In the midst of some gloomy season previews, Mike Acker of RipCityProject.com put together a list of five reasons to think positive about the 2012-13 Portland Trail Blazers' season for SheridanHoops.com.
1. Damian Lillard is ready to play
Portland's list of point guards of the future is long. This time, however, the Blazers may have gotten it right Unlike former draftees Sebastian Telfair and Jerryd Bayless, the holes in Lillard's game aren't major. Telfair couldn't shoot like Lillard. Bayless was playing out of position at the point. Lillard is a legitimate scorer, an above-average shooter with deep range, and best of all he's a natural point guard.
In four preseason games, Lillard already has shown that he can handle the offense. He is developing a nice rhythm with LaMarcus Aldridge. And most importantly, he seems to be dealing well with the pressure of being the next great hope of the city of Portland.
Lillard still has work to do. He needs to figure out how to get engaged in the first quarter of games, he has to work on his decision-making with regards to when and where to hoist a jump shot, and he hasn't really shown signs of being an elite defender. Lillard is going to get a hands-on lesson on how to play his position. Since he will be a full-time starter all season, watching him progress is worth the price of admission.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter