."
The simple truth is that winning championships is terribly hard, and shouldn't be the ultimate measure of success. Maybe the Blazers' starters have reached their peak, but if that's true, that's not a reason to blow it all up. Why mess with a starting five that's among the best in the league when it's unlikely you'll find better pieces? If the Blazers can continue to be a top-five team, and contend because of it, that alone is a triumph.