The Portland Trail Blazers’ young core has been on display recently with all of the injuries to the starting lineup. Specifically, Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little were recently highlighted for their defensive play by Bball-Index.
Updated top 10 players in our Off-Ball Chaser Defense metric:— BBall Index (@The_BBall_Index) January 14, 2022
1. Luguentz Dort
2. Gary Harris
3. Kenrich Williams
4. Landry Shamet
5. Desmond Bane
6. Matisse Thybulle
7. De'Andre Hunter
8. Nassir Little
9. Isaac Okoro
10. Austin Rivers
Nassir Little was ranked as the eighth best at chasing off-ball shooters around screens making him one of the most elite at recovering after being the victim of an off-ball screen.
Top 5 players in our Ball Handler Screen Defense metric:— BBall Index (@The_BBall_Index) January 17, 2022
1. Jrue Holiday
2. Lonzo Ball
3. Anfernee Simons
4. Dejounte Murray
5. Mikal Bridges
This metric analyzes defense of ball screens with an eye towards suppression and disruption of the action by the ball handler's defender
Anfernee Simons is ranked as the third best defender against ball-handler screens this season.
The Blazers are currently 29th in the league in defensive rating. Having two young players showing growth on the defensive end in the midst of career seasons is very promising for the future of the organization as the defense continues to evolve.
Both Simons and Little are currently averaging career highs in points assists and rebounds per game, with Little also averaging a career high in steals and blocks per game.