The Game is Slowing Down for Shaedon Sharpe
The Trail Blazers rookie is growing more comfortable and earning Chauncey Billups' trust.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Trail Blazers' Sunday loss to the Clippers did not feature Shaedon Sharpe's customary once-a-game out-of-this-world highlight. What it did feature was one of the most solid games the rookie has played all season, a continuation of recent growth that has encouraged the organization.
In 24 minutes off the bench, Sharpe finished with 10 points and three steals, shooting 4-for-6 from the field and knocking down two three-pointers.
Sharpe's minutes have fluctuated throughout the year. Despite how unpolished he was coming into the season, having missed his freshman season at Kentucky, he's been in the rotation since opening night, with head coach Chauncey Billups wanting to give him a real chance to develop in game action given the organization's investment in him with the No. 7 overall pick.
It's been a bumpy road in Sharpe's first season, as is usually the case with rookies. But over the past two weeks, the game has slowed down.
"He's playing so much harder now than he was early in the season," Billups said. "And I think it was mostly just being familiar. Now, he knows where the rotations are supposed to be, so he can rotate harder. Whereas early on, he's not rotating as fast, because he's confused about where he's supposed to go. He's understanding better, which I think has picked up his confidence."
For his part, Sharpe is feeling more at home.