Why the Portland Trail Blazers needed the NBA pause

Terry Stotts, CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Terry Stotts, CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

With the NBA 2019-20 season getting ready to make its comeback, the Portland Trail Blazers had some rest, how badly did they need it?

The Portland Trail Blazers 2019-20 season wasn’t what many fans expected. From injuries to severe losses at home and on the road, and of course, the pause of the 2019-20 NBA season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no fans were ready for this type of season.

During the time the NBA had off, we saw plans for return bouncing all over, and we even saw a H-O-R-S-E competition live on ESPN.

Now the NBA has announced its return to action in late July, we see players returning from Injury and some returning to courts get ready for the restart, but how did this time off help the Trail Blazers? Let’s break it down.

The Trail Blazers season seem to have high hope, with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum leading the team, it seemed to be the recipe for success and another playoff run. However, when big men Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, plus shooting guard Rodney Hood, came down with injuries, the Trail Blazers had to adapt with some of the other talented players, like Carmelo Anthony and Hassam Whiteside.

The team would have games where it was hard to attack the paint, get rebounds, and some games where they would lead, then lose it all in the 2nd half. Before the season was suspended, the Trail Blazers had played 66 games, with 29 wins and 37 losses, and the team was sitting at 9th in the Western Conference.

With the NBA season throw in chaos due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it seemed the 2019-20 season was a loss. The NBA continued to work with health officials and find alternative ways to restart its season and crown a champion.

Finally, Adam Silver broke the news of the NBA return, but with a bit of a twist. They were going to skip the rest of the 2019-20 season and go directly to a playoff format that has the Trail Blazers alive with a shot to make a playoff run in for the Western Conference. Now that Trail Blazers are still alive in the playoffs, are they a championship contender?

The answer is yes, because of the rest and recovery players had during the hiatus. Nurkic and Collins can return and play in the playoffs. Not only does that help Whiteside in the paint on both offense and defense, but it could create opportunities for Lillard, McCollum, and Anthony to get great looks inside and out.

This will also help the team provide shot blockers and rebounders to take the pressure off the shoulders of Whiteside and open him up for more plays.

I can admit that this pandemic has made me think about how much sports is apart of my everyday life and to see it come back into the picture has to be the best feeling on planet earth. With sports such as WNBA, MLB, and even the NHL coming back in July, I can say with an open heart, Welcome back sports, we all missed you.

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