It’s Christmas weekend, Portland Trail Blazers fans! Amid our other posts, we’re going to throw in some free stocking stuffers: mini-Mailbags with questions that require only a short response! Think of them as snack-sized versions of your usual Blazer’s Edge Mailbag.
Yeah it sucks to be disappointed and I think we all are so far with the season but there are bright spots still. Here’s what I want to know. Sure we aren’t doing great by record but which player or players are you still super excited about? There has to be something. At least I think so right?
This is harder than it seems. Three players in Portland’s opening-night starting lineup have struggled with injuries, sub-par play, or both. Seriously, it’s been hard to get juiced up about Damian Lillard this year, and if Dame isn’t doing it for you, who will? Jusuf Nurkic has been playing well but he’s still finding his way...or the team is finding its way with him. Larry Nance, Jr. has had moments, but ditto for him.
I’m going to go with two players.
First, Norman Powell has made good in a tough situation. He’s playing out of position. If everybody’s healthy, he’s no better than the third option in the offense, maybe the fourth. He can defend, but at the small forward position, his natural ability gets nerfed by the height/size differential. Despite all that, Powell never gives up. He’s a constant candidate for drives to the rim. He’s plugging away at his career average for field goal percentage and setting a new career-high for three-point percentage. He’s averaging 18 points a game—pretty much as good as he’s ever done—and he’s stepped up smoothly when Portland’s guards have gotten injured. Powell may not be a blinding star like Lillard or CJ McCollum, but he’s like a favorite restaurant: always good and you’re never disappointed you went there.
Second, I can’t help my continued enamor-ation with Nassir Little. The motor is always on high and the daring set to max. He’s responded to a near-doubling of his minutes with his highest field goal percentage, plenty of rebounds, and a few amazing defensive plays. His per-minute numbers didn’t drop with the promotion either, a decent sign. If Little adds a three-pointer in the off-season (he’s currently shooting .300) I will officially heart him forever.
How about you? Who’s your most exciting Trail Blazer? Share your comments below, and don’t forget you can send in your own questions to email@example.com!