Dec 17, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (right) celebrates with point guard Damian Lillard (0) after Lillard

Portland Trail Blazers to be legitimate contenders this season

Last season, there was a point in time when the Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers played each other and it was billed as an NBA Finals preview.

As we now know, that never happened, but the fortunes of both team could change in opposite ways this upcoming season as the offseasons the two teams put together — both willingly and unwillingly — are going to define their seasons this year.

According to Alex Kennedy from Basketball Insiders, one team to pay close attention to in the Western Conference this year will be the Portland Trail Blazers, who could be poised to take giant leaps forward this season.

I think Damian Lillard will take another step forward and solidify himself as one of the league’s best guards. LaMarcus Aldridge should continue to play at an elite level. Nic Batum and Wes Matthews played well last year and I expect similar productivity from them this year. I think Steve Blake and Chris Kaman will help their depth, and I think C.J. McCollum will play a bigger role this year. Should be a good year.
It’s not hard to bet on the Blazers this year, as they started out incredibly strong in 2013-14 and managed to get out of the first round of the postseason after downing the Houston Rockets.
Portland fell off during the season, which was cause for concern, but the team got better this offseason and it should be another solid year in Portland and one that may see a trip to the Conference Finals in May.

Be sure to check FanSided.com’s official NBA page to keep up to date on the latest news and rumors from around the league all summer long.

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers

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