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[Podcast] Puzzling Through the 2019-20 Rotations: New Players, New Responsibilities

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Which players will be in the starting lineup, who will be the odd men out, and which players will be asked to take on new responsibilities? And will they be ready?

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Trail Blazers added 39 year-old center Pau Gasol to their roster last week, likely the final move before the team heads into training camp in September. What will be Gasol’s role on the team? Big man coach who can play if necessary? Regular rotation player?

Then we look at what we think the starting lineup will be on opening night. Roster turnover necessitates that there will be three new starters and new rotations. What are the big picture questions that Coach Stotts will need to decide? Who is the biggest wild card? All this plus what Anfernee Simons was like in person and more on the latest podcast.

Download the episode.

Highlights

1:00 Dan is practicing his jump shot

2:00 Tara is not ready to bet on the over/under yet.

4:00 Tara’s dynasty lecture (again).

4:30 Welcome Pau Gasol.

6:30 Was it a surprise that the Blazers signed him?

7:50 What will Gasol’s role be on the team?

9:00 What does he bring to the table? Passing, pick and rolls, he can facilitate from the post. Mario Hezonja and Gasol together both creating offense could be fun! The second unit will have multiple guys who can create for themselves and for others.

12:30 Which parts of his game do the Blazers need the most? His offense. The Blazers have invested in offense.

14:00 His experience is going to be invaluable to Nurkic and Collins. Blazers have not had a big man coach since Kim Hughes.

17:30 Pau’s size and skill set will be a good example to emulate.

20:00 Nurkic should have plenty to pick up from Gasol as well.

20:30 Will They do another San Diego trip this year?

21:30 Knowing only what we know right now, who do you think will be starting on opening night? Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Rodney Hood, Zach Collins and Hassan Whiteside.

23:00 There has been speculation that Bazemore might actually be the starter over Hood. Jason Quick pointed out that Stotts may want to keep Hood with the second unit. Can you see that happening?

25:30 What are some of the wild card players who could get into the starting lineup, a la Noah Vonleh? What if Stotts wants Collins playing with the second unit? What if he wants Collins and Simons playing together?

29:30 Hockey substitutions that Stotts ran last season--what took so long to get Turner into the role of backup ball handler? Will Stotts go back to staggering Lillard and McCollum?

32:00 How much might we see Collins and Simons play together?

33:30 How do people like the idea of the “Ant Colony” for fans of Anfernee Simons?

34:00 What was Simons like in person when he was on the Outsiders? He was thoughtful, precise, quiet, and competitive.

37:00 There have been a lot of superlatives about him. Why is Dan not worried about the expectations for Simons when he worried about the same for Collins?

40:00 What “it” is, the ability to make hard things look easy, casual.

42:00 We’ll see how these young players react once the scouting report is out on them.

45:30 Mario Hezonja is going to play at least 20 minutes to start. He’s solid and versatile.

47:10 There will be plenty of tinkering for Stotts, he’s good at that.

49:30 Outro.

Follow on Twitter: @blazersedge, @tcbbiggs, @dmarang

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