Season In Review: Wesley Matthews
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  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 05/20/2011 2:22 PM

    During 2011, Wesley Matthews
    Exceeded Expectations (32)
     94%
    Met Expectations (2)
     6%
    Failed To Meet Expectations (0)
     0%


    We're going to start something new this offseason and review each player's season, how they performed, whether they met expectations or not and if you'd like to see them in uniform for the Blazers to start the 2011-12 season. Up next is our starting shooting guard, Wesley Matthews.

    Coming over from Utah as a free agent in the summer of 2010, most fans, including myself, weren't sure of what we were getting in the 6'5", 220 lb. guard from Marquette. Everyone knew the story: undrafted out of college, signs with the Jazz as a free agent and ends up the starting shooting guard mid-season and eventually drew the defensive assignment on Carmelo Anthony in the first round and Kobe Bryant in the conference semis. Outside of that, the Trail Blazers had fans and pundits everywhere scratching their heads and ranting on their soapboxes when they signed Matthews to a 5 year/$34 million contract with $9.2 million frontloaded on the first year of the deal. Bill Simmons wasn't shy in regarding his feeling towards Portland's signing of Wesley Matthews by saying, "it (Portland) severely overrated a non-impact player(Matthews); it panicked; it screwed up; it was delusional." But the joke's on them.

    Wesley Matthews' Career Stats (Via Basketball-Reference.com)-


    Obviously the Blazer brass knew the type of player they were acquiring in Wesley, a tough, determined, never-say-die type of player known for tremendous perimeter defense, but even they had to be pleasantly surprised at how quickly his offensive game developed. Many questioned if Wesley was a product of Utah's system which was predicated on Deron Williams finding players out in transition for easy baskets, but he showed an array of offensive moves en route to increasing his scoring by 6.5 points per game. Due to his muscular frame, Matthews was not only a great finisher in traffic, but he became one the league's elite when it came to shooting from downtown. His .407 percentage from three was tops on the team and 154 makes were seventh best in the entire NBA. Due to his break out season, Matthews finished eighth in the Most Improved Player voting and was awarded a spot as a starter in the annual Rookie/Sophomore game during All-Star weekend.

    The great author CS Lewis once said, "When we lose one blessing, another is often, most unexpectedly, given in its place." When it finally appeared that something was imminently wrong with Brandon Roy's knees, Rip City couldn't imagine anything positive coming from such a situation. Roy had been the face of the franchise, a legit Top 10 player and our leader, but just as CS Lewis said, another blessing would be on its way. That blessing in disguise was none other than Wesley Matthews, and he made it clear right away that he was up for the challenge at hand. During his first start as a member of the Trail Blazers on November 16th against the Grizzlies, Wesley scored a game-high 30 points on 11-19 shooting including 5-10 from three to propel Portland past Memphis, 100-99. There would only be two other games in November in which Matthews wouldn't start and from December on, Wesley found himself on top of the shooting guard depth chart.

    Wesley Matthews' 2011 Splits As A Starter And Reserve (Via Basketball-Reference.com)-


    It's hard to believe, but Wesley's only just finished his second full season in the NBA at age 24. For whatever reason, he feels like a much older player but a lot of that has to do with his attitude towards the game. He hates losing, never gives up and plays the game the way it should be played, pedal to the medal for an entire 48 minutes; a true throwback player. Even though he made all of the doubters eat their words, a lot of questions still remain. Is there still more room for growth in his game? Can he succeed in a reserve role if Brandon Roy comes back good as new in the fall? Personally, I will never bet against Wesley Matthews. Whatever the team asks of him next year, he will rise to the occasion and answer the bell.

    Wesley Matthews Season Highlights



    Let all of that information soak in for a moment Rip City. Looking back, how well did Wesley perform as our starting shooting guard? Is there still more room for growth in Matthews' game or is this where he levels off at?
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  1. mbmurr1
    mbmurr1
    Posts: 530

    Posted 05/21/2011 11:40 AM

    Wesley did great and at the very least is great trade bait along with Camby, Miller, Babbitt, Fernandez and Batum.
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  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 05/23/2011 12:36 PM

    I would hope we wouldn't offer up Wesley as trade bait. Who else can play the 2? Brandon? Rudy? Elliot? He's still young (24) and has the type of toughness this team has been lacking. I'd like to see us go out this summer and find more players with Wesley's mindset. He completely exceeded my expectations. I didn't think he would have progressed the way he did from his rookie to sophomore years. But our front office saw the talent and picked him up. Finally, with their being very little talent at the 2 guard position in the NBA, I think it'd be best that we hold onto one of the good, youthful ones.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
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