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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Topics: Meyers Leonard, Mo Williams, Portland Trail Blazers, Robin Lopez

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  • blazerfan808

    B-GOLD, good points bro. It’s weird after last year, I’m just thankful we have anyone. I don’t expect us to win 65% of our games. I still rank us right underneath the timberwolves and mavs. This summer, realistically, our only options at C were Gortat, Zaza, and Dalembert. I definitely take Lopez over those 3 any day of the week. I’m pleasantly surprised by, I like seeing players that actually give a damn. He is playing hard and if we lose, he is definitely not to blame.

    I know meyers seems like wet bread, but the kid is so young. I have to keep reminding myself of how young he is. I’m not trying to make excuses for him, but I feel as though one day things are gonna click. It’ll be one defensive play here, another there. it may be in portland, it may not. I do think that we need to lower the bar of expectation though. you remember the kid who was 6′ in grade school, and everyone was encouraging him to play basketball or volleyball, but he simply did not have it. meyers development will take no less than 5 years.

    i’d still prefer him and his current skillset over guys like tyler zeller. 2015 would have been his senior year, let’s see where he is at then. if its not what we like, its not hard to move a 23 yo 7 footer. would you say he is better than thabeet?

    look at the 2012 big board. the other guys i might have considered would have been zeller, henson, ezeli, miles plumlee, sacre, o’quinn. but not at #11. i still think meyers was by far the best prospect at #11. i think he will have a better career than all of the above. the one player i wish would would have traded for was jeff taylor. i like his game. if you can’t lure a free agent C, then the only way to get one is to development. i guess this is our take.

    you are bummed on mo? haha, i knew what to expect so I was not at all surprised. I actually think he is doing good. He is a chucker, but you have to admit he adds a lot of elements to the team that ronnie price and nolan didn’t do. mo does hit shots, wild ones, but its what we are working with atm. wouldn’t kill the guy to pass to the open man though. hah

    • Brandon Goldner

      On Meyers: Yeah, I really think something’s gotta click for him mentally. He literally has a PERFECT NBA body for a center: tall, coordinated, the base of muscle which hasn’t been filled yet, can run and jump well. It’s all in his head. And I don’t buy the “he had a growth spurt and used to be a guard” excuse, because you know who else fits that description? Anthony Davis.

      On Mo, I knew what to expect too… but honestly, he’s tipped WAYYY to far over into “chucker” territory, even away from “bench heater” territory, from which you’d expect low shooting percentages… but his decision-making is bad. It’s not like he’s missing good shots… he’s missing terrible, awful shots.

      All in all, I’m pretty happy with the team, most of all with Lillard and LMA. I think we’ll be okay this year, I really do.