Ken Berger of CBSSports.com sees the Portland Trail Blazers as the Western Conference's "Demise Team" (as opposed to "surprise team") during the 2012-13 season.
Demise team (West): Trail Blazers. On one hand, you pity the Blazers for all the miserable injury luck they've had. On the other, with their arrogant ownership and penchant for going through GMs like I'll be going through beef jerky in the hurricane this week, there's a what-goes-around-comes-around feel to the Blazers' demise. Whichever side of that argument you're on, there's no doubt the Blazers will be positively awful this season. In a pitiful sort of way.
Berger also gave Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard consideration for the 2012-13 Rookie of the Year award.
Rookie of the Year: Anthony Davis, Hornets. This is becoming my annual no-guts prediction: Just give it to the No. 1 pick. But as much as I like Damian Lillard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes and others, the draft simply isn't deep enough these days for anyone to upset the heavy favorite. Barring injury, it should be Davis in a landslide.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com also tabbed Lillard in the No. 2 spot for Rookie of the Year.
2. Damian Lillard, Blazers: Lillard stealing this would not shock me, and he's going to have both the minutes and the moxy to challenge Davis. He can score and assist, and he has capable weapons to dish to.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter