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Blazers season preview: How does Portland stack up?

How many games will the Blazers win? Where will they finish in the West? Which team will win the NBA championship? Which player will be named MVP?
Credit: AP
Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield, left, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Before the start of each NBA season, KGW's 3-on-3 Blazers podcast crew gets together to make their best guesses about how the upcoming season will unfold.

Here's what we do know. The upcoming NBA season will be unique, played in the midst of a raging pandemic that received a boost of hope this week as health care workers across the country began receiving the first COVID-19 vaccinations. Because of the pandemic, fans won't be allowed to attend games in most NBA cities. 

Because of the shortened 2019-20 NBA season and a postseason played in the bubble in Florida, teams on the court will be acclimating to a pandemic and lack of fans while also dealing with either the shortest or longest offseason any of these players have ever experienced. While the NBA champion Lakers wrapped up their season just over two months ago, it's been more than nine months since the Warriors and other teams that weren't invited to the bubble have played a game.

It should be interesting. And it should be fun.

On to the predictions! Here's a look at this week's podcast questions. Listen in to hear the answers.

  1. The Blazers won 35 games last year and squeaked into the playoffs with the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. How will the Blazers fare this season? How many wins? Do they make the playoffs? If so, what seed? Who else makes the playoffs in the Western Conference?
  2. This is a two-part question. Which Blazers player do you think will exceed expectations this season? Which Blazers player do you think won’t live up to expectations this season?
  3. Championship and awards time! Which team hoists the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the year? Who wins the MVP, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player and Sixth Man of the Year awards?

LISTEN: KGW's 3-on-3 Blazers Podcast

CHIME IN! If you have a question about the Blazers that you'd like us to answer on the next podcast, email us at 3on3blazers@gmail.com or tweet your questions to Orlando SanchezNate HansonJared Cowley or Max Barr.