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What shape will the 2017-18 season take?

With ESPN’s team projections and the Trail Blazer’s recently released schedule in hand, Dan and Tara discuss how things are shaping up for the 2017-18 season.

Portland Trail Blazers v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Dan and Tara dive into the Portland Trail Blazers recently released schedule and take a look at Kevin Pelton’s NBA 2017-18 Season Projections for ESPN. Dan talks about how he approaches previewing teams and Tara talks about getting seduced by continuity last year. All this and more on the latest Blazer’s Edge podcast.

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2:05 How we are trying to get our basketball fix

3:14 Blazer schedule is out and opening night is on Dan’s birthday

6:06 Schedule overview

7:08 Portland vs. Toronto is always a good game

8:34 How health will be important to withstand a difficult run in December and January

11:15 Will Shabazz Napier get more playing time and will Maurice Harkless find his place this season?

18:00 Dan’s preliminary projection for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2017-18

19:51 Kevin Pelton’s 2017-18 NBA Projected Records and Standings for ESPN

22:30 What is the Real Plus Minus (RPM) and how it is used in projections

27:29 How tight the race for the playoffs is going to be in the west

32:30 Putting together a preview: looking at a team’s strengths and weaknesses

40:34 How CJ McCollum gets his shots in the midrange (and how defenses might use analytics to stop him)

44:12 How much should we rely on projections?


ESPN’s Real Plus Minus

Second Spectrum

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Dan: @dmarang

Tara: @tcbbiggs