NWSB Editor Bryant Knox gives us five things to watch for as the Portland Trail Blazers begin training camp. The 2013-14 NBA season will be an intriguing one for Rip City. Along with the development of Damian Lillard, it will be interesting to watch how the rotation is set with a crowded backcourt comprising Wesley Matthews, CJ McCollum and Mo Williams. When it comes to LaMarcus Aldridge, expect to hear about trade rumors. Also, Robin Lopez will help the team defensively.
NWSB Insider and Seattle Mariners Blogger Brian Scott discusses the train wreck that has become the Mariners. With Manager Eric Wedge announcing last week that he will not return in 2014, it should be clear as crystal that the team is in a state of dysfunction that rivals Lindsay Lohan’s rehab progress. Maybe Paul Allen should add the Mariners to his list of teams alongside the Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers.
NWSB Editor Bryant Knox evaluates the 100/1 odds the Portland Trail Blazers have been given to win the 2014 championship (via Bovada.lv). For fans looking to put money down on Portland, understand that the odds are against you. This team is young and inexperienced, and quite frankly, Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are hardly the stars that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are for the Miami Heat. That said, if you’re feeling optimistic, you can focus on the fact that Nicolas Batum has a chance to round out Rip City’s Big Three, and that CJ McCollum, Mo Williams and Thomas Robinson will be solid additions to the bench.
NWSB Editor Bryant Knox previews the Portland Trail Blazers 2013-14 roster, with an emphasis on the veterans. The Blazers are a relatively young roster, so for the sake of this assignment, we look at the top-five players with at least five years experience. LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Mo Williams, Robin Lopez and Dorell Wright all make the cut. Earl Watson earns an honorable mention for his off-court presence and leadership.
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 breaks down Damian Lillard’s recent prediction on ESPN’s TrueHoop TV that the Portland Trail Blazers will win 46 games during the 2013-14 NBA season. The question here is whether the Rookie of the Year is crazy or confident? Teams such as the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves will be drastically improved, and even the Los Angeles Lakers can compete if Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash are healthy. Rip City has the talent to push for Lillard’s prediction, but the competition will be stiff.
NWSB Insider Ben Lypka looks at former Vancouver Grizzlies players and ranks which ones went on to have the most successful post-Vancouver days. Greg Anthony, Shareef Abdul-Rahim, Antonio Daniels, Mike Bibby and Bryant Reeves all make the list. We’re approaching 12 years since the Grizzlies moved to the bustling metropolis of Memphis.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jason Hartzog takes a look at the 2013-14 schedule, giving us his pros and cons. On the plus side, the team starts out the season on KGW. Fans in Rip City who don’t have Comcast will have a chance to see LaMarcus Aldridge and crew open the year against the Phoenix Suns. Unfortunately, it’s not all good news, as Hartzog references a Blazersedge article by Ben Goliver that points out long road trips and back-to-backs.
NWSB Insider and Portland Trail Blazers blogger Jason Hartzog offers up his predictions about the 2013-14 NBA season. ESPN recently projected Rip City to finish 10th in the Western Conference. However, following the moves to bring in Thomas Robinson, Robin Lopez, CJ McCollum, Allen Crabbe and Dorell Wright, a seventh or eight seed seems more likely. Don’t forget about Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge, either. Two of those guys could be all-stars.
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 breaks down the Portland Trail Blazers’ payroll entering the 2013-14 season. GM Neil Olshey has done an outstanding job when it comes to finding cheap, talented players. He’s also kept the future flexible, with short-term deals to players such as Thomas Robinson, Dorell Wright and Robin Lopez. Rip City currently has one of the best contracts in the NBA in Damian Lillard, but the jury is still out on what will happen with Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge.
NWSB Editor Bryant Knox breaks down which games on the Portland Trail Blazers’ 2013-14 schedule are most noteworthy entering the season. The NBA released its schedule recently, and the Blazers will open up the year against the Phoenix Suns. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers also make the list, as well as Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. LeBron James and the Miami Heat coming to town is always exciting, but look for Greg Oden to draw the most attention.