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Portland Trail Blazers: Whose Fortunes are Rising, Whose Falling?

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A look at five Trail Blazers whose stock rose or fell in Week 2 of the season.

Robin Lopez with a two-handed jam versus Dallas last Thursday
Robin Lopez with a two-handed jam versus Dallas last Thursday
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Stock Watch feature at Blazer's Edge. Every Tuesday, we will be looking at the five Trail Blazers players whose fortunes rose or fell in the previous week, letting you know what happened and which way they're trending.

LaMarcus Aldridge

Last Week: 36-99 (36.3%) shooting, 13-15 free throws, 30 rebounds, 1 block, 5 turnovers

Stock Watch: UP

Through the first two weeks of the season, Aldridge continues to be Portland's most consistent player. Only three players in the NBA average six or more shots between 15 and 19 feet: Kobe Bryant, DeMar DeRozan, and Aldridge. Aldridge leads them all with a 46.8% shooting percentage. Only 8 players average 5 or more shots per game from 20-24 feet. Aldridge ranks second among with a 47.1 percent shooting percentage.

Against Denver on Sunday, Damian Lillard tied a career-low with nine shots taken (with six of them hoisted in a near panic in the fourth) as the Nuggets continually rotated players to force him to pass. In response Aldridge played exactly as he always does, drained his mid-range shots, and the Blazers got the win.

Robin Lopez

Last Week: 23-39 (58.9%) shooting, 12-15 free throws, 30 rebounds, 8 blocks, 5 turnovers

Stock Watch: UP

Raise your hand if you predicted that Robin Lopez would be eighth in the entire league in blocked shots. Now put your hand down, you are lying.

Lopez was credited with 3 blocked shots against the Nuggets. It could be argued that he should have had as many as 5, which would have left him 5th in the league. The early sample size is small, but Lopez is currently averaging more blocks than Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler and Serge Ibaka.

Even better for Portland, Lopez is shooting 50% from 15-19 feet, and has yet to miss a shot from 10-14 feet. When teams force centers away from the hoop, it usually spells doom. For Lopez, it has actually made him better.

Chris Kaman

Last Week: 16-24 shooting, 5-8 free throws, 27 rebounds, 7 blocks, 8 turnovers in 72 minutes

Stock Watch: UP

Speaking of blocked shots, Kaman was a man possessed against Denver with 5 swats. Surprisingly, his career-high is a positively insane 9 against the then New Jersey Nets back in 2008 when Kaman served with the Clippers. He's is currently 22nd in the league in blocked shots. Only 1 player in the top 22 has played fewer minutes (Gorgui Dieng of the Timberwolves).

On the offensive end, Kaman is showing why he was an All-Star with the Clippers, averaging 11 points per game over the last three games. Not sure if anyone predicted him for possible Sixth Man of the Year contention, but they should be taking notice now.

Steve Blake

Last Week: 6-14 shooting, 0-0 free throws, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal, 7 turnovers in 82 minutes

Stock Watch: DOWN

Though Trail Blazers fans rose out of their seats in a standing ovation after the 174-pound Blake put the human anger machine known as Kenneth Faried on his behind, his overall performance last week was less than optimal.

Blake's game against Denver showed the reason General Manager Neil Olshey brought him back to Portland for a third go-round: 3-of-3 from three-point range, 4 assists, energy and fire in vast quantities. The previous game in Los Angles was a polar opposite. He shot 0-for-4 from the field, 0-for-3 from three, had just 1 assist, committed 3 fouls, and had 2 turnovers. Over the week he traded great games (Denver, Dallas) with below average ones (Los Angeles, Cleveland).

As a reserve point guard tasked with managing the offense, Blake needs to get those turnovers down. He is currently averaging almost 2 a game.

Will Barton

Last Week: 2-14 shooting, 0-2 free throws, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers in 38 minutes

Stock Watch: DOWN

Yikes. After a high-energy start of the year, Barton saw the lion's share of the minutes as the backup for Nicolas Batum. He responded with a 14.2% shooting percentage, and a -1.3 Player Impact rating.. Now with Batum primed to miss at least one game with an injury, Barton will need to step up his level of play.