The Portland Trail Blazers’ schedule for the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League was released earlier this afternoon. They will open against the New York Knicks, then go on to play the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks before playing a minimum of two more games in the tournament portion.
Trail Blazers vs. Knicks – Saturday, July 12th (1:00 p.m.) COX Pavilion
Trail Blazers vs. Rockets – Sunday, July 13th (5:30 p.m.) Thomas & Mack Center
Trail Blazers vs. Hawks – Tuesday, July 15th (1:00 p.m.) COX Pavilion
The tournament portion, which was introduced last year, will begin on July 16th, after the seeds are determined in the pool games. If the Trail Blazers play well, they could stretch their Summer League expedition all the way to the final game on July 21st.
Normally, Las Vegas Summer League is an opportunity to wet the feet of newly drafted players in order to see how they fit in a given system. However; the Trail Blazers have no draft picks to use on such players this year. Unless that changes via trade, we are looking at solely developmental play for the current roster. Fine by me. At least one member of the Trail Blazers’ bench needs to step up in a big way next season; we might as well hone in on who that might be as early as possible.
Having a team comprised of all returning players (and a few free agent drifters) is a big advantage in Summer League, but not one that guarantees victory. We really have no idea how anyone will match up because no one will put forth a time-tested team. Fortunately, there is no real reason to be concerned with victory. I do not care if the Trail Blazers lose as long as they learn. Now that the Trail Blazers know their opponents, it is time to prepare.