The NBA offseason has been a whirlwind of late night news breaks, player movement, and bold predictions for the season ahead. The two Los Angeles teams stole the show with the moves they made. They were able to team superstars together in both Staples Center locker rooms. Of course, after all of the player movement, predictions for the upcoming season began to pour in. When reading over the views of these prognosticators, it seems the Portland Trail Blazers are being overlooked. Despite reaching the Western Conference Finals last season without the services of Jusuf Nurkic in the post, no one is talking about them as a contender next season.
The Portland Trail Blazers are Being Overlooked
When the 2019-20 NBA season kicks off it will be as wide open as the league has been for quite some time. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers both made big time moves. They brought in the likes of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins (Lakers) Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George (Clippers) to bolster thier respective teams.
It is no surprise that these moves, along with Kevin Durant’s departure from the Golden State Warriors, has made the two Los Angeles teams favorites out west. Even the Utah Jazz have received praise for the addition of Mike Conley to pair with Donovan Mitchell in their back court. However, despite all the talk of these other teams, the Trail Blazers should not be dismissed so easily. They have all the ingredients needed to compete for a NBA Finals berth next season.
In assessing the state of the league after this summer’s wild free agency period, the era of the super teams is over. Now it seems as if more organizations are building their teams around a pairing of All-Star players. Portland already has their dangerous duo in place. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are as good as any back court in the league. The two explosive guards carried this team to the conference finals a season ago. They combined for 51.5 points and 10.3 assists per game during their playoff run.
Being overlooked is nothing new to these two. Both players starred at smaller colleges after being overlooked during the recruiting process. Since entering the NBA each of them has played as if they have a point to prove. Lillard has become a star in this league with the aggressive and fearless nature he plays the game. He can equal any guard in the association in terms of talent and production. McCollum has a smoothness about his game, quiet and steady just like his persona off the court. He also has a killer instinct, which showed during his performance in a game seven victory over the Denver Nuggets.
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