The Portland Trail Blazers have struggled to grasp a solid position to their 2017-18 season and seem to be at a crossroads. Currently placed in the seventh spot in the Western Conference (21-18), the team has exhibited some sparks of their previous winning ways while adding a defensive improvement to their roster. But some could say this isn’t enough.
With last nights dramatic win against the San Antonio Spurs, this could give the team some hope. But the Blazers schedule only gets more challenging from here, and seem to be fighting an uphill battle to claim a playoffs spot let alone home court advantage.
Portland has two of the best backcourt scorers in the league in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, yet the franchise has failed to get their stars the supporting cast they need. Not one player on the roster has been able to hold down the power forward position, and Jusuf Nurkic simply hasn’t been the same player who dazzled Blazers fans during the final 20 games of the 2016-17 season. Many of the teams in the Western Conference — especially those in the Northwest Division — have improved dramatically. All adding valuable pieces to their roster to keep them in contention with the mighty Goliath of the Golden State Warriors.
Yet, the Blazers are surprisingly loyal. With criticism of their struggling season from the media flying towards their head coach Terry Stotts, all the players defended their boss and stated that they all believe in his direction and retain the respect and attention he needs in their locker room.
With the trade line coming up (Feb 8th), do Portland need to shake things up and take a gamble? They currently occupy a precarious position where the team clicking could mean a seat at the playoff table come April, or they stall and give themselves an eyelash away from catastrophe.
Catch you Thursday.