The injuries just keep piling up this season. Portland Trail Blazers starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews tore his left Achilles tendon Thursday night and will miss the rest of the season.
Matthews started every game for the Blazers and was a three point specialist. He was their 3-and-D guy. He guarded the other team’s best player and on the other end of the floor he hit 173 three pointers which was good enough for 4th in the league. As a team the Blazers take just over 27 three pointers a game and make 10.
LaMarcus Aldridge said, “It’s tough, man. He’s the heart and soul of this team; he brings a lot to this team.” Starting point guard Damian Lillard added, “Wes plays harder than anybody on our team.”
Portland has been playing some good basketball recently and is on a five game winning streak. They have beaten the Spurs, Thunder, Clippers and Mavericks during this run.
The trade deadline move to acquire Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee looks even better now. The Blazers needed depth and now these guys will be more valuable. Gee has not played often since being acquired but he should see an increase in minutes.
Afflalo has been getting minutes but has not shot the ball well. He will most likely be inserted into the starting lineup and the Blazers will need him to be the new 3-and-D guy. Afflalo can shoot the long ball but he doesn’t take as many three pointers as Matthews. In fact Matthews has made more three pointers than Afflalo has attempted this season.
Afflalo’s three point attempts should go up in this Blazers system. He can’t replace Matthews but he is a solid backup with a different set of skills.
Portland is third in the Western Conference and only 6 ½ games behind the Warriors for the top seed. Seven of their next 10 games are on the road. Seeding in the West can change in a week and the Blazers have a tough stretch to end the season.