There are a few important differences between the Portland Trail Blazers and the just-covered Raptors, and hardly any of these provide aid for Rip City’s better chances.
The Blazers were lean annually, buttressing an elite beginning five with next to nothing off the seat. Bringing in Chris Kaman and Steve Blake doesn’t feel like a remedy that is Fantastic.
Of course, second-year guard C.J. McCollum needs to see his role increase this year, and he has the combo-guard skills to make an effect. Head coach Terry Stotts seems to be leaning toward him as a first man; McCollum led all Blazers reserves in minutes per game during the preseason.
For all this, it’s hard to grasp why Portland is seen as a bigger name threat than Toronto. The Blazers’ convention is harder, their seat remains thinner and they ended the year at just 23-19 after a start. Portland is a good team, but it may not be much more than that.
It is going to be around Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and the rest of the starters to replicate that fifth-ranked offensive rating. If they can not do that, imagine defense and an underwhelming chair may finally hit among the past year’s biggest surprises having a painful dose of reality.
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