It is Tuesday again, and that means Week 5 of the Stock Watch! Which players stepped up last week? Which players stepped back?
Stats are reflected from Monday, November 24th through Sunday, November 30th
Last Week: 27-44 (61.3%) shooting, 19-31 (61.2%) 3pt shooting, 25.7 ppg
Stock Watch: INTO ORBIT
If you have to ask which way Matthews' stock is going, re-watch the games against Charlotte, Memphis, and Minnesota. Baking soda dumped in water wrapped in a damp blanket and placed in a vacuum-sealed chamber wouldn't have put out his fire.
Last Week: 14-43 (32.5%) shooting, 3-4 free throws, 24 rebounds, 16 assists, 8 turnovers
Stock Watch: DOWN
One has to wonder exactly how much Batum's recent knee injury is affecting him. He said in interviews last week that his knee is not giving him the same lift as he had at the beginning of the season. That helps explain why a career 34% three-point shooter is currently shooting 24% from behind the arc, including 1-of-21 from three last week. Batum scored in single digits just three times in his final 19 games last season, finishing the year averaging 15.2 points per game. He currently sits at 8.9 for this season, and has scored single digits in three of his last six games, and six of the eleven games he has played thus far. Batum has been a consistent player for his entire Blazers career, so a return to form is only a matter of time, but his output has been frustrating so far.
Last Week: 14-34 (41.1%) shooting, 9-9 free throws, 32 rebounds, 12 blocks, 7 turnovers
Stock Watch: NO CHANGE
Lopez has cooled a bit from his red-hot start to the 2014-2015 season, but his shot blocking numbers are still astronomically high. His 1.76 blocks per game currently places him 9th in the NBA, one spot ahead of his brother, Brook. Unfortunately, the only game this week he did not record a block was against Memphis, where his counterparts Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph neutralized Lopez's effectiveness in the block by hitting outside shots. Lopez is a much better defender when he can stuff shots near the hoop, and forcing him away from the rim has proven successful for Portland's opponents. With that said, Lopez is still playing defense at a high level, and a large part of Portland's defensive resurgence.
Last Week: 7-15 (46.7%) shooting, 0-0 free throws, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 turnovers in 63 minutes
Stock Watch: UP
With the void off the bench left by the injury to CJ McCollum, Crabbe has been the additional scorer for the second unit the Blazers needed. He performed well in relief of Batum during Nicolas's injury, and that has continued for Portland. He shot 6-of-12 from three last week, including two first-half threes versus Minnesota that rallied the Blazers. His +16 defensive rating versus Minnesota led all Blazers, and his defense has improved significantly from last season. The second-year guard out of California is proving to be a valuable asset off the bench.
Last Week: 2-17 (11.7%) shooting, 2-4 free throws, 22 assists, 3 steals, 4 turnovers in 88 minutes
Stock Watch: NO CHANGE
The veteran leader of the second unit did everything right last week... except shooting. He reduced his turnovers, doled out a team-leading 8 assists versus Philadelphia, and played effective though not spectacular defense. The issue is that his defenders in the games versus Minnesota and Memphis simply left him alone at points, daring him to shoot. Blake is a career 40% shooter, so the 32% he is currently at is not likely to last. Once Blake finds his shot again, the Blazers second unit will be even more dangerous than it is now.
Last Week: 8-15 (53.3%) shooting, 1-1 free throws, 19 rebounds, 0 blocks, 3 turnovers in 48 minutes
Stock Watch: UP
"The British Bulldog" had quite a week, scoring a season-high nine points in one half versus Philadelphia, recorded the only positive defensive rating versus Memphis with a +6, and finished the week with a strong six point six rebound performance against Minnesota. Both Freeland and Kaman have been hitting their mid-range shots when they are unable to get to the rim, and it has been a boost to the Blazers bench scoring. Freeland seems to have cemented his role off the bench with Kaman over Thomas Robinson and Meyers Leonard.