2018-19 Season Preview: Portland Trail Blazers
Coach: Terry Stotts (entering his seventh season with Portland, 272-220, .553, his 11th overall, 387-388, .499).
Last Season:49-33, lost in first round of playoffs to New Orleans, 4-0.
Key Returnees: Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, Evan Turner, Maurice Harkless, Meyers Leonard, Al-Farouq Aminu.
Key Additions: Seth Curry (Dallas), Nik Stauskas (Brooklyn), Anfernee Simons (rookie, IMG Academy), Gary Trent Jr. (rookie, Duke).
Key Losses: Ed Davis (Brooklyn), Pat Connaughton (Milwaukee), Shabazz Napier (Brooklyn).
Outlook: The Trail Blazers had what can only be described as a hot-and-cold season a year ago. Hot being the regular season, when Portland won 49 games and earned the third seed in the rugged Western Conference for the playoffs. Cold being swept in the first round of the post by the upstart New Orleans Pelicans, who were playing without the injured DeMarcus Cousins. As for this season, while other teams in the West such as the Lakers, the Jazz, the Nuggets, the Thunder, etc. all made moves to improve, Portland added Seth Curry and Nik Stauskas and picked up Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr. in the draft. The Blazers also extended versatile center Jusuf Nurkic and he, along with the standout backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, will be at the fore of anything Portland manages to accomplish this season. Of all the teams that made the playoffs a year ago, the Trail Blazers seem primed for regression.