Here’s the latest Portland Trail Blazers news after Shaedon Sharpe had the best game of his career in a win against the Detroit Pistons, Anfernee Simons’ surgery was deemed successful and Scoot Henderson unfortunately left the Detroit game early with a sprained right ankle.
Scoot Henderson suffers sprained right ankle
The Trail Blazers’ Nov. 1 win against the Detroit Pistons showed what kind of team Portland can be this season when it’s at its best, but one critical component was missing.
Scoot Henderson rolled his right ankle during the third quarter, and the team announced in the fourth that he wouldn’t return. It’s awfully unfortunate timing as the 19-year-old was in the midst of the best game of his short NBA career.
Henderson has struggled to begin the season, but it looked like the game against Detroit was going to be a statement for the Blazers’ new franchise point guard literally from the opening tip when he began the game with a lob to Deandre Ayton for a dunk.
Scoot had 11 points and 7 assists in barely more than 20 minutes and, most importantly, only had 3 turnovers. The ankle injury didn’t seem serious, and hopefully it’s not, because the third-overall pick seemed to finally be turning some kind of early-career corner.
Anfernee Simons has successful surgery, return date becomes clearer
Anfernee Simons, who was expected to be Portland’s top scorer and offensive option this season, injured his thumb in the Blazers’ season-opening loss to the LA Clippers. After an MRI, it was revealed Simons suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his shooting hand. He was expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks.
Simons had surgery on his UCL on Halloween, and according to the Trail Blazers, everything went as planned.
The timeline for the 24-year-old’s return is officially six weeks, which would put him in line to, ironically, face the Clippers at home on Dec. 11 or the Utah Jazz on Dec. 14.
Shaedon Sharpe has most complete game of his NBA career
To finish on a higher note, 20-year-old Shaedon Sharpe just had his best game as a pro in the Blazers’ 110-101 win against the Detroit Pistons. After being held to just 3 points in the first half and with his team trailing by 18 points, Sharpe scored 26 in the second half to finish with 29 while rallying Portland to its second straight win.
Shaedon shot 8 of 11 over the final two quarters and bullied his way to the rim consistently – 17 of his second-half points came either at the rim or from the free-throw line.
It was the most mature Sharpe has looked at any point in his career thus far. He was comfortable probing the defense to get to his spots. He played under control. With Henderson out, he was the main ballhandler and creator at times, and he found the near-ideal balance between getting shots for himself or shots for his teammates.
His 29 points came with uber-efficiency: He shot 56.3 percent from the floor, 50 percent from three and 80 percent from the free-throw line. He grabbed 7 rebounds and had 5 assists compared to only 2 turnovers. He also had 2 blocks and a steal. He played more than 42 minutes and committed just 1 personal foul.
Sharpe played at an all-NBA level. Portland Head Coach Chauncey Billups said he envisions Shaedon becoming a Devin Booker-type scorer, and that’s exactly what this was – and maybe even better.
It’s not fair to expect this kind of performance from a 20-year-old night-in and night-out, but it’s proof Sharpe has gotten this good this quickly. Once he figures out how to do it consistently, the Blazers will come out of this rebuild with at least one legitimate NBA superstar.