The Portland Trail Blazers will begin their 2018-19 regular season schedule less than a month from now. As they do, they’ll face a burning question about starting guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, according to Haley O’Shaughnessy and Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer. The pair wrote an article posing one question for each of the 30 NBA franchises as they head into training camp, and Portland’s question plows familiar ground from this summer:
Is this the last shot for Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum?
Uggetti: Splitting up the Blazers’ dynamic backcourt duo has long been pegged as the only way the franchise can reach a higher level. After last season’s debacle—a first-round sweep at the hands of the Pelicans following a 3-seed finish—it seems like this is Portland’s last go at it before they think about making drastic changes. They return not only Lillard and McCollum (the former just signed a sponsorship deal with the same company sponsoring the Blazers’ jerseys), but also Jusuf Nurkic, and most of the players on last year’s squad. Zach Collins, who had a promising rookie season, could add a new element to their front line -- he’s their only player who can both protect the rim and hit 3-pointers. But even if everything goes right, it’s tough to see the Blazers topping their finish from last season. The West got tougher and the Blazers more or less stood still. At some point, something’s gotta give.
The question is valid and has been posed many times here. (If you dial back, the topic may well have originated here.) At this point, though, Blazers fans probably want to respond with Uggetti’s and O’Shaughnessy’s questions to the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors:
What the hell?
Golden State Warriors
What’s the solution for potential exhaustion?