NWSB Editor Bryant Knox breaks down how the Portland Trail Blazers can achieve their New Year’s Resolution: sustaining the success they’ve found during the 2013-14 NBA season. Players such as Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge have been hot, but keeping guys like Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum hot from three is important. The team must also force more turnovers, get more production off the bench and win winnable games.
NWSB Editor Bryant Knox recaps the previous week’s star player for the Portland Trail Blazers. In Week 9, honors go to Meyers Leonard, as we consider his return to the court over his per-game statistics. In contests against the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat, the center averaged four points and six rebounds, but his biggest achievement was taking minutes away from Thomas Robinson as the backup to LaMarcus Aldridge.
NWSB Insider Bryant Knox power ranks the entire Portland Trail Blazers roster entering the 2013-14 NBA season. The top two names should be no surprise. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are the top scorers on this roster, which means they’ll lead the way in the new season. The question is: Where do players like Wesley Matthews, CJ McCollum and Nicolas Batum fall? And where do Thomas Robinson and Robin Lopez, the team’s newest big men, land as well?
NWSB Editor Bryant Knox gives us a quick look at Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard entering his sophomore season. Where the 7’1″ big man excels is in transition and in the mid-range. Where he needs to improve is in his strength, as well as his low-post offense and defense. Expect to see him learn behind Robin Lopez, and expect him to be thrown into the mix a bit more alongside Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
NWSB Editor Bryant Knox recaps the Portland Trail Blazers Las Vegas Summer League and gives us his takeaways from the team’s showing. Meyers Leonard tried to show he can shoot the three-pointer; relatively unsuccessfully. Thomas Robinson is an energy guy who can rebound. CJ McCollum can score; however, he needs to facilitate more. It’s also fair to wonder if Allen Crabbe was actually a steal in the draft or not.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers’ blogger Jason Hartzog talks about what five players he would like to see drafted by the Blazers with the No. 10 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. There is a mixed bunch drafted at number 10, but judging by history, the odds of drafting at least a role player is pretty high. All the Blazers need is a role player. They need someone to come off the bench and score some points. Targets look like Shabazz Muhammad, Cody Zeller, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers’ blogger Jason Hartzog gives five tips to the Portland Trail Blazers that, if followed, will lead them to the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Aside from building off of the success of Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland needs to find a more defensive minded center, draft the best available player, and add some depth to their roster that they don’t currently have.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers Blogger breaks down whether or not PDX should have mutual interest in signing Jermaine O’Neal during the 2013 NBA offseason. According to reports, O’Neal is interested in returning to the city where he began his career. Portland traded O’Neal just four years into a career for Dale Davis, who was supposed to help stop Shaquille O’Neal out West. Now the Blazers need a mentor to Meyers Leonard.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers’ blogger Jason Hartzog details how Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are the building blocks of Portland’s future. Portland needs to give Lillard and Aldridge players who will compliment their styles. Should they choose to do so, they will see success in the near future. One thing Jason liked, was the move to try and get Roy Hibbert last off-season. That could have pushed them to the playoffs this season.
Bryant Knox recaps the 2012-13 NBA season with grades for every Portland Trail Blazers player. LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, JJ Hickson, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum all played well in the starting lineup. Meyers Leonard and Eric Maynor showed signs of potential off the bench, while the rest of the reserves struggled more than they succeeded.
Jason Hartzog grades the job that Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts did during the 2012-13 NBA season. Rip City gave Stotts his third attempt at being a head coach, and he did well considering the roster he was handed. Placing Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge was a recipe for success from the beginning, but allowing Nicolas Batum to become an integral part of the offense is what pushed him toward All-Star levels.
Bryant Knox grades the job that Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey did during the 2012-13 season. The good is highlighted by Damian Lillard, JJ Hickson, Eric Maynor and even Roy Hibbert. The bad is reserved for the depth, or lack thereof, that the team was depth. The Nicolas Batum contract and the drafting of Meyers Leonard look good, but are still up for debate.