This hour of the Blazer's Edge Big Huge Season Preview features our staff predicting where the Blazers will finish in the conference seeding race.
What Seed Will the Blazers Earn This Season?
Timmay! | @BedgeTimmay
Can we pretend the Blazers are in the Eastern Conference? Because that would make this question so easy. Unfortunately, in the West, we could be a third seed or a ninth seed. So many factors could come into play. So, I've come to accept that I'm completely guessing. Let's say that they'll spend another year in the fifth seed.
Sam Tongue | @SamTongue
Sixth. It's well-documented how ridiculously loaded the West is. There are as many as 11 teams that are legitimate threats to make the postseason. That said, even though the Blazers didn't improve tremendously in the offseason, you can't deny that they kept the continuity of a 54-win team. While some wonder if they can get off to as fast a start as last year, it's also worth noting that the Blazers really won't have too many kinks to sort out over that time period, either.
Evans Clinchy | @evansclinchy
Fifth or sixth. The West's top three -- San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and the L.A. Clippers -- will be tough to displace. I think the Blazers are just below that tier and just above a cluster of borderline squads -- Houston, Phoenix, New Orleans -- that will be mired in the 8-9-10 range. The race for seeds four through seven will likely be between Portland, Golden State, Memphis, and Dallas, and who finishes where will depend on health, timing, and a bit of luck. Let's hedge our bets and put the Blazers somewhere in the middle of that group.
Scott Horlbeck | @scott_horlbeck
Seventh or eighth. The West will be even stronger than it was last year (which is hard to believe), and I don't think the Blazers got better this offseason. Weak bench, average defensively (16th in defensive efficiency last year), no Mo Williams (kidding), and the fact that they most likely won't be as healthy as they were last year.
Is 56 wins good enough for the third seed? I would think so but... dang, the West is ridiculous. I'm gonna go with yes just because it makes my next answer more fun.
A division title means the Blazers get at least the third seed. San Antonio will likely get the number one seed again, so the second seed will be a battle between Portland and the Los Angeles Clippers. At the end of the day, the Blazers have the weaker division, with the Jazz, T-Wolves, and Nuggets being worse than the Lakers, Kings, and Suns. The Suns have a real chance to surprise people this year, and the Kings will be more competitive as well. So Portland gets the number two seed.
Chris Lucia | @ChrisLucia_BE
Fifth. The Rockets lost a lot of depth this past offseason, but I think the Warriors could jump the Blazers. The first three seeds will consist of the Spurs, Thunder and Clippers in no particular order. I won't even try to guess the 6-8 seeds.
Sagar Trika | @BlazersBySagar
The Western Conference is so tight after the first two or three seeds that one is almost better off guessing than trying to put a team into each seed. Seeds three through nine will likely be decided upon health and the difficulty of the schedule near the end of the season (Phoenix's gruesome schedule to end the season last year played a large role in the team missing the playoffs). With that being said, I think it would be fair to rank Portland between four and six.
Man, our staff is conservative. Except for Ryan, who should immediately become B.E.'s new folk hero. Let us know your seeding prediction in the comments!