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Is This a Breakout Year for the Portland Trail Blazers?

Brett Oswalt of breaks down Portland's chances of exceeding last year's record.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

After a 54 win regular season and a first round victory over the Houston Rockets Brett Oswalt at has some thoughts on what every Blazer fan is wondering, 'Could this be the breakout year for the Blazers?'

His breakdown includes What We Do Know:

The core four average 68.5 points per game with an average offensive rating of 115 between them. And they are doing so with great efficiency. Between the four of them, their combined nERD is 39.0 - in large part due to the fact that they possess a true shooting percentage of 56% while shooting 39% from downtown.

And although this season is just beginning and a small sample size of games he has thoughts on What We Don't Hear:

Through nine games, the Blazers have held opponents to 97.2 points per game - good enough for 10th in the league - while posting a much improved Defensive Rating of 103.9 (10th). Even though they haven't turned over opponents any more than last year (12.2 per game), the Blazers have managed to hold opponents to 42% shooting from the field. That's fourth in the league.

With solid offense, an improved bench, and an improving consistent defense he speculates this could be a team that goes deeper into the playoffs.