The Portland Trail Blazers stand at 12-7 after 19 games, right around the quarter pole of the 2018-19 NBA Regular Season. Their start has been full of amazing offensive performances and individual heroics, coupled with a few letdowns.
As we reach the quarter point of the season, we’re examining the best (and a tad bit of worst) so far. We’ll have articles through the day, each covering a single category. We’ll list our vote for the player who most exemplifies the category at hand. You add, augment, or disagree in the comment section.
This post covers the heart and soul of Trail Blazers so far, a category independent of statistical production. Which Blazers player exemplifies the spirit of the team, providing a base upon which teammates can build?
The departure of Ed Davis last summer left this category wide open. Into that breach stepped Al-Farouq Aminu. His stats look mediocre, but that hardly matters. He’s the pivot point around which Portland’s defense rotates. He draws the toughest opponent assignments night in and night out. He plays the same way whether he takes 10 shots or 2. He doesn’t have the flashy offensive game of a Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum, but the Blazers never have to ask or question what Aminu does bring to the table: commitment, defensive attention, rebounding, and a decent way to eat 30 minutes at the power forward spot without getting burned most nights. Younger players may step to the fore, but they’ll be stepping over, and in some ways courtesy of, Aminu’s hard work every night.
Agree? Disagree? Have at it in the comments below!