The Trail Blazers’ record sits at two games above .500 after the first month of the season. Portland’s start to the 2020-21 season was defined by amazing backcourt performances, a leaky defense and significant injury setbacks. With those factors in mind, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes gave the Blazers a “C-” grade for the first month of the season.
When discussing the Blazers’ grade, Hughes looked to the cumbersome road ahead.
Losing starters always hurts, but the Blazers will be particularly vulnerable without McCollum and Nurkic. The more Enes Kanter has to play, the more hopeless Portland’s defensive prospects become. And Anfernee Simons, who figures to see more time now, continues to underwhelm on both ends. Already one of the worst defenses in the league, the Blazers may now also find it impossible to score whenever Damian Lillard rests.
After touching on the noteworthy concerns for the Blazers, Hughes explained that Portland’s postseason hopes are still alive and well.
Portland’s full-season outlook is still strong, assuming it gets its best players back on the floor within the projected timelines and doesn’t completely fall apart in the interim. But the margin for error is gone now.
Considering the news regarding consecutive postponements on the Blazers’ schedule, a passing grade of any form is cause to embrace your inner Tommy Callahan.
You can read Hughes’ full list of grades at Bleacher Report.