ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com NBA & Trail Blazers Insider
Tualatin, Ore. -- There'sbeen much talk about the lack of production coming off of thePortland Trail Blazers' bench. Through four games, the bench iscurrently sitting dead-last in scoring (12.8 ppg).
TrailBlazers head coach Terry Stotts has made light of the bench playsaying their play hasn't hurt the team.
Aftershootaround today, general manager Neil Olshey was asked about whathe thought of the minutes his reserves have been giving them up tothis point.
Ithink it's a reality that the bench play hasn't played well,Olshey said. We don't have that go-to guy that can come in off thebench and get you 20 a night and that's a reality. So we're trying toto do it in the aggregate.
TheTrail Blazers are 2-2 thanks to the awesome play of the starters. Allfive of them are averaging double-digits in points and four out ofthe five are averaging 15 or more points a game. Playersburning out due to such a huge workload is a concern and Olshey saysthat he's hopeful the bench will pick up their play, but if not,he'll have to look at making some moves.
Ithink it's something we're hoping to address internally, Olsheysaid. We brought over guys like Victor Claver and Joel Freeland.We have a rookie like Will Barton who we're really high on in termsof his upside and we have solid veterans like Sasha Pavlovic,Ronnie Price, and Jared Jeffries.
Weexpect Nolan to kind of kick it into gear here a little bit...I'drather solve it internally where guys step up that are bench-leveltype players. Guys like Luke Babbitt. But if not, it is somethingwe'll try to address at the trade deadline going forward and if not,it'll be something with our cap flexibility and draft picks thissummer, we'll make a move there.
Theevaluation process is still ongoing with only four games into theseason. Olshey says typically with veteran teams, it takes him about20 games or so to gauge what a team is all about and says he needs alittle more time for a young team.
He'llhave a little over three months until the trade deadline to seewhere this team is at and that will be more than enough time to figure out if this teams needs a lift or not.
Long-time Trail Blazers fanbooster Larry Mueller passed away of a heart attack last week. He and his wife, Georgia, have been attending Trail Blazers' games on the regular at home and on the road for many years.
In honor of Larry, the Trail Blazers will hold a photo montage on the jumbo-tron between the first and second quarter of tonight's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.