Archive for the ‘ Portland Trail Blazers Blog ’ Category

The next phase of the Trail Blazers’ 2013 offseason begins on Thursday, when the team hosts its first predraft workout in preparation for the NBA Draft.

Blazers GM Neil Olshey does not release the name’s of predraft visitors until shortly before workouts open to the media, so it’s unclear who the visitors will be or how many prospects will be roaming the practice facility in Tualatin. But it’s an important day, nonetheless.

NBA front offices place significant value on predraft workouts. Sure, Olshey and his staff have evaluated many of these players extensively for nearly a year. In some cases, they’ve been monitoring the players since they were in high school. But bringing them to Portland allows the Blazers’ brass to put them through tailor-made workouts and to test their athleticism and basketball ability in a variety of ways.

Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

Wesley Matthews has elbow procedure

Wesley Matthews has elbow procedure

Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews has undergone an arthroscopic procedure on his left elbow.

Matthews’ recovery should take three to four weeks. The procedure, an arthroscopic debridement, was performed at a St. Louis hospital on Wednesday.

Reported by the Associated Press 

A look at Trail Blazers offseason needs

If the Blazers keep their lottery pick — and that’s a big if as it appears Olshey will look for willing trade partners — it is likely the team pursues a shooting guard.

The Blazers have four pressing needs this offseason: a starting center, a backup point guard, a high-scoring shooting guard and depth at small forward. With $11.6 million in cap room, a lottery pick and three second-round picks, they have enough assets to probably solve two, maybe three, of those issues this summer.

Olshey has been frank about searching for a starting center either in free agency or via trade. Olshey has also expressed an interest in retaining Eric Maynor as his backup point guard, which will likely come using a $2.6 million exception for teams over the cap.

This draft class is largely considered a down class, but if there is a strength, it is at shooting guard, where Ben McLemore (Kansas), Victor Oladipo (Indiana), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Georgia), Franklin and Glen Rice Jr. (Georgia Tech/Development League) as well as combo guards like CJ McCollum (Lehigh) and Carter-Williams.

– Reported by Jason Quick of the Oregonian

The Portland Trail Blazers have hired Nate Tibbetts as an assistant coach, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Tibbetts, 35, joins Head Coach Terry Stotts’ staff from the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he served as an assistant coach for the past two seasons.

“Nate is an exceptional addition to our staff and I am very excited to welcome him to the Trail Blazers,” said Stotts. “He possesses a strong work ethic and a passion for coaching. He has been instrumental in developing young players in the D-League and in the NBA. Additionally, his successful head coaching experience in the D-League provides a unique ability, which will complement our current staff.

“Along with the rest of the staff, he will also assist in game plan preparation and execution.”

Prior to joining the Cavaliers, Tibbetts spent two seasons as head coach of the NBA Development League’s Tulsa 66ers. He guided the Oklahoma City Thunder’s D-League affiliate to a 64-41 (.610) record and two trips to the playoffs during his tenure there.

Tibbetts was selected to be the United States head coach in the 2011 Pan American Games, where he led the group of D-League players to a bronze medal, USA’s first medal since 1999.

Tibbetts was a member of the D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce coaching staff for four seasons and was promoted to head coach after his first two campaigns. The former University of South Dakota standout was an assistant coach at the University of Sioux Falls from 2001-05.

He joins current assistants Jay Triano, David Vanterpool, Kim Hughes and Dale Osbourne on Portland’s coaching staff.

2012-13 NBA All-Rookie Teams

2012-13 NBA All-Rookie Teams

The Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard, the unanimous selection for the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year, headlines the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced today.

Lillard was the lone unanimous First Team selection (58 points, 29 First Team votes), while the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal and the New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis totaled 57 points each, including 28 First Team votes. Rounding out the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie First Team are Dion Waiters of the Cleveland Cavaliers (50 points, 21 First Team) and Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors (47 points, 18 First Team).

The voting panel consisted of the NBA’s 30 head coaches, who were asked to select five players for the first team and five players for the second team, regardless of position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team. Two points were awarded for first team votes and one for second team votes.

Lillard, the sixth overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, made a clean sweep of the NBA Rookie of the Month Award in the Western Conference this season. Among first-year players, Lillard ranked first in scoring (19.0 ppg), assists (6.5 apg) and minutes (38.6 mpg). According to NBA.com/Stats, the Trail Blazers had an offensive rating of 105.0 points (per 100 possessions) when Lillard was on the court compared with 93.5 points when he was on the bench.

For the season, Beal averaged 13.9 points to go along with 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists. On the season, he recorded 13 games of 20-plus points and six games with a least four three-pointers made. The overall top selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, Davis excelled after the All-Star break, averaging 15.3 points on .520 shooting from the field and 9.3 rebounds. He posted 11 double-doubles. Overall, Davis averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds 1.8 blocks and, 1.2 steals in 64 games.

Sporting averages of 14.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 28.8 minutes per game, Waiters scored in double figures 45 times, including 14 games of 20 points or more. While his 81 regular-season starts ranked second among rookies, (Lillard, 82 games), Barnes helped the Warriors secure a playoff spot by averaging 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 25.8 mpg.

The NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond (35 points, 10 First Team), the Toronto Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas (31 points, six First Team), the Charlotte Bobcats’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (29 points, three First Team), the Detroit Pistons’ Kyle Singler (17 points, one First Team), and the Cavaliers’ Tyler Zeller (15 points, three First Team).

Damian Lillard wins 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year award

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is the recipient of the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year, the NBA announced today. Lillard was a unanimous selection, having totaled 605 points as he received all 121 first-place votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers was the last unanimous selection (2010-11).

The New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis finished second with 306 points and the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal finished third with 94 points. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Among first-year players, Lillard ranked first in scoring (19.0 ppg), assists (6.5 apg) and minutes (38.6 mpg). According to NBA.com/Stats, the Trail Blazers had an offensive rating of 105.0 points (per 100 possessions) when Lillard was on the court compared with 93.5 points (per 100 possesions) when the first-year player was on the bench. When on the court, Lillard assisted on 36.5 percent of Portland’s field goals while scoring 23.9 percent of his team’s points.

Lillard, the sixth overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, made a clean sweep of the NBA Rookie of the Month Award in the Western Conference this season. He set an NBA rookie record by making 185 three-point field goals, surpassing the 166 triples made by Golden State’s Stephen Curry during his 2009-10 rookie campaign.

Read NBA fan reaction and share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

Trail Blazers waive Jared Jeffries

Trail Blazers waive Jared Jeffries

The Portland Trail Blazers have waived forward Jared Jeffries, General Manager Neil Olshey announced today.

In 38 games during his only season with the Trail Blazers, Jeffries averaged 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game in 2012-13.

In 11 career NBA seasons, Jeffries has averaged 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 21.6 minutes in 629 games (335 starts) with Washington, New York, Houston and Portland.

Rasheed Wallace retires from basketball

Rasheed Wallace retires from basketball

New York Knicks Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced forward/center Rasheed Wallace has retired from playing professional basketball.

“Rasheed has given this team everything he had,” Head Coach Mike Woodson said. “He is a winner, true professional and leader on and off the court. Due to his injury, he will not be available to play for us during the playoffs. We owe this season’s success to veterans like Rasheed.”

According to the Associated Press, “Wallace ended a two-year retirement this season to join the Knicks and was a key player off the bench during their strong start. But he hadn’t played since December before returning Monday against Charlotte, but he exited after 4 minutes because of continued soreness.”

Wallace, 6-11, 245-pounds, averaged 7.0 points, on 38.7-percent shooting, and 4.0 rebounds over 14.1 minutes in 21 games this season. In his 15th NBA season Wallace missed 60 games due to an injured left foot. On Feb. 27, new X-rays showed progression to a fractured left fifth metatarsal and he had surgery on Feb. 28.

“Both teams played hard.”

“Ball don’t lie.”

And so goes Sheed.

With the NBA regular season ending tonight, the Knicks, who clinched the No. 2 seed in the Eastern conference, may soon add another veteran to aid them in the playoffs, which begin Saturday, April 20.

Read NBA fan reaction or share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

Kenneth Faried

The Denver Nuggets are getting good at bittersweet moments.

Andre Iguodala scored 28 points and the Nuggets set an NBA franchise record with their 55th win Sunday, beating the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers 118-109 but losing another starter.

On the day Ty Lawson (right heel) returned to Denver’s starting lineup for the first time since March 27 and played an encouraging 31 minutes, forward Kenneth Faried sprained his left ankle in the opening minutes while driving for a layup and didn’t return.

”We’re dropping like flies, man,” Lawson said. ”Well, it’s not too serious, I heard, so he might be out for a week or so. He’s a tough guy.”

Although X-rays were negative, coach George Karl stressed that he didn’t want to guess about Faried’s availability for the playoffs that start next weekend until after his top rebounder goes for an MRI on Monday…

Iguodala also grabbed seven rebounds, dished out nine assists, blocked three shots and had three steals to go with his 28 points, marking the first time in his career he’d posted those numbers in a game.

And rookie Evan Fournier scored 24 points in his second career start, sinking a pair of crucial 3-pointers in the closing minutes after the Trail Blazers had cut a 20-point deficit to 104-101 with 3:33 left.

– Reported by Arnie Stapleton of the Associated Press

Kenneth Faried

No matter what happens the rest of his career, Nolan Smith has accepted that he will always be linked to Kenneth Faried.

After every mammoth dunk, every dizzying double-double, every hustle-infused highlight-reel moment Denver’s “Manimal” unleashes, somewhere, some disbelieving Trail Blazers fan will curse under his breath: “He should be a Blazer.”

“I don’t blame them,” Smith said. “I don’t blame them at all. Seeing what he’s doing, seeing how he plays when he’s on the court with his team, it’s very easy to say, ‘Damn, we could have had him.’ But they could have had Michael Jordan, as well. It’s part of the draft. They’re mad at Greg Oden, too. So you can just add me to the guys they can be mad at.”

And there’s no question Blazers fans are mad. The team’s decision to select Smith one spot ahead of Faried with the No. 21 overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft is one of several personnel moves that led to last season’s roster implosion and this season’s rebuild.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

Greg Oden

When former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Greg Oden unexpectedly stopped by the Rose Garden Wednesday night, he slipped into the bowels of the building to speak to some of his former teammates. Aldridge was one, and while he said it was nice to see his one-time frontcourt mate, it also was odd.

“Like a ghost,” Aldridge said, describing running into Oden.

Aldridge said he didn’t ask Oden — who’s career was derailed by five knee surgeries — if he was contemplating a comeback. But based on Oden’s appearance and attitude, Aldridge guessed that Oden was.

“He said he was doing good,” Aldridge said of Oden. “He looked slim. He said he was wearing his old suits from draft night. I said, ‘Congrats on that.’

“I think he will (attempt a comeback). He looks like he’s trying to.”

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

Reggie Evans

Reggie Evans’ Brooklyn teammates egged him on, making sure he knew just how many points and rebounds he had against the Trail Blazers.

In the end, Evans finished with a career-high 26 rebounds and matched his career best with 22 points, and Brooklyn beat Portland 111-93 on Wednesday night. Evans is the first NBA player to reach both those numbers in a game this season.

And to top it off, he was battling an infection that kept his right eye half-shut throughout the game.

”I just wanted to win, that’s it,” Evans said. ”But after a while your teammates get to tell you how many rebounds you got. Typical of my teammates: ‘Oh, you got this many. You got this many. You got this many.’ I just take whatever I can do.”

Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo called Evans’ performance ”absurd.”

It was Brooklyn’s 20th road win of the season, matching a franchise best. Brook Lopez added 28 points for the Nets, who built a big lead early and stretched it to as many as 30 points.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 24 points despite rolling his right ankle in the first half and briefly leaving the game…

Blazers rookie Damian Lillard, who is averaging just over 19 points, didn’t score before having 10 points in the third quarter. He finished with 15.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

Washington Wizards guard John Wall and Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge today were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 11 through Sunday, March 17.

Wall led the Wizards to a 3-1 week with averages of 24.0 points (fourth in the conference), 11.0 assists (second in the conference), 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals (third in the conference). Wall posted three point-assist double-doubles and ranked sixth in the East with a field goal percentage of .617. He collected a season-high 14 assists on March 12 against the Cleveland Cavaliers (95-90 loss) and a season-high 29 points on March 15 against the New Orleans Hornets (96-87 win).

Aldridge led the Trail Blazers to a 2-1 week behind an NBA-best 27.0 points, 10.7 rebounds (seventh in the conference), 3.0 blocks (third in the conference) and 3.0 assists. Aldridge shot 19-of-19 from the foul line on a week in which he posted a point-rebound double-double in each contest, including a 22-point, 10-rebound, five-block effort on March 14 during a 105-90 win over the New York Knicks.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Al Horford, Denver’s Kosta Koufos, Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan.

Luke Babbitt barely playing for Blazers lately

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.”

During a three-game run in December, when the Blazers defeated the San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Hornets and Denver Nuggets in consecutive games, Babbitt reached double figures in scoring each outing. He seemed poised for a consistent, impactful season.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

damian lillard

Portland Trail Blazers rookie point guard Damian Lillard continues to take the league by storm and now he’s well on his way to taking his game global.

CSNNW.com has learned that the three-time NBA Rookie of the Month and NBA Skills Challenge champion is on the verge of being invited to participate in the USA Men’s Basketball National Team mini camp.

“Damian is definitely on our radar,” Director of USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo told CSNNW.com. “He’s one of the bright young stars we have in this game and certainly his chances are very high that he makes our list.”

Colangelo says he will announce the names of those selected sometime after the season.

– Reported by Chris Haynes of CSN NW

Kobe scores 40, Lakers hold off Blazers

Kobe Bryant scored 40 points, Dwight Howard had 19 points and 16 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers capped a trying week with a gritty 111-107 victory over the slumping Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Hours after longtime Lakers owner Jerry Buss was buried, and a day after a moving memorial service punctuated by eulogies from Bryant and other franchise greats, the team got back to basketball with a much-needed victory at Staples Center.

Bryant scored 11 points in the final 5 1/2 minutes and the Lakers won for the seventh time in 10 games. They remained ninth in the Western Conference playoff race, 3 1/2 games behind Houston for the final spot with 26 remaining. Portland trails Los Angeles by 1 1/2 games.

Howard, looking for his sixth rebounding title in seven seasons, came in averaging an NBA-best and 11.8 boards per game. The Lakers are 19-12 when he gets double digits in rebounds, and 11 of those losses have come on nights when he grabbed 14 or more. They wasted 26 boards in a home loss to Denver on Jan. 6, and 20 in a Dec. 11 loss at Cleveland.

Antawn Jamison scored 16 points off the bench, helping to hand Portland its season-worst seventh straight loss. The Trail Blazers have lost five straight road games and 10 of their last 11 away from the Rose Garden.

J.J. Hickson had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Portland, and Nicolas Batum also scored 22. Two-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 15 points in 34 foul-plagued minutes after picking up his fifth personal with 8 minutes remaining.

Damian Lillard added 19 points. All of Portland’s starters scored in double figures, while the bench produced just 14 points.

– Reported by Joe Resnick of the Associated Press

Thunder trade Eric Maynor to Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired guard Eric Maynor from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the draft rights to Georgios Printezis, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Portland waived guard Ronnie Price to make room on the roster. In his only season with the Trail Blazers, Price averaged 2.7 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 13.1 minutes in 39 appearances.

“Ronnie has been a consummate professional and we thank him for his contributions to the team,” said Olshey.

Maynor, 25, has appeared in 37 games this season with the Thunder, averaging 2.8 points, 0.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 10.6 minutes per game.

“Eric is a player we have valued and pursued for some time,” said Olshey. “His skill level and character will be excellent additions to our culture on and off the floor.”

Maynor (6-3, 175) holds career averages of 4.2 points, 1.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 14.3 minutes in 209 career games with Oklahoma City and Utah. He was originally selected out of Virginia Commonwealth by the Jazz with the 20th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

The Trail Blazers acquired the draft rights to Printezis on July 16, 2012, in the deal with New York that included Jared Jeffries coming to Portland in exchange for Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas. Portland acquired Maynor by using a trade exception created in the Jeffries deal.

Hornets roll past Trail Blazers, 99-63

anthony davis

Anthony Davis stormed down the lane, soared over a cluster of players under the basket, snagged a missed layup as it bounced off the front rim and slammed it down.

With that, the worst scoring slump the Hornets’ celebrated rookie could ever recall at any level of basketball ended.

Davis had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the New Orleans Hornets handed the Portland Trail Blazers their fifth straight loss, 99-63 on Wednesday night.

”When you see the ball go through - a free throw, jump shot, layup, dunk, whatever it is - the confidence just builds back up,” Davis said. ”When I got that first dunk, the confidence was rising and I just tried to keep feeding on it.”

Davis, whose 0-for-7 shooting night on Monday in Detroit made him 1 of 13 in his previous two games, was 10 of 17 against Portland. He scored on an array of dunks, tip-shots and even jumpers from as deep as 20 feet.

For Davis, it seemed like a just result after he went to the practice gym on Tuesday - while the rest of the team was given the day off - and worked on his shooting.

”I was trying to keep my mind right,” said Davis, who’s been selected to play in an exhibition game involving top young players during this weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities in Houston. ”I wasn’t going to take the day off.”

Ryan Anderson added 14 points and Jason Smith 13, both in reserve roles. Greivis Vasquez had 10 points and eight assists.

Damian Lillard had 12 points and Victor Claver 11 for Portland, which lost starting guard Wesley Matthews to a sprained right ankle early in the game and played poorly throughout, shooting 32.4 percent (24 of 74) and turning the ball over 18 times.

– Reported by Brett Martel of the Associated Press

lebron james

It’s not the type of streak that LeBron James ever thought about, this run of putting together at least 30 points and 60 percent shooting in six straight games.

Still, it’s something he’ll savor. He’s rolling right now, and so are the Miami Heat.

James scored 30 points on 11 for 15 shooting to get into the NBA record books, Chris Bosh scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and the Heat wound up beating the Portland Trail Blazers 117-104 in a wild, momentum-swinging game on Tuesday night.

It was the 1,000th regular-season win in Heat history. But on this night, the only history anyone will remember was what James accomplished…

Dwyane Wade added 24 points for Miami, which wasted a pair of 14-point leads - then put the game away with a 14-0 run in the final minutes. Ray Allen added 14 for Miami.

Damian Lillard had a game-high 33 points for Portland, which got 29 from LaMarcus Aldridge and 20 from Wesley Matthews.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

jj redick

J.J. Redick scored 22 points, Nikola Vucevic added 17 points and 19 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic snapped a 12-game losing streak with a 110-104 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

The Magic shot 50 percent from the field in earning their first win since Jan. 16. They play their next two games at home. Reserve Gustavo Ayon had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 25 points. Nicolas Batum added 19 points and Wesley Matthews chipped in 17.

The Blazers, who have lost three in a row overall, fell to 1-7 in their last eight road games. They play at Miami on Tuesday and New Orleans on Wednesday before the All-Star break.

Orlando held a 79-72 lead entering the final quarter but had to push back against multiple attempts at a run by the Blazers down the stretch…

Orlando is the second straight opponent to shoot at least 50 percent against Portland…

Magic F Hedo Turkoglu missed his third straight game with flu-like symptoms.

– Reported by Kyle Hightower of the Associated Press

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