Originally posted on Oregon Sports News  |  Last updated 2/6/13
It is well known that what separates the Portland Trail Blazers from being a bona fide playoff contending team and a pretending playoff team is their bench. What is disheartening is that their bench is home to a number of their recent first round draft choices. One of those former first round picks is point guard Nolan Smith, the Blazers 21st selection from Duke in the 2011 NBA Draft. Over the course of last season and for most of this season, Smith has been a disappointment. The 2011-12 season was a debacle for all Blazers involved. It was expected that in a lockout shortened year in which Nate McMillan, the Blazers’ head coach, was fired, it would be hard for any rookie to find a groove. The hope was that Smith would battle this year’s first round pick Damian Lillard for the starting point guard spot. Obviously Lillard left Smith at the starting line. But not only did Smith not push Lillard for the starting spot, he hasn’t played well enough to deserve back up minutes. H...
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