Free NBA Picks: Portland's Young Gone To Exceed Expectations

Damian Lillard posing for a picture at a game

Joe Catalano

Monday, October 10, 2016 8:09 PM GMT

Today, we'll be looking at the win total regarding the Portland Trail Blazers. Last season, this was a team that exceeded expectation with 44 wins without LaMarcus Aldridge and this season, the betting total is listed at 45 1/2 wins. Are the Blazers, who are basically bringing back the same group of players, capable of reaching 47 wins? It appears to be a tall order, but let's take a look.

 

 Exceeding Expectations

As stated earlier, this is a team that basically has the same players from last year's squad, led by the offensive firepower of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Last season, very little was expected from Portland and they were very competitive. Lillard and McCollum were the go-to guys offensively and players such as Allen Crabbe (10.3 ppg,39.4 % -3 point field goals) would come off the bench and provide Portland with a major boost. Crabbe in particular; could rack up 3 to 4 consecutive 3-pointers and this enabled Portland to either run away with a game or get back in a game.This is a team with streaky shooters.

I don't expect anything different from Allen Crabbe this season as he know's his role and play's it well, and bettors can always check the line movements across the board before making a decision and choosing the best sportsbooks to bet.

 

Youth and Energy

That's what you'll see with Portland's big guys in Mason Plumlee and Al-Farouq Aminu. Plumlee was a player in which there was no room for on the Brooklyn Nets roster as Brook Lopez was the main big man, but the times that Lopez was hurt, Plumlee proved that he could be a major offensive force; a nightly double-double if you will. With Portland last season, Plumlee somewhat underachieved as this is a difficult team to sometimes get offensive opportunities with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum hoisting up the 3 ball.

Plumlee finished the season short of a double-double average but proved in last year's playoffs that he's a force to be reckoned with as he averaged.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. He was taught the fundamentals of the game at Duke University and just need's to be more aggressive in commanding the ball down low as he has a soft touch offensively.

As for Aminu, he's good for 10 points and 6 rebounds per night. He's not the most consistent player but is always active on the defensive end. This is also a very streaky player that had the tendency to run off 6 to 8 consecutive points at the beginning of games and is the perfect fit in this offense as he's not a selfish player and willing to do the dirty work.

 

Must Read: Oddsmakers Too Optimistic About These Teams' Chances

 

Can Shabazz Napier Be A Legitimate Scorer?

He wasn't to accomplish this goal in Miami, but this is a player that led his team to a national championship in college and if he get's enough touches, can be a major contributor.

Lack of selfishness is a very important attribute to be a winner as the San Antonio Spurs have proven and the Portland Trail Blazers will need to incorporate this into their offense. Napier is coming off of a big game in the preseason in a win over Phoenix in which he had 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. This is a guard that can not only shoot and pass the basketball but can also rebound well. Portland need's Shabazz Napier to make his presence be felt as they'll be playing in a lot of high-scoring West Coast games in which there' a lack of defense.

 

Damian Lillard's Team

He was underestimated coming out of college and has carved out a very nice pro career for himself. Now, that he doesn't have to share the ball with LaMarcus Aldridge, Lillard's game has risen to another level.

Last season, he averaged 25.1 points, 6.8 assists, and 4 rebounds per game. He can be streaky at times, but the sheer volume of shots that he attempts will provide the Blazers with a ton of points. The key for Lillard is knowing when to take the shot and looking for the hot hand as Portland will only win if there's a full team effort in which everyone sees the basketball.

While their season last year was very inspiring to their organization, I don't think that they have the talent to be a 47 win team. They need to add more pieces to the puzzle to be a big-time contender, therefore, my NBA pick is the under.

 

Free NBA Pick: Portland Trail Blazers Under 45.5 Wins (-117)
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

 

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