Player Previews 2018-19 Austin Caudle

Updated: Oct 18, 2018

Damian Lillard

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2017-2018 Stats (Per Game)

GP: 73

MINS: 36.6

PTS: 26.9

REB: 4.5

AST: 6.6

STL: 1.1

BLK: 0.4

FG: 43.9%

FT: 91.6%

3PT: 36.1%

2017-2018 Season Review

Damian Lillard has been one of the elite guards in the league for about 4 years now and last season he didn’t make us think any different. Lillard did more last season than he had an previous. He worked on his defense (and will continue to do so), his playmaking ability grew, started shooting deeper 3’s, found more ways to attack the rim, and included his teammates more. In all, we saw our star just getting better and better. We watched Dame drop 50 points in 29 minutes, have more double-doubles than ever, and do his normal clutch/game winning plays.

While he did struggle pretty badly in the playoffs this past season but don’t expect that to continue, that was a rare sighting.

2018-2019 Season Expectations

Lillard seems to be more and more ready for the season every year, so why should we expect this year to be any different? Be ready for him to go into the season hungry and ready to prove not only himself but the Blazers are not to be messed with. You should expect a rise in points per game and possibly a higher assist per game. All Blazer fans should be eager for his defense to get better, and it’s more likely than not that it has. Dame will have the same role as he has had the past 3 years as the leader and his minutes will stay about the same.

Evan Turner

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2017-2018 Stats (Per Game)

GP: 79

MINS: 25.7

PTS: 8.2

REB: 3.1

AST: 2.2

STL: 0.6

BLK: 0.4

FG: 44.7%

FT: 85.0%

3PT: 31.8%

2017-2018 Season Review

Turner was either a 6th man or starting small forward for Portland last season. He was never really able to establish a starting spot because of his play style. Turner was able to come into the game, slow it down, control the ball, play better on ball defense than other guards, and be the ball handler when Dame or CJ were not in the game. Evan had a pretty normal year, nothing super crazy or nice. He showed little spurts of scoring ability, as well as his well known ability to pass the ball.

2018-2019 Season Expectations

With Layman’s development and the signing of Stauskas and Curry, Turner could see his minutes go down by a little bit. Depending on how Harkless heals and the two new guys perform, we could see only short stints of ET. Turner is a veteran in the NBA now so we don’t really expect much to change in his game. Expect a very similar year as last year from Turner.

Jusuf Nurkic

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2017-2018 Stats (Per Game)

GP: 79

MINS: 26.4

PTS: 14.3

REB: 9.0

AST: 1.8

STL: 0.8

BLK: 1.4

FG: 50.5%

FT: 63.0%

3PT: N/A

2017-2018 Season Review

Nurkic had his first full season as a Blazer after getting traded from the Nuggets for Mason Plumlee. When he first arrived, we all had Nurk Fever and had super high expectations for the next season. Nurkic didn’t disappoint, but he definitely did not meet expectations. Nurkic made the Blazers defense marketably better due to his presence in the paint, which made guards take more perimeter shots and made it harder for opposing teams big men to get deep position into the paint. The 7’1 beast didn’t shoot much from the mid-range or further, but when he did it looked good. He has a very nice soft touch around the rim, and very talented in the pick and roll as the roll man.

2018-2019 Season Expectations

If the preseason has been a tell of the future, then that means we will see a more aggressive, strong, and 3-point shooting Nurkic. Expect Nurkic to be put on more pick and pops this year and bring the pick and roll further out among the perimeter. I hope that we see Jusuf DUNK more often. There is no reason why his defense would get worse, so the shot blocking should only get better. Nurk will be playing a huge roll on this team. With Ed Davis gone, he will be more of a guidance guy for Zach, Meyers, and Caleb. Overall, expect to see a lot more from Nurkic than you saw last season.

Anfernee Simons

Oregonian photo by Sean Meagher

2017-2018 Stats (Per Game): NOT AVAILABLE

2017-2018 Season Review

There is not much information about Anfernee Simons before the Blazers drafted him in the 2018 NBA Draft. During his high school years, he attended Edgewater High School in Orlando for his first two years of high school, but after a year at the prestigious Montverde Academy, he decided to come back to Edgewater for his senior season of high school.

Simons, a 5 star prospect, was originally committed to Louisville, but backed out after news of the 2015 sex scandal came to light. He instead attended IMG Academy. After his prep year ended, he decided not to attend a university and entered into the NBA draft, where he was selected with the 24th pick.

2018-2019 Season Expectations

Anfernee is not shy of competition because of him playing pro ball before coming to the NBA. He may not have the most “NBA ready” body, but his dribble moves are quick, he’s crafty near the basket, and he has the determination to get better. He played pretty well with the Blazers Summer League Championship team, but will most likely spend most of his time on the bench and learning behind our talented guards. Simons has a very bright future, but this year probably isn’t his year.

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