Storyline: I predict the Trailblazers will come into their own in 2017-2018 and will establish themselves during 2018-2019.
After a 2015-2016 season of presenting accurate Trail Blazers pre-season and pre-game predictions, I stepped aside for the 2016-2017 season. It’s because I had diminished interest for reasons I described in my blog.
But, then, this March came and–like every other Blazers fan–I got excited about The ‘Blazers renewed and suddenly competitive play. With the addition of Jusuf Nurkic they seemed to wake up and find their mojo again.
One morning, lying awake at 4 a. m., I was struck by what the true meaning of this moment might be: fans are getting a glimpse of the 2017-2018 Blazers, specifically their scent into NBA elite status.
I’ve previously mentioned the likelihood of the team’s dramatically increased productivity in 2017-2018. Now the picture becomes clearer. The numbers tell me that ascendancy is coming. I predict Portland will come into its own during the 2017-2018 season and, then, will establish itself in 2018-2019.
CJ, who I picked as my star of the future in 2015, will come into his prime and emerge as a major force, along with other teammates. Current bench players, such as Pat Connaughton (who was my draft sleeper pick) and Jake Layman, have a chance to become contributing rotation players.
Most important, perhaps, is that we’ll clearly see the basketball genius of Coach Terry Stotts, including his tactful approach to developing players’ unique abilities. Stotts will establish himself as one of the premier coaches in the NBA. Expect Neil Olshey, President of Basketball Operations, to do his part by using the NBA Draft and making key trades to catalyze the Blazers’ success.
Yes, the month of March 2017 reveals to us the direction these Blazers are headed. It’s a direction that bodes well for the franchise and its marvelous fan base.