Portland’s reserves were last in minutes (13.3), points (18.5), rebounds (10.5), offensive efficiency (21.1) and defenseive efficiency (minus 17.7). It was a big reason they had three players in the top nine in minutes per game, including rookie Damian Lillard, who led the entire NBA in minutes played. It also was a big reason why those players burned out and Portland lost its last 11 games to finish 33-49.
So in the offseason, GM Neil Olshey went out and did something about it. He traded for Robin Lopez to allow LaMarcus Aldridge to remain at power forward and second-year center Meyers Leonard to continue to come off the bench. They signed Dorell Wright as a backup to small forward Nicolas Batum. They acquired Thomas Robinson to give Aldridge a blow at the 4 spot.