Revisiting the national media’s predictions for the 2019-20 Portland Trail Blazers

Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
C.J. McCollum, Anfernee Simons, Gary Trent, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

From C.J. McCollum’s No. 13 player rank to the Blazers missing the postseason, experts predictions of the Portland Trail Blazers have caused quite the discussion. Here’s back at some of those, and some rationale behind them.

One would think that after seven-and-a-half decades, the thrill of an NBA season tipping off would lose just a little bit of its luster. The “year” —  that really is just a three-month break between July and September — without basketball, is enough to cause delirium, a lesson we’re oh-so-painfully learning right now, especially with our Portland Trail Blazers.

The heightened levels of excitement for basketball can do something to our psyche, too. If you aren’t careful, you’ll find yourself perhaps getting a little too overzealous on picks and predictions, especially among the players you associated with most. That lesson reared its ugly head on me back in October, when I suggested the San Antonio Spurs would be the No. 1 defense in the NBA, or somewhere in that stratosphere. (We had to settle for No. 25).

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It doesn’t help when you’ve got a difficult team to predict. The Trail Blazers meandered into 2019-20 with more moving parts than usual, losing seven of their 11 most frequently-used players. Imagination and potential had trumped production and continuity.

For that reason, as well as a few other under-the-radar moves in state of California, many experts had difficulty seeing Portland advance to back-to-back Western Conference Finals series for the first time since 2000.

In essence, that’s what this piece is. A look back at some of the widely-ranging predictions the national media made over the summer, as it relates to this Blazers team.

The question mark that is this season’s availability to finish still hangs above us. But in the meantime, we can take a trip to the past, and look back on what could have been.