As the Blazers prepare to battle the Warriors later today, NBA observers are praising Portland GM Neil Olshey, who has quietly built a roster perfectly suited to beat teams who are missing their star player.
The Blazers won their first round series with Los Angeles, after the Clippers lost point guard Chris Paul to injury, and now feel they have a legitimate shot at knocking off the defending champion Warriors, who will be without Steph Curry for much or all of the series. And that, NBA analysts say, is no accident.
“Olshey picked every player on that roster because he’d be a key piece in beating a team hobbled by the unexpected loss of their central playmaker,” said one veteran scout. “The smart, forward-thinking front offices take advantage of market inefficiencies.”
Analysts said they could envision the Blazers beating the Durant-less Thunder, the No-LeBron Cavs, and even the Spurs if Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Danny Green, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan get hurt.