Trail Blazers backcourt may be a problem for the NBA

With Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in the mix, the Trail Blazers backcourt has long been considered one of the best in the NBA. Even before the latter showed up, it was at the top with Lillard and Wesley Matthews. Now, Matthews and McCollum are no longer in Portland. The Blazers star point guard is also on his way out. Though, once he’s traded the backcourt won’t be left in shambles.

  • Trail Blazers
  • Trail Blazers backcourt

In fact, that backcourt might be in better hands than it’s ever been. If you ask the fans, some will tell you that Anfernee Simons is not a point guard. Now, with Scoot Henderson he doesn’t need to be. Add in Shaedon Sharpe and you have three elite young guards who could all erupt for 30+ at any point.

Sure, it’ll be a shift in eras. The Trail Blazers and NBA fans are used to seeing Lillard wear “The Letter 0” in Portland. However, it’s not a bad shift. The Blazers now have three unselfish guards. Simons has seen an uptick in his assist totals over the last two years. Sharpe had a decent amount of assists for the amount of playing time that he received in his rookie season. Though, what assist totals don’t show is how they actually rank amongst the NBA. For both, Simons and Sharpe On-ball passing is a weakness in their game. The latter ranked in the 21st percentile this last season while the former ranked in the 51st percentile per That is where Henderson will come in handy.

Is Scoot a better passer?

The short answer is yes.

The recently drafted guard has often been compared to Russell Westbrook. As, we know he’s an elite on-ball passer. This last season he ranked in the 80th percentile, though for most of his career, he’s ranked amongst the top in the NBA. Ranking in the 90th percentile higher 10 out of the 15 years in his career. If Henderson can pass as good as that. The Trail Blazers backcourt is going to be a problem. Not in a bad way for the city, but with three elite guards they’ll be better than have been throughout the 11-year career of Lillard. That’s not meant as a diss toward Dame either. The seven-time All-Star has led the Blazers through some turbulent seasons. The breakup between the Blazers and Lillard was in sights dating back to 2015 when the Blazers lost LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez and Matthews.

The Blazers have failed to surround him with enough talent to help him get to an NBA Championship. The closest he’s been since that team split up was 2019. The year that Trail Blazers had a Lillard and McCollum backcourt paired with Jusuf Nurkic. The also had Al-Farouq Aminu, Maurice Harkless, Rodney Hood, Enes Freedom and Meyers Leonard. All of whom, were valuable role players in that season. Though, when you have role players in your starting lineup, that doesn’t win you championships plain and simple. The other thing that was missing from that lineup was another star player.

So, the trio of Henderson, Simons and Sharpe may already be off to a good start. The latter two have already played under Chauncey Billups. They’re willing to learn, as is Henderson. If the No. 3 overall pick ends up being like Westbrook with a better shot. Then the rebuild is already a success.

That trio in the backcourt for the Trail Blazers could cause problems defensively for other NBA teams.

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