How Far The Portland Trail Blazers Can Go?


Damian Lillard

The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the strongest teams in the Western Conference this season. Surprisingly, Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and his company have been playing as well as only a few people around the league expected. That’s why, lots of analysts believe they are one of the favorites to win the title in the Western Conference. But are they really?

One thing that plays a big role during the playoffs is defense. It’s not a coincidence that most of the NBA champion teams of the last decade player exceptional, lock down defense. So, although the Blazers rank first in the NBA in scoring, with 108 points per contest, they also rank 27th in the league in defense. That will clearly not be a plus on their way to the NBA Finals.

In order for the Blazers to make a deep run in the playoffs, they will have to firstly roll past their first-leg opponent. The trick here is that due to the high quality and to the surge of potential opponents, that will not be easy. If Portland continues to perform like that, it can end up finishing somewhere between the second or fourth seed of the Western Conference.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have stood out of the rest of the teams in the West and once Russell Westbrook returns, they are projected go all the way towards even better performances. So the No.1 seed might be an unrealistic target for Portland at the moment. The Blazers will have to battle with the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers for seeds two to four. The Houston Rockets might also enter the mix, but the Clips currently seem like to have more potential, now that Chris Paul is back.

This means the Blazers will have to beat either the Rockets, the Phoenix Suns or the Golden State Warriors, at least unless the Western Conference rankings don’t change much. This will certainly not be an easy matchup for the Blazers. Sure, the team is currently red hot on offense, but there are some flaws the team has and they will have to be corrected by the start of the postseason.

One fact about this Blazers team, that can’t actually be corrected is that the team lacks of playoff experience. The team has a very young age average and very few of its members have actual playoff experience. Of course, Damian Lillard might have shown his clutch skills this season. Nonetheless, during the playoffs, things change.

The playoffs is a time that mistakes can’t be forgiven, when team get eliminated and when the pressure really piles up. So we will have to wait and see how much metal this team has, how badly they want to win.

At present, the Blazers don’t seem to be the front runners for the title in the West. OKC is the favorite but even teams like the Spurs and the Clippers might stand bigger odds, since they have already gone through the playoff process and they have more experience than the Blazers. However, amazing things happen in the NBA and the Blazers have some chances to win it all.

Ron Leyba is the content manager of Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues – premier source of fantasy basketball updates, rankings and rumors. For more of his fantasy basketball updates, follow Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ account.

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