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Blazers’ Jabari Walker Making His Mark

Jabari Walker has been playing some of his best basketball lately for the Portland Trail Blazers.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers had a successful week that saw them go 2-1 with wins over the Sacramento Kings and the San Antonio Spurs, and the lone loss also coming against the Spurs.

This week saw many different Blazers make an impact throughout the week, especially a host of role players that outperformed expectations. With that being said, this week’s Blazer of the Week is Jabari Walker.

Walker had a stellar week and was a major contributor in the two Portland wins of the week. He averaged 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game over the three games, which was highlighted by a career high 25-point performance against San Antonio in the final game of the week.

Walker has continued to impress this season after a productive rookie season. The former second round pick has been playing a key role in the Blazers’ lineup, especially as a small-ball center while Portland is dealing with injuries to other big men. His scrappiness and tenacity have proven an invaluable tool for the Blazers so far this season.

The career-high outing in points against the Spurs was not the only thing Walker did well in that contest. He also tied a career-high with six offensive rebounds. His ability to extend possessions for the Blazers was a key part in the win. He created multiple easy chance for himself on put-back attempts, as well as allowing the offense to reset with kick-outs.

With the amount of injuries facing the center rotation for Portland, Walker has been asked to play as a five more often in recent games. His ability to defend larger players at a high level has been very important for the Blazers. There have been long stretches where Walker has stayed in at center without Portland appearing to give up any size on the defensive end due to the tenacious defense that Walker plays on larger defenders.

Perhaps the most impressive part of Walker’s performance this past week has been just how efficient of a scorer he has been. His 16.0 points per game are impressive enough, but add on the fact that those points have come on 65.2 percent shooting from the field, and it becomes clear just how good he has been.

There was another performer who stood above the rest of the Blazers this week. Scoot Henderson earns an honorable mention after setting career-highs of his own.

Henderson had two double-doubles in the three games this week, and set a career-high in points in the one game he did not. In addition to a career-high in points, Henderson also recorded 11 assists and seven rebounds in games this week, both career-highs as well. After being reinserted into the starting lineup due to injuries, Henderson has impressed greatly while playing heavy minutes. The efficiency numbers are still slightly concerning, 39.0% from the field this week, but that is largely due to unsustainably poor numbers around the rim. Once Henderson begins to finish consistently, those numbers will begin to rise.

Which Blazer impressed you the most this week? Let us know in the comments.