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Defense Key for Jake Layman to Earn Playing Time

NBC Sports Northwest’s Dwight Jaynes details how Layman is taking his defense seriously.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers-Media Day Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Entering his third season with the Trail Blazers, forward Jake Layman knows what kind of opportunity he has. And Layman knows his best chance of getting significant playing time will be improving his defense, he told Dwight Jaynes of NBC Sports Northwest:

“I say all the time, the No. 1 thing I need to do to get out on the floor is be able to guard people.”

Prior to the start of the season, GM Neil Olshey raved about the potential and ability Layman showed over the offseason. Averaging about 14.8 MPG in the preseason so far, the coaching staff is rewarding Layman for his performance:

“He’s another guy who has played well,” Coach Terry Stotts said Tuesday after practice. “He had a good summer league, a good September and a good camp. One of the benefits of Mo (Harkless) not playing has been he’s had a chance to play with the starters and it freed up some minutes for some other guys.”

Although Layman’s 3-point percentage is still is a work in progress, his improvement as a cutter and defender will likely be the biggest determining factor of the role he plays this season:

“I think the coach has more confidence in me and that’s all about defense,” Layman said. ”It doesn’t have anything to do with offense, it’s all about defense.”

You can read more about Layman’s defensive focus here.

Editor’s note: Thank you to Blazer’s Edge contributor Kody Tarbell for this write-up.