After a 119-102 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night, the favored Portland Trail Blazers are trailing 3-0 in their first-round NBA playoffs series.
It's pretty clear why Blazers have been struggling — they haven't been using their secret weapon, former Maryland star Jake Layman.
But with 7:55 left in Thursday's game and Portland trailing 107-79, Layman came off the bench, and the tide turned for the Blazers. Layman did not leave the court over those final seven-plus minutes, and Portland outscored New Orleans 23-12 in that span.
The Terp with the good hair compiled six points, one rebound, one assist and one steal and shot a perfect 100 percent from the field.
Layman showed the finesse around the rim to get on the board.
Then he knocked down a tough floater in the lane.
And finally he showed off the power with this steal and slam.
With his six points, Layman ended up outscoring three starters (Mo Harkless, Jusuf Nurkic and E'Twaun Moore) and finished the game as the Blazers' sixth-leading scorer. Now the question remains: Given his +11 plus-minus on Thursday night, should Portland start Layman in game four?
If Terry Stotts and the Blazers want to save their season, the answer is a resounding YES.