There are a couple of key differences between the Portland Trail Blazers and the just-covered Raptors, and hardly any of them offer aid for Rip City’s better odds.
The Blazers were lean annually, buttressing a elite beginning five with next to nothing off the bench. Bringing in Chris Kaman and Steve Blake does not feel like a remedy.
Of course, second-year guard C.J. McCollum should see his role increase this year, and he has the combo-guard skills to make an impact. Head coach Terry Stotts is apparently leaning toward him as a sixth man; McCollum led all Blazers reserves in minutes per game during the preseason.
For all this, it is hard to grasp why Portland is seen as a larger name threat than Toronto. The Blazers’ convention is tougher, their seat is still thinner and they ended the year at only 23-19 after a start. Portland is a good team, but it may not be much more than that.
It is going to be around Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and the rest of the starters to replicate that fifth-ranked offensive evaluation. If they can not do this, suspect defense and also an abysmal chair may finally hit one of the past year’s biggest surprises having a painful dose of reality.

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