Portland Trail Blazers: Ripping Their way Into Training Camp

The Portland Trail Blazers surprised a lot of people last season. After getting swept in the playoffs in 2017-2018, a lot of people thought they didn’t make enough moves last offseason to be considered a playoff team.

Well, Portland overachieved last season as they were the number three seed in the Western Conference. The Trail Blazers reached the Western Conference Finals last season for the first time since 1999-2000. Portland had a lead in most of their games, but they blew it against the Golden State Warriors and were swept away.

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Golden State did not have Kevin Durant for any of those games last season.

Before the Portland Trail Blazers faced them, they took down the Denver Nuggets in seven games in the second round of the playoffs. Portland also took down the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games in the first round. Damian Lillard had a buzzer in Game 5 in the Oklahoma City series to send the Thunder packing for the summer.

Ever since that moment, Oklahoma City has decided to go into a rebuild mode.

Damian Lillard is one of the best point guards in the NBA and he doesn’t get enough recognition for what he does on the court and off the court. C.J. McCollum is also a very good shooting guard and the Trail Blazers might have one of the best backcourts in the NBA.

Terry Stotts is one of the best coaches in the NBA. Portland has a reliable system year in and year out. It will be interesting to see how good they will be this season considering the fact that the west might be even tougher this season than it was last season.

The Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Denver Nuggets, the Golden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets, and the Utah Jazz could potentially be better than them, but the bottom half of the conference isn’t very good.

The Portland Trail Blazers will most likely get back to the playoffs in 2019-2020. The last time they have missed the playoffs was in 2012-2013.

The San Antonio Spurs, the Sacramento Kings, and the New Orleans Pelicans will be the three teams that will most likely compete for the final playoff spot out west.

The Oklahoma City Thunder won’t make it. The Dallas Mavericks, the Phoenix Suns, and the Memphis Grizzlies are all rebuilding as well.

The projected starting lineup this season for Portland will be (C) Hassan Whiteside, (PF) Zach Collins, (SF) Kent Bazemore, (SG) CJ McCollum, and (PG) Damian Lillard.

Some key players off the bench will be: (C) Jusuf Nurkic, (C/F) Pau Gasol, (F) Mario Hezonja, (G) Rodney Hood, (F) Nassir Little, and (F) Anthony Tolliver.

They are not deep on the bench at guard. The Trail Blazers need Anfernee Simmons or Gary Trent Jr. to break out in training camp.

Portland has not announced a date for training camp yet. However, they will begin preseason play on Tuesday, October 8 against the Denver Nuggets at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon.

Finally, the Trail Blazers will begin the regular season at home against the Denver Nuggets at the Moda Center on Wednesday, October 23.

How do you see the 2019 Portland Trail Blazers? Leave a comment below.

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