Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter finally guards Steph, has young kid cover up Curry jersey

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Enes Kanter finally guards Steph, has young kid cover up Curry jersey

Enes Kanter and the Portland Trail Blazers didn't do a great job of defending Steph Curry during the Western Conference finals.

The Warriors star averaged 36.5 points during the four-game sweep of the Blazers while shooting 46.8 percent from the field.

With the Blazers eliminated from the playoffs, Kanter is free to put on his free basketball camps for kids. The Blazers center is putting on more than 40 free youth basketball clinics in over 30 states.

It's all fun, just don't show up wearing a Curry jersey.

One young hooper arrived at Camp Kanter wearing a blue and gold Curry jersey, and Kanter made him put on a shirt to cover it up.

All in good fun, of course.

[RELATED: Why Warriors-Kawhi Finals showdown feels like NBA destiny]

In all seriousness, Kanter should be commended for giving back to the community and helping kids, many of whom might not be able to afford a skills camp, grow and evolve their game.

Now, he just has to work on his pick-and-roll defense this offseason.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts apologizes for answer to Steph Curry question

Blazers coach Terry Stotts apologizes for answer to Steph Curry question

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday afternoon at 4:30, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Steph Curry made nine 3-pointers in the Warriors' Game 1 win over the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals.

Portland's defensive strategy when Golden State set high ball screens for Curry was ...

... suspect to say the least.

The following back-and-forth transpired during the postgame press conferences:

Anthony Slater of The Athletic: "Houston had some success trapping Steph and really getting out on him. Is is sustainable for you guys to keep dropping the big so far off of him?"

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts: "I can't remember. When he had 33 in the second half, were they trapping him then?"

The Athletic: "Yes."

Stotts: "And he scored 33 in the second half?"

The Athletic: "Yeah."

Stotts: "OK. Yeah, we'll look at that."

After the Blazers' practice on Wednesday, Stotts apologized to Slater.

He also acknowledged that Portland might be making some adjustments for Game 2 on Thursday night.

"(Curry) had 20 pick-and-rolls and he scored five times on them, but they were all 3s. I think we have to re-think it, but we were down six going into the fourth quarter and Steph had one basket in the fourth quarter.

"They scored 39 in the fourth quarter without him scoring one basketball in the pick-and-roll, so it goes beyond that, but yes, we have to revisit what we want to do on pick-and-rolls."

Stotts is correct in that Portland struggled on the defensive end in other areas besides pick-and-roll coverages, but simply letting Curry dribble into open pull-up 3s doesn't seem like the right strategy moving forward.

Plain and simple, the Warriors are going to attack Enes Kanter relentlessly in several different ways.

[RELATEDReport: Durant (calf) out again for Game 2 vs. Blazers]

Your move, Blazers.

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Warriors' blowout win in Game 1 wasn't all bad for Trail Blazers

Warriors' blowout win in Game 1 wasn't all bad for Trail Blazers

OAKLAND -- Billed as a battle of David vs. Goliath, Game 1 of the Western Conference finals went exactly how you would have expected. The veteran, experienced team got out ahead and held off their young challenger throughout the evening.

The Portland Trail Blazers pulled to within six to start the fourth quarter, but then it was all Warriors. Golden State pulled away for an easy 116-94 victory to take a 1-0 series lead.

It wasn’t all bad, but the Blazers have some glaring issues they need to work out before Game 2 on Thursday evening.

Here are two positives and two negatives that the Trail Blazers can take away from their loss in Game 1:

POSITIVES

Hood Plays

Rodney Hood came into Game 1 questionable with a hyperextended left knee. Not only did he play, but he made a very nice contribution.

The veteran wing finished the game with 17 points on 4-for-8 shooting off Portland’s bench. He knocked down two 3-pointers and shot a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are the straw that stirs the Blazers' drink, but in order to beat the Warriors, coach Terry Stotts needs major contributions from players like Hood, Moe Harkless, Seth Curry and Al-Farouq Aminu.

Hood needs to repeat this performance a few more times if Portland is going to have a shot.

Freebies

Portland was outshot from the field, outshot from behind the arc and lost the turnover battle 21-14. Somehow they still managed to stay in the game until a late fourth-quarter barrage by the two-time defending NBA champions.

One of the primary reasons was due to Portland’s ability to get to the foul line and make their freebies. They were the aggressors in the paint and the refs called the game accordingly.

Portland knocked down 27-of-31 from the line, outscoring the Warriors by 12 points at the charity stripe.

NEGATIVES

Kanter on the Perimeter

The acquisition of Enes Kanter worked out tremendously for the Trail Blazers in the second half of the season and into the postseason. But his limitations as a defender on the perimeter make him nearly unplayable against certain players.

Steph Curry called for and got the screen on multiple occasions and Kanter didn’t even try to show high against the greatest shooter the game has ever seen.

If Kanter can’t play outside, the team might be better served sitting the big man for long stretches and going with long, versatile defenders.

In addition to his defensive woes, the Blazers starting center posted just six points on 3-of-8 shooting in 32 minutes of play. He hit the boards hard, leading Portland with 16 rebounds, but he has to be more versatile.  

[RELATED: Stotts gets defensive about Blazers' Game 1 defense on Curry]

Draw and kick?

If Portland is going to compete, the Rod Strickland jump passes from Lillard have to stop. The All-Star guard turned the ball over a game-high seven times on the evening and a high percentage of those gaffes were completely forced.

Lillard tried to beat his man off the dribble, collapse the lane and kick to open shooters. It didn’t work against the length of the Warriors' defenders. He often got too deep and the Warriors collapsed on him in the key.

To compound matters, the Blazers leading scorer hit just 4-of-12 from the field to finish with 19 points, six assists and four rebounds.

Lillard is a huge reason Portland is still alive in the postseason. Whether it was Game 1 jitters, fatigue or playing at home, he wasn’t at his best. If the Trail Blazers are going to pull off the upset, Lillard has to star.