Howard-Cooper: Blazers "In Decent Spot" To Make 2014 Playoffs

Mike Stobe

An NBA.com writer assesses the Portland Trail Blazers' 2013 offseason.

Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com assesses the Portland Trail Blazers' 2013 offseason, concluding that the Blazers have a shot at the 2014 postseason.

McCollum, the lottery pick, can play behind Lillard or in tandem. They were opportunistic in getting Robinson, a year after he was one of the top prospects, when the Rockets needed to move salary for the Dwight Howard pursuit, and Lopez when New Orleans had to clear space for the Tyreke Evans sign-and-trade. Signing Williams and Earl Watson at point guard, adding Dorell Wright as a free agent for shooting help and Allen Crabbe as a second-round pick via a draft-night deal for the same reason, and dealing second-round picks for Robinson won't generate many headlines. But it will make the Blazers better.

...

In short, they are in a decent spot to make the playoffs. It's not the most secure of locations, because there is a lot of counting on Lopez to deliver as a rim protector and Wright, Crabbe and McCollum to hit 3s, but the opportunity is real.

Most encouraging of all in trying to build off the promising 2012-13, the Trail Blazers will have much more depth. They are at least two-deep at point guard, shooting guard and small forward. If Lopez can produce on defense, there will be security at center knowing that LaMarcus Aldridge can get minutes there. Power forward is the final unknown, with Aldridge a very positive starting point in the conversation but a casting call from there.

PS Thanks to Luke Bogue in the FanShots.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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