It's time for another Blazers Outsiders Blog and this time around Blazers Outsider Chris Burkhardt answers the question - Who will fill in for the injured Seth Curry?
Seth Curry hurt his knee in the Blazers loss to the Lakers on Wednesday, and it was announced today that he will miss time due to a right patellar bone bruise. How the question is, who will fill the void with Curry gone? Curry has averaged 17.1 minutes per game this season, so it may be tougher for coach Terry Stotts to rely on guys like Damian Lillard and Cj McCollum to shoulder the extra load. So where will he turn? This is where it gets interesting.
In previous years the answer would be easy. Go with the backup guard, Wade Baldwin. However, Stotts has changed his play style and rotation this season meaning Baldwin might not be the easy answer. This season the Blazers are relying more than ever on Evan Turner to be the point guard of the second unit. Baldwin is not a shooter, nor does he play well off the ball. This seems to make him an easy pass. What it does do is open the door for the Blazers rookies to see some action.
Both Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr. are guards that can shoot the ball well and move well off the ball. Neither Trent nor Simons has seen significant minutes this season, playing a combined total of just 10 minutes. However, this could be the time their number gets called. So who should it be?
If Stotts wants to run with a player most similar to Curry - a player that moves well off the ball, can shoot off the catch, but is also comfortable as the primary ball handler when needed - then he should go with Simons. Simons is a natural point guard, can shoot the ball well, and could alleviate Turner from ball control duties if called upon.
If Stotts wants to run with a player that is more of a true shooting guard type - someone that moves well off the ball, shoots well of the catch, and doesn't demand to control the ball - then he should go with Trent. Trent not only fills the role on offense but at 6'6", 209lbs he is a large body on defense as well. Stotts could run Turner and Nik Stauskas at the one and two, and slide Trent in at small forward with no issues.
If it's me, I go with Trent, simply because the second unit doesn't require a secondary ball handler and at this point Trent probably fits better in the second unit than Simons. In fact, it wouldn't be a surprise if Turner, Lillard, and McCollum were all in foul trouble that you could see Baldwin and Trent on the floor before Simons.
Not matter who Stotts turns to, we know the next man up will be ready.