The Portland Trail Blazers were close to a playoff spot last season, but just missed out. Despite Damian Lillard’s Rookie of the Year season, Portland simply lacked depth to come out on top in the marathon that is the NBA regular season. After improving the roster this summer, LaMarcus Aldridge told Yahoo to mark his words when he predicted that the Trail Blazers will lock up the seventh seed in the Western Conference this year.
Blazers forward @aldridge_12 projects his team will finish seventh in the West. "Mark my words," LaMarcus Aldridge told Yahoo.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) October 25, 2013
Several rumors this offseason suggested that Aldridge could be on the move, but he remains with the team and seems encouraged by the Trail Blazers’ moves. Portland had one of the better starting lineups in the league last season, but also featured by far the worst bench in the NBA.
The Trail Blazers did not re-sign JJ Hickson and instead picked up Robin Lopez, Thomas Robinson, Dorell Wright and Mo Williams, while also drafting CJ McCollum. With a significantly deeper roster, the seventh seed is certainly not out of reach for this team.