There are a few important differences between the Portland Trail Blazers and the just-covered Raptors, and hardly any of these offer aid for Rip City’s greater chances.
The Blazers were thin last year, buttressing an elite starting five with next to nothing off the seat. Bringing in Chris Kaman and Steve Blake does not feel as a remedy that is Fantastic.
Obviously, second-year shield C.J. McCollum should see his role increase this season, and he has the combo-guard abilities to make an effect. Head coach Terry Stotts is apparently leaning toward him as a first man; McCollum led all Blazers reservations in minutes per game during the preseason.
For all this, it’s hard to grasp why Portland is viewed as a larger name hazard than Toronto. The Blazers’ conference is harder, their seat is still thinner and they ended the year at just 23-19 following a start. Portland is a fantastic group, but it might not be more than that.
It is going to be up to Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and the rest of the starters to duplicate that fifth-ranked offensive evaluation. If they can’t do that, imagine defense and an underwhelming bench may ultimately hit among the past year’s biggest surprises having a painful dose of truth.
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