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Trendon Watford on Debut: ‘I feel like I played solid’

The Summer League Championship MVP gives Portland another frontcourt option.

NBA: Preseason-Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers forward Trendon Watford made his season debut against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday, having missed the team’s first eight games with a strained hip flexor. He played 16 minutes, supplying nine points and four rebounds for Portland.

In a piece by Aaron Fentress for The Oregonian, Watford talked about how it wasn’t a perfect outing, but he’s quickly getting his feel back.

“I was a little winded,” Watford said. “But I sort of picked it up towards the end, like just getting my feel back and trying to be the playmaker that I am and rebound, and just a lot of different things. But I feel like I played solid in my first game back.”

Watford initially suffered the injury during training camp and re-aggravated it in preseason. This showing bodes well for the Trail Blazers, who generally lack size and depth in the frontcourt. Watford and his 6’8 frame provide a little of both.

Last season, Watford played in 48 contests and averaged just over 18 minutes per game. Portland is glad to have him back, as is head coach Chauncey Billups.

“I was happy to see him out there,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “Just to see him get some reps out there, you know, handle the ball.”

While Watford is not expected to be a huge impact player, his availability is one more piece in place for Portland at the fringe.