During this season the talks of the Trail Blazers bench play were based around Anfernee Simons, but things have changed drastically in that regard.
Over the last month or so, its been all Gary Trent Jr. for the Portland Trail Blazers when it comes to discussing the youth of the roster. Trent Jr. has stolen the youth spotlight from Anfernee Simons and his month of January tells you why.
For the month of January, Trent Jr. has outplayed Anfernee Simons in almost every statistic. They both played in all 15 games within the month with Trent Jr. playing 23.1 minutes per game and Simons playing 24.1.
For the month Trent Jr. shot the ball with efficiency. From beyond the arc, he shot 39 percent at a volume of nearly five attempts per night. On the other hand, Simons shot just 23 percent while only shooting 2.9 attempts per night.
They both shoot exceptionally from the free-throw line, yet Trent Jr. still won this statistic as well. For the month at the stripe, he shot exactly 90 percent.
What’s been so impressive with Trent Jr. is his ability to score the ball without turning the ball over. He’s a very reliable player with the ball in his hands and only coughed it up four times total in all 15 games played in January.
Trent Jr. had a game in the month in which he totaled 30 points on 12-for-18 shooting with five rebounds and three steals, yet none of those statistics were his most impressive.
What jumps off the page is the fact that he played 36 minutes and managed to finish the game without a single turnover.
His season-high for turnovers is only two where Simons is four. And many will say it’s due to the position they play as Simons is more of a primary ball-handler, but their assist totals for the month were extremely similar.
We love our young talent in Portland, but Gary Trent Jr. has definitely stolen the spotlight from Anfernee Simons because of his play as of late.
Trent Jr. is a perfect fit for this team as he’s an off-ball scorer. He does not need the ball in his hands to be effective and with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, you do not need another ballhandler.
Expect the linear growth to continue from Trent Jr. as he’s only getting better with every game he plays.