The Portland Trail Blazers started their week with a win over the Phoenix Suns before falling to the Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors to finish 1-2. The Suns victory was a good showing from Portland, and the Wizards game came down to the final shot of the game.
This week, and the quality of games from the Blazers, showcased some strong individual play from many Blazers. With that being said, the Blazer of the Week is the first repeat of the season: Anfernee Simons.
Simons has impressed since his return from injury earlier this month. He has proven to be a high level scorer that can be relied on for easy offense on a night-to-night basis. This week he averaged 29.7 points per game, including a season-high 41 point performance in the loss to the Wizards. He also averaged 5.3 assists during the week.
Simons has emerged as the Blazers’ go-to scorer and the leader of the offense after his injury. Jerami Grant and Malcolm Brogdon stepped up during Simons’ absence to fill the scoring void, however, Simons has proven since returning that he is still the best offensive weapon on Portland.
His massive game against the Wizards included a 22-point fourth quarter showing which almost single-handedly brought the Blazers back into the game. That quarter showcased his ability to score from all areas of the floor, especially from behind the three-point line. Simons’ ability from deep was on full display in the three games this week. He made 16 3-pointers on 47.1 percent from behind the arc in the three games.
Simons was able to function as a primary ball-handler when on the floor without Brogdon or Scoot Henderson next to him, and posted a 3.2:1 assist:turnover ratio for the week. The low turnover numbers during the week, despite being relied on as a major focus of the offense, is a very promising showing from Simons and his development as a lead guard.
This week saw a few other Blazers post impressive outings, but one stood above the rest. This week’s honorable mention is Deandre Ayton.
Ayton had a very impressive beginning to the week, especially on the boards. In the three games, Ayton averaged 12.3 rebounds per game to go along with his 17.3 points per game. He was not incredibly efficient, 43.1 percent from the field, and struggled with turnovers, 3.0 a game, but was able to contribute in many ways throughout the week. His defense in the paint has served as a strong deterrent to opponents hoping to find easy baskets in the paint, and his rebounding has helped the Blazers finish those defensive possessions.
Which Blazer impressed you the most this week? Let us know in the comments.