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Chauncey Billups: Shaedon Sharpe is ‘Playing the Right Way’

The Trail Blazers still field one would-be star. Their coach appreciates it.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Another night, another blowout, and another edition of the Shaedon Sharpe Show. On Friday night the Portland Trail Blazers lost an additional game to the Sacramento Kings, 138-114, but head coach Chauncey Billups continues to give the rookie guard free rein to make plays and make mistakes as the season winds down.

With the addition of Skylar Mays to the roster, Sharpe was able to focus on scoring over facilitation, dumping in 27 points – three points shy of his career high. It’s become crystal clear that, while still green, Sharpe has the talent to be a coveted asset for this team.

After the game, Billups was asked about Sharpe’s mistakes and whether or not they are as frequent as they used to be. He responded fairly, while stressing that Sharpe is still learning.

(The mistakes) are still there but not as much. I think that has a lot to do with just kind of how I handled him the whole year. There were times that it was tough on Shae, you know, where he would come in and mess up three times, I’d take him out and wouldn’t play him the second half to teach him, to show him. And the next game he would do better and he’d earn a little bit more. Now, obviously, he’s out there and we’re playing through him and we’re just letting him kind of do his thing, and most nights his shot selection is pretty good, man. To have the kind of freedom that we’re giving him right now, it’s pretty good. He’s playing the right way; he passes when two people are on him for the most part, he’s attacking the basket and putting pressure on the rim. He’s figuring it out, man. I’ve been proud of him, I’ve been happy for him but, defensively, he’s having less lapses of what we call those ‘Aha’ moments, where it’s like, ‘Oh.’ He’s having less of those. So yeah, he’s coming along.

This makes six consecutive starts for Sharpe, who has averaged 24.3 points per game while shooting 44.0 percent from deep over that stretch. He will likely continue to start for the remainder of the season, as star guard Damian Lillard will be held out for Portland to tank.

Tune in for Sharpe’s next performance Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. (PDT) against the Minnesota Timberwolves.