Ed. note: Stats are reflected from Monday, January 26th through Sunday, February 1st. Ryan wrote this prior to yesterday's game, but due to unforeseen circumstances we're posting it today.
Last Week: 16-58 (27.5%) shooting, 5-29 (17.2%) threes, 25 assists, 11 rebounds, 13 turnovers
Stock Watch: WAY DOWN
An excellent reason why the Trail Blazers were swept on their road trip has been Lillard's play over the last several games. He has not shot over 40% in a game in his last eight games. His longest streak before this was a four game stretch in November of his rookie season. His shooting percentage over his last six games (30.1%) is the worst six game stretch of his career by a healthy margin. Before this, his worst six game shooting percentage was a 33.6% pace from February 10th to February 24th of the 2013-2014 season. Unsurprisingly, Portland lost five of those six games too. Lillard is now tied for 52nd in the NBA in three point shooting percentage at 35.3% on the season. Of the Top 15 players in the NBA in three point shots made, Lillard had the worst shooting percentage over his past five games. Second worst was Kyle Lowry at 17.6%. Trevor Ariza was third at 28.3%.
Last Week: 35-65 (53.8%) shooting, 19-19 free throws, 35 rebounds, 3 blocks, 6 turnovers
Stock Watch: WAY UP
Despite playing with torn ligaments in his non-shooting thumb, Aldridge has seemingly gotten even better since postponing his surgery. He missed two free throws in the entire month of January. He added three more double-doubles this week to increase his total to 23 on the season, the tenth most in the NBA. He also played in fewer games than seven of the nine players ahead of him. He even shot over 50% from three for the month. In his duel with Kyrie Irving last Wednesday, Aldridge scored 40% of Portland's total points. He made one more field goal by himself (14) than the rest of the starting lineup did combined (13). Despite his superhuman efforts, Aldridge cannot win games entirely by himself. The rest of the team will need to support him again for Portland to succeed.
Last Week: 8-16 (50%) shooting, 2-4 free throws, 23 rebounds, 1 block, 2 turnovers
Stock Watch: NO CHANGE
Kaman came off the bench Saturday versus Milwaukee in an effort to use his scoring strength as an asset off the bench. Meyers Leonard started the game, and ended up playing just seven minutes. Yet Kaman only played ten, as coach Terry Stotts went with Aldridge at center much of the night and an expanded role for Thomas Robinson and Dorell Wright. The crux of the Kaman issue is rebounding, and second-chance points. When the outside shooters are not hitting their threes, as has been the case over the last ten games, Kaman and Aldridge need to be able to get offensive rebounds. Kaman has been struggling to seize control of the offensive glass.
Last Week: 3-9 (33%) shooting, 2-6 threes, 9 assists, 0 steals, 2 turnovers in 45 minutes
Stock Watch: DOWN
As Portland tried to fight out of their recent funk, Blake played his fewest minutes of the season last week. Against Atlanta on Friday, he had a strong eight point, seven assist night, committing only one turnover against a Hawks team that was forcing takeaways left and right. The issue lies in the other two games, where Blake combined for 23 minutes, two points on 1-of-5 shooting, two assists, a turnover, and a -16 rating. Blake is not counted on as a scorer. He is the one who sets up the offense for the bench unit. So only two assists in two games combined last week is troubling, especially when it comes with poor shooting.
Last Week: 4-12 (33%) shooting, 0-2 threes, 1 assist, 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers in 38 minutes
Stock Watch: DOWN
Not long ago, the Blazers were treated to a Will Barton that had become a better perimeter defender. Tragically that Barton vanished last week. Wednesday against Cleveland, Barton came into the game in the second quarter, scoring two quick baskets, followed by turning the ball over twice just as quickly. Versus Milwaukee, his -7 rating was actually a -13, as he was among the cleanup crew at the end of the game when it was out of reach. While his defense did not regress dramatically, it also comes with a 33% shooting percentage for the second straight week. Barton led Conference USA in rebounding in his last year at Memphis, and the Blazers desperately needed rebounding last week. Yet Barton grabbed just six boards in 28 minutes, often allowing opposing offensive rebounds as he sprinted back to try and fast break (dunk).