Player News - Trail Blazers

Date: Team: Pos:

Damian Lillard said "things are starting to turn around" when asked if February was the worst shooting slump of his career.

Lillard averaged 20.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.7 triples over nine February games, so it's not like he was completely useless. However, his 26.3 percent mark from deep was not typical, and that marked the second straight month he was under 30 percent from downtown. Lillard has started March at 60 percent from behind the 3-point line, but it's worth noting he's shooting a career-low 34.4 percent from distance while averaging a career-high 7.2 attempts per game. We know he won't stop shooting them.
Mar 2 - 9:56 AM

Arron Afflalo scored just three points in 27 minutes vs. the Kings on Sunday, adding two boards, one assist, one steal and one 3-pointer.

He is averaging just 7.8 points, 1.8 boards, 1.0 assist and 1.2 3-pointers off the bench with his new team, and it's obvious that he vanished form the standard league radar as soon as he was traded from the Nuggets. Outside of deeper leagues, it's safe to cut Afflalo.
Mar 1 - 9:01 PM

Nicolas Batum shot just 1-of-6 from the field and 0-of-4 from deep on Sunday vs. the Kings, finishing with just two points, five assists, four boards and one steal in 31 minutes.

This was a pretty brutal game for Batum, but he has been much better since the All-Star break, averaging 10.2 points, 5.4 boards, 5.0 assists, 0.8 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games. Batum's owners may never forgive him after his horrific start to the season, but at least he is starting to turn things around.
Mar 1 - 8:55 PM

Damian Lillard scored a game-high 31 points in a win over the Kings on Sunday, adding seven assists, four boards, one block and three 3-pointers in 36 minutes.

This was actually Lillard's highest scoring game since he dropped 34 points against the Lakers on Jan. 11, and he has now attempted 20 or more shots in each of his last two games. As one of the league's most durable and consistent guards, he should be a top-10 fantasy asset for the rest of the way.
Mar 1 - 8:48 PM

Joel Freeland played just two minutes in his return to action against the Kings on Sunday.

He didn't have any stats, but it was great to see him back out on the court after 23 straight games on the shelf. However, Freeland won't be in the rotation in Portland unless a couple of injuries strike their frontcourt, so he can be left on the wire in almost all leagues.
Mar 1 - 8:39 PM

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points with 15 boards and two assists in Sunday's 110-99 win over the Kings.

He did go just 9-of-25 from the field and missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc, but his owners won't be complaining about this line. Aldridge is coming off a 29-point, 16-board performance vs. the Thunder on Friday, and he is going to continue to be a beast as long his troublesome thumbs don't cause him any problems.
Mar 1 - 8:35 PM

Joe Freeland (shoulder) will be active for Sunday's game vs. Sacramento.

While Freeland will finally be active after spending the past 23 games on the sidelines, there are no guarantees he actually steps onto the court, and he can be ignored in all leagues.
Mar 1 - 5:09 PM

Robin Lopez has only a 12.1 usage rate to start the second half.

He is not really involved in the offense and his main job is to just hit the glass on that end. In fact, his offensive rebounding rate (11.2) is greater than his defensive rebounding rate (9.3). Low offensive numbers aside, Lopez is still worth owning in standard leagues, averaging 7.0 points, 5.3 boards, 1.3 blocks and 0.3 steals. Plus, he was tremendous in the second half last year.
Mar 1 - 10:25 AM

Damian Lillard scored 29 points during a 115-112 win over the Thunder on Friday with three rebounds, five assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes.

He put up a bit of an under-the-radar month. In his nine February games, Lillard averaged 20.7 points, 4.4 boards, 5.3 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.7 treys on 47.1 percent from the field and 83.7 percent from the line. He actually struggled with his jumper this month, but shooting a sterling 83.7 percent at the rim carried him. The All-Star still has room for improvement.
Feb 28 - 3:04 AM

Arron Afflalo scored 18 points with two rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointers against the Thunder on Friday.

The Blazers went small tonight, which explains the uptick in minutes. Afflalo is likely only going to get minutes in the mid-20s, so it's going to be tough for him to hold value in standard leagues coming off the bench.
Feb 28 - 2:57 AM

Wesley Matthews hurt his hand on Friday and said he doesn't need an X-ray.

The injury occurred late in the game, so he didn't have to play through it. Matthews didn't play well tonight, making 2-of-13 from the field for eight points with six rebounds, three assists, three steals, one block and two 3-pointers. He should be ready to roll for the Kings on Sunday.
Feb 28 - 2:49 AM

Nicolas Batum said he feels refreshed and ready for the second half of the season after spending six days in Mexico.

Batum has been mired in a season-long slump, but said six days of vacation on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico over the All-Star Break helped him hit the rest button. "I needed that," Batum said. "Just to refresh my mind. Just to go away from the stress. Just get away." Batum has has strong back-to-back performances and has averaged 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks, and 3.0 three-pointers in those two games. If he can keep this up, he'll go a long way toward redeeming himself with fantasy owners who spent a top-35 pick on him.
Feb 26 - 1:31 PM

Wesley Matthews, who missed all seven of his shots and scored four points on Sunday, got it back on Wednesday, hitting 11-of-18 shots and four 3-pointers for 31 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in a win over the Spurs.

Yes! Arron Afflalo scored 10 points off the bench, and owners who were scared that Afflalo's presence would ruin Matthews should be feeling much better about things after this performance. And yes, he just went from a season low in scoring to a season high in back-to-back games, which is pretty hard for fantasy studs to do at this point in the season.
Feb 26 - 3:11 AM

Nicolas Batum hit 6-of-8 shots for 15 points, four rebounds, nine assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers in Wednesday's win over the Spurs.

Yes, that's the guy you thought you were drafting early last October, and it's nice that he's finally starting to show up. He's averaging 16 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 3.0 3-pointers over his last two games. Hopefully he's ready to keep the train rolling, just in time for the fantasy playoffs.
Feb 26 - 3:08 AM

LaMarcus Aldridge played through his thumb injury on Wednesday after sitting out Sunday, and had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

That's the good news. The bad news is he hit just 5-of-19 shots and now has a pair of bad thumbs to deal with the rest of the way. But as long as he's playing for the Blazers, he should be in your lineup.
Feb 26 - 3:05 AM


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