With 41 games completed, the Blazers are at the mid-way point of the season. Time to give out some grades: The Team Record (2017-18): 22 W - 19 L Last Year (2016-17): 18 W - 23 L The Blazers are 4 games ahead of last year's pace. There were some high expectations for this team going into this season. The Blazers had a relatively easy schedule early, and were riding the momentum of 'Nurk Fever' finishing out last year. There have been some nice quality wins (W SAS, 111-110), and some ugly losses (L ATL, 110-89). All things considered, the Blazers are currently in 5th place in a loaded Western Conference. Grade: B- Damian Lillard 2017-18: 25.0 ppg, 6.4 apg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 spg, TS% 0.571, PER 22.6 2016-17: 27.0 ppg, 5.9 apg, 4.9 rps, 0.9 spg, TS% 0.586, PER 24.1 Although Dame's stats have taken a slight step back, he's still the leader of this team, playing at a very high level. Grade: A- CJ McCollum 2017-18: 21.6 ppg, 3.4 apg, 4.2 rpg, 1.0 spg, TS% 0.547, PER 17.5 2016-17: 23.0 ppg, 3.6 apg, 3.6 rps, 0.9 spg, TS% 0.585, PER 19.9 CJ has struggled a bit this year, and his stats have dipped. However, he did pick up a significant amount of the load during Dame's absence due to injury, winning a good percentage of those games. Grade: B- Jusuf Nurkic 2017-18: 14.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 1.9 apg, TS% 0.493, PER 16.0 2016-17: 15.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.9 bps, 3.2 apg, TS% 0.545, PER 21.1 Nurk Fever is gone. What remains is a serviceable starting center. It's hard not to be disappointed, but all things considered, he's only 23. My guess is he still has upside. Hopefully we see that upside in a Blazer uniform. Grade: C+ Al-Farouq Aminu 2017-18: 9.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.9 spg, TS% 0.541, PER 11.3 2016-17: 8.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.0 spg, TS% 0.506, PER 11.3 Although his FG3% has taken a nice jump up this year, his overall impact to the game has remained about the same (11.3 PER). Aminu's biggest impact is on the defensive end. Grade: B- Evan Turner 2017-18: 8.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 0.7 spg, TS% 0.523, PER 10.0 2016-17: 9.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 0.8 spg, TS% 0.491, PER 11.4 With a contract of $17M/yr (3rd highest on the team), it's hard not to expect more. His stats are down across the board from last year, and his PER is barely hanging on to double digits. Grade: C- Maurice Harkless 2017-18: 5.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.7 spg, TS% 0.570, PER 10.2 2016-17: 10.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.1 spg, TS% 0.533, PER 13.1 Mo has taken a significant step back this year. All of his stats are down. He continues to tease us with flashes of athleticism and the occasional great game. But at age 24, with a contract that extends 2 years after this season, how much upside is left? Have we seen his peak? Grade: D+ Shabazz Napier 2017-18: 9.8 ppg, 2.2 apg, 2.3 rpg, 1.3 spg, TS% 0.595, PER 17.9 2016-17: 4.1 ppg, 0.6 apg, 1.2 rpg, 0.6 spg, TS% 0.533, PER 13.6 Wow. When the Blazers needed someone to step up in Dame's absence, Napier seized the moment. Most of his stats have double from last season. With a PER of 17.9, 'Bazz would be a starter on many NBA teams. Grade: A Pat Connaughton 2017-18: 6.4 ppg, 1.2 apg, 2.2 rpg, TS% 0.591, PER 10.3 2016-17: 2.5 ppg, 0.7 apg, 1.3 rpg, TS% 0.645, PER 11.8 When the Blazers traded Crabbe in the off season, they needed someone to earn the available minutes. Pat has stepped up. His minutes per game has risen from 8.1 to 19.9, and his field goal attempts has risen from 1.8 to 5.1. With that being said, his PER has dropped to 10.3, reflecting his limited overall impact on the game. Grade: B Ed Davis 2017-18: 5.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.7 bpg, TS% 0.579, PER 15.2 2016-17: 4.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.5 bpg, TS% 0.563, PER 11.5 Ed knows his game, and he does is well. Rebound. Defend. Hustle. His numbers might not be gaudy, but every team needs a guy like Ed to do the dirty work. Grade: B+ Noah Vonleh 2017-18: 4.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.4 bpg, TS% 0.557, PER 12.6 2016-17: 4.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.4 bpg, TS% 0.525, PER 10.8 Out of the 41 games of the season so far, Noah has only played in 27 games. He can defend, and he can rebound. But he hasn't shown the development in his offensive game to make him a consistent contributor. Grade: C- Zach Collins 2017-18: 4.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.4 bpg, TS% 0.443, PER 7.6 After a poor showing in summer league, and and a slow start to the season, Zach has stepped up his game and eared some quality minutes as of late. With his solid defense, good rebounding instincts, and a nice looking jumper all the way out to the 3 pt line, Zach brings much promise to the future. Grade: B Meyers Leonard 2017-18: 5.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.5 apg, TS% 0.690, PER 19.2 2016-17: 5.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.0 apg, TS% 0.507, PER 8.9 Now in his 6th season, Leonard is what he is. He can shoot. That's it. He's only seen action in 13 games so far this year. Needless to say (but I will), his contract of $10M/yr for two more years is one of the worst in the league. Grade: F- Caleb Swanigan 2017-18: 2.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.6 apg, TS% 0.409, PER 7.4 Drafted at #26, Caleb has shown heart. He's a good rebounder and has a decent jumper, but is limited on the defensive end. Grade: C+ Jake Layman 2017-18: 1.4 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.3 apg, TS% 0.358, PER 4.2 2016-17: 2.2 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.3 apg, TS% 0.404, PER 4.9 His jumper looks great. It should go in, right? Well, I think we have a large enough sample size now to confidently say looks aren't everything. His PER of 4.2 tells most of the story. Grade: D Let see your report card. What grades would you give out? Go Blazers!