Trail Blazers: Interesting X-Factors to look out for in the NBA Bubble

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The NBA Bubble is bound to be full of drama. With an exciting roster ready to be unleashed, which different X-Factors could lift the Portland Trail Blazers in Orlando?

We’re now Just under 3 weeks until the Portland Trail Blazers tip off in the NBA Bubble. Damian Lillard and Co. entered the bubble a few days ago, and preparation for that first game against the Memphis Grizzlies will now fully get under way.

Portland’s last basketball action came back at the start of March, where they comfortably beat the Phoenix Suns. That was game 66. It’s now July, and the Blazers are prepping for game 67 with some very different factors in-play.

Out of the players who beat the Suns that day, a couple won’t be back for the bubble, as Trevor Ariza and Caleb Swanigan both opted out. The starting 5 could look extremely different, as Hassan Whiteside and Carmelo Anthony each have that starting question mark above their head. There’s new faces too; Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are now fit and ready to play, and the Blazers have also added Jaylen Adams, a guard who enjoyed an impressive 2019-20 season in the G League.

The Blazers need to stay close to the Grizzlies if they want to force a play-in, and if all goes to plan, they’ll be facing the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. If they want to go any further (or even get to that point), they’ll need something every great postseason team has had.

Fred VanVleet shooting the lights out off the bench, the Warriors rolling out a small-ball death lineup, a young Kawhi Leonard propelling San Antonio’s veterans.

Here are a few X-Factors to look out for on the Portland Trial Blazers

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