The lack of talent in Portland seems to be less of a factor this year than in recent years with the acquisition of Gerald Wallace at the trade deadline. Throw in a developing perennial scorer, a veteran point-guard and a healthy Marcus Camby, the Blazers seem to match up well with the defending champions.
Health, however, is always an issue, especially for the Blazers. Brandon Roy’s knees (absent the meniscus) have slowed the former NBA Rookie of the Year and three-time NBA All-Star. Without the incredible play from wings Wesley Matthews (16.2 PPG) and Batum (12.2 PPG), the Blazers would be looking to fight out of the dungeon of the Western Conference with the terrible Timberwolves and on-the-move Kings.
Let’s, for a second, assume Roy will have enough rest to see glimpses of the all-NBA player he’s capable of being and Camby comes off of his day-to-day status with an ankle injury at full strength. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a position-by-position breakdown of the Blazers’ and Lakers’ starting five and the never-forgotten, all-important bench:
Next: Positional Breakdown