The Portland Trail Blazers lost to the Golden State Warriors by 45 points on Saturday night, their sixth defeat in seven games. That was more than guard Damian Lillard could take.
A frustrated Lillard called out the entire team after the blowout loss, essentially saying they played with no heart.
“Man, it’s OK to turn the ball over, it’s OK to make mistakes, but we have to play with some damn heart and compete out there,” Lillard said, via Chris Haynes of ESPN.
Lillard called out the team directly, repeating his points for the assembled media.
“This isn’t about what the coaches are doing, this is on us,” Lillard said. “We have to take responsibility for what’s going on. This s— is ridiculous. We’ve got the talent; we’ve just got to put it together consistently.”
It doesn’t sound like Lillard’s teammates disagreed, as several of them said they felt they’d disrespected the game with their performance.
That said, this is a flawed roster. Even though they’re not playing well, the construction of the team isn’t ideal, and they may be trying to fix that going forward.
Interior D is one of the major issues plaguing the 8-8 Portland Trail Blazers this season, and they may turn to the trade market in an attempt to remedy it.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on Wednesday that “Portland looks ripe for a trade,” noting general manager Neil Olshey’s pursuit of Hassan Whiteside this past offseason as well as his “well-documented fondness” for classic post-up centers like Brook Lopez, Greg Monroe, and Nikola Vucevic.
It’s an idea that makes a lot of sense considering that the Blazers rank 16th in the league in defensive rebounding and 28th in points allowed in the paint (per NBA.com). Mason Plumlee and Meyers Leonard are getting the majority of the minutes at center for Portland right now, and, though talented, neither is a legitimate rim protector or a particularly strong rebounder.
We’ve heard that at least one of those potential Olshey targets (and maybe even two) could be available, so the Blazers do have some options if shoring up their frontcourt is indeed a path they want to pursue.
Image via Portland Trail Blazers on YouTube
The Portland Trail Blazers reportedly have Dwight Howard on their shopping list.
According to CSN Northwest’s Jason Quick, the Blazers intend to pursue Howard in free agency to go along with Chandler Parsons.
The Blazers have reportedly offered Parsons a max deal, which adds another dimension to this pursuit. Parsons and Howard are friends and former teammates, and if Parsons elects to join the Blazers, you can bet he’ll be lobbying Howard to join him there.
Howard will have his share of options. He was already slated to meet with two teams, and you can bet there will be more to come. Still, the Blazers could be an intriguing option, particularly if they land Parsons, who has tried to recruit Howard before.
The Portland Trail Blazers are going all-out in an attempt to sign Chandler Parsons.
Parsons, who has ruled out returning to the Dallas Mavericks, has reportedly been offered a four-year max contract from Portland. The Blazers are said to be making Parsons their No. 1 priority this offseason, and Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reports that Parsons was “really impressed” with their presentation.
The Memphis Grizzlies have also emerged as a potential suitor for Parsons, as MacMahon has heard Parsons and Mike Conley — also a free agent — have had conversations about playing with one another. While Conley has multiple teams after him, it appears a return to Memphis is the most likely scenario for him.
DeAndre Jordan is one of the worst free throw shooters in the NBA, and the Los Angeles Clippers big man put his shortcomings on full display during Monday night’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
And the Blazers let him hear it via their official Twitter account:
Jordan is a career 42 percent free throw shooter, so you know that was not his first air-ball. That doesn’t make it any less embarrassing, especially during a playoff game.
Fortunately for DeAndre, that was not the worst free throw attempt in basketball history. That honor still belongs to this gentleman.
The Clippers put a beating on the Trail Blazers in their first playoff game Sunday night, but Portland wasn’t about to roll over and let its opponent dominate on social media, too.
As L.A. was cruising to a 115-95 victory in Game 1, the person who runs the team’s Twitter account bragged about the “block party” that was going on.
The Blazers got all salty about it:
Portland also took aim at the Clippers’ new mascot:
Those tweets would be a bit funnier if the Blazers weren’t getting dominated. Plenty of teams have exchanged Twitter barbs in the past, but we usually don’t see a team that is getting stomped on talk that much smack.
H/T Rob Perez
ESPN’s “30 for 30” films have highlighted some of the more memorable athletes, moments, and controversies since they began in 2009. The upcoming multi-part one on OJ Simpson is being lauded as perhaps the best one yet, and it very well may be. However, there is apparently another documentary in the works that, based on the subject matter, has the potential to be excellent as well.
The Portland Trail Blazers boast a history that contains Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Lenny Wilkins, and Jack Ramsay. A less celebrated portion of the team’s past is a period during the early 2000s when the team was known as the “Jail Blazers.”
During a radio interview on Wednesday, Damon Stoudemire, who played in Portland from 1998 through 2005, said a “30 for 30” is in production on those Blazers teams.
Portland’s rosters during that time were filled with players who were talented on the court. Unfortunately, away from it, legal trouble was a common theme.
Shawn Kemp’s first season with the Blazers ended prematurely when he entered rehab for substance abuse problem. Rasheed Wallace and Stoudamire were charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession after a traffic stop. Zach Randolph was cited for underage drinking. Charges were later dropped, but Ruben Patterson was arrested on domestic abuse charges. Qyntel Woods was also cited with marijuana possession, along with driving without a driver’s license. Woods also plead guilty to misdemeanor animal abuse in a dog fighting case at a later date. That’s just to name a few. There was also a reported incident during a practice where Randolph punched Patterson in the face.
That period in Blazers history is one that certainly has not been forgotten by fans of the team and NBA who are old enough to remember it. Combine the personalities and stories involved and you have the ingredients for what should make for an fascinating documentary.
UPDATE: An ESPN spokesperson says there is no 30 for 30 on the subject in the works. They believe Stoudamire misspoke.
Our Take: Maybe a “Jail Blazers” documentary is being made, with hopes of it being similar to a 30 for 30 one.
The Portland Trail Blazers had a motivational sign in their locker room before their first playoff game against the Memphis Grizzlies that some may find offensive. The sign included the phrase “We don’t lose to Spanish players,” among other things.
What does this mean? It’s probably not a coincidence that All-Star center Marc Gasol, who was born in Spain, plays for the Grizzlies. He was asked about the sign after practice on Monday.
“I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t know what it means,” Gasol said, per John Canzano of The Oregonian. “I have better things to think about than what they’re writing on the wall. They’ve had Spanish players on their team in the past. I can think of three in the recent past.
“I don’t know and I don’t care.”
The Blazers had one Spanish player, Victor Claver, on their roster earlier this season.
The sign, which was a laminated piece of 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper, included several bullet points and “We don’t lose to Spanish players” was one of them. Others included “We will be tougher,” “We are better when we come to play” and “Nobody can beat us eight times in one year.”
Portland coach Terry Stotts said the sign was not meant to be seen by the public and should have been taken down.
“First of all, that wasn’t the only thing that was on that [card],” Stotts told Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com on Monday. “I wouldn’t classify that as the only message of the day. But that being said, it was a motivational thing, and I think the Spanish thing was a little lighthearted. It was the things we needed to do to win the series.”
Since Stotts is admitting the bullet point was lighthearted, it’s safe to assume it was about Gasol. After seeing what Gasol is capable of in a game a few weeks ago, we wouldn’t blame the Blazers for being worried about him. Whether the message was offensive or not, Gasol should view it as a form of flattery.
Oh, and by the way, the Blazers lost to a Spanish player and his teammates in Game 1.
H/T Pro Basketball Talk
The Portland Trail Blazers had an unwelcome surprise upon entering the visitor’s locker room prior to Game 2 of their playoff series with the Spurs in San Antonio on Thursday. Yes, the Blazers say they seriously encountered a rattlesnake in the locker room.
According to Blazers reporter Joe Freeman, Thomas Robinson was the first one to encounter the snake. He found it in a cubby at the bottom of his locker. Freeman says Robinson jumped out of his stall at the sight of it, which is probably the same reaction anyone would have.
The other players in the locker room to see the snake included Will Barton and Allen Crabbe. That’s probably something they’ll never forget.
And who around here doesn’t think it was planted there?
It doesn’t seem like long ago that the Portland Trail Blazers were one of the best teams in the NBA. Now, they are in danger of missing the playoffs. Baron Davis summed up their recent performance with a legendary NBA quote on Tuesday night.
“The ship be sinking,” Davis said to the enjoyment of his TNT colleagues.
As many of you know, that quote was made famous by former New York Knicks point guard Michael Ray Richardson when he used it to describe his team’s collapse during the 1981-82 season. Davis explained how it applies to the Blazers.
“They’re just not playing as a team,” he said. “When you have someone like (Lamarcus) Aldridge hurt, that’s really going to hurt your team. They’re falling in the standings and they’re falling fast.”
Aldridge has not played since March 12. Portland has gone 3-4 in his absence, but the trouble started before Aldridge went down. While they are certainly missing his 23.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, the Blazers have lost nine of their last 14 games. They were playing just as poorly with Aldridge.
The biggest issue? Just 2.5 games separate the Blazers, who are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference, from the ninth-place Phoenix Suns. With 10 games remaining, Portland does not have much separation between making and missing the playoffs.