Meyers Leonard realizes that Robin Lopez was brought to the Portland Trail Blazers to bring consistent production to the center spot. That doesn’t mean Leonard can’t make a major impact on the Trail Blazers this season. In fact, Leonard may make more of an impact that some NBA observers think.
Leonard didn’t have a bad rookie season. He may not have a poor sophomore season either. He will have a challenge to match or improve on his 17.5 minutes per game that he hit a year ago.
The Blazers need Leonard to come off the bench and put in some quality time to give Lopez a break, and to also provide good competition at the spot. Like in any sport, if you want to stay in the game, then you need to play extremely well.
The 7-foot-1 Leonard still has some growing up to do in the NBA, but he definitely showed promise for the Blazers last season. They used him in 69 games and gave him nine starts.
He averaged 5.5 points 3.7 rebounds per game and wasn’t afraid to go to the basket. He shot 54.5 percent from the floor and an impressive 42.9 percent in 3-pointers, rather impressive for a 7-foot-1 player. Also impressive was his 80.9 percent from the free throw line, considering big men usually struggle at the line.
The Portland coaches are confident that Leonard is more comfortable as an NBA player. They like his work ethic during the summer and are confident it’s going to show during games. If that’s the case, Leonard might push Lopez for more playing time than people might think.