CBSSports.com Predicts 27 Wins For Blazers, Calls Portland "Dead Meat" In Northwest Division

Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

CBSSports.com previews the NBA's Northwest Division and the 2012-13 Portland Trail Blazers.

Matt Moore has posted the CBSSports.com Northwest Division preview, which refers to the 2012-13 Portland Trail Blazers as the division's "dead meat" and predicts 27 wins for the team.

Dead Meat: Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers could have the best record of any team in the division basements across the league, but it won't change much. LaMarcus Aldridge can't carry this team as far as it needs to go. Meyers Leonard will need some time, as most rookies do. Damian Lillard will be fantastic and a reason to watch the team, but can't do enough. J.J. Hickson is starting.

Luke Babbitt could realistically get significant minutes in the rotation. Jared Jeffries and Sasha Pavlovic are their veteran rocks off the bench. This team's in transition, and several of the players they've committed big money to are not big-impact players, even if they are exceptionally skilled and capable role players. The Blazers just don't have enough.

But, hey, everyone's mostly healthy, so there's that, right?

Division ROY: Damian Lillard. There's not a soul who can touch him in a division with four possible-to-probable playoff teams. Lillard will rack up the assists and win some games on his own. It's a new era in Portland and yet another star point guard to add to the list.

Projected finish:
1. Oklahoma City Thunder: 62-20
2. Denver Nuggets: 51-31
3. Minnesota Timberwolves: 44-38
4. Utah Jazz: 44-38
5. Portland Trail Blazers: 27-55

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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