Forecasting the fate of any NBA team outside of the Golden State Warriors is difficult, particularly when that team lies in the murky middle ground of the league as the Portland Trail Blazers do. Ben Golliver and Andrew Sharp of SI.com tackled the subject as part of a larger look at NBA over/under odds. Among all 30 NBA franchises, Portland proved the toughest to pin down for the experts.
Ben Golliver: If there’s going to be a team that just sputters and flounders and decides the chemistry just isn’t right this year, it could be the Blazers. I’m not saying I would bet the under (41.5 games over/under). I think I can see the arguments for the over for sure, like Dame Lillard and C.J. McCollum are just going to guarantee you a certain baseline of wins with their scoring ability. But they also have had really good health from Dame in recent years and one injury and their bench is going to screw everything up, so I don’t think the Portland over/under was as crazy as some people thought it was.
Andrew Sharp: It’s not crazy but at the same time if you think about the balls it would have to take to go under 41. If you’re expecting them to win 41 or 42 games and finish 10th, that I understand and I actually kind of like it because coming into this season I feel like not enough people have been talking about the very real red flags there are with the Blazers. I mean, this is a team that kind of overachieved last season, got blown out of the first round and didn’t really do much over the summer to change the nucleus there or improve much of anything and the bench got thinner.
Blazer’s Edge readers will no doubt debate Sharp’s assertion that not enough red flags have been raised. We could craft a quilt to cover most of Siberia with those brought up here alone since 2016. That said, Sharp does end up with the “over”.