One player that has really impressed me in the bubble has been Portland two guard Gary Trent Jr. Coming out of college, Trent was a player I really liked at Duke but I wasn’t exactly sure just how good he was. I’m a Duke guy but he almost reminded me of a version of Quinn Cook. The only difference was, Trent was a true Freshman when he declared for the NBA so there was plenty of room to grow. Gary Trent Jr has rapidly become an elite sharp shooter for the Blazers.
Trent Jr, 21, has NBA blood lines. His father, Gary Trent, also interestingly enough started his NBA career with Portland. The eldest Trent was more of a role player in the NBA. Oddly enough, Gary Trent shot 8 percent from 3 during his NBA career. The apple fell very far from the tree.
For the most part, Trent Jr has come off the bench for Portland and just been a floor spacer that can hit an open shot. Since the NBA restart, Trent Jr is a different guy. He’s a grown NBA player now that doesn’t mess around. Give him an inch and he will stick a 3 right in your face. In 4 games down in Orlando, Trent Jr is killing people.
7/31/20 vs Memphis: 26 minutes, 5-8 shooting, 17 points, +20
8/2/20 vs Boston: 34 minuets, 7-12 shooting, 21 points, +8
8/4/20 vs Houston: 35 minutes, 5-11 shooting, 16 points, +7
8/6/20 vs Denver: 36 minutes, 10-15 shooting, 27 points, +19
The minutes keep going up because Portland knows they need him on the floor. His plus-minus mark has been significantly better compared to when he’s off the floor. Trent Jr has a plus minus of +64 in 4 games. The Blazers point differential is +19 with a record of 3-1. I’m not sure Portland wins any of the games without Trent Jr.
The craziest part is Trent is shooting 21-35 from 3-point range. The guy is splashing everything. This isn’t a fluke. Trent not only looks like he belongs but his shot is pretty. It’s not like his shooting motion is one that won’t last.
If you haven’t watched the Blazers yet since the restart, I encourage you to do so. They’re going to be a tough out. Jusuf Nurkic has changed their outlook but don’t forget about Gary Trent Jr. His development has given the Blazers another elite shooter. Portland is a PROBLEM.