It was an ironic twist of fate that Luke Babbitt sat on the Trail Blazers' bench for every second of their runaway 122-105 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats Monday night.
After all, it was against those same Bobcats earlier in the season that Babbitt played perhaps his most meaningful minutes of the season. Mixing big shots — a game-tying three-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation and the game-clinching three-pointer in overtime — with impressive pressure defense and timely rebounding, Babbitt was the catalyst behind the Blazers’ wild win.
But a lot has changed since that December night in Charlotte.
And most of the change involving Babbitt has occurred the last two weeks. Over the last five Blazers games, Babbitt has played a total of just 9 seconds. There have been four “DNP — Coach’s Decisions” etched next to Babbitt’s name in NBA box scores during this time as he has taken a back seat — along the Blazers’ bench — to emerging rookie forward Victor Claver.
It’s a sudden and emphatic role change for Babbitt, who earlier this season — particularly after that big outing against the Bobcats — was a semi-regular in coach Terry Stotts’ always-evolving rotation as a "stretch four."
Luke Babbitt adjusts to diminished role
Oregonian | Mar 6