Perhaps the most surprising number that came out of the Trail Blazers’ 92-86 win over Boston at the Rose Garden on Sunday was this: Victor Claver had 10 rebounds. Claver, the rookie from Spain, set a career-high for rebounds. His previous best was six at New Orleans in the blowout loss just before the All-Star break, with half of those coming after the Hornets led by more than 20. Sunday’s total was a different variety – key plays in a key game in which the outcome was not settled until the very end. All 19 minutes, 34 seconds that Claver played Sunday were prime time, and in addition to the 10 rebounds, he added four points, two steals and a block. Claver probably played more minutes than he normally would have, but All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge was saddled with foul trouble, picking up his third with 8:54 left in the second quarter. Aldridge played 31:23, his lowest playing time in any game since he played 25 minutes against the Lakers on Dec. 28. The Blazers didn’t suffer at all with Claver in the game – in fact, they thrived. In the plus-minus category – which measures how a team's point differential when a player is on the court – Claver was a +14, the best of any player on either team. “Might’ve been his best game,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “Ten rebounds, obviously, and he was a +14 when he was on the court. He made a lot of good reads, he had a tough defensive assignment with Jeff Green, who was coming off a pretty big night. Especially with LaMarcus getting three fouls, those minutes, he was able to fill in well for us.” Claver has been hard to peg. He played all of his minutes Sunday at power forward, and perhaps that will become his role on the team, a stretch four, a position he seems suited for. He’s much taller than you might think, legitimately 6-foot-10, and he’s listed at 230 pounds. But he’s also a skilled player with a good feel for passing and is said to be a much better shooter than his 35.2 percent field-goal shooting this season might lead you to believe.
Victor Claver's big night could be start of bigger, more regular role
Oregonian | Feb 25