Trail Blazers

Anfernee Simons sees time over Gary Trent Jr. in win over Houston

Trail Blazers

Oftentimes when NBA players are trying to stay loose or after tweaking an ankle or just wanting to stay warm before entering the game, they hit the stationary bike.

Saturday night in the Trail Blazers overtime win over the Houston Rockets, Gary Trent Jr. was missing in the second half.

The Trail Blazers backup guard spent the majority of the game riding the stationary bike off to the right side of the Blazers bench.  

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He only played six minutes and didn't see the court at all in the second half.

But from the sounds of it, there's nothing to read into Trent Jr. riding the stationary bike and not entering the game in the third quarter like he has been. 

After the win, Trail Blazers head coach Stotts said there wasn’t anything going on with Trent Jr. health wise, but that instead he had to make a choice between GTJ and now a healthy Anfernee Simons.

 

“I had to make a choice between him and Anfernee in the second half,” Stotts explained. “I figured I was only going to play nine in the second half and I chose Anfernee, but with Anfernee being healthy, I’m going to have to make those decisions.” 

Simons had been dealing with a hamstring strain that he suffered during Portland’s first preseason game back on Dec. 11.

With Simons making his 2020-21 regular season debut, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard pointed out how he was happy to see the backup guard be so aggressive and assertive.

“I thought he did a good job,” Lillard said. “I told him in the locker room, I liked how aggressive he came out. Usually, when guys miss a few games or miss some time and they’re trying to get back out there, they can be a little bit passive and not want to be more assertive than they should and just try to walk on eggshells and do what they feel like the coaches or the team would want him to do, but he came out, he took shots, he was aggressive, he made some good passes, he got some deflections, got a foul or two."

I just liked how aggressive he was. For him to impact our team and take that next step -- he’s going to have to have an aggressive mindset, not just scoring the ball, but just attacking everything that he needs to be doing to have a positive effect on the game.

Damian Lillard on Anfernee Simons

Simons finished with seven points on 2-of-5 shooting to go along with one rebound and one steal.

It may seem odd for Trent Jr., who has proven he is deserving of minutes, to not play in the second half, but it may have just been a game where Coach Stotts really wanted to get a better look at a now healthy Simons.

Like he said, he has decisions to make now.