2016-2017 NBA Previews – Trail Blazers Odds
Looking for 2016 Portland Trail Blazers Predictions? We’ve got your back. The Portland Trail Blazers exceeded all expectations last season. Vegas set the over under at 26.5 games for 2015-16 and many national outlets had this team near the bottom of the Western Conference — if not the very bottom.
Portland Trail Blazers Season Preview
Head Coach: Terry Stotts
2015-16 Record: 44-38
Blazers Odds to NBA Title: +7500
Blazers Odds to Win Conference: +5000
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When it was all said and done, Portland had not only won 44 contests in the regular season but managed to find itself in the second round of the playoffs before ultimately falling to the then-defending champion Golden State Warriors.
Now the question for Portland is whether or not it can improve once again and become a legitimate contender in a brutal Western Conference.
Portland Trail Blazers Strengths:
You can’t talk about the Blazers’ strengths without first looking at the backcourt. Since entering the league, Damian Lillard has been a force to be reckoned with.
Last season, with LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and Robin Lopez all gone, Lillard stepped up his game yet again to average 25.1 points, 6.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds and a three-point percentage of 37.5 percent all while proving he’s a legitimate leader on a very young roster.
Alongside Lillard is CJ McCollum. Last season’s Most Improved Player, McCollum averaged 20.8 points, 4.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting 41.7 percent from deep.
These two combined to create an offensive attack that few defenses around the Association had any answer for on a nightly basis.
Outside of the backcourt, Portland lacks star power but has impressive depth at virtually every position. The frontcourt in particular has become incredibly deep.
Mason Plumlee is slated to be the team’s starting center, but behind him is the three-point-shooting 7’1″ big man Meyers Leonard. Third string is Festus Ezeli, who was starting for the Golden State Warriors last year in the NBA Finals.
At power forward, the Blazers are going to run Al-Farouq Aminu as the starting stretch 4. Behind him, though, is a physical specimen in Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh, who has yet to tap into his true potential.
Portland’s big signing this summer was Evan Turner, one of the league’s Sixth Man of the Year candidates in 2015-16.
He lacks the long ball that the Blazers have a tendency to utilize, but he gives this team a good-sized ball handler to take the pressure off Lillard and McCollum when trying to get them involved off the ball.
Portland Trail Blazers Weaknesses:
As good as McCollum proved he could be last season, this team has a tendency to not only rely on Lillard but also ebb and flow based on his individual success.
Finding a true third option on offense will help in that area, and that option could be Allen Crabbe coming off a summer that saw him sign a massive new contract.
Speaking of Lillard, his defense is still suspect at best. The concern here isn’t for lack of trying; it’s that he’s still not squaring up in one-on-one situations and he hasn’t yet figured out the best angles to defend the pick-and-roll.
Defense is something this team as a whole needs to work on.
Offensively, this team could use a consistent option in the paint. Defending Portland isn’t too tricky when you know the backcourt/perimeter players are the focal point.
Adding or developing a player who can at least be a threat down low will help create more opportunities for an already-strong shooting team.
Portland Trail Blazers Betting Prediction: 47-35
Vegas has set the over/under at 45.5 for this team. Assuming it doesn’t actually take a giant leap forward or a significant step back, a slight over seems about right.
In one offseason, the Blazers have gone from having the second-lowest paid roster to the second-highest. If that’s not an indication that they want to win now, nothing is.
The good news for Rip City is that its core is young and all on the same career arc.
That means there’s a bright future ahead, especially if general manager Neil Olshey can swing a trade for a true third option or legitimate second superstar.
As for 2016-17, expect it to be an exciting season with a few growing pains scattered throughout. A playoff berth seems likely, but doing damage in the postseason appears to be a year or two away.
2016 NBA Gambling
What do you think about our 2016 Portland Trail Blazers predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in the 2016-2017 NBA Season!
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