The Portland Trail Blazers made a deep run in the 2018-19 season, reaching the Western Conference Finals only to lose to the Golden State Warriors. Sam Quinn of CBS Sports evaluates what teams need to go deep into the post-season, determining where Portland comes up short in terms of depth, shot creation, wing strength, and versatility in the front court. According to Quinn, the Blazers’ biggest barrier to success in the playoffs is defense, especially on the wing.
The Blazers don’t have a small forward on their roster. Go look for one — I’ll wait. A team with championship aspirations in the same conference as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George somehow decided that trading Mo Harkless for Hassan Whiteside made sense, and that re-signing Rodney Hood was a higher priority than Al-Farouq Aminu. They have no way of countering the two best teams in their conference.
Quinn concludes that in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Clippers will be the dominant powerhouse this upcoming season. Though he anticipates the Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers will make a good show of it, the title is ultimately the Clippers’ to lose.
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