NBA

Trail Blazers hire sports scientist away from NHL team

PORTLAND, OR - JULY 9:General Manager Neil Olshey of the Portland Trail Blazers introduces Portland's 2012 NBA Draft picks Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard, and Will Barton at a press conference on July 9, 2012 at the Portland Children's Museum in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

PORTLAND, OR - JULY 9:General Manager Neil Olshey of the Portland Trail Blazers introduces Portland's 2012 NBA Draft picks Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard, and Will Barton at a press conference on July 9, 2012 at the Portland Children's Museum in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Portland Trail Blazers are a forward-thinking organization.

They use analytics to guide their decision-making process and, for the most part, are intelligent and thoughtful. News that they've hired a sports scientist shouldn't surprise anyone.

What's interesting is where they hired him from.

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After losing LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez and Wes Matthews over the summer, no team will fall faster and further than Portland this season. But front office hires like this one really show they're willing to think outside the box, and are serious about gaining whatever edge they can on the long climb back to contention.