Enes Kanter has been an excellent backup big man
The aforementioned Kanter has started the season on a tear, being there from the bench and giving the energy you want from a backup big.
There have always been concerns around Kanter’s defense, mainly when you talk about him defending in space. But Kanter’s energy and effort on the defensive end have been great to start the year. He will never protect the rim like his European counterpart Nurkic, but he has played physical defense and given great effort on that end so far.
As one of the best offensive rebounders in the league, Kanter has played clean up on many Blazers possessions this season. This has meant he has an excellent field goal percentage of 68.8 percent. He has finished strongly at the rim by overwhelming opposition bench units with his size and strength.
This was a great move by Neil Olshey to get Kanter.
CJ McCollum is playing at an All-Star level
When Houston Rockets superstar James Harden recently said that the Blazers were on his preferred list of trade destinations, it was always going to be CJ McCollum who was mentioned in trade rumors.
CJ has come out this season though, and showed that he is on an All-Star level with guys like Harden. We may never know if these trade rumors were what spurred CJ to this higher level of play, but he has been the Blazers’ best player through five games.
His defense and playmaking have been at a higher level, to go with leading the league in three-point makes at a whopping 26.
CJ already averages 28 a game, and he has changed his shot mix to include more jumpers and fewer shots at the rim, which arent his strength.
At age 29, maybe he has taken a step forward in his career in terms of overall scoring. We know that CJ is a great shotmaker, but he has yet to dominate a regular season like we have seen him do in some games in the playoffs. As his new max deal kicks in soon, it’s exciting to see him not only be more efficient, but to get more shots in the offense as he is the hot hand.
McCollum has been the best Blazer so far this season, which is a great sign for the team.
The Blazers have started the year well with a three and two record. It’s now on to a second matchup with the Warriors to see if they can continue their winnings ways.