With the 2012-13 NBA regular season now in the rear view mirror, it proved to be one the Portland Trail Blazers hope they can put behind them and move forward with winning seasons in the future. I had low expectations for this team going into the season. But I’ll be honest: I was pleasantly surprised with how the season played out. With the exception of the big stumble to the finish line, the Blazers played, for the most part, competitive basketball for a majority of the season.
With the regular season on ice for almost a week, I will aim to avoid saying all the things that have already been said about this past year. What has been revealed over the course of the past few months is that the Blazers have some very good pieces, lacking however in depth and bench. I know, that probably has been said repeatedly over the past week.
The positives from this season are that Neil Olshey did a great job in the 2012 draft, and they have players on this team with a scrappy mentality and heart.
Over the course of the past few seasons, the Blazers have done miserable in the draft. They also have done a poor job of manning the general manager position. So to have, who appears to be a good GM, in Olshey is very much a plus.
A team playing with heart was not something that could be said for the Blazers the past two seasons. To have a team that repeatedly played until the final tick came off the clock was refreshing. Despite the fact that the effort put forth didn’t always translate into victories for the Blazers.
I feel much more comfortable going into this offseason and ultimately next year knowing the Blazers have stability in their leadership and solid pieces to build around. I trust that Olshey will bring in legitimate talent with the number 10 spot in the draft. I also feel confident Olshey will find a way to bring a center on board and deepen the bench.
Will this allow the Blazers to contend next season for a championship? That remains to be seen. But I, like Nicolas Batum, who recently stated the Blazers could contend for the fifth spot in the playoffs next year, believe the Blazers will in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. And that gives me something to look forward to.
Patrick Hughes is on Twitter. Follow him at @phughespdxsport