Portland Trail Blazers: One statistic to define each frontcourt starter’s 2019-20 season

Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Portland Trail Blazers’ starting frontcourt in 2019-20 looks a lot different than last season’s West Finals version. All things considered, they’ve produced well. Here’s one statistic to define their respective seasons.

As some great historian probably once famously said: “It’s amazing how much can change in 365 days.” A year-and-a-week ago, the Portland Trail Blazers were heading into their sixth consecutive year with postseason success on their minds, and they were as unheralded and overlooked as ever.

Portland’s undersized star backcourt stood as the faces of the franchise, but just like every grade school picture day, they had some giant reinforcements behind them. A frontcourt of Jusuf Nurkic and Al-Farouq Aminu once held the fort then. By the time Portland reached its pinnacle, Enes Kanter and Zach Collins were among the most used on that front line.

One year later, we sit here, and Portland’s hopes of a seventh straight Playoff appearance will lie heavily on the fates of Hassan Whiteside and Carmelo Anthony. If you had said that at the time of Portland’s Western Conference Finals appearance last spring, you’d have been booed off of every stage you stood on.

Few expected this much of a turnover; last season, Portland got 3,605 frontcourt minutes out of Collins and Nurkic. This year, they’ve gotten only 86 out of Collins. Portland would’ve been able to perhaps survive it if it hadn’t let pluggable, new era “bigs” like Aminu, Harkless and Meyers Leonard (5,542 combined minutes for the Portland Trail Blazers last season) walk this free agency.

But, all things considered, Portland has managed to survive admirably in the wake of another injury-riddled season, and two players we’ll discuss today are key reasons for that. Here, let’s take a look at one statistic to define each of their seasons to this point. For those interested, here’s a look at the first installment, which looked into one statistic for each backcourt starter.