Improved Depth Makes Playoffs Possible for Portland

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Improved Depth Makes Playoffs Possible for Portland
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Damian Lillard, last season's Rookie of the Year, led the NBA in minutes played. To put that into perspective, over the last five seasons, only two rookies – O.J. Mayo and Derrick Rose in 2008-2009 – even placed in the top 15 in minutes played. That comes out to three rookies among 75 players, a minuscule 4 percent. It is beyond a tremendous burden to put on a rookie, much less one who is handling the ball.

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