The Portland Trail Blazers will face the Golden State Warriors tonight in their final preseason game of the 2022-23 season, Despite a revamped lineup and high expectations, the Blazers are 1-3 in exhibition play so far. Their lone win came against Maccabi Ra’anana, a team that doesn’t play at the NBA level. The Blazers fell to the Los Angeles Clippers by 5 in their preseason opener, but didn’t come close against the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings.
Wins and losses don’t mean much in exhibition play, but the team has shown other cause for concern, at least in the eyes of some analysts. Jusuf Nurkic has been inconsistent. Anfernee Simons’ defense hasn’t looked stellar. The Blazers have settled on Josh Hart as the starting small forward. Though Hart himself has performed well, it’s not clear whether he’s really a fit in the starting lineup. Damian Lillard hasn’t uncorked, but at least he’s looked spry coming back from abdominal surgery. Jerami Grant has provided solid play. Rookie Shaedon Sharpe had a monster game against Maccabi Ra’anana. Those are pretty much the lone bright spots so far.
At this juncture, we’re going to ask a simple question, taking your temperature. Given what you’ve seen, understanding the work-in-progress nature of the roster, how do you feel about the Blazers? Are you still optimistic, even cautiously so? Have preseason developments changed your view of this team?
This is a subjective, personal question, of course, but share with us also your reasoning and/or evaluation. What leads you to feel as you do?
The comment section is open. Fire away, and join us to chat live about the final preseason game tonight at 7:00, Pacific!