Found December 15, 2012 on
NorthWest Sports Beat:
Blazers are who we thought they were
With a quarter of the NBA season behind us, we’re looking back and recapping the biggest contributors—and disappointments—for the 10-12 Trail Blazers so far.
MVP: LaMarcus Aldridge
Despite a lack of consistent play and physicality, it’s impossible to deny Aldridge’s contributions to this team.
L.A. is averaging 21.0 points per game (first amongst Blazers), 8.2 rebounds (second), 1.3 blocks (first) and 1.0 steals (fourth). His 46.4 percent shooting is third on the team, and his 80.2 free throw percentage fourth.
Already this season, Aldridge has eight double-doubles. He’s eclipsed 30 points twice and has 10 multi-block games.
There’s been some concern about Aldridge’s physicality, as Portland has been pushed around a bit in the paint. But the L-Train continues to be Portland’s marquee player with the beginning to another big season.
ROY: Damian Lillard
There cannot be any doubt about this.
Lillard could bring the ROY back to Portland this season. (Photo: Associated Press)
Lillard is exceeding all expectations, as he’s not only Portland’s ROY so far, but the NBA’s as well. The young point guard from Weber State is averaging 18.9 points per game (second amongst Blazers, 6.4 assists (first) and 1.1 steals (third).
He’s shooting 42.6 percent on the season, including 36.6 percent from three-point range.
Rookies just aren’t supposed to be this good.
Sixth Man: Meyers Leonard
This is a tough call to make, only because everyone on Portland’s bench has played so badly.
But someone has to get the nod, and that someone is Leonard. Portland’s other rookie leads all bench players with 4.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. His 0.9 blocks per game ranks third on the team.
It’s better than nothing.
Disappointing player: Nicolas Batum
After a torrid start to the NBA season—that had many thinking he was worthy of his mega-contract signed in the offseason—Batum’s production has taken a turn.
The small forward is still posting career highs in all major stat categories, but those continue to slip as the season goes on. The reason for that is a career worst 41.6 shooting percentage, and a near career worst 35.5 percent from beyond the arc.
At 24 years old, this has to be a make-or-break season for Batum. Either he grows into the budding star he thinks he can be, or he continues to be a good—but not great—contributor. Currently, he’s receding into the latter.
Surprise player: Damian Lillard
This was a toss up between Lillard and Wesley Matthews.
But in the end Lillard is still just a rookie, and playing sensationally. The basketball world expected him to have a big impact, but this kind of production is ridiculous.
It’s unknown if Lillard can keep it up for the whole season. He’s certainly hit some cold patches, but has worked out of them fairly well. He’s emerging as a young star, and while many expected it, no one though it’d be this soon.
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AROUND THE WEB
LaMarcus Aldridge left Sunday night’s game vs. the Hornets with just 25 seconds remaining after turning his left ankle on another player’s foot. Aldridge has crutches but no protective boot on his left ankle sprain. The X-rays were negative and he says he will undergo an MRI on left ankle. “It’s hurting pretty bad, can’t really walk on it, “said Aldridge postgame.
via Ben Golliver
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR?
On Sunday night, it was the battle of the possible ROY (Rookie of the Year) as Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers faced off against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Hornets. It’s safe to say Lillard won that battle with the game winning three-pointer with 4.2 seconds remaining in the game. Needless to [...]The post Damian Lillard’s Game Winner Versus Hornets appeared...
Portland sent the home crowd away happy on Sunday night after rookie Damian Lillard nailed a three-point shot at the buzzer to give the Trail Blazers (10-12) a thrilling 95-94 victory over the visiting New Orleans Hornets (5-17). The Blazers were able to emerge victories despite getting outscored 31-20 by the Hornets in the fourth quarter.The 22-year old guardchipped in a total of...
Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard says he saw Portland's victory over San Antonio coming, and not just during the course of the game.
''I think this whole week we've been locked in as a team. It had that feel,'' Lillard said. ''Guys were excited to play.''
Lillard scored a career-high 29 points in Portland's 98-90 win over the Spurs...
For Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Thursday evening in Portland was a season-high type of night. Lillard led the Blazers to a 98-90 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in which the rookie scored 29 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished six assists.
For the Spurs, it was yet another back-to-back game on the road. With an aging core and the team still missing...
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard says he saw Portland's victory over San Antonio coming, and not just during the course of the game.
"I think this whole week we've been locked in as a team. It had that feel," Lillard said. "Guys were excited to play."
Lillard scored a career-high 29 points in Portland's 98-90 win over the...
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Rookie point guard Damian Lillard outdueled All-Star Tony Parker, and the Portland Trail Blazers held off a late San Antonio Spurs surge to win 98-90 Thursday night at the Rose Garden. Lillard collected season highs in points (29) and rebounds (seven), and he had six assists. The 6-foot-3 Weber State product shot 11-for-22 from the field and 5-for-5 from the...
Rookie guard Damian Lillard had a career-high 29 points and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the San Antonio Spurs their second straight loss with a 98-90 victory Thursday night.
The Spurs, who have lost only six games this season, trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half but Manu Ginobili's layup cut the deficit to 89-85. J.J. Hickson answered for the Blazers with...
Back to the competition
The Portland Trail Blazers have wrapped up the easy part of their early-season schedule, and they’ll be hosting the San Antonio Spurs at the Rose Garden Thursday night.
Matchup: Portland (9-12) vs. San Antonio (18-5)
Venue: Rose Garden Arena
Time: 7:30 PM PT
Date: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012
The Blazers haven’t played a true contender in weeks, and it will...
Damian Lillard‘s professional career is off to a roaring start. The rookie point guard for the Trail Blazers is the early leader for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award, averaging 18.9 points and 6.4 assists, while Hornets center Anthony Davis has battled injuries.
On the other end of Portland’s rookie spectrum is Meyers Leonard. The center out of Illinois has appeared in all...
While No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis has held his own when healthy, Damian Lillard is looking every bit like the NBA's top rookie.
As Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers try to match their best streak of the season, Davis looks to help the visiting New Orleans Hornets avoid equaling their worst Sunday night.
Selected sixth overall out of Weber State, Lillard continues...
The Portland Trail Blazers are in a much less enviable position than the San Antonio Spurs, though they played to the Southwest Division leaders' level in a tough loss last month.
Both teams may look different this time around.
Portland could be without Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews for a second straight game Thursday night when it hosts San Antonio, which is coming off...
ROY candidates face off in PDX
The Portland Trail Blazers face off against the New Orleans Hornets to conclude the weekend, and it’s safe to say that the 2012-13 Rookie of the Year will be in the Rose Garden Sunday night.
Matchup: Portland (10-12) vs. New Orleans (5-17)
Venue: Rose Garden Arena
Time: 6:00 PM PT
Date: Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012
With Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis both...