Reddit Q & A with Mike Richman and Dane Delgado
The best Blazers Q & A's
Our newest NBC Sports Northwest team members Mike Richman and Dane Delgado did a Q & A session this morning on Reddit.com talking about the upcoming season for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Scroll through for the best questions and responses....
Full Q & A session can be found HERE.
Filling the Ed Davis hole
Q: It seems obvious that Ed Davis' impact will be missed on the team this year. Which player(s) do you expect to pick up his role on the court? What about the locker room?
MR: On the court, I expect Meyers Leonard to play a bunch of minutes at backup center along with Zach Collins. There's even a chance they go super small occasionally with Aminu at C.
DD: It's hard to say who will pick up his slack from the locker room, and Seth Curry even mentioned the Blazers are sort of an odd team in that they don't have an old head. Defensively, which is where Portland will miss Ed the most, they're hoping Zach is ready and that Terry can work his magic. They had the second-best year under Stotts last year from a DRtg standpoint, and finished 8th in the league. The first practice on Tuesday was largely focused on defense, so it'll be something to watch for sure.
Rookie roles this season
Q: Do you foresee either of the rookies carving out a role this season?
MR: I don't. Stotts doesn't have a great track record of trusting young guys and Trent Jr. and Simons play the same spots as the team's two best players. Trent Jr., is more likely to get a shot, but that's not likely in my eyes. They'll both probably get the Cliff Alexander Memorial 4 game tryout in November and then spend a lot of nights in suits.
DD: Simons I think we'll barely see at all. He might not even be wearing shorts the majority of the year. The most likely scenario is Trent Jr., but even that supposes that Terry's rotation is deeper than it has been in the past.
Seth Curry & Nik Stauskas
Q: How do Seth and Sauce fit in?
MR: Stauskas isn't going to play much early on. Seth is going to be the second guard off the bench after ET.
DD: The plan for Seth seems to be to carry a lot of the load, honestly. That was Olshey's biggest signing, money-wise, and he's the most proven addition from beyond the arc. I think Mike is right, Nik is a minimum guy with the one skill Portland needs and it's a low risk thing to sign him. I'm not sure he has much of an impact, at least to start, since he's probably not first on Terry's list as a rotation add.
Rematch of the century
Q: Is there any specific team out there that you guys are super excited to see how we perform against this year? Outside of LAbron, of course.
MR: I think it's gotta be the Pelicans. They were a matchup nightmare for the Blazers and the team has talked about how there are some tactical things that that playoffs series will force them to address. Plus, I like how left handed Julius Randle is.
DD: Mike is right on with NO, and Utah might be another one. I think a lot of folks have picked the Jazz to leapfrog Portland this season and that middle tier in the West is going to need to get sorted out sooner or later. How they play those teams is huge.
Lillard a vet at 28
Q: Do you think that not having a older vet (last one would be Chris Kaman probably) could cause some problems for this team?
MR: Not really. Dame has been in the league for 7 years. He's the vet even if he's 28. I think maybe a couple years ago this was a bigger deal but at this point it's Dame's team and he has to step (even further) into that role.
DD: Damian is the right answer here. Honestly, their real problems come from roster issues that result in their on-court product and not their locker room dynamic.
Player most exciting to watch
Q: Which player do you enjoy to watch the most outside of Dame/CJ?
MR: Nurkic at his absolute best is really fun. But he can be really maddening when he's off. So maybe Al-Farouq Aminu because his variance between above average three-point shooting and likelihood to airball is fantastic theater.
DD: When he's on, I would say Harkless. He's a much better shooter when his spirits are up, but when they are he's also a better passer, cutter, and dribbler. His variance could really set the tone for the season, once he returns from injury.
Would you rather...
Q: Would you rather...?
Get punched in the face once a day for a year by Lillard.
Get punched in the face once a week for a year by Nurkic.
MR: I'll take Nurk. Mostly because Dame is a better quote.
DD: I'm also going with Nurkic. Mostly because we already know he sometimes finishes too soft, so I'm assuming that might translate to his punching from time-to-time.