The Portland Trail Blazers drafted Scoot Henderson with the No. 3 overall pick this summer and traded for Malcolm Brogdon after a chain reaction that saw the franchise move on from Damian Lillard. And yet, in the eighth game of the season, it was Skylar Mays playing 37 hard-fought minutes for the Blazers.
After injuries to Henderson and Brogdon, Mays heard his number called and made the most of it. He scored 18 points and dished out 11 assists in Wednesday’s loss against the Sacramento Kings.
“I just try to be ready to go,” Mays said. “Obviously we wish Malcolm was out there playing. We would have loved to have him out there um but you know I just tried to fill in and and do what I do.”
Mays was ready for his opportunity, and if Brogdon and Henderson were to remain out for a significant period of time, it appears that Chauncey Billups has full trust and confidence in the fourth-year pro from LSU.
“Sky was incredible,” Billups said. “I just love the way he plays, he’s got smarts, he’s very crafty, he’s a big shot maker, he’s just tough. ... I was proud of Sky, he played amazing.”
One of the unique parts about Portland’s rebuild is players like Mays getting an opportunity. Yes, injuries are a big part of it, but it’s endearing to see players being given a chance when they otherwise may not see one. Sometimes they play like they have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and that is the case with Mays.