Bet the Portland Trailblazers Over 37.5 2011-2012 Season Wins
Portland has made a remarkable resurgence being just five years removed from the infamous Jailblazers. Excellent drafts, smart trades, and the signing of mid-range free agents that can play and have produced has brought Portland to the edge joining the Lakers, Spurs, and now the Thunder as the Western Conference elite. Had it not been for career altering injuries to Brandon Roy and Greg Oden, the Trailblazers may have already challenged for an NBA title.
That said, this year’s edition of the Trailblazers is rock solid. This is an excellent mix of crafty veterans and young talent with enough depth to not wilt playing 66 games in 123 days. If Portland can stay injury free with what they have and the veteran players haven’t taken any steps backward, Portland will have something to say in the NBA West.
One day after signing a one-year $8.9 million dollar deal, Greg Oden’s future is again in doubt. The problem this time is a non-weight supporting ligament that compromises the structure of the knee. It is completely unreleated to the micro-fracture surgery that has shelved him since his rookie year. Reported he has no pain or restricted movement but his return is in doubt.
Old (37) dependable Marcus Camby is a career 10.0 ppg and 10 rpg and former Defensive Player of the Year. Camby is perfect for this team as the Blazers don’t have to run the offense through him and he’ll need just limited touches. He has a balky knee but is still an eraser in the middle with limited minutes. He’s able backed up by the ageless Kurt Thomas (39) who will be playing in his 17th season. Thomas always gives you quality minutes and is still capable of 20 good minutes per game.
LaMarcus Aldridge starts at power forward and is the Blazers best player. He averaged 21.8 ppg with 8.8 rpg in last years breakout season and the sky is the limit from here on out. Craig Smith is the back up and plays for his third team in five years. He was known as “The Rhino” in Minnesota. He’ll split time at the four with Kurt Thomas when Aldridge is taking a blow.
Love me some Gerald Wallace at shooting forward. Not sure why this guy gets so little respect. He’s been a solid 15/8 guy for the last five years, four of them buried in Charlotte. Wallace will be asked to score more with Brandon Roy retired. Nick Batum and Luke Babbit will get some time at the three.
Portland has a trifecta of excellent guards that are interchangeable at the point or shooting. Raymond Felton has been the odd man out in Charlotte and the Knicks the last two years despite avgg 14.4 ppg and dishing out 8.3 dimes nightly. Felton came to camp overweight so he might be slow right out of the box. Wesley Mathews is a third year man with plenty of up side. He’ll start at shooting guard and was an excellent offensive rebound in his rookie season at Utah.
Jamal Crawfor backs up both guard spots and this 11-year veteran is a 15.4 ppg career streak shooter. Duke’s Nolan Smith dropped all the way to #21 Portland. Smith is a physical player that is good on the glass and it will be interesting to see how/if he plays with a chip on his shoulder.
You can pencil the Trailblazers into the playoffs and maybe more. Portland’s biggest problem has been injuries and playing in the ultra-competitive NBA West. Nate McMillan is one of the best coaches in the league and always gets the best of what he has. Sportsbetting3 would be shocked if Portland did not win 40 games. Play the Over.