The Trail Blazers are positioned for a stronger showing in the 2020-21 season after a strong offseason that addressed several key areas. Those prospective improvements yielded a positive result in ESPN’s latest forecast.
According to ESPN’s preseason predictions, the Blazers are poised to surpass their 35-win total from last season by six games. Along with an improved overall record, the forecast suggested that coach Terry Stotts’ squad would secure the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference—avoiding the play-in field.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon highlighted Damian Lillard’s exploits and the addition of Robert Covington when explaining Portland’s placement.
Portland was a popular choice after its productive offseason, including the addition of Robert Covington, who provides the Trail Blazers hope of playing defense well enough to ride Damian Lillard’s frequently hot hand deep into the postseason.
The Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Mavericks and Jazz were all placed in front of the Blazers in ESPN’s forecast for the Western Conference.
The Blazers return to the floor on Wednesday to face the Nuggets in their third preseason outing. Following the conclusion of the preseason, the Blazers open the regular season against the Jazz on Dec. 23.
You can read ESPN’s complete forecast at ESPN+ (subscription required).