Still weeks away from NBA training camp, Portland Trail Blazers Striker Nasser Little sounds the alarm.
In the hustle and bustle of a fun-filled sports weekend of football and great finishes, you may have missed – the simple one-sentence ad that Little posted on his Twitter account on Friday afternoon.
“I’m comin [sic] For my respect,” Little wrote, capping the sentence with a decisive period.
Assuming the tweet wasn’t a reference to his photo fantasy football Ingenuity or some underground badminton league, Little was putting everyone on the alert.
he is coming.
After three seasons of injuries halting momentum, payouts off the bench and flashes of promise, Little should enter Year Four healthy with a place in the starting lineup. In today’s NBA of versatile velociraptor wings, a breakout year from Little – who fits a prototype like a 6-5, muscular thunderbolt with a 7-2 wingspan – is exactly what Portland needs in a position that has long been seen as a weakness rotary.
Twenty-fifth choice in 2019 NBA Draft After one season in North Carolina, Little was seen as a raw athletic talent who needed time to develop. Last season he kicked off a bigger role due to injuries and losses, and the potential of his gym equipment started to hit the bonus.
Blazers guard Anfernee Simons has been declared a hot January as he lit up the scoreboards, earning his way to a $100 million contract. People may forget, before Little fell to a season-ending shoulder injury after 45 games, he was also enjoying a notable upcoming party to kick off the new year.
In the January 12 games, Little averaged 13 points, 5.7 rebounds and 40% from long distances. He played the role of the roaring energy bug, the hard-cutter capable of defeating the triads and attacking the Lockdown forcefully. In the transition, he was proficient in diversion for tough competitions. His game gives ramps presence and aerial attack to an offense that has been criticized as ground-jumping and ground-laden for years.
The 12-game hotline is a small sample size, but it was the first Little Extended Tour to establish rhythm and confidence. He is still 22, which means the improvement is more promising than if the 12-year-old veteran saw a brief increase in numbers. Its evolution curve is still upward. 40% of three-point shooting is required, but it’s plausible that Little could improve his strokes to 35% — two marks above his average over the course of the entire past season.
With all that said, Little’s specialty isn’t a crime. His athletic gifts make him defensive and enrich his tickets to the NBA meal. This effect only lasted longer than 12 matches. On the glass, Little’s 5.6 rebounds in the match ranked fifth among the top 6-7 under-servers who played in at least 40 games. In defense, he took on challenging tasks and demonstrated his willingness to challenge. Don’t forget that he’s locked up Chicago Bulls Izu star Demar DeRozan is late In a close victory in November (Ugly or not, enthusiasm and turmoil are present).
Little’s defensive field goals were topped by 41.3% (4.7 shots were made in 11.5 attempts). It ranks fourth among the 6-7 shorter strikers who played no less than 40 games last season, behind defensive specialists Matisse Thieball and Draymond Green. Along with new illustrious defender Gary Payton II, Little will be the focus of Portland’s new, more aggressive look under coach Chauncey Billups. He will be tasked with guarding the LeBrons and Tatums of the world.
Little’s tweet on Friday shows he’s entering this season, a contract year, with a chip on his shoulder and self-confidence, but he’s not the only one. Billups appears to have a particular interest in Little, showing more confidence in his talent than former coach Terry Stott did, or was capable of, while fighting for his job. General Manager Joe Cronin also appears to believe in his man. For starters, Little, one of Portland’s best young business chips, is still on the list after the casual treat carousel. During Cronin’s July radio appearance on 1080 The Fan’s “Dirt and Sprague,” Cronin was asked about the team’s forward position. The first name comes out of his mouth: Nasser Al-Saghir.
“It’s certainly the biggest unknown thing we have, but I’d say we’re not particularly interested in it,” Cronin said. “There’s a lot to do with Nasser Little. Can he come back healthy?”
It’s been a hot topic in the Blazers offseason. Can a few stay healthy? Could it be the Portland X Factor? What is its ceiling? Does Portland need an upgrade? It has been discussed in Podcasts And the Articles..And the more And the More articles. All-star attackers don’t grow on trees and no one counts on Little to become an elite, but can he become an outstanding player? Can he go from toe to toe against all-stars in his position on a regular basis?
Much of Portland’s outlook — as well as Little’s future in the NBA — hinges on what he brings to the table in the final year of his rookie contract.
I suspect he understands the risks and feels left out. I think he heard all the curiosity, the speculation, and – in some corners – the skepticism. I think he saw it 76 overall ranking in “NBA 2K23‘Very.’ I’m sure he’s ready to step on the field and put all this doubt and controversy to bed.
It was a wild sports weekend. The Oregon beavers He won the landing. American Frances Tiafoe dazzled in excitement US Open That brought tennis back into the mainstream. And NFL football took off in earnest.
But before this flurry of excitement, Little released a touch through Rip City that might be prophetic in a few months’ time.
If it broke out in a big way this season, you can’t say you weren’t warned.