The Portland Trailblazers had one of the best starting fives in the entire NBA last year. The unit of Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Mathews, Nicholas Batum and JJ Hickson produced regularly for the squad. The problem was that the bench consisted of Nolan Smith, Will Barton and plenty of other guys that did not get the job done.
This year, the Blazers are thinking playoffs and have replaced Hickson with Robin Lopez. But more importantly, they solidified their bench with two scoring combo guards. They added Mo Williams and Dorell Wright to provide a scoring punch off the bench. Wright, in particular, should be relied heavily on if the Blazers expect to make the playoffs this year.
Wright came over from the Philadelphia 76ers after a year there, where he struggled to find his shot. He shot only 39.6 percent from the field for a disastrous Sixers team. He was brought in to stretch the floor, but the lack of Andrew Bynum created no open looks. Now in Portland, Wright will get his open looks because of the low post presence of Aldridge.
Quite franklym Wright has to step up and knock down threes. So far in four gamesm he is playing about 15 minutes and averaging 5.3 points. He is hitting 44 percent of his threes, though, which is exactly what they need him for. So far, bench players have a combined average of 29.3 points per game; they averaged 36 a game with a bad bench last year. They need Williams and Wright to step up and take some of the pressure off the starting five.