Rudy Fernandez can play

The Columbian (Brian Hendrickson) reports: This fall was supposed to be a transition period for Rudy Fernandez. But the Portland Trail Blazers rookie at times has looked like he has been playing NBA ball all along. The seven-year veteran of the Spanish ACB League filled up his stat line throughout the preseason, throwing down electrifying lob dunks, assisting on a pass through an opponent’s legs, and scoring in a variety of ways. He has also demonstrated an exceptional understanding of the game, a dynamic range of skills and an ability to inject instant energy into the offense. But when he explains the quick adjustment to his new teammates and league, Fernandez makes the move sound fundamental. “Basketball is basketball, Europe or in USA,” he explained. The Blazers never expected the transition to be that easy, but Fernandez has certainly made it look that way. He led the Blazers in steals (2.6 a game) during the preseason, and ranked third in assists (4.0 average) and fourth in scoring (12.0 average). And if Fernandez continues to play with that level of comfort, then his quick, smooth transition could pay big dividends.

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