Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports on Twitter that Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge has predicted his team will make the 2014 playoffs after a two-year dry spell.
Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge projects his team will finish seventh in the West.
"Mark my words," LaMarcus Aldridge told Yahoo.
In a video interview with Sarah Hecht of Blazers.com on Media Day, Aldridge said that he thought Portland would be in the playoff hunt, but he stopped short of making a specific seed prediction.
"I feel like we are [fighting for the playoffs]. I feel like we definitely got better. We were right there last year, even with the group that we had last year. I feel like this team is definitely better than last year. From day one in training camp, myself and the other captains, setting the tone early, let's get after it, let's get better."
Nicolas Batum said this about Aldridge and the playoffs back on Media Day...
"We missed the playoffs two year in a row. We were very frustrated. You want to win. You don't want to be on vacation on April 15th two times in a row. L.A. is the leader and go-to guy of this team, he can't accept that we didn't make the playoffs twice. He just wanted to have a better team and I think he got it. I think he got it. He's happy now. He wants to prove that he's one of the best power forwards, if not the best power forward, in the league and bring this team back to the playoffs."
Blazers GM Neil Olshey had this assessment of the playoffs on Media Day...
"I don't see why it wouldn't be [a playoff team]. Look, the West is incredibly deep, incredibly talented. A lot of the teams returning to the playoffs probably feel like they have a seed locked up. But we're going to do everything in our power to get back in. I think we're talented enough, the way our core four players played last year, supported by the new additions, they're going to give us a great chance."
Blazers coach Terry Stotts had this assessment of the playoffs on Media Day...
"Expectations are the playoffs and beyond. We've made roster moves, we're more experienced than we were last year. Our goal was to make the playoffs last year, certainly our goal is to make the playoffs this year, but not just be satisfied with making the playoffs."
Portland has completed its preseason schedule with a 5-2 record, winning the last five games in a row.
ESPN: The Magazine predicted the Blazer to finish in the No. 10 seed.
Sports Illustrated predicted the Blazers to finish in the No. 11 seed.
The regular season opener is set for Oct. 30 against the Phoenix Suns.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter