FanShot

Are the Blazers legit contenders?

5

Broussard asks coaches, GMs, and Scouts whether the blazers are contenders.

GM: "Portland is for real. When you talk about teams that can win the West, they're in the conversation. The reason why is because they can guard wings with Matthews and Batum, and then they have some offense off the bench. They can beat you playing small and beat you playing big."

Assistant Coach: "They're for real. Yes, very much so. Here's why: The Blazers' 2s and 3s can really shoot the ball and defend. They have an elite point guard and arguably the best power forward in basketball. Last year, they didn't have a rim protector, but now, in Lopez, they have a rim protector. They've upgraded their bench with Mo Williams. But having a rim protector has made all the difference for them. Last season, there was no one on their back line."

Scout: "I think the Blazers are very much contenders. I've seen the Clippers and I'm not sure the Clippers are better than them. It could be a toss-up. Portland has what it takes to go deep into the playoffs because of their ability to shoot from the perimeter, and they have a great inside player. They mirror Indiana. They're a good defensive team, they're big, they can score and their defensive numbers are pretty good. They're playing much better on that end than they did last year."

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