Originally written on Oregon Sports News  |  Last updated 11/19/14

Basketball is not like football. There is not one single position that can be described as the most important. There’s no quarterback in basketball, no position that must touch the ball on every play for the team to be successful.  Most basketball fans and analysts claim that either point guard or center is the most important position. Yet there are often certain players, at other positions, who control the fortunes of a team (i.e. LeBron James). If you want proof, look at how bad the Cavaliers got after he left. LeBron managed to control the team even though he’s not at one of the two positions generally considered the most important. Guys like LeBron and Kobe control their team’s fate from positions other than point guard and center. Most people consider guys like this the exceptions to the rules and believe that a team requires a good point guard and center in order to succeed. Even if that’s the case, most people would agree that, barring one exceptional player, you need to create a team in order to win.

If you’re going to create a team, we have already established that you need a point guard and a center as the basis, unless you have a player like LeBron. The Blazers believe that they’ve found their point guard in Damian Lillard and while there is no guarantee that Lillard is going to be the player that the Blazers think he can be, he’s not who I want to talk about. There is no question that Lillard is going to be the Blazers’ starting point guard this season. There is, however, a question at center. The Blazers have Joel Freeland and Meyers Leonard duking it out to join the interesting story of Blazers’ centers.

The Blazers history at the center position has been less than storied. They’ve had a few great ones, like Bill Walton and Arvydas Sabonis, some in the middle and some who never amounted to much of anything, like Sam Bowie and Greg Oden. Freeland and Leonard now have the chance to end up as any of those three things. I expect Freeland to end up being the starter; he has more professional basketball experience, read, any professional experience. The competition between them this year should be interesting but I fully expect Freeland will come out on top. In future years, the competition between these two could become very important. We’re getting our first glimpse of these two players this offseason. Leonard had nine points and thirteen rebounds during the Thursday afternoon Summer League game. Freeland had three boards and made three of seven shots in twenty three minutes versus Team USA basketball. I’m excited to see Freeland in the Olympics and to watch Leonard finish out the Summer League. It’s great getting to see the future of the Blazers playing now.


Adam Silver: No NBA team is tanking

Penguins having three more players tested for mumps

Jay Cutler is not the answer for the Titans

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign


Dominic Raiola insists he didn't intentionally stomp opponent

Jets call themselves the best 3-12 team in NFL history

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Report: 49ers to part ways with Harbaugh after season finale

Brad Stevens shoots down rumors he's headed to Hoosiers

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Don't mess with Seahawks punter Jon Ryan

Niners OT asked Manti Te'o about his fake girlfriend

Darren Sproles' wife Michel fires back at Eagles critics

Steve Smith expects 'couch quarterback' criticism

WATCH: Tennessee walk-on gets scholarship as bowl gift

Raiders player gives game check to young girl in need

Game of the week: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

Yankees pay for education of slain officer's children

Breaking up the Brooklyn Nets

Brady: Edelman might be Pat's Most Dependable Player

Who can fight off the Golden State Warriors in the West?

NFL flexes Bengals-Steelers into 'Sunday Night Football' slot

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Niners OT asked Te'o about fake girlfriend

Sproles' wife fires back at Eagles critics

Game of the week: Lions vs. Packers

Breaking up the Brooklyn Nets

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Jets claim to be best 3-12 team ever

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.