Why the Blazers Didn’t Have the Best of Offseasons


Why the Blazers Didn’t Have the Best of Offseasons
  1. Why the Blazers Didn’t Have the Best of Offseasons
    yardbarker.com
    As another NBA chapter nears, it’s time for our season previews. Should we expect more mediocrity from the Blazers?Expected Conference Ranking: 7thBest Move of the Offseason: The cap maneuvering here was remarkable. Allen Crabbe is making essentially the max… and the Nets actually wanted him at that price. The lesson, as always, is that every contract is movable. No matter how bad. One man’s trash is always someone else’s treasure.Worst Move of the Offseason: The whole draft was a debacle. …
    Basketball

As another NBA chapter nears, it’s time for our season previews. Should we expect more mediocrity from the Blazers?

Expected Conference Ranking: 7th

Best Move of the Offseason: The cap maneuvering here was remarkable. Allen Crabbe is making essentially the max… and the Nets actually wanted him at that price. The lesson, as always, is that every contract is movable. No matter how bad. One man’s trash is always someone else’s treasure.

Worst Move of the Offseason: The whole draft was a debacle. How the hell do you walk into draft night with three first round picks and wind up with two overrated prospects at the same, non-needed position?

Zach Collins would have made sense in a Jusuf Nurkić-less world. But Nurkić is here, and Collins is never going to be able to defend power forwards at a high level. So what is his role on this team? At least you can kind of see where he fits into the modern NBA as a rim-protecting, three-point shooting center, but Caleb Swanigan offers none of that. The Blazers don’t need an offensive anchor for bench units. They already split up Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

There were so many better uses for those picks. If Oklahoma City can turn cap dumps into stars, why couldn’t the Blazers have parlayed those picks along with Crabbe or one of their other bad contracts for Paul George? Hell, after that, maybe Carmelo Anthony would’ve wanted to join them.

But nope. The Blazers played it safe. And now they are, once again, stuck in no-man’s land.

Their Offense: Oh joy, this is the part of the column where I get to talk about how Portland is every League Pass junkie’s favorite team. As much fun as it is to watch a new group come together, Portland’s precise off-ball movement and court reversals are an absolute joy. They are Spurs northwest in a sense. They just happen to let two players dominate the ball more often than San Antonio does.

Nurkić was a perfect addition, one of the league’s best rollers and screeners who is at least moderately underrated with the ball in his hands. He can make decisions that lead into interesting plays at the very least. And if Portland surrounds him with shooters, his defects are minimal.

Their Defense: Well… when Nurkić was on the floor, they had a Defensive Rating of 103.7. That’s less than 600 minutes of a sample, but it’s really good when you consider how explosive their offense is. If that’s sustainable, the Blazers are a top-four team in the West. It just probably isn’t sustainable, because practically nobody else plays defense.

Their Ben…

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