The Trail Blazers have jumped out to a hot start this season thanks in large part to their formidable second unit. Jason Quick of NBC Sports Northwest writes that the club’s bench is becoming one of the league’s best.
The catalyst, Quick writes, has been Evan Turner, the 28-year-old second-year Trail Blazer who’s posted 13.3 points, 3.8 boards and 4.3 assists per game. Between Turner’s production, his ability to minimize turnovers and chip in with solid defense, he’s making an early case to be included in the Sixth Man of the Year conversation.
Other player who have looked solid off the bench for the Trail Blazers include Ed Davis and Pat Connaughton. This season, 28-year-old Davis has emerged as a voracious rebounder (18.8 per-36) and Connaughton has chipped in with 10.8 points per game, including two three-pointers made per contest at a 50% clip.
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The Nuggets strike Gina Mizell of the Denver Post as the ideal landing spot for disgruntled Suns guard Eric Bledsoe. While the team has expressed a willingness to let Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamal Murray play through their mistakes, it’s understandable that they may be intrigued to make a play for Bledsoe now that he’s definitely available.
- Second-year guard Wade Baldwin signed a two-way contract with the Trail Blazers this week but the team’s official website has announced that the guard has undergone surgery and is expected to miss six weeks after tearing a ligament in his right thumb.
- The Timberwolves will need to figure out just how Gorgui Dieng fits into their plans now that they’ve revamped their roster, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune writes. After playing 32.4 minutes per game last season, the 27-year-old advanced stat darling has seen just 13.8 through five games so far in 2017/18.