Kelly Dwyer, Dan Devine and Eric Freeman at Yahoo's Ball Don't Lie preview the 2013-14 Portland Trail Blazers, projecting 39 wins.
Here's a snippet from Dwyer's intro.
After years of shooting for the top of the charts, taking chances on either big name stars with huge paychecks, or top-flight draft picks with massive upside to counter with injury concerns, the Portland Trail Blazers appear to be taking the middle of the road under new'ish general manager Neil Olshey. He likely won't agree, but this is just the result of the hands Olshey has been dealt - not bad hands, but nothing killer enough to start moving stacks around.
Olshey inherited a solid enough foundation, but forward LaMarcus Aldridge and Nic Batum are fringe All-Stars at best, and hardly franchise-changers. And though Damian Lillard won the Rookie of the Year award last season, does anyone picture him filling out into the role of a John Wall-type? Much less a Derrick Rose or Kyrie Irving-type?
This is what happens when you select late in the lottery, and when you're gifted players on their second contracts, like Aldridge, Batum, and Wesley Matthews. The Blazers may fight for a playoff spot this year thanks to Olshey's tinkering, but the team's ceiling doesn't seem particularly high.
Read the full preview right here.
There's a season preview episode of The Dontonio Wingcast right here.
The Blazers' week one power rankings are right here.
Zach Lowe of Grantland.com offered his 2013-14 Blazers prediction here.
Hardwood Paroxysm previewed the 2013-14 Blazers here.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter