The Portland Trail Blazers are walking through that idyllic time when training camp is a few days old, but the first pre-season game has not yet appeared. New schemes are being tested and they all look good in practice. No evidence to the contrary will rear its head for a few days, if not weeks. Right now every plan works. Anything is possible.
The happy dust sprinkled over the practice court doesn’t just hit the playbook, but the players involved as well. At this time of year, everybody is a potential breakout star. We’re not cheesy enough to presume everyone will play better this season than last, but it doesn’t take many curated team practice videos to convince us that most of “our” players are going to be great...maybe greater than we’ve yet seen!
That makes this the ideal time to ask today’s question: who will have a breakout season for the Blazers in 2021-22?
You can define “breakout” however you wish, applying the word to any player, up to and including Damian Lillard if you think this will be his long-awaited MVP season. You can also go the other way if you like what you saw from Greg Brown III in Summer League or you think Ben McLemore is in for a career resurgence. Or you can stick in the middle if you believe new coach Chauncey Billups is going to revolutionize Jusuf Nurkic’s game.
However you define the word, to whomever you apply it, let us know in the comments whose year this is going to be. At the end of the season, you’ll be able to point back to this thread and say, “I called it before the year even started!”