FanPost

What about them?

The Trail Blazers have great season so far - they're winning, they have the best offense in the league, they have MVP/All-Stars candidates... I'm pretty sure that you've seen a great video about history of the Trail Blazers with Bill Simmons (link here), right? We can't forget our history. I don't want to go deep, I just want to go to the last season.

I'm from Europe, specifically from the Czech Republic (we gave you Jan Veselý!!). Why am I pointing this out? Because I watch European leagues a lot. I don't think that many of you guys from the USA do that too. I want to do a short analyst. Who was member of the Trail Blazers last season and plays in Europe these days? Luke Babbitt and Nolan Smith...

And please, forgive me my English. English isn’t my native language.

Nolan Smith - KK Cedevita Zagreb

PG, 6'2", 187 lbs, 25 yo (just a little reminder)

Nolan, we love Nolan. Pick number 21 in the 2011 NBA Draft averaged 2.8 points on 37% shooting (21% from beyond the arc + 71% from the foul line), 0.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 40 games he played.

This year, Nolan plays for Croatian team Cedevita Zagreb. Zagreb plays in two leagues - Eurocup and Adriatic league. And, Nolan is actually rolling. Of course, these leagues suck in terms of quality. They are nowhere near the NBA. But focus on Nolan more...

When he is on the court, he is just balling. He is also like "just survive this year and then hope that some NBA team will pick you". His defense is still bad, but why he should try hard? He is quicker than other guys and he knows when his "D" is needed, he is able to give the people what they want (you must love Jalen Rose on Grantland).

What about his stats? By the way, Eurocup is tougher league than Adriatic...

League

G

MIN

2FG%

3P%

FT%

REB

AST

STL

TO

PTS

Eurocup

10

32.0

59.4%

32.5%

76.7%

2.9

4.8

1.5

3.4

19.8

Adriatic

13

29.2

53.5%

27.8%

54.8%

1.9

3.6

1.2

3.3

14.7

Nice statistics, huh? I nearly hated Nolan when he was in Portland, but now? He still needs to work on his three-point shot and try to not turn the ball over so often. His assists number would be higher, but as you know, there is different judgment about dimes.

Nolan hasn't recorded a double-double yet or reached 30 points in one game. His maximum was 24 (7/14 FG, 3/6 3P, 7/9 FT). In 23 games, he ended in single digits only two times (he played in limited minutes).

In Eurocup, Nolan is second in field goals attempted and field goals made and also third in points. Unfortunately, he is also fifth in turnovers. His assists average is good for 15th best in the league. In Index Rating (simple coefficient of efficiency) ranks Nolan eighth.

The most important thing is that he has playing time. He can play now, make some progress and then try to get back to the NBA. But, does he want to come back?

Luke Babbitt – BC Nizhny Novgorod

SF/PF, 6'9", 216 lbs, 24 yo

Former 16th pick. Former Blazer. Former Chalupa Man. I feel old now…

Luke last year averaged 3.9 points (37/35/77), 2.2 rebounds, 0.5 assists and -44544875.545 defense (he was so bad that you can express his D in numbers) in 62 games.

This season, Luke plays for Novgorod – Russian team that plays in Eurocup and VTB United League. What can I say about Luke’s game? Shot is falling in for him, that’s good. But there is always ‘but’ – he still plays bluh defense. In Europe you are more focused on the defensive end than in the USA, but Luke evidently doesn’t care. He can’t be even a Chalupa Man – scores in Europe are so low that when you reach 100, it’s like the Bobcats beating the Kings in the Finals this year.

League

G

MIN

2FG%

3P%

FT%

REB

AST

STL

TO

PTS

Eurocup

7

14.6

43.3%

63.2%

83.3%

3.4

1.4

0.4

1.1

11.0

VTB

7

20.0

54.1%

50.0%

76.0%

3.7

1.6

0.4

2.0

13.1

Like I said, he shot is going in. I have nothing more to say about his stats. They’re just fair. Maybe just that he is first in 3-point % in Eurocup.

In one game he scored 28 points – he hit 8 out of 10 threes. But like Nolan, no double-double so far.

Luke needs to work harder. His jumpshot is sweet, but everything else is average at best. It will be tough for him to get back to the NBA...

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