PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oddsmakers and pundits haven't been too kind to the Portland Trail Blazers leading up to the 2017-18 season.
The Blazers are mired somewhere in the middle of an unforgiving Western Conference, and most experts have pegged Portland as a team that will finish barely over .500. Even those projections have been too rich for some. The Ringer's Bill Simmons thought the Blazers' over-under of 42.5 wins was too high.
"It feels like a 41-41 season to me," he said. "I don't think they have enough shooting other than the two guards. ... I don't like the mix of people they have around them. I don't see them winning more than 41, not in the West."
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But who cares what they think. It's the fans that know best, right? That was our thinking Sunday night when we asked the our loyal KGW audience to put on their pundit hats and make their best predictions.
We posted polls on Facebook and Twitter and asked you to predict how many wins the Blazers would have. The Facebook poll received more than 1,100 votes and the poll on Twitter garnered another 400 or so.
The answer was clear.
The majority of you (more than 40 percent in both polls) believe the Blazers will win between 45 and 49 games this season. Here's how it breaks down.
- Fewer than 40 wins: 16 percent
- Between 40 and 44 wins: 20 percent
- Between 45 and 49 wins: 41 percent
- More than 50 wins: 22 percent
- Fewer than 40 wins: 15 percent
- Between 40 and 44 wins: 22 percent
- Between 45 and 49 wins: 40 percent
- More than 50 wins: 23 percent
The #Blazers start their season Wednesday. Most projections say 41-44 wins. How many games do you think the Blazers will win this season?— KGW News (@KGWNews) October 16, 2017
Many commenters, like Jesse Lanyon and Thomas Gross, expressed a tone of cautious optimism, sharing their belief that if Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic stays healthy, the Blazers will be better than most pundits say.
Others, like Jeremy Mortensen, were even more optimistic, expressing confidence that the Blazers would win everything: the NBA championship, all the NBA awards, even the U.S. presidency. We think Jeremy's comment was probably a little tongue in cheek, but only Jeremy knows for sure!
Some, like Dwayne O. Nowlin, were more pessimistic, saying that because other teams in the West got better during the offseason while the Blazers remained stagnant, Portland is doomed to fail.
Exercises like these are just for fun. Nobody really knows how good (or bad) the Blazers will be this season. NBA seasons are too unpredictable. We'll all have fun finding out, though.
Jared Cowley is a digital producer at KGW. Follow him on Twitter here.
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