Lase season, the Blazers were done in by two things in the post-season; first, they were not physical enough and second, when they absolutely had to score they could not do so.
So as this pre-season gets rolling, they have several questions to answer. Will LaMarcus Aldridge turn into the dominating defender that showed up in flashes? Will Travis Outlaw find a home as a back-up power forward? Will the Greg Oden Portland drafted return or will we still see the walking wounded coming back from micro-fracture surgery?
Obviously there are more questions, but there is a mantra that you hear over and over from good teams.
"There is only so much you can learn from pre-season".
There are things you can learn, however. Here are some examples.
Oden spins on Spencer Hawes, leaves him searching for his jock strap, and throws down a thunderous jam. Now, deep in the regular season, you will still be excited, but it is in pre-season you learn to suppress the "YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssss!" scream accompanied by a double fist pump.
It can be quite awkward trying to explain you truly are thrilled by the opportunity to step up and do more than your share due to the staff reductions just announced that you missed because you had a radio headphone discreetly tucked into your ear.
So pre-season is a good time to get your surreptitious listening skills fine-tuned.