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Portland Trail Blazers Predictions: 2013 NBA Future Lines & Gambling Analysis

TrailBlazers Season Preview – NBA Predictions

The Portland Trail Blazers have been rebuilding for  what seems like forever. The team has gone through multiple phases since  the early 2000s, and while the squad from the Pacific Northwest has  a whole new identity, it appears to be stuck in limbo.

Portland Trail Blazers
Western Conference
2011-12 Record: 33-34
Odds to win title: 150-1
Odds to win conference: 66/1

Utah Jazz

Key Losses

JJ Hickson—The power forward-turned-center has departed  the Trail Blazers organization to join the Denver Nuggets. His energy  was infectious among the Rip City roster, but he was undersized at the 5-spot, and the departure will benefit both sides when it comes to defense.

Top Newcomers

Robin Lopez—If Portland lacked anything during the  2012-13 season—besides a real-life bench—it was a big body in the  middle. Robin Lopez will be just that, and any offense he can give will  be a bonus in 2014.

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CJ McCollum—For the second year in a row, the Trail  Blazers drafted a score-first point guard with their lottery pick. This  time, however, CJ McCollum will play the role of combo guard—he just  needs to recover from a broken bone in his foot first.

Mo Williams—Many fans were confused when Portland  signed Mo Williams after drafting McCollum, but the truth is that too  many point guards is a good problem to have after the weaknesses they  faced last season. Williams will provide shooting and veteran leadership  in 2014, especially with the loss of McCollum early.

Thomas Robinson—Thomas Robinson has been dealt a  bad hand early in his career. He was drafted by the Sacramento Kings—one  of the worst organizations in basketball—and his second team, the  Houston Rockets, only wanted him to dump salary. Now he has a chance  to learn behind LaMarcus Aldridge.

Top Players

LaMarcus Aldridge—The Blazers have one All-Star:  power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The big man was voted the fourth-best  power forward in the NBA by GMs, and he is going to be the focus of  the offense, despite incessant trade rumors. [ad-6571516]

Damian Lillard—Portland’s future revolves around  Damian Lillard. The point guard is not an All-Star (yet), but he is  the reigning Rookie of the Year and could be the most productive player  on the team in just a few years.


Hustle can only get a team so far, but the truth is  that Portland won’t be outhustled by many teams around The Association.  Whether it be Lillard, Nicolas Batum or Lopez, this team has players  at all positions who will fight their tails of. Wesley Matthews is also  a hustle player, and with pride on the line, Portland will be in the  playoff race until the bitter end.


Despite the addition of Lopez, the Blazers will struggle  defending. They don’t have many shot-blockers in the rotation, and  it will be difficult to find a true identity on the defensive side of  the floor.


The Trail Blazers will improve their record from last  season. In 2012-13, they won just 33 games, losing the final 13 contests  of the year. This time around, the team has a bench with legitimate  competency, meaning the reserves will complement the starters nicely.

Expect the Blazers to win 40-plus games this season.  Damian Lillard predicted 46 wins for this squad, and while that’s  a bit ambitious at this point in the process, don’t be shocked if  Portland collects a record on the year of 43-39.

Situation to Look for…

The situation to look out for with Portland has very  little to do with its own team, and more to do with a stacked Western  Conference. Health is always something to monitor in Rip City, but improved  competition is going to be something to keep an eye on.

From last season, there are a number of teams that  have improved. Houston, Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers and the  Minnesota Timberwolves can all be included in that category. The bottom  two or three seeds are going to be up for grabs, but there are five  or six teams vying for those spots.

When it comes down to it, a Western Conference team  will need 45 wins to enter the playoffs. Portland will miss that mark  by just a couple of games, leaving them in the lottery again for 2014.


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