Thursday, May 11, 2017

Trail Blazers Swept by Warriors

The Portland Trail Blazers were swept by the Golden State Warrior 4-0 in the first round.  After sprinting to an eighth seed in the Western Conference at the end of the season this was to be expected.  Golden State is loaded with more weapons than is fair.   As a team they shot 40% from three and are good on the defensive end of the court making every opponent work for all 48 minutes.  Portland had no answers shooting only 39% overall and 32% from three.  While both C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard both had a good series (though their shooting was off) they are still a two man team.  Jusuf Nurkic was a good addition to the team but he was hurt and only available for 17 minutes in the series.  Not that he would have made a difference.  The Trail Blazers were an eight seed for a reason. 
Last offseason big contracts were handed out with the expectation of players taking their play to the next level.  That didn’t happen in the case of Allen Crabbe or Evan Turner whom they traded for.  They make $19M and $17M respectively which is way too much for a combined 19.7 points per game.   This team has two stars and some nice pieces but they need more from their front court.  Nurkic should be a solid piece moving forward but they need to get more dynamic elsewhere.  They aren’t good enough to compete with the better teams in the Western Conference.  Their first priority will probably be getting under the luxury tax threshold which doesn’t necessarily align with the team getting better.  They bet some of these young players would be better this year and lost.

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