Now that Portland has added versatile wings that bring the defensive skills and mindset the Trail Blazers have needed, it has everyone buzzing about the new additions.
The frontcourt depth is there this season.
Yep, that’s never a bad thing.
And with all the possible lineups and rotations to consider for this season, Blazer fans are not alone in their excitement of endless possibilities.
Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts is eager to see how the new additions fit in, adding, “it is exciting about the possibilities,” of different lineups out there.
Having a healthy Jusuf Nurkic with Rodney Hood and Carmelo Anthony re-signing is already a better start to this year than the Blazers had last season.
But now, after the Trail Blazers acquired Robert Covington and traded for Enes Kanter from the Celtics in a three-team deal before signing forward Derrick Jones Jr., and don’t forget Portland wrapped up free agency with big man Harry Giles, that’s a well-rounded frontcourt of additions.
After the Trail Blazers left the Orlando, Florida Bubble at the end of August, there was a lot of chatter on how Portland's backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum needed help on the wing.
They got it.
And they’re looking forward to seeing how the pieces fit.
McCollum, like many Trail Blazers fans, gave props to Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey for his offseason moves.
Lillard explained that he has talked to management about going all in and the winning now mentality as he gets set for his prime years in the league.
Does he believe the additions of Covington, Jones Jr., and co. could help them reach that goal of bringing the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy to Rip City?
Time will tell.
“I think it improved our chances and it’s hard to say,” Lillard said.
It’s been apparent this offseason that bolstering the Blazers' defense was a focus heading into the 2020-21 season.
Lillard and McCollum both emphasized the value of new defensive additions.
“We’ve been top five in offense historically when we’re healthy, regardless of who we put out there alongside of us” McCollum explained. “So being able to be better defensively, having like-minded guys who can switch and kind of play a role is important.”
Lillard reiterated what his backcourt mate had to say.
The duo is also super high on high-flying Derrick Jones Jr.
McCollum also mentioned that bringing Enes Kanter back after Kanter played in Boston for a year has added value to this current roster, saying he's a “guy who is very capable of averaging a double-double... Defensively he did a terrific job a couple of years ago of guarding pick and rolls without Nurk in the lineup and he kind of gives us another look.”
As for the young Harry Giles, McCollum says he “likes him a lot” and he has been watching Giles since he was younger.
But back to the thought process of the all or nothing mentality, Lillard is certainly optimistic.
Winning a championship is the end goal and Lillard is ready to see how the pieces fit into chasing that goal.
Yes, we shall, Dame. Yes, we shall.