Can last year’s rookie of the year continue to star in the north-west?
The Portland Trailblazers will be a better team than they were last NBA season.
But the biggest question remains for them and their fans is will they improve enough to crack the top eight and get back to the promised land that is the playoffs?
The squad on paper looks much deeper than the won that only managed to win 33 games last year and they will need to keep showing signs of improvement if they are to keep the band together.
Portland addressed the issue of their paper-thin talent on their bench by adding Thomas Robinson, Brook Lopez, Mo Williams and Dorell Wright to their side via trades or free agency.
They also drafted CJ McCollum, who’s arrival will pose an interesting question for coach Terry Stotts as to how he plays his newest guard as an undersized two man, alongside reigning rookie of the year Damian Lillard.
Lillard enjoyed an amazing season personally in a year the Trailblazers did not much much success as injuries again dashed their chances of success.
Despite having a star like LaMarcus Aldridge on the team, it can be argued that the Trailblazers are Lillard’s now to control but expect big games from the Blazers power forward against weak front courts this season.
Defensively the Trailblazers will need to improve this season after being ranked just 26th in the league for their work without the ball.
However, with the quartet of Lopez, Aldridge, Lillard, McCollum and Nic Batum they should be able to do that and therefore, increase their place in the West.
If Portland was a team in the East they would be an almost lock for the number six to eight seed for the past few years.
But in a Western Conference that is only getting deeper, they will just miss out in 2013-14, but the future does look brighter.
Portland Trailblazers predicted finish: 11th
Front court: 7.5
Back court: 7.5