Early in the Season I posted my numerical forecast for this year’s Trail Blazers campaign emphasizing that the best prospects for an improved season appeared to be utilizing all of the talent and “play the rookies”. For a while they actually did this and prospered. And then slowly they drifted back into the compulsive Stotts 8 and 9 man rotation, and (despite his reputation for innovative offense) predictability. Here we are at 35 and 26 and (even after the thrilling pre-all star win over GS) headed toward another dreaded 44 to 45 win season.
I have pretty much given up following them, so someone will have to tell me what happened to The Swan? I suggested early trying him out at the small forward position since Harkless has shown inconsistent on and mostly off nights of the “NB syndrome”. Dame has recently helped them take care of business, and enabled wins over losing teams. Even then everything suggests they will be near or below .500 here on out and struggling, as usual, as a lower tier play off contender. Expect more near miss ”should have, could have” losses on the way to a slightly above average season.
Even if they get into the play offs, the prospects look favorable for another four or five and out in the first round. I hope that I am wrong, but am not counting on much more. The exception would come if they stay loose, spread the talent around and trust the rookies.