2015-2016 Record: 44-38
Lost in Western Conference Semi-Finals to Golden State Warriors (3-1)
Who’s Back: Everyone
Who’s New: Evan Turner, Festus Ezeli
2015-2016 Recap: Coming into the 2015 season the Blazers were a projected lotto team with a solid PG named Damian Lillard and few other building blocks. One year later they are one of the hottest young teams in the league. Terry Stotts’ crew sprinted to an impressive 44-38 record behind the heroics of Lillard and running mate C.J McCollum, ultimately becoming one of the darlings of the 2015 NBA season. The Trail Blazers established their identity behind Lillard and McCollum, as they love the spread the floor and let those two work around a series of screens and get to the bucket or pull up from deep.
2016-2017 Outlook: Regression is expected by many, as the Blazers benefited from a weak schedule and injured contenders in the Grizzlies and Clippers. Furthermore, their team was the classic more than the sum of their parts squad, and the NBA is a pretty “parts” determined league. However, here at LET ME BE FRANK, we are expecting nothing but good things for the Blazers. Sure, the defense could be an issue, but I see a young nucleus coming together and the addition of two new bench pieces and see a 48-34 record, and the 4th seed out west. Lets take a look at the roster
Projected Starting 5
PG: Damian Lillard (25.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.8 apg)
- One of the most thrilling playmakers in the league, Lillard combines effortless shooting with crafty playmaking, making him a true joy to watch. And he dropped a rap album this summer. Dame Dolla is here to stay. MVP Caliber year ahead.
SG: C.J McCollum (20.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.3 apg)
- Another ball-heavy scoring guard, McCollum and Lillard make the Blazers go. After receiving a nice pay raise this summer C.J will have to prove last year was no fluke. I believe in the man who famously downed Duke.
SF: Al Farouq Aminu (10.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.7 apg)
- After 2 scoring heavy guards the Blazers need a stabilizing force like Aminu. The jumper isn’t perfect but its improved, and the defense and rebounding are there. Aminu is a classic glue guy.
PF: Ed Davis (6.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.1 apg)
- Rebounding and Pick and Rolls. That’s what the Blazers ask of their big men and that is all. The perfect team for Ed Davis
C: Mason Plumlee (9.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.8 apg)
- Read Above^. Plumlee is the main pick and roll partner of Dame and CJ, hopefully he can improve his finishing a bit.
- The Blazers big Free Agency splash will be expected to provide ball handling off the bench, since the Blazers don’t have a real backup PG. Evan M Turner and the M is for midrange.
- After a rough postseason, the Blazers scooped up Festus Ezeli on the cheap and I loved it. Rebounding and Picks all day off the bench.
- The Blazers paid good money to keep him around, so they obviously trust him. He fits the offense well. Let’s see if he can have a breakout year.
- After the Nets threw a small fortune at him the Blazers decided his shooting was too valuable alongside Lillard and CJ, should be in store for another solid year. Really nice bench piece
- Another pricey re-signing, Harkless fits the team well and is a nice small ball PF.
- X-Factor alert. If the former 9th overall pick takes a small leap he could really be a solid bench piece.
- The G.O.A.T. As if you needed another reason to be on the bandwagon.
Derrick Rose ruined the Bulls for me thanks to his 9 IQ. So I am in the market for a new team. The Trail Blazers are that team. More blogs to follow. Go Trail Blazers!