The Portland Trail Blazers are 42 games into their season, signifying the halfway point in their first campaign in the post-Damian Lillard era.
While things have been bleak, there has been some promise, which gives the Blazers a ‘C-’ for their efforts according to CBS Sports writer Sam Quinn.
The Blazers aren’t judging themselves on wins and losses this season. It’s all about the development of their young players. Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe are more or less growing as expected. There are pops of stardom out of them, but neither has proven ready to lead a team quite yet.
Perhaps part of the reason why the team’s grade is as low as it is has to do with Scoot Henderson’s slow start.
More concerning has been Scoot Henderson’s rookie year. We knew he wasn’t going to make jumpers as a rookie, but it’s borderline impossible for a player as athletic as he is to shoot 45.7% in the restricted area. To put that number in perspective, the next closest player at his volume is LaMelo Ball at 53%.
Henderson came into the league as one of the top point guard prospects in a long time, and he has a tough act to follow as Lillard’s successor, so expectations are incredibly high. There is still potential for him to come into his own, and he’ll have plenty of opportunity to do that in the second half of the season.