After finishing last season 33-49, the Portland Trailblazers had to have been nothing but disappointed. There wasn’t much to celebrate about last year, but rookie point guard Damian Lillard was a very bright spot for this team last season and will hopefully be that for many seasons to come.
Outside of Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, the team has a solid starting lineup, but lacked in depth. Portland is hoping that the very few offseason moves they made were enough to improve the team and hopefully make a run at the playoffs.
The biggest move they made in the offseason was bringing in Robin Lopez to play center. Not only will it make their defense a lot better, but it now makes their starting lineup one of the best in all of basketball. Lopez, Lillard and Aldridge will be joined by starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews and small forward Nicholas Batum.
Batum is the better of the two, but both of them can score when needed. Portland drafted another promising point guard this year in C.J. McCollum, but a broken foot will keep him out of action.
This is where the acquisition of guard Mo Williams comes in handy and could turn out to be rather huge. Mo can score well off the bench and has the ability to play both point and shooting guard when needed. Meyers Leonard is a young backup for Lopez, but he isn’t the only young big man to come off of the bench for Portland.
Recently acquired Thomas Robinson hopes to jump start his bust of a career with the Blazers. Aldridge isn’t always healthy and has been known to miss some games, so he may get more playing time than expected. If that turns out to be the case, it’ll be a great opportunity for the young forward. Matthews will get backup minutes at small forward, but Portland also has Dorell Wright, who can come off the bench and step into the small forward role.
Although there aren’t many changes from last season to this season, Portland may have done enough to improve their record. I predict Portland to have a better record than last season and finish 38-44, but just like last year, they will once again miss the playoffs.