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The Portland Trail Blazers have a starting lineup that could compete with virtually every team in the NBA. With a trio of sharpshooters in Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum on the perimeter, they're able to score with the best of them.
Having stat sheet stuffers in All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and rebounding machine J.J. Hickson certainly doesn't hurt, either.
Unfortunately, there is virtually nothing behind those five players. Rookie Meyers Leonard is a quality reserve at center, but the power forward position is one of many that lacks the necessary talent to win games.
As the Blazers displayed in their heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, playing without a quality second unit will do nothing, but leave the starters with dead legs at the end of the game.
Add Kenyon Martin to the mix and the Blazers suddenly have a leader of their presently weak second unit. Without him, they're looking at Jared Jeffries and Sasha Pavlovic to lead their bench players.
This one appears to be a no-brainer, does it not?
As for a statistical evaluation, Portland's interior players lack the necessary defensive tenacity to make a difference. Aldridge is more of a quality defender than an enforcer, while Hickson lacks the necessary size to alter shots.
Although Leonard can block shots, he is just a rookie. Add Martin to the mix and, despite his relatively small size, you cure a majority of the team's defensive woes.
Otherwise, they will continue to allow 100.9 points per game.