NBA Portland Trail Blazers 2020 Season Analysis

NBA Portland Trail Blazers 2020 Season Analysis

Written by on March 20, 2020

The Portland Trail Blazers reached the Western Conference Finals last season, but took a big step back this year for a few reasons – including injuries. One of the West’s biggest disappointments for sure. The Blazers were 29-37 before the NBA season was postponed. Here’s an overview of their season. Here’s an overview of the Portland Trail Blazers 2020 season so far with NBA Odds and NBA Championship Odds.

NBA Portland Trail Blazers 2020 Season Analysis

Portland Trail Blazers Team Analysis

Portland has one of the NBA’s best backcourts in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, but they are thin up front and that’s a big reason why the team has underachieved. Top center Jusuf Nurkic was hurt late last season and hadn’t played yet this season – but was expected to debut on March 15 so that’s a cruel irony with the season being suspended.

On March 25, 2019, the Trail Blazers were engaged in a brutal double-overtime game at home against the Brooklyn Nets. With under three minutes remaining in the game, Nurkic fell to the ground, his lower left leg twisted at an unnatural angle. Nurkic suffered compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula, similar to an injury suffered by Paul George in 2014 when he was playing for the Pacers.

The skilled 7-footer averaged 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 blocks while shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 77.3 percent from the free-throw line last season. Nurkic had 36 double-doubles and one triple-double in 2018-19.

The Blazers also have dealt with serious injuries to Zach Collins and Rodney Hood this year. Collins dislocated his shoulder in the third quarter of a game in Dallas on Oct. 27. He had surgery and was set to miss four months; in theory, if the season resumes he should be ready.  The 21-year-old averaged 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in three games.

Hood suffered a torn Achilles in early December vs. the Lakers that ended his season. Hood was having one the best seasons of his career, averaging 11.5 points per game while shooting 49% on 3-pointers, third-best in the NBA.

Portland Trail Blazers Key Numbers & Key Players

Portland is 4-0 this season when four players score 20-plus points. It last happened on March 10 when Lillard (25 points), (22 points), Trevor Ariza (22 points) and Carmelo Anthony (21 points) all hit the mark.

Lillard shot 3-of-5 from 30 feet or further against at the Suns on March 10. For the season, Lillard is shooting 43.0% on those shots (49-of-114). His 49 three-pointers from 30 feet or further lead the NBA. Lillard ranks fourth in the NBA in three-pointers made (226). His 226 three-pointers are the fourth-most in a season in franchise history. He needs 12 three-pointers to break his own franchise record for three-pointers in a season (237, 2018-19).

Lillard scored at least 20 points in 23 straight games from Jan. 3-March 6, representing the longest streak of his career and the fourth-longest streak in franchise history. Lillard has scored at least 20 points 50 times this season, which is tied for the second-most in the NBA. His seven games with 40-plus points this season are tied for the fourth-most in the NBA and are tied for the most by a Portland player in a season in team history (Clyde Drexler, 1988-89).

Finally, Lillard averaged 48.8 points (54.8% FG, 57.0% 3-PT, 92.3% FT), 7.2 rebounds and 10.2 assists over the six games from Jan. 20 to Feb. 1. He totaled 293 points in that six-game span, which is tied for the third-most points in a six-game span since the NBA/ABA merger ahead of the 1976-77 season. Lillard is one of six players in NBA history with multiple career games of 60-plus points and is one of 10 players in NBA history with nine or more games of 50-plus points.

Lillard is fifth in the NBA in scoring (28.9) and ranks sixth in the league in assists (7.8). McCollum ranks 18th in the league in scoring (22.5). Hassan Whiteside ranks second in the league in rebounds (14.2), is first in blocks (3.07) and is sixth in field goal percentage (61.8%).

Whiteside is riding a streak of 14 straight double-doubles. His 51 double-doubles are the second-most in the NBA this season and the fourth-most in a season in Trail Blazers history (54, Mychal Thompson, 1981-82). His 14 double-doubles in a row are tied for the third-longest streak in franchise history (34, Bill Walton, 1976-77).

Portland Trail Blazers Playoffs panorama and Championship Odds

If the playoffs started today, the Blazers would not be in the field. Portland, which is 3.5 games behind No. 8 Memphis in the West, is a +20000 long shot to win an NBA title.