After taking down the still ailing New York Knicks on Monday night, the Portland Trail Blazers have now won 11 consecutive games and sit at a phenomenal 13-2 to start the 2013-14 NBA season. Though some people have called into question their strength of schedule, there’s no denying that this team has been impressive and has looked like a force over the past few weeks.
Obviously the usual suspects for the Blazers have been key to their success. Both Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge have come up huge on a number of occasions for Portland and have helped carry them to victory. However, the lesser talked about hero of their recent run has been Wesley Matthews.
Over Portland’s 11-game winning streak, Matthews has been flat-out unconscious shooting the basketball. In 34.1 minutes per game, Matthews has averaged 17.3 points per game while shooting 57.4 percent from the field and an absurd 50.7 percent from three. For good measure, the guard has also added 4.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and one steal per game to his production over the last 11 games.
Though you can call it a hot-streak and be correct, you also can’t discredit the fact that the Blazers have done a fantastic job of allowing guys like Matthews to succeed. Their offense has largely been geared around making the defense collapse or forcing the defense into tough rotations, which has resulted in a number of open looks for Matthews, hence why he’s shooting with unreal efficiency lately.
You have to believe that 50.7 percent from three and 57.4 percent overall shooting are clips that Matthews can’t maintain for a full season, but I don’t believe that his production and value are going to slide much at all if the Blazers can continue to run their offense this well. This may be the run of a lifetime right now for Matthews, but it’s also not as much of a fluke as some might believe.