While the future has in fact started to look slightly brighter than expected for the Portland Trail Blazers, who were thought to be Western Conference basement feeders for years to come, there are a few things that could make the Moda Center not as colorful for the Blazer faithful.
If Damian Lillard was the engine that drove the Blazers last year, any sort of falters this season could be detrimental to the club.
Yes he was one of only three players to drop such an eye-opening stat line in his rookie season, but are the expextations for a repeat and improvement too high in year two?
Mo Williams / Mo Problems
Statistically adding a player of Williams caliber is a positive for any club, but Mo has had a history of claiming he still believes he deserves starters minutes and touches.
While that may very well be true, such is not the reason why GM Neil Olshey signed him in the offseason.
If Mo starts wanting “MOre”, the backcourt chemistry could be in jeopardy.
Patrolling The Paint
Last year the club spent its second of two first round picks on big man Myers Leonard, who went on to have a relatively “ho hum’ season. Then this summer they parted ways with the undersized yet energetic JJ Hickson. The flavor of the season this time around is the less talented of the Lopez twins, Robin.
Slightly reminiscent of Joel Pryzbilla on the offensive end, the Blazers have more hopes that the similarities are there when it comes to protecting their end of the court.
Building A Brick House
Last season the Blazers were among teams in the bottom of the standings when it came to successfully draining the long ball. This year, the additions of Dorell Wright, rookies C.J McCollum and Allen Crabbe as well as Williams should bump the numbers up.
The only problem is getting these guys on the court, as the backcourt is crowded enough with Lillard, Wes Matthews and Nic Batum.
Aldridge Looks For Greener Pastures
The Blazers did the best job possible in trying to build a playoff ready roster in order to keep their franchise player happy.
As of the start of the preseason, LaMarcus Aldridge appears willing to stay on for the ride, but if the Blazers hit an early speed bump or fall out of contention before the trade deadline, look for trade talks to take over the team.