The Portland Trail Blazers went 1-3 this week, which included getting into double-digit wins for the season. After beginning the week with a loss to the Phoenix Suns and a pair of losses to the Dallas Mavericks, the Blazers were able to end the week with an overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Despite a couple ugly games during the week, there was still some aspects to be excited about. This week’s Blazer of the Week is Toumani Camara.
Camara averaged 8.3 points and 6.0 rebounds over his three games this week after he missed the contest against the Suns. Camara seemed to be a throw-in for the trade that brought Deandre Ayton to Portland, but so far he is proving to be anything but.
The 52nd pick in the 2023 draft has won a starting role with the Blazers, including starting every game he played this week. His strong defensive instincts have made him an essential player in Portland’s rotation.
Camara is able to guard almost any position, and has showcased that by being tasked with guarding a number of high-profile players. This week, he earned a chance to match up across from Mikal Bridges, and saw stints on Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Camara has earned the trust of Chauncey Billups, and every game he proves that trust is well placed.
The offensive end of the floor has proven slightly more challenging for Camara. He has struggled to shoot efficiently from both the field, and from three. This week was no exception. He shot just 36.4 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from behind the arc.
Camara has proven to be an effective enough spot-up threat from deep to force defenses to respect him. Although the shots are not always falling, like this week, his ability to make them spaces the floor for drives effectively. Anfernee Simons and Scoot Henderson have both taken advantage of the space Camara provides, and have utilized him as a shooter when his defender helps off of him.
Camara does have room to improve with the ball in his hands, which was shown by his six turnovers this week, but overall his play for a second-round rookie has been well above what could have been expected.
This week’s honorable mention is Duop Reath.
Reath only played in three games this week, and one of those was cut short by a questionable flagrant-2 that got him ejected. However, in the two he played heavy minutes in, he averaged 15.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. His ability to stretch the floor from the center position has allowed the Blazers’ offense to benefit from a lack of defenders in the paint.
Reath’s rebounding, and especially his offensive rebounding, has also helped fill the void left by Ayton’s injury. He has proven to be a diamond in the rough for Portland so far this season, and this week was a great example of what he can contribute for this team.
Which Blazer impressed you the most this week? Let us know in the comments.