Trail Blazers Summer League: Individual Performance Analysis - Part Two

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Meyers Leonard

Dec 18, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard (11) against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Trail Blazers 120-109. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Center
Points per game: 6.7
Rebounds per game: 3.7
Assists per game: 1.0
Steals per game: 0.7
Blocks per game: 1.0
Turnovers per game: 0.3
Personal Fouls per game: 5.0
Minutes Played per game: 27.7
Field Goal Percentage: 42.9%
Three-point Percentage: 50.0%
Free Throw Percentage: 50.0%

With Meyers Leonard, we kick off the Trail Blazers’ underwhelming Summer League performers, though he was not without his merits. Leonard looked virtually no different than he did in the 2013-2014 season. He mildly stretched the floor on offense, but was a defensive liability. It has only been two months since the Trail Blazers’ season came to a grinding halt against the Spurs, so I don’t think anyone truthfully expected a massive leap from the soon-to-be third year big man. Not yet anyway.

Leonard was not nearly as aggressive as I would have liked to see, though. That is one aspect of the game that should be within his control since it has little to do with some of the technical skills that are still a work in progress. Corralling rebounds didn’t seem to register as urgent business. That is alright for Summer League as long as someone on the team gets the board, but I expect a little more effort from a highly athletic, 7’1” center.

However; it was nice to see that his defensive awareness is coming along. He is still struggling on the whole, but his positioning and timing while defending the pick-and-roll are both improved. I cannot say the same for his individual defense. By all accounts, Leonard remains a project at this point. It would be surprising to see him find consistent rotation minutes in the upcoming season, but any accelerated improvement would be useful in case the 32 year old Chris Kaman gets injured.

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