PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
2009-10 record: 50-32, 6th place in Western Conference
BRANDON ROY’s knee should be healthy, and he’ll pick up where he left off carrying the bulk of the offensive load . . . ANDRE MILLER will own the point guard spot mostly to himself this year. The 34-year-old is the same player he was five years ago . . . WESLEY MATTHEWS will compete with Nicolas Batum for the starting spot on the wing opposite Roy but probably fall short. He’ll still be a key part of the rotation . . . High-scoring combo guard JERRYD BAYLESS still needs a trade if he’s going to have significant scoring numbers . . . RUDY FERNANDEZ wanted out of Portland, but was not dealt in the offseason . . . There’s not much room for ELIOT WILLIAMS and ARMON JOHNSON. Odds.
LaMARCUS ALDRIDGE is still the No. 2 option. His defensive and rebounding loads will be lightened a bit if either Marcus Camby or Greg Oden can manage to stay healthy . . . He does a little bit of everything, and NICOLAS BATUM should take another step up this year, enough to hold off Wesley Matthews for his starting spot . . . With his shooting and ability to get to the line, LUKE BABBITT has the skills to be a 20-point scorer. With Portland’s depth though, he’s not guaranteed a rotation spot . . . DANTE CUNNINGHAM and JEFF PENDERGRAPH are capable big bodies off the bench, but neither will have a major role off the bench. Scores.
It looks like MARCUS CAMBY will get the first shot at starting, especially after a solid stint with Portland last year. He’s a non-factor on offense, but rebounds and blocks shots . . . Portland would like to see GREG ODEN claim the job after returning from his knee injury, but they can’t play their fragile big man full-time . . . After two knee surgeries, JOEL PRZYBILLA is at the bottom of the depth chart. Las Vegas odds.
Sportsbook.com Odds to Win NBA Championship: 25-to-1
2009-10 TEAM STATISTICS
Offense – 98.1 points per game (21st in the NBA)
Defense – 94.8 points per game (3rd in the NBA)