There are a few important differences between the Portland Trail Blazers and the just-covered Raptors, and hardly any of these offer support for Rip City’s greater odds.
The Blazers were thin annually, buttressing an elite starting five with next to nothing off the seat. Bringing in Chris Kaman and Steve Blake doesn’t feel as a remedy.
Obviously, second-year guard C.J. McCollum needs to see his role increase this year, and he’s got the combo-guard skills to produce an impact. Head coach Terry Stotts is apparently leaning toward him as a sixth man; McCollum directed all Blazers reservations in minutes per game during the preseason.
For all this, it’s difficult to grasp why Portland is viewed as a larger name hazard than Toronto. The Blazers’ convention is tougher, their seat is still thinner and they finished the year at just 23-19 after a start. Portland is a fantastic group, but it may not be much more than that.
It’ll be around Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and the remaining starters to replicate that fifth-ranked offensive evaluation. If they can’t do that, suspect defense and also an abysmal chair may finally hit one of last year’s biggest surprises having a painful dose of truth.
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