Some NBA players have a hard time going from a few minutes per game to a lot.
Not Will Barton.
The Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard has been thriving on getting more minutes. While the Trail Blazers have gone through an unfortunate stretch of injuries to key players, Barton has gotten his chance, almost by default, to see what he can do on the court. It would appear he hasn’t been letting down the Trail Blazer coaches.
For the season, Barton is averaging only 3.9 points 1.9 rebounds and 11.8 minutes per game.
More minutes has made Barton a more dangerous player.
However, the Blazers lost on Tuesday at the Los Angeles Clippers 93-77. Barton had a whopping 40 minutes. But he was effective with 8-of-14 shooting from the floor for 17 points and added three steals, five assist and six rebounds. He wasn’t perfect, however, and committed six turnovers. He also committed a combined six turnovers in his previous two games.
But that’s what they call them rookie mistakes.
The last three games have been against good teams in the West. The Blazers lost 118-109 but Barton, in 34 minutes of action, was 5-of-8 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the free throw line for 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Last week, in a 106-90 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Barton was 8-of-19 for 18 points and two steals.
What more can Barton do? The Blazers should find out and plan on keeping him for another year.