The Blazers are coming off one of their most disappointing seasons as a franchise; they changed coaches and went into rebuild on the fly mode. With their first round pick they selected point guard Damian Lillard to help lead their team back to their winning ways. From all accounts Lillard is the truth and with his speed will have his way with some of the older guards in the league and hold his own against the Russell Westbrook’s and Chris Paul’s of the league. What will be key to watch is if he hits the rookie wall like most first year players do.
Where the Blazers are weak is in their front court. Outside of LaMarcus Aldridge, their bigs leave much to be desired. J.J. Hickson, Jared Jefferies are going to be expected to carry much of the rebound and scoring load from the paint. Only problem with that, Jefferies is not much of a low post scorer, but will stretch the defense with his 3 point shooting ability. Hickson a player who has yet to reach his full potential found a comfort zone last season in Portland after being traded from Sacramento.
This team will have a solid starting five with Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum Aldridge and Hickson, but will struggle with bench scoring. You can’t play those five guys but so much before running them into the ground.
Look for the Blazers to be an ok team, but no better than a .500 team when it’s all said and done, but they’ll have plenty to build on for next year.