5 Things That Should Be Done To Compete For The Portland Trail Blazers: 4 – Anfernee Simons must successfully replace CJ McCollum

The Trail Blazers She is scheduled to open boot camp on September 27 in Santa Barbara, California. In preparation for camp, The Oregonian/OregonLive will take a look at the five biggest storyline events a team must play to have a chance to compete during the 2022-23 NBA season, second Chauncey Billups as coach.

Previous Posts: 1- Damien Lillard should play like the best player | 2- Yusuf Nurkic must honor his $70 million contract | 3- Jerami Grant must surpass his Detroit play.

today: Forever Simmons He should successfully replace CJ McCollum.

The Blazers partly traded CJ McCollum to vacate the starting job for Anfernee Simons, he’s been paid and now the fifth-year guard should produce roughly the same level that former backcourt teammate Damian Lillard provided for seven seasons.

Simmons periodically flashed moments of brilliance during his first four years in the NBA, raising expectations about what he could become. But along the way, he’d slip in a rut and fall deeply in or out of former coach Terry Stotts’ course.

Even by last December under Chauncey Pelops, Simmons had yet to prove he could be relied upon for extended periods. That month he averaged 10.3 points and shot 33% from the field, while playing 25.7 minutes per game, after injuries forced him to move more.

As it turned out, Simmons was battling through injuries, and most importantly, he learned that his grandfather was seriously ill. Then, on January 3, two days after his grandfather’s death, everything seems to have clicked for Simmons.

He scored a career-high of 43 points that night in a win over Atlanta and soon after set a record-high of assists (11) in consecutive performances. Simmons averaged 23.1 points and 6.7 assists per game in January, then followed up with an average of 23.7 points and 4.7 assists in February.

The race eventually earned him a four-year, $100 million contract extension and a place as the shooting guard going forward.

There was no denying that Simmons, 23, demonstrated his shooting touch (40.5% on three times), athleticism, playmaking ability and confidence to justify believing he could deliver on the promise that propelled the Blazers to his 24th overall pick during 2018 NBA. Draft.

However, there are caveats. The best two months of Simmons’ NBA career came when Lillard was sidelined after core muscle surgery. Also, the games he excelled in were mostly meaningless, after the team took off on the fast track to the NBA lottery.

Now, Simmons is transitioning from playing for a contract to starting, playing in the important games and doing so alongside 32-year-old Lillard who is scrambling to contend for a title before his tenure ends.

Yes, the 6-foot-3 McCollum lacked volume in a shooting guard position and could be a drag on the defense. However, he developed into a seasoned and versatile goalscorer and often performed well in moments of high pressure.

Simons may have a higher ceiling due to his athleticism. He can reach the basket and finish better than McCollum can do. What’s missing is the evidence that Simons can be counted on to consistently deliver plays late in meaningful games.

Defensively, the Blazers find themselves in the same situation they were in with Lillard and McCollum in the backcourt as petty guards. Simmons, as McCollum, 6-3. He’s challenged Billups Simons to up his game in defense and he’s shown a willingness to put in an effort at that end of the floor.

Simmons is in a very interesting position. Not only is he expected to perform now while playing alongside Lillard, but also be the star of the franchise in the future.

For the Blazers to compete, they would need Simons to come closer to being a star-caliber player.

– Aaron Winters | [email protected] | Tweet embed (Twitter), Tweet embed (Instagram), Tweet embed (Facebook).

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