Caleb Swanigan’s first NBA season was a frustrating one. He only appeared in 27 games for the Portland Trailblazers, averaging just 7 minutes, 2.3 points, and 2 rebounds per game. For most of the year he was down in the G-League getting playing time and experience.
The Summer League is a time and place for young players to shine, however, and last night Biggie helped lead the Blazers to the Las Vegas Summer League title. Portland beat the Lakers 91-73 to finish a 7-0 run through the Vegas suummer league, just the third ever undefeated run through the event.
Biggie’s best night was in the semifinals Monday. He dropped a 21 point, 16 rebound game on the Grizzlies in a 97-92 win. Of course, we just called that a mid-January Big Ten game when he was here. As Blazer’s Edge says, he will be fine:
After a string of less-than-stellar outings, Caleb Swanigan looked like a first-round pick with a year of NBA experience under his belt. Portland’s coaching staff did an excellent job of getting the big fella the ball early in the shot clock, which helped Swanigan stay patient in the post. The former Big Ten Player of the Year executed a handful of successful post moves, and converted a three-pointer from the corner. Swanigan complemented his 21-point outing by nabbing 16 rebounds.
Despite a strong night on offense, defensive questions still remain. Portland’s guards struggled to corral Memphis’ backcourt for most of the game, which put Swanigan’s slow-moving help defense in the spotlight.
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In the championship his numbers were a bit more subdued, but still solid. In 26 minutes he had 7 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists while going 3 of 5 from the floor.
For the entire 7 game summer he averaged 8.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists, leading the team in rebounds. He also averaged 26 minutes per game. The downside is that he also led the Blazers with 21 turnovers. With the Blazers clearing out their front court it looks like year No. 2 will be a much better one for Biggie.