Archive for the ‘ Portland Trail Blazers Blog ’ Category

Trail Blazers on 9-game winning streak

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the Portland Trail Blazers, who have won nine games in a row, and for the 2014-15 regular season have a 12-3 record, which ties them with the Houston Rockets for the fourth best winning percentage in the league through Wednesday’s games:

Go ahead and celebrate the Trail Blazers’ nine-game winning streak.

Feel free to savor a nice little three-game sweep of an East Coast trip and yet another second-half comeback.

But, as you do, take your largest dose of satisfaction in this:

“I don’t think we’ve played our best yet,” LaMarcus Aldridge said.

The Blazers continued their sizzling early-season run Wednesday night, defeating the Charlotte Hornets 105-97 before 16,972 at Time Warner Cable Arena. But afterward, the sentiment in the visiting locker room was that this team, despite everything it has done, has a whole lot of room to grow.

“We’ve had games where we’ve looked really good,” Damian Lillard said. “But I still don’t think we’ve played our best.”

CJ McCollum injures finger, out 4+ weeks

CJ McCollum injures finger

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum sustained a fracture to his right index finger during Portland’s 102-93 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night at the Moda Center, it was announced today by the team.

The injury occurred at the 7:50 mark of the fourth quarter, when McCollum grabbed an offensive rebound and was subsequently fouled by Pelicans guard Eric Gordon.

McCollum will be re-evaluated in four weeks.

Through 11 games, the second-year guard is averaging 5.0 points, 1.1 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 13.1 minutes of action. McCollum is also shooting 46% (11-for-24) from three-point range this season.

Damian Lillard shines in Blazers win vs Nets

The Portland Trail Blazers are 7-3, including a 6-1 record at home. Here’s the Oregonian reporting the latest:

Damian Lillard shines in Blazers win vs Nets

With LaMarcus Aldridge home sick and Nicolas Batum on the bench in a suit there were some holes to fill for the Trail Blazers heading into Saturday’s meeting with Brooklyn Nets.

Damian Lillard provided another impressive performance recording 28 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, but the key to the 97-87 win came from an unexpected source: the Blazers young reserves.

“It was definitely a team win because we needed everybody’s contributions,” Stotts said. “It just goes to show you that the young guys are getting better.”

Against the Nets, the “young guys” were a necessity. Wesley Matthews (3-for-13) and Chris Kaman (3-for-11) both struggled shooting the ball while Robin Lopez missed his first three shots and couldn’t found his rhythm early. Other than Lillard, who was sensational throughout, the Blazers regulars struggled.

Maintaining bench depth, Trail Blazers exercise options on Meyers Leonard, CJ McCollum

Trail Blazers exercise options on Meyers Leonard, CJ McCollum

The Portland Trail Blazers today exercised team options on the contracts of center Meyers Leonard and guard CJ McCollum, according to General Manager Neil Olshey.

According to the Oregonian, the team “declined doing the same for Thomas Robinson. The moves, which will impact next season’s roster, guarantee that McCollum and Leonard will be with the team through the 2015-16 season and make Robinson a free agent next summer.

The Blazers exercised their fourth-year team option on Leonard, who holds averages of 4.4 points (52.2% FG), 3.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 14.3 minutes in 109 games over two seasons with the Trail Blazers. The team selected Leonard with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft out of Illinois.

And Portland picked up the third-year team option on McCollum. The 10th overall selection in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft out of Lehigh, McCollum averaged 5.3 points (37.5% 3-PT), 1.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 12.5 minutes in 38 games during his rookie 2013-14 season.

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Diante Garrett, guard Darius Morris and forward James Southerland to their training camp roster, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey. The training camp roster now stands at 18 players.

Garrett, 25, played in 71 games off the bench for the Utah Jazz in 2013-14, averaging 3.5 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 14.7 minutes per contest.

Morris, 23, averaged 3.9 points, 0.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 27 games between Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis last season. He opened his career in 2011 with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he spent his first two NBA seasons.

As a rookie in 2013-14, Southerland, 24, appeared in four games between Charlotte and New Orleans, averaging 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 7.5 minutes per game.

Garrett will wear uniform number 10 for Portland, while Morris will wear number 4. Southerland will suit up in number 31 for the Trail Blazers.

Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge averaged 23.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per game last season. Enjoy this video showcasing some of his highlights:

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the Portland Trail Blazers:

trail blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers are one of three NBA teams that have never been given the opportunity to host the league’s All-Star Game. The franchise took a major step toward changing that Thursday, submitting a bid to host the 2017 or 2018 game at the Moda Center.

Team president Chris McGowan, who spearheaded the bid, said the game, along with the numerous activities that surround it, would be a major high point in the state’s sports history.

“It’s going to be the biggest event from a sports perspective hosted in Oregon’s history, I think,” McGowan said.

Earlier this year, the NBA sent out a memo saying it was opening bidding for the 2017 and ‘18 All-Star games. The 2015 game will be played at New York’s Madison Square Garden, co-hosted by the Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, and the 2016 game has been awarded to Toronto, with the Raptors hosting for the first time.

Trail Blazers sign Steve Blake

Trail Blazers sign Steve Blake

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent guard Steve Blake, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey. Reports say the contract is for two years and between $4 and $4.2 million total.

Blake, 34, has averaged 6.9 points (40.3% FG, 38.8% 3-PT, 78.3% FT), 2.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists with Washington, Portland, Milwaukee, Denver, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers and Golden State.

“Steve is the consummate gamer,” said Olshey. “His natural leadership skills, ability to run a team and offensive skill set are a natural fit for our roster composition and style of play.”

Blake returns to the Trail Blazers for a third time during his NBA career after playing in Portland during the 2005-06 season and again from 2007-10. He signed with Portland as a free agent on each occasion, and was last traded from Portland on Feb. 16, 2010, in a deal that also sent Travis Outlaw to the Clippers in exchange for Marcus Camby.

In 269 games (232 starts) over four seasons with the Trail Blazers, Blake holds averages of 8.9 points (42.0% FG, 40.8% 3-PT, 79.4% FT), 2.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists. He notched career highs of 11.0 points per game and a 42.7 percent mark from 3-point range in 2008-09, his last full season with Portland.

“Steve is the perfect fit for our team,” said Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts. “He brings experience, toughness, leadership, shooting and consistent defense. Steve will be a complement to our backcourt and provide mentorship for our young players.”

Blake (6-3, 172) played four years at the University of Maryland and was selected by the Wizards with the ninth pick in the second round (38th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft.

Trail Blazers sign Chris Kaman

Trail Blazers sign Chris Kaman

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent center Chris Kaman, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey. According to the Oregonian newspaper, the deal is for $9.5 million over two years. Other reports had the deal at $9.8 million.

Kaman, 32, holds career averages of 11.7 points (48.7% FG, 74.5% FT), 7.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.4 blocks in 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers.

“We targeted Chris early in the process believing his offensive versatility and defensive presence would make for a quality addition to our front court,” said Olshey. “His skill set complements our returning roster players and we expect him to have an immediate impact.”

An NBA All-Star in 2010, Kaman averaged 10.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 blocks for the Lakers last season.

“I am extremely pleased to add Chris to our roster,” said Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts. “He is a proven NBA talent and will both bolster and complement our front court at both ends of the floor.”

Kaman (7-0, 265) played collegiately at Central Michigan University and was selected by the Clippers with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft.

He will wear No. 35 for the Trail Blazers.

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on center Chris Kaman, who is reportedly set to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers:

Chris Kaman discusses joining the Blazers

An array of reasons led Kaman’s to choose the Blazers, including his close relationship with general manager Neil Olshey and assistant coach Kim Hughes. Kaman played for the Los Angeles Clippers for eight seasons and both men were instrumental in his development when they were involved in the organization. After enduring what he described as a “rough couple of years” with the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers over the last two seasons, he wanted to be around people he trusted.

But an even bigger draw to Portland was winning. Kaman has played 11 NBA seasons and been a part of a winning team just once — in 2005-06 with the Clippers. The only other time he sniffed .500 was with the Mavericks in 2012-13.

“I want to be back in playoffs and help the team get back to wining the title,” Kaman said. “I think the Trail Blazers are right at that level.”

Back to the last two seasons … Kaman said his stint with the Mavericks just “didn’t pan out.” He signed with Dallas excited about the chance to play alongside All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and eager to “get a serious opportunity to win.” But Nowitzki was injured early in the season and played just 53 games. As a byproduct, the Mavericks did not make the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons. All the while, Kaman’s relationship with coach Rick Carlisle soured.

Chris Kaman to join Trail Blazers

Here’s the Columbian reporting on the Portland Trail Blazers:

Chris Kaman to join Trail Blazers

While the biggest dominos in the NBA landscape have yet to fall, the Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly used their biggest free agent bargaining chip.

The Blazers have agreed to a two-year $10 million deal with former Lakers big man and 11-year veteran center Chris Kaman.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the news. Multiple reports indicate the second year of the contract is only partially guaranteed.

Kaman played in 39 games for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013-14, averaging 18.9 minutes per game, 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds on 50.9 percent shooting.

Trail Blazers promote Joe Cronin to Director of Player Personnel

The Portland Trail Blazers have promoted Joe Cronin to the position of Director of Player Personnel, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Cronin, now entering his ninth season with Portland, most recently served as the team’s Pro Scout/Salary Cap Analyst, a position he’s held since 2010.

In his new role, Cronin will manage all aspects of the NBA Salary Cap for the team, college and international scouting in preparation for the NBA Draft, and NBA scouting for free agency and trades.

“Joe possesses a unique skill set that is critical to the success of our organization,” said Olshey. “His expertise and contributions in multiple areas make him an invaluable member of our front office staff.”

Cronin joined the Trail Blazers as a Basketball Operations Intern in 2006 after finishing graduate school at the University of Denver, where he earned his master’s degree and served as the Graduate Assistant for the men’s basketball team. A Denver native, Cronin played college basketball at Regis University and the University of Northern Colorado.

Monday in Portland, the Trail Blazers were facing elimination, but stepped up and beat the Spurs 103-92. San Antonio still leads the series 3-1, but at least the Blazers stayed alive to fight another day. Damian Lillard shot 11-of-21 for 25 points and five assists in the win. Here are some Lillard video highlights:

Here’s CSNNW reporting on the Spurs and Trail Blazers second round NBA playoff series:

The San Antonio Spurs proved why they are a fascinating, well-oiled, attention to detail running machine. Their execution is clean and crisp. They run their sets and get into them with plenty of time to go through their options.

But what was blatantly noticeable during their 114-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers to go up 2-0 in the series is how they got their guys open shots and quality paths to the basket. It’s not rocket science. In order to free someone up, there has to be one of those body-to-body clashes that you seldom see anymore.

Damian Lillard explains exactly what that annoying contact is termed in the game of basketball. It’s a tactic the Spurs do often and so well.

“Their screens hurt. They actually set real screens,” Lillard told CSNNW.com. “They do a great job of setting and holding screens. It wears you down. Chasing Tony Parker is one thing. Getting hit every single time is another thing. It takes a toll on you.”

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the San Antonio Spurs, who have taken a 2-0 series lead in their second round NBA playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers:

kawhi leonard

Maybe it was being pushed to seven games by Dallas, or the re-emergence of the bench, or meeting an opponent with nowhere near the playoff experience they have.

Or maybe it doesn’t matter why the San Antonio Spurs look once again like the class of the Western Conference, like the team that went 12-2 in the West playoffs last season, won a league-best 62 games and won 19 games in a row this season.

Whatever the reason, the Spurs are on a dominant run that started with a 23-point win in Game 7 against Dallas and continued Thursday with their second consecutive shellacking of the Trail Blazers, this time 114-97 in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series at the AT&T Center.

The victory came two nights after a 24-point win in Game 1.

“The aggressiveness, the concentration for 48 minutes — off the charts,” guard Manu Ginobili said. “So we are very happy with that, and hopefully, we maintain this.”

The Portland Trail Blazers are in San Antonio tonight to play Game 2 of their second round NBA playoff series against the Spurs. A friend was waiting for the visiting team in the locker room: An actual snake, found in Thomas Robinson’s locker according to the Blazers’ team blog. Here’s a photo that Mo Williams posted:

This is from the Train Blazers’ team blog: “Man, me and Thomas [Robinson] at our lockers as usual,” explained Trail Blazers guard Will Barton. “We’re changing and he goes to put his shoes down and he’s like ‘What the …?’ You know what he said. He’s like ‘There’s a snake under my locker dog!’ And I’m like ‘Stop playing.’ He’s like ‘No for real! A real snake!’ And we just looked under there and there was a snake. I was scared!”

Tuesday in San Antonio the Spurs beat the Trail Blazers 116-92. Tony Parker shot 13-of-24 for 33 points and nine assists in the win. Enjoy these Parker video highlights:

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, who won Game 6 of the team’s first round playoff series against the Houston Rockets at the buzzer with a shot that eliminated Houston from the postseason.

The answer is yes.

After watching all of you dance in the aisles, some of you taking your shirts off and waving them above your head … after watching the Trail Blazers rush the court, and LaMarcus Aldridge saying he wouldn’t let go of Damian Lillard for “three minutes” … after hearing the roars, wave after wave after wave as the replay unfolded on the scoreboard screen … after hearing the players singing in the showers … after sitting before this screen, trying to put it all into perspective, all I can say is …

Yes.

Damian Lillard just hit the greatest shot in Trail Blazers history.

And because of it, the Trail Blazers have won a playoff series for the first time in 14 seasons.

Friday in Portland, the Trail Blazers beat the Rockets 99-98, eliminating Houston in six games from the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 13 rebounds in the win. But the play of the day was Damian Lillard hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer to win it for the Blazers. Here are multi-angle video highlights of Lillard’s game-winning shot:

Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Jeremy Lin came off the bench to score 21 points and help the Houston Rockets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-98 on Wednesday night to avoid elimination.

The Trail Blazers lead the first-round series 3-2 entering Game 6 on Friday in Portland.

A basket by Damian Lillard got the Trail Blazers within two points before James Harden stepped back and swished a 3-pointer to make it 103-98 with about three minutes left. The shot brought the crowd, which was clad almost completely in red shirts emblazoned with the words “Clutch City” on them, to its feet.

That started a 12-0 Houston run to close it out. Harden finished with 17 points and seven assists.

Houston finally slowed down LaMarcus Aldridge, limiting him to eight points, after he averaged 35.3 points in the first four games. Wesley Matthews led the Blazers with 27 points and Lillard added 26.

– Associated Press

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