The expectations of every fan-base may differ on paper, but every fan wants to see their team hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy at the end of the playoffs. Only one team will see that dream come true each season, and some teams start the year knowing their squad will struggle to even make the playoffs.
Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report gave each team their best case and worst case scenario, with the Portland Trail Blazers having a reasonable best case.
According to Buckley, Portland’s best case is a trip to the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
The Blazers enjoy the 50-win accomplishment they were supposed to have last season (they won 49 despite dropping four of their last five). Then, they break out of their 10-game playoff losing streak in a big way by advancing to the conference semis.
He banks this case off of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum being able to carry the squad for long periods of time, and strong contributions from Seth Curry, Anfernee Simons, and Zach Collins.
The worst case is what many pundits have predicted for a long time: the end of the Lillard/McCollum era:
The Blazers bite the bullet and break up the Lillard-McCollum backcourt and then furiously work to slash costs elsewhere as it becomes clear the playoffs aren’t happening.
The doom and gloom prediction comes from the defense reverting to the levels of the 2016-2017 season, along with Lillard and McCollum worn out from their teammates not rising to the occasion.
Which prediction seems more accurate? Let us know in the comments!