Have the Portland Trailblazers improved this offseason?

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Answered by: Joel, An Expert in the NBA Basketball Category
The Portland Trailblazers seemed to have drastically improved this offseason. The Portland Trailblazers were a below .500 team last year even with star rookie Damian Lillard and all-star Lamarcus Aldridge. Will this year be any different?

First of all Portland has acquired Dorell Wright, a three-point shooter formerly on the 76ers. This is great for Portland adding some depth to a lackluster bench last season. Dorell Wright had three-point percentage of .374 last season. This is above the average of what the Portland Trailblazers shot as a team last season, three-point percentage of .353. This will up the three-point percentage of the Blazers making them a bigger outside threat. Portland also drafted shooting guard CJ McCollum this year. What CJ will do on the court is left to be seen but he is another player that will be a three-point threat.

One of the bigger pick-ups this season for the Blazers was the 5th pick of the 2012 Draft, Thomas Robinson. Robinson was drafted by the Kings with the 5th pick and was never given a good chance. He ended up packaged in a trade to Houston where again he didn't play much and we didn't get to see what he can do. Portland made a trade for Robinson in the offseason that included Portland giving away two second-round draft picks. Robinson may provide solid rebounding and inside presence for the Blazers. He will be given more minutes in Portland due to lack of big-men and the loss of JJ Hickson.

Portland also signed Earl Watson who previously played for the Utah Jazz. Earl Watson will provide a veteran role to a young Portland team. Portland has also signed Mo Williams. Acquirring Williams will give the Blazers another ball-handler and a backup point guard or shooting guard depending on what position coach Terry Stotts plays him at. Overall Portland seems to be headed in the right direction by putting a bench under a great starting line-up. What comes from these off-season moves will have to wait to be seen.

What seemed to be a mediocre team last season is still young and has time to develop. Rookie Damian Lillard shocked the league and took home the rookie of the year award. Wesley Mathews is still on the team and remains valuable, a great three-point shooter, hard-worker, and a great locker room guy. Nicolas Batum recently sprained his ankle and dealt with some injuries during the season but has show great shines of excellence. Lamarcus Aldridge was an all-star for the second time this past season and will hopefully continue to produce at the same level. JJ Hickson provided the Portland Trailblazers with rebounds and an offensive inside presence but lacked on defense. With the loss of JJ Portland must hope Thomas Robinson can produce at the same or a higher level than he did. Portland seems to be in a good position for next season and may even see the playoffs even if it is only as an 7th or 8th seed.

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