Doolittle: Aldridge, Lopez, Batum And Wright Project As The NBA's 10th Best Frontcourt
Last week, Bradford Doolittle of ESPN.com projected the best backcourts in the NBA for the 2013-14 season using WARP, with Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews and Mo Williams projecting as the 10th best in the NBA
Today, Doolittle posted his projections for the NBA frontcourts
and once against the Trail Blazers, this time the lineup of LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez, Nicolas Batum and Dorell Wright, come in at No. 10.
10. Portland Trail Blazers | Combined WARP: 22.6
LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez, Dorell Wright
Not one of the above players will be as old as 29 by the end of the 2013-14 season, and other developing talents like Meyers Leonard and Thomas Robinson populate the depth chart. Lopez is not only a good defender, shot blocker and offensive rebounder, but his presence will allow Aldridge to limit his minutes in the middle. With Batum still in the process of developing into a premier wing, the Blazers' potential rivals that of other young collections of talents we've seen in Portland over the last couple of decades.
The Trail Blazers coming in at No. 10 is even more impressive that you consider they're ranked ahead, albeit very slightly, of the Houston Rockets, who added arguably the best center in the NBA this offseason in Dwight Howard. What's more, the two teams ranked immediately ahead of Portland, the Dallas Mavericks at No. 8 and the Denver Nuggets at No. 9, have projected WARPs of 23.0 and 22.9, respectively, meaning there's little-to-no difference between their projections and Portland's.
So with both the frontcourt and the backcourt being ranked 10th in their respective categories, by the transitive property we can deduce that the Trail Blazers are the 10th best team in the NBA this season, no?
(As an aside, I still have some reservations about Doolittle's WARP projections, esepcailly when the Pacers' frontcourt featuring Roy Hibbert, David West and Danny Granger are projected at No. 12 and the Grizzlies' frontcourt with Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Tayshaun Prince don't even garner a mention. But hey, No. 10!)