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Portland Trail Blazers: 40-1

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There are a couple of important differences between the Portland Trail Blazers and the just-covered Raptors, and very few of these provide support for Rip City’s better chances.
The Blazers were lean last year, buttressing a elite beginning five with next to nothing off the bench. Bringing in Chris Kaman and Steve Blake doesn’t feel like a Fantastic remedy.
Of course, second-year shield C.J. McCollum needs to see his role increase this year, and he’s got the combo-guard abilities to make an effect. Head coach Terry Stotts seems to be leaning toward him as a first man; McCollum led all Blazers reservations in minutes per game during the preseason.
For all this, it’s hard to grasp why Portland is seen as a bigger name hazard than Toronto. The Blazers’ conference is tougher, their seat remains thinner and they finished the year at just 23-19 after a start. Portland is a good group, but it might not be much more than that.
It is going to be around Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and the rest of the starters to duplicate that fifth-ranked offensive evaluation. If they can not do this, suspect defense and also an abysmal bench may ultimately hit among the past year’s biggest surprises with a painful dose of reality.

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