Portland Trailblazers 2021/2022 Season Preview – Same, Same, But Different
Bad Men, Bad Takes – Season 1, Episode 23
The Blazers enter the season with a new Head Coach in Chauncey Billups, but a relatively unchanged core personnel group otherwise.
Once again, the Blazers will rely heavily on the back-court combination of Lillard and McCullum to propel this team into the Playoffs and attempt to re-create the magic of their 2018/2019 Western Conference Finals Run.
This is a formula which hasn’t seen them be considered genuine contenders even once in Lillard’s career, largely in part to their defensive liabilities. Despite this, Hunter believes the Franchise may have turned a small corner in correcting that going forward.
“They got rid of Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter, and those guys are liabilities defensively”, Hunter said. “They have then replaced them with Tony Snell and Larry Nance – guys who can actually play defence”.
“I see a situation where this team can be the 12th or 13th best team in the league on that end of the floor this season”.
Damian Lillard (right) has kept the Blazers afloat with his offensive game in recent seasons. Credit: USA Today Sports
Part of the optimism on the defensive end for the Blazers also comes from the aforementioned Chauncey Billups, who takes his first Head Coaching job in the NBA after spending time as an assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I know that the players in LA raved about him as an assistant”, Rob said. “Paul George credits him with improving elements of his games and he was known for emphasising ball movement and defence – two areas where they were horrible last season”.
Listen to the full show podcast to hear where the BMBT office believe the Blazers will finish in the Western Conference, the impact Larry Nance can have, further analysis of Chauncey Billups coaching style and more!
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