Ziller: Aldridge, Blazers are out of excuses to not make postseason

SB Nation NBA writer Tom Ziller says that the Trail Blazers and LaMarcus have no excuses to miss the playoffs this season.

Among other things, Ziller says you can make the case that the Trail Blazers had the strongest offseason in the NBA because Neil Olshey plugged holes in the roster “without losing anything of value.”

I trust that Kevin Love has long been jealous of Aldridge, possibly simply because Love is from Oregon, and also because Aldridge has always had more help. Minnesota had an interesting offseason, too. But if I’m Love, I’m wondering why all of Minnesota’s needs weren’t addressed like this. And yes, I’d be jealous.

So now the Blazers just have to pull it off, and by it, I mean a playoff berth. Portland wasn’t far off last season, in the mix until fairly late in the season. But the West is really tough, and it will continue to be so. The Blazers need to leap two teams just to get into the No. 9 slot and three to qualify for the playoffs. Have Olshey’s moves made Portland better than three of theMavericksJazzLakers and Nuggets? It’s possible, especially considering the damage that Utah and L.A. took in the offseason, and that Dallas continues to rely on an older superstar and not a whole lot else. (Hello,Monta Ellis!) The Nuggets kept most of their talent, except star defenderAndre Iguodala, but lost its coach and entire front office, so who knows what’s next out there for Denver.

Read the full post here.

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on ESPN.com's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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