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Portland Trail Blazers Stock Watch: Rallying on the Road

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Who stepped up and who stepped back in the Trail Blazers Stock Watch?

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

A return to the previous format by popular demand, this week we look at five Portland Trail Blazers players that either stepped up or stepped back.

Stats are reflected from Monday, March 9th to Sunday, March 15th

Damian Lillard

Last Week: 24-48 (50%) shooting, 8-20 (40%) threes, 11 rebounds, 22 assists, 7 turnovers

Stock Watch: UP

It was only a matter of time before Lillard got his shot going again. While his three point shot is still getting its kinks ironed out (5-for-7 night against Detroit notwithstanding), his rate of drives to the hoop have shot up, resulting in 13 of his field goals from last week coming from within five feet of the hoop. This comes from the Portland offensive scheme, which pulls opposing bigs from the lane, allowing Lillard to shoot through the gaps right to the hoop. The side effect is the drive-and-dish, where Lillard is finding open three point shooters when the outside closes on him in the lane. He has at least five assists in each of his last five games.

Arron Afflalo

Last Week: 12-36 (33%) shooting, 7-17 (41.1%) threes, 10 rebounds, 1 steal, 5 turnovers

Stock Watch: SLIGHTLY DOWN

While most of Afflalo made the trip from Denver to Portland, it seems the shooting guard left his signature mid-range jumper in the Rockies. Afflalo is normally lethal in the 10-20 foot range, but went a staggering 0-for-11 from that range against Toronto on Sunday and Houston on Wednesday. His three point shooting made up for that in a big way, but Portland needs his mid-range shot to fall consistently. Houston also managed to lure Afflalo into some bad fouls by taking advantage of his intense man-to-man defensive style.

Nicolas Batum

Last Week: 11-22 (50%) shooting, 5-9 threes, 21 rebounds, 20 assists, 6 turnovers

Stock Watch: UP

It seems the news of surgery for Wesley Matthews was what it took to awaken the Batum bear from its winter hibernation. Batum did a lot of everything last week, carrying the team with a near triple-double against Houston, and racking up a 10 point, 12 assist, 3 steal line against Toronto. He is shooting 49% from the field in the month of March, and has five games of over 50% shooting in his last seven contests. The turnovers continue to be an issue (he is still averaging 2 per game) with many of the turnovers coming on risky passes. While the "high risk, high reward" passes can generate some good scoring opportunities, Batum is betting on black and hitting red too many times for comfort.

CJ McCollum

Last Week: 6-17 (35.2%) shooting, 2-5 threes, 8 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers in 46 minutes

Stock Watch: SLIGHTLY DOWN

The entire week last week is the story of the two sides of CJ McCollum. Against Toronto, he fired a beautiful pass to Lillard to setup a Batum three, and his three point shot was working like a charm. On defense, he fell for Lou Williams' trap and gave him three free throws (to be fair, Steve Blake did too). Detroit was a house of horrors, with the Pistons running Jodie Meeks off screens to make McCollum chase him all over the court. The result was Meeks scoring 14 points, almost all of them at CJ's expense. On the offensive end against the Pistons, McCollum forced several poor shots without looking for a pass, resulting in a 2-for-9 shooting night. His offensive game continues to improve, with his passing eye getting better every week. His defense leaves a lot to be desired, and teams are starting to scheme to take advantage.

Dorell Wright

Last Week: 6-10 shooting, 2-6 threes, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 turnover in 38 minutes

Stock Watch: SLIGHTLY UP

Cannot be unhappy with a 60% shooting week.  Wright was perfect from the field against Toronto, including two of the baskets in the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach.  He also snared some tough rebounds and recorded a couple steals against Detroit, on a night where Portland was out-rebounding the dangerous Detroit duo of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.  Whether Wright comes in in relief of Nicolas Batum or LaMarcus Aldridge, his performance has been steady, and a boost for the Blazers.