Wesley Matthews keeps transforming himself as an NBA player, and his transformation has been key in Portland’s unexpected leap from lottery fodder to top-tier Western Conference team. He came into the league an undrafted spot-up guy with uncertain spot-up credentials, and he has developed into one of the league’s deadliest outside shooters. Along the way, he keeps adding things — some off-the-bounce creativity, whip-smart cutting, lefty floaters, and, most of all, a bruising post-up game.

Matthews posts up a lot these days, and he has become shockingly good at it. He ranks 13th in points per possession on post-ups among 82 players who have finished at least 50 such plays this season, per Synergy Sports. Names below him on that list: Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson, David Lee, DeMarcus Cousins, Joe Johnson, Kevin Love, and even Matthews’s All-Star teammate LaMarcus Aldridge. And Matthews isn’t pulling off this efficiency on some token tiny number of post-ups. He hits the block nearly as often as LeBron James, per Synergy.

Matthews sat down for a one-on-one with Grantland after Portland’s shootaround in New York on Wednesday.

Did you ever expect your post-up game to become a weapon to this degree at the NBA level?

You know what, honestly? It was a weapon for me in high school, and it was a weapon for me in college. I didn’t know how I was gonna match up, size-wise, in the NBA, but I knew one thing I had over my other classmates was that I had a true position for when I got to the NBA.

I knew I had the post game, but as far as the effectiveness of it, I guess that’s just a tribute to my work in the offseason.