The Blazers are feeling positive and upbeat with a clean slate heading into the grind that is an 82-game regular season in the NBA.
All the hours spent in the training facility and weight rooms, watching countless hours of tape and researching their next opponent, each player on the roster wants to make the most of their ability and contribute as much as they can to a successful season.
On the other hand, things can go sour overnight, an injury here or a bad five-game road trip and the season might be over sooner than later.
There’s a lot the Blazers can look forward to but they know their best and worse-case scenarios that can potentially play out, and with a little bit of luck, everything falls in their favor.
- LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard lead the campaign and get Portland above .500 and into one the last three seeds of the Western Conference to contend for a championship.
- Playoff basketball comes back to Rip City and the Blazers season continues well along past April.
- Aldridge receives his third All-Star nomination, as does Lillard who gets his first.
- Important role players like Batum and Matthews have terrific seasons and Batum is actually consistent and averages double figures in scoring.
- The bench is so improved this season, guys like Robinson and Wright become fan favorites
- CJ McCollum plays well enough with the minutes he’s given to win Rookie of the Year and a two-time sweep of the award goes to Portland. (EDIT: This comes on the news that C.J. McCollum has broken bone in his foot and will be expected to be out 8-10 weeks).
- The Moda Center is finally changed back to the Rose Garden and we can all forget about that mess.
- Lillard succumbs to a sophomore slump and can’t carry the team offensively.
- Teams figured out how to stop him and his numbers take a dive.
- Portland finishes in the bottom cellar of the West and goes back to the drawing boards of the lottery and free agency.
- Injuries plague throughout the roster and the entire rebuilding process falls apart.
- Meyers Leonard continues to show no progress and the younger guys can’t handle the grind of the NBA season and need more time to develop.
- Aldridge becomes so frustrated that in the offseason decides he’s had enough of Portland and bolts the following summer.
- Greg Oden wins a ring with the Miami Heat.