Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Blazers of Prestige

I bought a slot in a @SCCTradingCards Group Break. 

I know it's been basketball-heavy around here at Cards on Cards, but I've got just a couple more of these to get off my chest before we head full swing into baseball season. After being tantalized on Twitter a number of times, I finally bit and plunked down some cash for a group break guaranteed team slot (I don't do random) for a new Panini set.

I'm going to show you every card I received, sans duplicates. This set has a bunch of unnumbered parallels with dumb names like Crystal, Horizon, Metallized, Rain, and Compost. Through some research, which should really not be so necessary, I've determined this this is "Metallized". Also, I may have made one of those parallel names up.

Back to the base cards. You know you're having a truly cursed season when just when it looks like you're finally getting integrated into your new team's offense after a really rough go of things for several months, you break your hand. Turner is back now, and was playing his best ball right when he got hurt. Hopefully he can get enough time to be a key part of the team before the possible playoff series.

Rookies have had little to no impact on the Blazers season, which is a little bit surprising considering how they spent nearly the entire season outside of the playoff discussion. They're back in it now, battling with Denver for a single spot. Layman is best known for a barrage of garbage time three-pointers he hit during the first week of the season. And the hair.

At the price point, this wasn't a great break for me, but I did end up with an autograph. It wasn't bad. This is one of those cards that probably goes for $10 in the Greater Portland Metro Area and $1 everywhere else.

Obligatory Dame card!

Here's the other "hit", and it's a serial numbered (to 75) parallel. Lillard had a really rough prolonged stretch to this season as he was trying to play through an injured ankle, but he's been deadly as we head closer to the end of the schedule.

These Stat Stars inserts looks pretty similar to the base cards, but there's a bit of gold foil on them.

I have to say this: Mason Plumlee was better than advertised in his time with the Blazers, and there are so many things he does well on the basketball court that it's hard to say anything negative about him. I liked watching him play. The guy that replaced him has really done some interesting stuff, though.

While he's not pictured shooting here, one of my favorite things about CJ is his shot selection. I can't think of anyone who puts up smarter shots than he does these days. There are probably people with a better understanding of advanced NBA stats than me who could back this assertion up.

Here's the other rookie of the team set. Quarterman was undrafted and made the team as the 15th man as a bit of a surprise. He's played even less than Layman, but undoubtedly has some good stories to tell after his experiences this season.

This is the Metallized 1/4 Man.

Another thing I need to admit publicly: I wanted one of these guys gone, as recently as last month. As great as they are (and they're pretty great), the two shooting guards in point guard bodies thing just wasn't working, as it usually doesn't for most teams. There's a lot of redundancy. And while I still don't really believe in it long term, even in this current three-shooting happy version of the NBA, the Blazers found another way to make things work by going out and making a different move. Jusuf Nurkic is now running wild on the court for the Trail Blazers, and we're all just along for the ride.

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