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GM Olshey Bolsters Trail Blazers’ Bench
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On August 25, 2013 @ 9:58 am In Headlines,NBA Headlines | No Comments
Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey had a busy summer, to say the least.
In a July press conference introducing the team’s 2013 offseason acquisitions, he essentially said his goal was to take the core of the team, as constructed, and fill in the gaps to make a competitive roster heading into next season.
Olshey’s first order of business? Find a starting center. Robin Lopez will play that role this year, and he showed last season that he can be a consistent contributor. If he plays as well or better than he did last year, Lopez can provide starter minutes at the center position and not be a detriment to the team on either end of the floor.
Dorell Wright provides accurate three-point shooting off the bench and capable defense, while Mo Williams brings scoring punch and a veteran presence to the backcourt. C.J. McCollum, Meyers Leonard and Thomas Robinson will likely garner the bulk of the remaining bench minutes, while Will Barton, Joel Freeland, Victor Claver, Allen Crabbe and Earl Watson will likely play sporadically and situationally, barring major hits to the depth chart. There is no question that the talent level off the bench rose dramatically compared to last season.
Considering the pool of available players this summer, Olshey efficiently assembled a roster — on paper, of course — that could compete for a playoff spot next spring. Whether or not this roster can make any noise in the postseason is a discussion for another day, but the Blazers should be capable of playing with any team on any given night. If coach Terry Stotts can successfully work Portland’s newly-acquired talent into his free-flowing offense, this incarnation of the roster has the potential to be one of the NBA’s more entertaining young teams heading into 2014.
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