As the Portland Trail Blazers have ascended towards the upper echelon of the 2018 NBA Playoffs seeding ladder, a burning question has arisen among observers. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are, without a doubt, the heart of the team. Remove them from the Blazers’ lineup and Portland would struggle to win 20 games. But even with Lillard and McCollum posting phenomenal seasons, the Trail Blazers were headed to 42 wins and a first-round playoff exit until Jusuf Nurkic, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Moe Harkless stepped up. The difference between awful Blazers and good Blazers is the guards; the difference between good Blazers and great Blazers may lie with the supporting cast.
Here’s a question for you to consider over the weekend. If we narrow focus and consider only the 2018 playoffs, who will be more key to the Blazers reaching the second round and Conference Finals? Will it be the guards now, then, and always, with the Blazers dependent on otherworldly performances from Lillard and McCollum to advance? Or are great performances a given for the already-at-maximum-capacity backcourt, and it’ll be up to the frontcourt to make the difference? If you could wave a magic wand and make one of those two groups play their absolute best for the postseason run, which would you choose?
Note that the other group would still have a chance to play at their normal level, maybe even higher. You’re not limiting the group you don’t select, you’re just ensuring that the group you do select comes through big.
Frontcourt or Backcourt: who’s your Wand of Max Output pointed at? Have at it below.