C - Greg Oden, Joel Pryzbilla
PF - Lamarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Jeff Pendergraph, Dante Cunningham
SF - Nic Batum, Luke Babbitt
SG - Brandon Roy, Wesley Matthews, Rudy Fernandez
PG - Andre Miller, Jerryd Bayless, Elliot Williams
Ryan: I'll start by saying... this is the only team in the West that(in my eyes) has the talent and capability of beating LA... let that sink in... didn't say they would...but this is the team. They have the right mix of young guys and vets to stick with the length,depth and scoring of LA.Health is the only thing holding this team up... only one team was more hurt than the Blazers and that was the Warriors... Brandon Roy is a legit star, Aldridge is a good #2 guy...Andre Miller is a good,solid point guard and..........okay Greg Oden..not quite 100% but he will be..he can miss games early but later in the year..bam..he will be building on his good season from last year. But really..I think if Przybilla and Camby are able to stay healthy the need for Oden to rush back will be lessened...as a Portland fan I crossed my fingers and closed my eyes while writing this...
Brad: There's no question the talent is there and the LA parallels are there... no one can come close to sporting a front line like Oden/Aldridge/Camby... that's insane... the length is crazy, and that doesn't even get to Pryzbilla, who is an above-average center completely buried on this roster... he'd start for half the league... It all comes down to Oden... and that's a big thing... Camby and Aldridge is nice... Oden in top form? That's a different animal... and it's really hard not to root for that guy... The wing is interesting... Roy has some legit knee concerns, they've overpaid Matthews (to back him up? I don't know) and while Batum has shown some flashes of crazy upside, I'm not convinced he's an unquestioned starter... After I write the write-up, it feels low to have them out of the top 4, but with so many questions?...
Ryan: I can understand some of the low rankings because the season before was riddled with injuries and there's no guarantee that this wouldn't be a trend. But the Blazers have had enough depth to combat those injuries if anyone on the roster gets hurt. I think the only person who would have a really tough time replicating production would be Aldridge. Rudy,Bayless and Matthews are proven options off the bench..its okay to be underrated this year but I really think that Portland will remind people how good they are this year. And I hope that Oden is there healthy to be apart of it...
Brad: I was with you until you said Rudy... I think he's never going to be a contributor again in Portland... maybe I'm wrong, but he's been flat-out bad for a year-plus, and wants out openly... I really like Wes Matthews... and if you take away the fact that he's violently overpaid, it's a nice piece... fully healthy? This is a top-4 team in the West... But I can't assume it... so I'll hedge and go... Prediction: 6th in the West
Ryan: Lol I think that Rudy contributes this year in Portland... I think he'll have something to prove because he's not going anywhere this year. And I can't really look at the price of the contract for Matthews but if I did(which i'm not) I would say its very baffling... especially having Rudy still there... regardless I'm high on my team and I'm going with big things... Prediction: 3rd in West