Season Preview: Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers look to use this season as a proving point to the league.
A lot of people think that the only reason they got past the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs was because of the injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
2015-2016 Record- 44-38
The Trail Blazers were the 5-seed in the West and had their season ended by Golden State in the 2nd round.
However, last season gave them a lot of positives to look forward to.
C.J. McCollum went from a backup who averaged 6.8 PPG to a starter who put up 20.8 PPG. This gave the Trail Blazers one of the deadliest backcourts in the entire league.
Damian Lillard was the leader as usual at 25.1 PPG. He also added 6.8 assists. It was just another MVP type season that goes under the radar as Lillard and the Trail Blazers do not draw the same ire that other teams do.
The team as a whole put up very good numbers offensively, as they finished with 105.1 PPG, which ranked 6th in the league.
It was their defense that kept them from having a better team. They gave up 104.7 PPG, and were ranked 20th.
A majority of their offseason was spent keeping their house together as they dropped a lot of money in keeping Allen Crabbe, Moe Harkless, and Meyers Leonard.
They did manage to bolster the roster a little bit though with two signings.
They brought in a capable backup to McCollum in signing Evan Turner. He doesn’t provide the same shooting pop, but has shown signs that he can score if given the right situations.
The other signing should help not only their defensive presence, but also give them some playoff and championship experience. Festus Ezeli has been an integral part of that deep Golden State bench over the last two seasons, and can bring that experience to the bench in Portland as well.
The Trail Blazers start their season against the Utah Jazz tonight.
Malachi David is an NBA contributor at MFST, you can follow him on Twitter: @SportReportMD