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Turnovers, Miscues Define a Tough Week for the Blazers

The Trail Blazers finished 1-2 this week, but Team Mom still found some favorites along the way.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Minnesota Timberwolves Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, Tara Bowen-Biggs (Team Mom) highlights her favorites plays, players and other things that made the Trail Blazers fun to watch. Who is Mom’s Favorite this week? Did anyone get put in the dog house? What were your favorite things this week? Let us know in the comments below.

Week 4: November 11-17. Boston Celtics (W), Los Angeles Lakers (L), Minnesota Timberwolves (L)

Mom’s Favorite: Zach Collins

The Trail Blazers committed 54 total turnovers this week. That sloppiness ranked Portland as the second-most turnover prone team in the NBA over that stretch. The Blazers’ turnovers led to a generous 61 points off turnovers for their opponents, which was in the bottom five of the league over that stretch.

In their win against Boston, the Trail Blazers committed a season high 21 turnovers. Turnovers in the Boston and Minnesota games led to a combined 45 points off turnovers. That total ranks as the most any Trail Blazers opponents have scored off of turnovers this season.

This wasn’t an easy week to pick a favorite. It was painful to watch all of those turnovers. Due to that, the player whose turnovers did the least amount of damage received this week’s Mom’s Favorite.

The rotation players who committed the fewest turnovers this week were Meyers Leonard (2) and Zach Collins (3). Per 100 possessions, the players who took the best care of the ball were Al-Farouq Aminu (2.0), Zach Collins (2.3) and Meyers Leonard (2.3). We can try to determine whose turnovers had the least impact by seeing how many points opponents scored off of their turnovers. Of the previously mentioned players, Zach Collins’ turnovers led to the fewest opponent points.

This is an imperfect methodology, as it unfairly eliminates the ball handlers who naturally commit the most turnovers. In order for the team to continue to improve and seriously contend for home court advantage in the Western Conference, I believe the role players must get better in the margins. Role players like Collins need to be reliable offensively, but they also need to learn how to not give it all back by letting the opponents capitalize on mistakes. Despite struggles from his teammates, Collins took care of the ball this week.

Honorable mentions

Shout out to Jake Layman for making the most of his increased playing time. In 15 minutes per game this season he is shooting 55 percent from the field including 46.5 percent from beyond the arc. Not only is he shooting well from outside, he is also shooting 72 percent from within 5 feet of the rim. Gotta get those free throws up though, buddy (3-6 on the season)!

Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard are developing a fun-to-watch chemistry on the floor, including no-look, behind-the-back passes. While Turner completes more passes to Collins than he does to Leonard, the ET-Hammer connection is something I enjoy watching each game.

C.J. McCollum and his brother Errick helped provide Thanksgiving dinner to 200 families in Ohio this week.

Al-Farouq A-photo of the week — Another moment perfectly captured by Trail Blazers photographer Bruce Ely.

What is better than watching NBC Sports Northwest reporter Jamie Hudson and sideline reporter Brooke Olzendam covering the Trail Blazers? Listening to the two of them together on Hudson’s The Scoop Podcast.

Finally, Baby Dame was captured on the runway coming to work with his dad wearing adorable tiny adidas.

In the dog house

While the game was delayed on Sunday vs the Celtics, Nik Stauskas joined the broadcast crew for a play-by-play description of an arena employee leveling the basket. Coach Terry Stotts reminded them all that there was still a game to be played. The broadcast crew probably belongs in the doghouse for this one but to be honest, it was a pretty fun way to pass the time. How does the saying go... it’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask for permission?

That’s it for this edition of Mom’s Favorites. What were your favorite things this week? Let us know in the comments below.