The Portland Trail Blazers field two of the NBA’s best guards in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. When those incomparable starters rest, the Blazers are reduced to thoughts and prayers. Over the past few seasons, the Blazers have called upon Shabazz Napier, Allen Crabbe, Tim Quarterman, and Tim Frazier to fill the reserve guard gap. None of them have fit the bill for long; none remain with the team.
In the Summer of 2018, Portland motioned formerly-injured Dallas Mavericks guard Seth Curry to the plate. He’ll be the latest to take a swing, but according to Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report, not necessarily an adequate solution. In an article detailing “1 Thing” that each NBA team failed to do this summer, Fromal dinged the Blazers for not bringing in more backcourt help.
Of the marriage between Curry and the Blazers, he writes:
Maybe he rekindles the Dallas magic. Maybe he’s unable to find his rhythm after fighting back from injury. That uncertainty doesn’t play well when he’s joined by Wade Baldwin IV (disappointing during his brief NBA career), Nik Stauskas (disappointing during his brief NBA career), Gary Trent Jr. (a second-round rookie) and Anfernee Simons (a rookie who hasn’t played above the high school level) as the primary backups to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
The starting guards remain the lifeblood of the Blazers organization, and the team falls apart without either of them on the floor. That occurred for 254 minutes last year, and Portland was outscored by 3.3 points per 100 possessions, per PBPStats.com.
If that doesn’t change, the Blazers will have trouble moving any higher up the Western Conference standings.
Fromal has more on Curry, plus shortcomings in the plans of all 29 other NBA franchises. Observations range from the Miami Heat failing to resolve the Hassan Whiteside situation to the Chicago Bulls’ utter lack of playmaking to the Los Angeles Lakers failing to surround LeBron James with shooters.