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NBA Portland Trail Blazers

5 Ways to Fix the Portland Trail Blazers During 2014 NBA Offseason

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5 Ways to Fix the Portland Trail Blazers During 2014 NBA Offseason

Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge
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The Portland Trail Blazers had a resurgent season, and almost broke through to the Western Conference Finals. Here are five ways to fix the Trail Blazers, and turn the team into true contenders.

5. LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard Have to Become Better Defenders

Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge
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5. LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard Have to Become Better Defenders

Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge
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The Portland Trail Blazers have some of the NBA’s best on-ball defenders in Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum, but the team still ranked 22nd in points allowed this season. Robin Lopez serves as the anchor on defense, but Aldridge and Lillard must contribute more on that end. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker dismantled the young Trail Blazers, and their attack was focused on Lillard and Aldridge.

4. Nicolas Batum Must Become a Consistent 3rd Option

Portland Trail Blazers, Nocolas Batum
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4. Nicolas Batum Must Become a Consistent 3rd Option

Portland Trail Blazers, Nocolas Batum
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Batum has been a good player for a few years, but his showing in this year’s playoffs put him on the map. Batum averaged 13 points and five assists per game this season, but if Portland truly wants to contend, Batum will need to score closer to 18 points a game. Carrying more of the load on offense takes pressure off of LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard throughout the season.

3. C.J. McCollum Must Play Like a Lottery Pick

Portland Trail Blazers, C.J. McCollum
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3. C.J. McCollum Must Play Like a Lottery Pick

Portland Trail Blazers, C.J. McCollum
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McCollum broke his foot early in training camp last season, and that really put a damper on his rookie season. Portland will need more than 5.3 points in 38 games out of the No. 10 pick in last year’s draft. McCollum could see more action if Mo Williams walks, but he will have to produce if Portland wants to take the next step.

2. The Bench Needs Some Work

Portland Trail Blazers, Mo Williams
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2. The Bench Needs Some Work

Portland Trail Blazers, Mo Williams
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Mo Williams led the Portland Trail Blazers in bench scoring averaging 9.7 points per game, but he will opt out of the last year of his contract. The bench hurt the Trail Blazers in the playoffs, and that was the team’s biggest concern during the regular season. Portland needs more scoring punch off the bench, and rookie guard Will Barton will be asked to step up next season.

1. Damian Lillard Has to Keep Developing

Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard, Tony Parker
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1. Damian Lillard Has to Keep Developing

Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard, Tony Parker
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Nothing exposes the holes in your game like battling one of the best players in the NBA at your position. Lillard found out just how much work he needs to put in when Tony Parker embarrassed him for five-straight games. Lillard is on the cusp of superstardom, but to get there, he must make another leap forward.