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Blazers’ Scoot Henderson Making Strides

Scoot Henderson is playing some of his best basketball now for the Portland Trail Blazers.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers played four games this week against three of the top teams in the NBA. They managed to go 2-2, picking up wins over the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks while losing a pair of games against the Denver Nuggets.

Throughout the week, there was a clear top performer. This week’s Blazer of the week was Scoot Henderson, who had one of the best weeks of his career.

Henderson averaged 20.3 points during the week, including an efficient 30-point game against the Nuggets. His efficiency took a hit in the final game of the week where he shot 3 of 16 from the field, but he was able to tally nine assists and a career-high eight rebounds in the game to make up for the poor shooting performance.

For the first time in his young NBA career, Henderson was able to record back-to-back games shooting above 50 percent from the field in the games against the 76ers and Bucks. He then made it three-straight games with the first game against the Nuggets. His efficiency has been a major area of struggle for him early in his career, and this was the first week all season where he looked comfortable getting his shots in the flow of the offense and not feeling like he had to force anything.

Henderson also turned the ball over just 2.3 times per game, well below his season average. He did that while averaging 4.8 assists per game. His assist-to-turnover ratio has begun to increase throughout the season after his early struggles with taking care of the ball. While he still makes some careless mistakes, which is to be expected from a rookie point guard, his decision making has improved greatly so far.

Coming into this season, a major part of Henderson’s game that seemed to need improvement was his outside shot. In recent weeks he has improved his shot from behind the arc, and that improvement came to a head this week. He shot 47.4 percent from three during the week, and made 28 of his 29 attempts from the free throw line.

The incredibly low efficiency from the field to start the year seemed unsustainable, but to have it completely flip on its head in one week was not expected either. The massive jump in efficiency also coincided with one of, if not his best, week as a pro. If Henderson can continue this upward trajectory, his growth to end the season could be more than most expected.

This week’s honorable mention is Anfernee Simons.

Simons averaged 23.5 points and 6.0 assists during the week while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from 3-point range. His efficiency was a large part of the Blazers’ wins over Philadelphia and Milwaukee. His ability to create shots down the stretch of close games is something that has been on full display this season, and he was able to showcase it in the biggest game of the season. He made a game-winning floater in the final minute of the game against the Bucks to give Portland the win.

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