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Favale: Lillard, Leonard, Batum Offer No Guarantees For Blazers

Dan Favale of TheHoopDoctors.com writes that the Portland Trail Blazers supporting cast offers plenty of questions heading into the 2012-13 season. ------------------------------ [LaMarcus] Aldridge is a "real leader," one of the most underrated in the league, in fact. And while [Nicolas] Batum embracing the role of a leader is good to hear, he remains vastly unproven himself. The swingman is only 23 and has yet to piece together an entire season’s worth of accolades that prove he is ready to stand alongside Aldridge and help take the reigns of this team. Because ultimately, that’s going to be the Blazers’ biggest downfall—inexperience and uncertainty. Only Aldridge’s production is guaranteed. [Damian] Lillard isn’t a lock to become an immediate star-studded floor general capable of running a dynamic offensive attack. [Meyers] Leonard isn’t guaranteed to help spread the floor further and take some much needed pressure off Aldridge in the low post. And most importantly, Batum isn’t guaranteed to put up gaudy stat lines on his way to becoming one of the most versatile small forwards in the game. ... So, while Aldridge—health permitting—will undoubtedly go to work next season, it’s his supporting cast and supposed second-in-command that pose the biggest questions and potential obstacles. ------------------------------ -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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