The Portland Trail Blazers had a winless week to extend their losing streak to seven games. They lost all four of their games this week. However, there were slight signs of optimism despite all the losses. Three of the four came by single-digits, and the fourth was just 11 points.
There were also plenty of strong individual performances during the week from many of the key players for the Blazers. With that being said, the Blazer of the Week is Scoot Henderson.
Henderson had high expectations after being drafted third overall in the NBA Draft this past offseason. He struggled out of the gates before missing a string of games with an injury. Since his return to action, he has come off the bench instead of being slotted back into the starting lineup. That move has worked wonders for Henderson since his return, and that all culminated with his best week as a professional so far.
He averaged 17.3 points and 5.0 assists during the week, including setting a career-high in points and assists in the game against the Utah Jazz where he also recorded his first career double-double. Henderson’s ability to provide a spark with his athleticism and playmaking off the bench allowed Portland to shift the momentum as soon as the bench came in multiple times in games this week.
Although his overall shooting splits have not quite recovered from his early season struggles, Henderson shot 46.4 percent from the field over the four games this week, which included a very impressive 43.8 percent from behind the three-point arc. His ability to attack the rim also earned him 10 free throw attempts this week, which he made all of.
Henderson has shown plenty of flashes so far this season, but this week those flashes seemed to turn into more. He looked more explosive than he had at any other point this season, and his decisions with the ball are becoming better and better every game. It seems like the game is finally starting to slow down for him.
Two of the biggest knocks on Henderson early in the season were his turnovers and his fouling. While rookies, especially rookie guards, are often prone to mistakes early in their careers, the turnover and foul numbers were especially concerning. This week, however, Henderson was able to bring both of those numbers down. He averaged 2.8 fouls and turnovers per game in the four games, which are both below his season averages.
Henderson still has a long way to go into becoming who many expected him to be coming out of the draft. However, he seems like he is finally breaking through the early struggles that many rookie point guards with high expectations face. His numbers and efficiency should only go up as the season goes on.
There is one honorable mention for this week: Matisse Thybulle.
Thybulle began the week in the starting lineup, but was brought off the bench after Jerami Grant returned from injury. Thybulle’s defense has been incredibly important for the Blazers. His ability to jump passing lanes and hassle ball-handlers has led to plenty of fast break opportunities on the other end. He only averaged 5.5 points per game during the week, but it was the 1.8 steals per game that really stood out for the Blazers. He was also able to reach that number while recording just five fouls over the course of the week.
Which Blazer impressed you the most this week? Let us know in the comments.