Potential outcomes for Portland Trail Blazers: Tread Water
Possibly the most likely outcome is that Damian Lillard wills the team to a lower playoff seed. As mentioned before, Lillard is not one to enjoy a lack of success, it’s tough to see him taking this adversity lying down.
Lillard has willed this team to impressive feats before, for instance, the team’s performance in the NBA bubble last season.
Once that happens, McCollum and Nurkić get their basketball legs back, the team will likely be fine, if not better. Neil Olshey will likely look to make one or two additions in free agency, trade, or the buyout market, further solidifying their postseason case.
With this being the case, they could easily end up in the 6th to 8th seed range. Their postseason fight would be difficult, but no matter who their opponent is, Damian Lillard will instill his confidence throughout this team.
That confidence was enough for Hall of Famer Charles Barkley to predict that the Blazers would upset the eventual Champion Lakers in the first round last year. While that may have been a step too far, you can’t count the Blazers out just because of their seed.
The team wouldn’t be happy finishing in the bottom half of the West, but given the challenges they’ve faced this season, it should be considered an accomplishment.