A week into the season is a juicy time for overreactions. There’s a big enough sample size to come to some sort of quick-draw conclusions, but clearly not enough to reach an overarching verdict for the year. As far as the Portland Trail Blazers are concerned, there are plenty of, well concerns; but there are also reasons for optimism.
Some of the Blazers’ most hyped young players have struggled out of the gate, while some have exploded out of it. Some veterans have shown they know how to play winning basketball, while others have regressed from what they showed a season ago.
Blazers Twitter (X) has held a heated discussion about a certain coach, as well.
So what hyperboles can be made in the first week of November?
3 overreactions to the first 5 games of the Trail Blazers season
First: What do these overreactions mean?
They’re small sample sizes, but are they harbingers of things to come? Or are they just small blips in an 82-game marathon?
Here – at least for now – are the three most significant ones coming out of Portland.
Overreaction No. 1: Scoot Henderson will have an underwhelming rookie season
A lot of hype, questions and expectations surrounded Scoot Henderson’s NBA debut. He was the No. 3 pick in the 2023 draft, and fair or not, is viewed not only as the straw that broke the camel’s back in the Damian Lillard-Portland relationship, but as his replacement.
Regardless of how well he handled the interviews, how good he looked in summer league and all the praise he received during training camp, that’s a lot for a 19-year-old to deal with.
In his debut, Scoot scored 11 points on 5 of 11 shooting in 36 minutes. He missed all three of his 3-point tries. He had 4 assists, but he also had 4 turnovers. Not a great game, not a terrible one.
Henderson followed that with games of just 7 and 4 points, respectively. He scored 11 again in a win at Toronto, but also fouled out. Just when he seemed to be catching a stride – he had 11 points and 7 assists in only 20 minutes of action against the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 1 – he rolled his ankle and missed the remainder of The Shaedon Sharpe Game.
As the Victor Wembanyama highlights continue to roll in and No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller keeps scoring efficiently, Scoot will be pushed to the background. In hindsight, expectations were just too high.
Still, he has yet to play five full NBA games. So is the start of his career underwhelming? Sure. Will his rookie year be underwhelming? Doubtful.
Henderson still has the same strength, speed, explosiveness and basketball IQ that drove the expectations so high in the first place. Once he recovers from his ankle injury and settles in, there’s no reason to think Scoot won’t have a promising rookie campaign.