Player Previews 2018-19- James Fraley

Updated: Oct 18, 2018

Al-Farouq Aminu

Sam Forencich/NBAE

2017-2018 Stats (Per Game)

GP: 69

MINS: 30.0

PTS: 9.3

REB: 7.6

AST: 1.2

STL: 1.1

BLK: 0.6

FG: 39.5%

FT: 73.8%

3PT: 36.9%

2017-2018 Season Review

Aminu proved to be consistent in his inconsistency for Coach Stotts last season, but not due to lack of effort. Aminu found himself playing a mix of three positions last season, all of which asking very different things of him. Aminu has always been the Blazers' Swiss Army knife due to his unique skill set and toughness. In three seasons with Portland, his numbers are virtually identical across all statistical categories. Opposing teams have also learned to adapt to Aminu's defensive liabilities when he's on the floor. Never was this more evident than in this year's first-round sweep at the hands of New Orleans. The Pelicans exploited Aminu with Anthony Davis when the Blazers went small, and then extended him out at the hands of Nikola Mirotic when they would go big. For every hair pull inducing full court dribbling display Aminu provided us last season, he also hit some big shots when we need them. Chief didn't shoot us into many games last season, but he certainly didn't shoot us out of many either.

2018-2019 Season Expectations

If statistics are any evidence, then more of the same. In order for the Blazers to take the next step in the Western Conference, the time has come for coach Stotts to solidify the roles of players like Aminu. In doing this, we should see the best version of the 28-year-old. Effort will never be an issue for Chief, but misplaced effort could be. With the departure of Ed Davis, look for Aminu to find his primary home at the power forward position. His ability to extend the floor will hopefully cause opponents to sit their more dominating counterparts in favor for quicker defenders, which should be to Portland's benefit. I think we all can agree however that the Blazers will need their Swiss Army knife come playoff time!

Meyers Leonard

Tribune Photos- David Blair

2017-2018 Stats (Per Game)

GP: 33

MINS: 7.7

PTS: 3.4

REB: 2.1

AST: 0.5

STL: 0.2

BLK: 0.0

FG: 59%

FT: 81.8%

3PT: 42.3%

2017-2018 Season Review

In short, we didn't see much from Meyers last season. Heading into his seventh season, Leonard is still looking for his footing not only in the league, but also his team. The 2017-18 season marked a career low in minutes as well as lows in most statistical categories per game. In 253 minutes last season Meyers didn't record a single blocked shot from the power forward/center position. When Meyers WAS on the floor, it was an uphill battle on determining where he fit in coach Stotts’ system. Sadly, Meyers can be effective when he's put into the right spots, but the makeup of last season's roster was not conducive to him meeting his potential.

2018-2019 Season Expectations

Unless Zach Collins regresses, Meyers could be looking at more of the same minutes wise. In order to make a presence on this team, he will need to make up for what Portland lost in the offseason when they lost Ed Davis. Davis provided an instant spark on both ends of the floor and was a rebounding machine in crunch time. Meyers needs to make more of this spark and less of the DeMarcus Cousins statement foul mark. If he can keep his emotions in check on the defensive end, it will keep him in games. Offensively, Meyers is efficient enough to make what little shots he sees meaningful, but he needs to be on the floor to get them. Look for Meyers to commit to smarter defense this season and really look to grow as a passer. If he could mimic the production and distribution skills of a Mason Plumlee (in a lesser role), he would be a valuable asset for a team looking to take the next step in the Western Conference.

Jake Layman

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

2017-2018 Stats (Per Game)

GP: 35

MINS: 4.6

PTS: 1.0

REB: 0.5

AST: 0.3

STL: 0.2

BLK: 0.1

FG: 29.8%

FT: 66.7%

3PT: 20.0%

2017-2018 Season Review

Last year we saw Jake Layman do the last thing you want to see out of a guy that provided very little his rookie campaign: regress. Jake saw a decline across all statistical categories last season. Not good news for a guy shooting 29.8% from the field. The more concerning piece here is the fact that most of Jake's playing time came in garbage minutes, where the defense isn't exactly All-NBA caliber. Jake hasn't proven able to maximize his size advantage at the small forward position and hasn't shown the strength at the power forward position. When Jake was on the floor, typically with "The Closers", he looked to be comfortable moving through the offensive sets which makes his situation all that more perplexing. We witnessed "flashes" throughout the season when he would attack the hoop for a rim-rattling slam or a soar to an effortless fast-break layup. The potential and gifts are in the Layman package, but we have yet to see it fully on display.

2018-2019 Season Expectations

Jake should get an opportunity to run with the second unit at the small forward position this season. If lineups have Evan Turner in it, it could also be an opportunity for Jake to spread the floor at the power forward position. Regardless of the position, he will have to maximize his efficiency in order to sustain a spot on this roster. With low shooting percentages in all areas thus far in his career, it's important that the evolution of Layman begins with getting in the right positions on the floor and taking the best shots. Yes, he can jump out of the building and provide a boost on a fast break, but if he can't find a way to translate that into meaningful minutes, his tenure in Portland might be short-lived.

If you enjoy the content you are reading, please become a member on this site.

Follow Blazer Gang on Social Media

Twitter: @Blazer_Gang

Instagram: officialblazergang

Follow me on Twitter: @_nambreezy_

29 views0 comments