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Portland Trail Blazers preview: Predictions and evaluation for the 2022-23 NBA season

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Last season: 27-55; twenty seventh in offense, thirtieth in defenseKey additions: PF Jerami Grant, SF Gary Payton IIKey subtractions: SG Didi Louzada, SG Ben McLemore, SF CJ EllebyDraft picks: SG Shaedon Sharpe (seventh); PF Jabari Walker (57th)

So let’s cut right to the chase … is the “after” any higher than the “before”?

Within the wake of a year-plus of massive upheaval that included a latest coach, a latest general manager and mostly a latest roster, in regards to the only thing that is identical with Portland is Damian Lillard.

OK, that isn’t precisely true — a pair other players also remain from the previous Trail Blazers iteration, one that attempted to outscore individuals with a guard-oriented offense while offering themselves haughty praise about their championship aspirations.

This version of the Blazers is actually more humble, however the more relevant query is whether or not it’s any higher after taking a spot yr to rebuild.

Portland punted the tail end of its 2021-22 season in grand fashion, shutting down Lillard, Jusuf Nurkić and eventually even Anfernee Simons while storming to a 2-21 finish over its final 23 games.

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