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NBA Daily: 2022-2023 Season Preview #6 – Portland Trail Blazers


PhilBoxing.com




In this limited 30-part series, we shall be discussing each team’s latest developments, current roster, and future prospects in the upcoming 2022-2023 NBA season. For every team, we will examine bit-by-bit the important aspects that may shape its progress and provide a rough projection of how it will fare vis-à-vis its previous year’s performance and versus the rest of the league.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

2021-2022 Season Win-Loss Record:

27-55

Depth Chart:

PG – Damian Lillard, Shaedon Sharpe
SG – Anfernee Simons, Gary Payton II, Josh Hart
SF – Nassir Little, Justice Winslow, Keon Johnson
PF – Jerami Grant, Trendon Watford, Gregg Brown III, Jabari Walker
CE – Jusuf Nurkic, Drew Eubanks, Oliver Sarr

Injury Updates:

No significant injuries.

Head Coach:

Chaunsey Billups

Headliners:

Damian Lillard is back, but his long-time backcourt tandem CJ McCollum won’t be. After averaging 20.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game for Portland, the 2016 Most Improved Player awardee, together with Larry Nance Jr. and Tony Snell, was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans for Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomas Satoransky, Didi Louzada, a protected 2022 first round draft pick, the right to swap 2026 second round draft picks, and New Orlean’s 2027 second round draft pick.

Anfernee Simons looks to take much of the responsibilities left by McCollum’s departure. Simons averaged 17.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game last season. His improved role was evident when the Blazers front office finally decided to go in a different direction pertaining to McCollum. From October to December 2021, Simons only averaged a shade under 12 points per game. At the turn of the year, he almost doubled his production with 23.4 markers on a nightly basis, averaging about 35 minutes of court time.

Shaedon Sharpe also provides intriguing prospects for Portland. He will looks to carve a role as a back-up guard to top gun Damian Lillard, who averaged 24.0 points, 4.1 boards, and 7.3 dimes before being shut down by an abdominal injury that required surgery last January. Dame is expected to bounce back strong, this upcoming season. The addition of Gary Payton II also vastly improves Portland’s backcourt defense.

Jerami Grant and Jusuf Nurkic will remain Portland’s top front court tandem to complement Lillard and Simons at the perimeter. Grant was solid last season with 19.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. Nurkic wasn’t too shabby, either with a double-double average of 15.0 markers and 11.1 boards, to go along with 2.8 dimes per contest.

The Trail Blazers are once again looking to compete. With Lillard back and a few additional key pieces, head coach Chaunsey Billups’ wards look good on paper. Their fans do hope that this would eventually translate into wins.


Comments are highly appreciated. You may send them to reylanloberternos@yahoo.com.ph and you may follow me @reylan_l on twitter.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Reylan Loberternos.


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