Three games into the resumed regular season it seems like the Trail Blazers are a lock for the 8 seed. They have gone 2-1 and have played some great basketball.
The Blazers are a team designed for the playoffs. Led by superstar Damian Lillard, everyone is realizing that the Blazers are very legit. Dame is known for hitting shots in crunch time and has averaged 27 points and 11 assists in the bubble.
CJ Mocclum has also been playing good, averaging 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists (better than regular season averages).
Additionally, Carmelo Anthony has been playing heavy minutes and been has been performing like his former All-star self, hitting a clutch shot against the Rockets to guide the Blazers to victory.
The real emergence on the Blazers has been Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic has been playing like a superstar center and has been putting up crazy numbers. He has averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals and has been a key part of the Blazers' success.
Nurkic has been a top 5 bubble center thus far and can match up against any center.
You also can't forget Gary Trent Jr. Before the bubble, most fans didn't know who he was. Now, everyone does. Trent has been shooting out of his mind, averaging 18 points on a ridiculous 60 percent three-point shooting.
Terry Stotts has been running an 8-man rotation with Trent Jr., Hassan Whiteside, and Mario Hezonja coming off the bench. This allows Mccollum and Lillard to get 40+ minutes per game and allows Nurkic and Anthony to get 30+ minutes per game.
Lillard and Mocclum have been killing it from deep, shooting 44 percent from three.
I really like the Blazers' strategy to play through their stars.
And with two great defensive players in Nurkic and Whiteside, I would think twice before going into the paint.
The Trail Blazers have been on fire and with the rise of Nurkic and Trent Jr., this team is gonna be dangerous come playoff time.