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NBA Season Preview: Portland Trail Blazers

LA2

2012-2013 Record: 33-49, 4th in Northwest Division

Key additions: Robin Lopez, C.J McCollum, Jeff Withey, Allen Crabbe, Mo Williams, Dorell Wright, Thomas  Robinson

Key losses: J.J Hickson

These Blazers just continue to grow. LaMarcus Aldridge is blossoming into one of the NBA’s most elite power forwards. Damian Lillard is one of a handful of young, talented point guards. Nicholas Batum and Wesley Matthews are easily one of the most underrated wing combos in the NBA. The Blazers bench is a young and blossoming group of players.

But the hole lies at center.

Portland acquired Robin Lopez to try to combat that issue, but how much can he do? How high is his ceiling? The team is waiting on Jeff Withey and Meyers Leonard to reach their full potential sometime in the near future.

Their hole at center is just a small factor in the team’s biggest issue: shot defense. The team has lacked a real rim defender since Marcus Camby. While Aldridge is an elite forward, he is suspect on defense. Teams with bruising inside scorers can slip right past the weak Blazers interior defense.

While people can talk about the Blazers developing a shot blocker, it may be easier to acquire one. The Blazers have a very deep bench and they can give away some of that talent in order to find an efficient rim defender. Players such as Anderson Varejao, Bismack Biyombo, Javale McGee, Emeka Okafor and Kendrick Perkins are all mid-level big men the Blazers can deal for.

Until the Blazers find that final piece of their starting lineup, Portland will continue wait outside the borderline of the post-season. That being said, this team will still be an incredibly entertaining team to watch. Worth buying League Pass to watch these young-ins.

Position Player Name
Point Guard Damian Lillard
Shooting Guard Wesley Matthews
Small Forward Nicholas Batum
Power Forward LaMarcus Aldridge
Center Robin Lopez
Position Player Name
Point Guard Mo Williams
Shooting Guard C.J. McCollum
Shooting Guard Allen Crabbe
Small Forward Dorell Wright
Power Forward Thomas Robinson
Center Jeff Withey
Center Meyers Leonard

 

Mark Kim

Staff Writer

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