5 Questions Portland Trail Blazers Must Answer To Solidify Contender Status

5 Questions Portland Trail Blazers Must Answer To Solidify Contender Status

portland trail blazers
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The Portland Trail Blazers started this season as one of the hottest teams in the NBA. Led by Damian Lillard, Portland has demonstrated that this team can compete with some of the best. Portland is going back to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2011. Here are five questions the Trail Blazers must answer to prove that they are championship contenders.

5. Can This Team Remain Consistent?

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Jamie Valdez - USA TODAY Sports

5. Can This Team Remain Consistent?

damian lillard
Jamie Valdez - USA TODAY Sports

With the way Portland started the 2013-14 season, there is no solid explanation as to why the team is currently sitting in fifth place or why this team doesn’t already have 50-plus wins. The team is 18-18 since a 31-9 start. The Western Conference is extremely competitive. Without consistent performances on a nightly basis, Portland could end up getting bullied out of the first round of the playoffs.

4. How Can The Bench Be More Productive?

Portland Trail Blazers
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4. How Can The Bench Be More Productive?

portland trail blazers bench
Christian Petersen - Getty Images

Portland’s bench is nowhere near the powerhouses that are currently in championship contention. The Blazers’ bench needs sound role players who can add depth to the team. Will Barton and Mo Williams have been fairly decent coming off the bench this season, but its not enough. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are great players to build around; unfortunately, Portland is still lacking supporting pieces to solidify the team as contenders.

3. How Can Portland Fix Defensive Woes?

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3. How Can Portland Fix Defensive Woes?

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Gary A Vasquez - Getty Images

Portland has one of the quickest offenses today. Too bad the Blazers’ defense is almost non-existent. There is absolutely no way that Portland can contend without increased defensive production. Their offense has been masking how bad their defense is and come postseason, Portland’s opponents will take off the mask and expose their defense. Currently, the Blazers are allowing more points per game than the Celtics, Magic, Pelicans and Jazz.

2. Is LaMarcus Aldridge The Key To Staying In Contention?

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2. Is LaMarcus Aldridge The Key To Staying In Contention?

LaMarcus Aldridge
Sam Forencich - Getty Images

Aldridge returned from a small injury recently and without him on the floor, it was obvious that the Blazers were missing something. His presence on the floor changes this Portland team. Without him, it’s like night and day. The Blazers must figure out a way to keep Aldridge playing at the highest level while remaining completely healthy. If he is their key to being a contender, the Blazers need to find a better way to take care of him.

1. Where Will Other Talent Come From?

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Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

1. Where Will Other Talent Come From?

portland trail blazers
Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

Portland has two great stars to build around, LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard. The Blazers need to add a couple more star players to their roster to be true contenders. The team made very little noise before the trade deadline, so it is up to management to make a solid draft pick and add some competitive players during this year’s free agency, that will compliment the team’s two stars and help them battle the best.

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