3 Takeaways From the Blazers/Rockets Game

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Nov 1, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard (11) stretches before the start of the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Meyers Leonard: Mental blockage supreme with a side of tentativeness. Does this guy realize he’s 7’1” with a decent frame? Obviously not, because on defense he’s as clueless as that uncoordinated tall kid on your middle school team. Offense is a different story, at least from what we can tell from summer league, preseason, and the one meaningful game he played on Tuesday. From those 3 samples (summer, preseason, regular) he’s shooting over 50%, and his shot looks good, even if he is hesitant to take it.

But defense is where the Blazers need him to contribute, and while I understand you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole, it seems to a lot of people (myself included) that all he really needs to do is stand in the paint, rotate when appropriate, keep his hands up, and be willing to absorb some contact. Unfortunately, he seems incapable of even that, but it’s not for lack of coordination or athletic ability. All one can assume, then, is that Leonard’s woes are mental, and those can be tough knots to loosen. Let’s hope that the coming weeks and months bring with them some epiphany or series of epiphanies that allow him to reach his potential… or at least get him moving in that direction.

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