Dwight Jaynes

How do you beat the NBA's best team? Apparently with the Trail Blazers' bench...

How do you beat the NBA's best team? Apparently with the Trail Blazers' bench...

It was all about the bench Friday night for the Portland Trail Blazers. Totally.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a winning team get all five reserves into the plus category of plus-minus and all five starters on the minus side. But that’s what the Trail Blazers did.

“Their bench was unbelievable,” said Toronto Coach Nick Nurse. “They had 58 points or something like that (actually, it was 58). They just put it on us.

“The Blazers played really fast. They were just flipping the ball around and cutting super hard…. They made the better decisions most of the night. They played with a little more speed than we did tonight.”

The bench played just as it had earlier in the year – a five-man unit playing unselfishly, moving the ball and moving their bodies. But that’s the way that group must play. It doesn't feature a superstar or even a star.

“It’s a matter of playing the right way,” said Seth Curry, who hit five of eight shots, three of five from long distance, had two assists, two steals and no turnovers.

Coach Terry Stotts platooned his two units for most of the game, not by design, he said, but just as it happened circumstantially,

Curry said that helps.

“It does,” he said. “We play a different style than the starting unit. We play at a faster pace. It’s a lot of fun when we have those five guys out there with everybody touching the ball.

“We have Nik, Evan and me who can put the ball on the floor and make plays.

The starters, with two guards who dominate the ball, attempt to get ball and player movement, too, but it’s more difficult with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum having the ball so often.

“Damian and CJ have played that style for a long time and they do it well,” Curry said. “The energy of the second group is a lot different.”

 It was easier to make plays Friday -- the lane was wide open for the second unit because the Raptors chose to stick hard to Meyers Leonard on the perimeter.

“I couldn’t get a look at a three,” Leonard said.

But he got a lot of room for the others to make hard cuts and find openings to the basket.

“That’s what Meyers brings even when he’s not making shots,” Curry said. “He’s a threat out there. That’s the same thing with me and Nik.

“It gets other guys great shots.”

The Blazer bench had 12 assists and only three turnovers. As a team, Portland had a great night with the ball – turning it over just eight times to go with 29 assists.

 “Play faster, move the ball and everybody has the opportunity to make plays,” Curry said of the reserves. “That’s how we played in training camp and how we played to start the season.

“We got back to it tonight and we’ve got to keep it going.”

Of course, it would not be fair to omit the fact that Toronto, the team with the best record in the league, was forced by injuries to play without starters Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry.

But the Blazers, who had lost 10 of their last 15, were happy to take this one any way they could get it.

And especially when the often-maligned bench was very much responsible for it.

It's time for Trail Blazers to find a consistent rotation

It's time for Trail Blazers to find a consistent rotation

MEMPHIS – What are we to make of the Trail Blazers’ recent misadventures? I will attempt to address that as best I can.

Without the help of the team, which always seems to think everything is just fine.

The Trail Blazers followed a familiar script Wednesday night, jumping to a big lead, then squandering it and then coming back to make it a game.

Only to implode in the final minutes and lose 92-83.

But let’s take a dive into the bigger picture. There are obvious issues having to do with lineups, substitutions and why things are going wrong late in games.

First, it’s getting more difficult by the day to figure out this team’s starting lineup and bench. Coach Terry Stotts has always been a bit quirky with that stuff but this season it’s been more than that.

Maurice Harkless was given a precautionary night off to rest and in his place as a starter came Jake Layman. Which is the way this team opened the season, rather successfully, I might add.

But very often a player will reach the starting lineup for a game or two and then not play AT ALL in a following game. Layman did that for quite a spell. Seth Curry did once, too.

The bench was outscored again, this time 38-15 but it’s important to point out, the bench is different from what it was earlier in the season. Curry, a staple earlier who played down the stretch of Tuesday’s game, did not play at all Wednesday.

I’m not sure what you say to a player when you do that to him, but it certainly doesn’t breed confidence or consistency.

Nik Stauskas usually gets a few minutes here and there and very few three-point shots – which is his standout attribute.

Portland, in fact, ran a play for Stauskas to shoot a three to open the fourth quarter (which he made) but he finished the game with just two three-point attempts.

And seriously, this guy is a home-run hitter, not a bunter. I’m not clear why – on a team struggling to find three-point shooters – he isn’t getting more of them.

Stotts, speaking of three-point shooters, had Meyers Leonard up in the second half at the scorer’s table to go in the game but then pulled him back and inserted Caleb Swanigan – who had played only 106 minutes all season.

Stotts, at that point, appeared frustrated and just about at wit’s end.

In the final four minutes of the game, Portland stuck almost exclusively with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum going one-on-one and drawing a crowd when they did.

I understand they are the go-to players and have no problem with them taking all the big shots but I can tell you it’s much more efficient to move the ball around and move bodies before getting it to them – complicating the chances of a double-team. And too, wide-open shots for other players are often better than contested shots for good players.

Stotts was asked after the game if enough of his players touched the ball on offense the last two games:

“Two different games,” he said. “You know, with Houston, a lot of switching, which leads to a lot of one-on-ones. I think Dame and CJ are our two best options. That being said, I think we run a lot of sets where Nurk touches it, CJ and Dame, Evan, so… I don’t know. The answer to your question is yes.”

I would say late in the game Wednesday that wasn’t the case. Nurkic got a shot off an inbounds play and when Lillard was trapped in a corner but mostly it was the Dame and CJ Show against most of the Memphis defenders.

And that didn’t work.

Players do not normally play well when used in inconsistent patterns. Consistent minutes maximize consistent play. It’s why most coaches set up a playing rotation that sticks with players through good and bad and allows them to become comfortable in their role – and not looking over their shoulder at the bench after their first missed shot.

I do not think the Trail Blazers have found that rotation yet. But somehow, they better.

“I’m not sure" -- The puzzle that is the Trail Blazers second unit

“I’m not sure" -- The puzzle that is the Trail Blazers second unit

HOUSTON – Another fourth-quarter problem, another rough night for the bench and another loss for the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday night.

The Rockets fell behind the Trail Blazers by 15 points in the first quarter and then used a 30-point fourth quarter to erase what could have been a big night for the Trail Blazers.

But Coach Terry Stotts can’t use his starters for all 48 minutes of the game. Well, I guess he could, but some of them wouldn’t be able to walk out of the arena under their own power.

I'm sure you've heard this story before, but if it doesn't change, wins are going to be very difficult to procure:

Portland’s bench was outscored 37-13 by Houston’s and the Trail Blazers tried in vain all night to find a third scorer. It could have been Jusuf Nurkic, but the Portland center made only three of his nine shots and finished with 15 points. As it was, CJ McCollum backed up Damian Lillard’s 34 with 22 of his own.

The starting Portland guards took a combined 46 shots, more than half of their team’s 87 attempts. Lillard had some thoughts about that.

“Part of that is me and CJ’s fault,” Lillard said. “Coming into the game we knew they were going to switch a lot so we accepted that switch and attacked as much as possible. We were successful at scoring the ball and we tried to make the right play.

“It wasn’t so much that we couldn’t find a third scorer, we had the ball in our hands a lot tonight and we’ve got to be a little bit better about accepting those isolation opportunities but giving (other) guys more opportunities.”

When you can score the way Lillard and McCollum can, it’s a delicate balance some nights between forcing too many shots and keeping the ball moving to others – particularly when your teammates are having difficulty scoring.

Stotts was asked to explain what happened at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth, when the Rockets went from three points behind to 17 points ahead with 6:48 to play.

“I thought Houston played pretty aggressive defense on us, we took some possessions for granted, turnovers led to their transition,” he said. “Obviously, their bench came in and had an impact on the game. I thought they were very aggressive at the defensive end. Their switching affected the game in that we weren’t able to run a lot of offense.

“They outplayed us in the second half. Our bench struggled to score the ball a little bit in both halves. To be honest, I was more disappointed with our defense. We gave up way too many points in the paint."

Lillard was asked about the second unit, which began the season as a strength of the team.

“I’m not sure,” he said. “Sometimes the season takes its toll. About this point on, where guys aren’t as fresh, there is a lot to fight through.”

There were not a lot of statistical positives for Portland.

The Rockets outscored the Trail Blazers in the paint 64-46, although they needed 52 shots to score those 64. Houston had an edge in fast-break points, 22-8 and Portland’s 14 turnovers were twice the number of Houston’s.

And it also means the Trail Blazers have still not been able to come back and win a game in which they trailed heading into the fourth quarter.

Of course they can turn all that stuff around quickly. Portland travels to Memphis for a game Wednesday night.

Trail Blazers get a good feeling from win over Minnesota Timberwolves

Trail Blazers get a good feeling from win over Minnesota Timberwolves

When the clock finally hit 0:00 Saturday night, the Trail Blazers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves by eight points.

But don't be fooled -- it was a whole lot closer than that.

The Blazers trailed by a bucket with two minutes to play and the game was tied with a minute to go.

But Portland’s composure and execution down the stretch was critical in dispatching the Minnesota Timberwolves, who had won nine of their last 12 games.

And THAT late-game performance is something that should serve the Trail Blazers well as they head out for a quick two-game trip to Houston and Memphis. This was a confidence builder.

“Yeah, we’ve been struggling a little bit,” Coach Terry Stotts said. “It was good to beat a good team, good to win a close game.”

Damian Lillard hit a big-time three-point field goal with 58.5 seconds to go to break a 105-105 tie. It was, according to the game play-by-play, a 27-footer and it was anything but easy. CJ McCollum followed 33 seconds later with another three and the T-Wolves were finished.

“It was about us, defending and rebounding late in the game and we did that,” Lillard said. “We defended well, the ball moved and a lot of guys had an impact on the game. It feels like we’re getting in the right direction.”

And winning a game late was just what the doctor ordered for the Trail Blazers.

“That was a good feeling,” Lillard said. “We have struggled at times in those situations and against a team that is playing as good as anyone in the league right now, a minute and a half to go in the game and down one, those are the times you can’t have the miscommunications, can’t have the letdowns and the breakdowns.

“You have to have good communication and I think we had that and that’s why we were able to pull it out.”

The Blazers shot 47 percent from the field and used a 53-40 rebound advantage to make up for 19 turnovers.

Jusuf Nurkic had one of his best games of the season, hitting seven of 10 from the floor and hauling in 11 rebounds (eight of them at the offensive end) to go with four blocked shots.

It was a slow-paced game, in part because the referees appeared to be getting paid by the number of times they blew the whistle. There were 43 fouls and 31 turnovers.

As well as Minnesota had been playing (9-3 after the Jimmy Butler trade, coming into the game), it has won just two road games all season and seemed to wear down in the waning moments, partly because the Timberwolves were a man short; they played without injured forward Robert Covington.

Derrick Rose played 37:17 and made just 9 of his 25 shots, missed his last three and looked particularly tired.

Portland's two-game road trip features back-to-back games starting Tuesday at Houston and Memphis.

A turnaround game for the Trail Blazers or what should be done vs. 4-21 team?

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USA Today

A turnaround game for the Trail Blazers or what should be done vs. 4-21 team?

Everything looked wonderful for the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday night.

They won by 22 points after leading 34-9 following the first quarter. They shot well from the field and held their opponents, the hapless 4-21 Phoenix Suns, to 38.5 percent shooting.

But the real question is this: Can we believe this was a turnaround game for the Trail Blazers or merely what you're supposed to do against a young and struggling team without its two best players that didn’t always seem to be playing its hardest?

What are we to think about this, with a challenging string of games ahead for Portland?

“I liked the way we played,” Coach Terry Stotts said. “We’ve got a tough game Saturday; we’ve got a tough stretch of games, period, coming up. From a confidence standpoint, I thought it was good for us.”

Damian Lillard, who scored 25 points and had eight assists and five rebounds in just under 28 minutes, liked what he saw.

“Obviously, they’re struggling as a team and we’ve been struggling – it's a game on our home floor we expect to win,” he said. “But crazier things have happened in my career so I just wanted to come out and be aggressive and try to take control of the game early.”

And what about the Blazer defense, which has been troublesome lately?

“I think it was a little bit better,” Lillard said. “I didn’t think they were the most sharp team out there offensively, but it was more about us.

“I think we came into the game saying, let’s build habits and be disciplined and doing things the way we wanted to do them, winning the game, making the kind of plays and doing the kind of things we want to do to win any other game. And I thought we did a good job of that.”

A total of 11 players scored for Portland, including a monster effort from Jake Layman, who hadn’t played a minute in any game since Nov. 23. He scored a career-high 24 on 10-13 shooting. “He was great,” Stotts said. “He scored 15 points in basically four minutes.”

Layman went from being a starter to not playing at all for quite a spell.

“Moe (Harkless) went into the starting lineup and we kept Seth (Curry) and Nik (Stauskas) and Evan (Turner) -- the bench that was doing so well – kept that group together,” Stotts said. “So getting Moe in the starting lineup was kind of a priority and there’s a minutes crunch and that’s kind of the way it is.”

Moving forward, I think I’d find at least four minutes within that crunch for Layman.

“Sometimes you just need a game like that,” Meyers Leonard said. “Good vibes. Sharing the ball. Playing with freedom. And enjoying playing the game.

“Tonight was about us. They are a young team trying to find their way and we had to get what everyone pretty much knew we were going to get. Guys came out with confidence.

“Top to bottom, we all played pretty well tonight. We need to get on the right track and keep moving.”

Can we draw some positive conclusions from this game?

“A win in the NBA is a win,” Leonard said. “It was a pretty darned easy win, but protect home court, do what you have to do to get a win and that’s all there is to it.

“Sometimes it’s just about getting your confidence back.”

It won’t take long to find out how long that confidence is going to last. Portland plays host to the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night, then goes to Houston and Memphis next week for back-to-back games.

 

Defense in the NBA is a lot more than simply playing hard

Defense in the NBA is a lot more than simply playing hard

As the Trail Blazers’ defensive problems mount, so do the shrill cries of fans who have the easy answer to their team's defensive trouble:

Play harder. Defense is all about effort. You have to “want to.”

All that sounded good when coming from your high school basketball coach but in modern basketball – which is to say, the NBA – that’s just not enough.

Not nearly enough.

The offensive skills of players these days makes them extremely difficult to defend one-on-one – no matter how hard you play. Even seven-footers are capable of putting the ball on the floor, crossing you over and getting to the basket. Or shooting a step-back three in your face.

The sophistication of NBA defense these days is so much different than it was just a decade ago. It’s become more mental than physical.

Consider the pick and roll, which has become a staple in every team’s offense these days. And there are almost as many ways to defend it as there are players who are good at running it.

In fact, defending the pick and roll is the cornerstone of most teams’ defensive philosophy.

There are two simple methods that are familiar to most fans – switching and blitzing.

Switching is easy to understand – the defenders simply switch the people they are guarding. Problem is, that leads to a lot of mismatches that are even more difficult to defend.

Blitzing was made popular by Pat Riley teams masterminded by defensive guru Dick Harter. Defenders would double-team the ball-handler and the rest of the defense would cover what’s left. Tough to make this work but Harter once told me that if it’s the only defense you use on the pick and roll, he believed his teams got very good at it.

New Orleans, in the playoffs last season, were pretty good at it, too, if you recall.

Obviously there are many other ways to defend the pick and roll and you can see a primer here.

And consider, when somebody like Meyers Leonard is setting that pick, you can play as hard as you want but getting around him is a chore.

We’ve just talked about one aspect of NBA defense. We haven’t even talked about all the other responsibilities of defending at that level.

You have to be able to recognize quickly what the offense is trying to do and then recall what you’re supposed to do to counteract it. And you always have to communicate with teammates what you are doing and what you are seeing.

You need to know tendencies of opponents – individually and as a team. You have to know when to double-team and what sort of rotations your team wants when someone is being doubled.

You have to worry about rim protection and defending the three-point line, as well as transition defense.

And folks, this is just the easy stuff. It gets a whole lot more complicated than this.

So the next time someone tells you that defense is all about effort, ask them how they want to handle the high or side pick and roll and whether or not they are going to double-team anybody.

Defense in the NBA is about strategy, schemes, philosophy, individual talent and intelligence.

And yes, it does help if you play hard.

But there’s a lot more to it than that.

How about the Trail Blazers quality 3-point shooters getting more 3s?

How about the Trail Blazers quality 3-point shooters getting more 3s?

With the Portland losses piling up in a hurry, I’d like to make a small suggestion. Not that anyone would listen, but I’m accustomed to that.

The Trail Blazers had a bit of an offensive breakdown Tuesday night in Dallas and I think it’s time for some overdue thoughts about their three-point shooting:

  • Portland took 24 three-point attempts, making only 7 against the Mavericks, while Dallas took 30, making 11.
  • But there was a difference in those shots. Out of the Blazers’ 24 attempts, 15 of those came from either Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum. Big deal, you say – they are the team’s best shooters from long range.
  • Well, maybe. In your mind. But not on the stat sheet.
  • And I believe one of Portland’s problems is that they don’t distribute their three-point shots adequately. Night after night. And shooting threes as a team is much more effective when more players are making them (or even attempting them) because it spreads the court, which the Blazers aren’t doing.
  • As you probably know, Meyers Leonard (.513) is Portland’s best three-point shooter and he didn’t get anything close to an attempt in this game. The Blazers’ second-best shooter from three? That would be Seth Curry (.447). He got two attempts and made one. Nik Stauskas is shooting .400 and he was 0-3, unusual for him. But Jake Layman, who is shooting .385, didn’t even play – although he was a starter earlier in the season.
  • Al-Farouq Aminu, coming off two terrific three-point shooting games, didn’t get his first attempt until four and a half minutes remained in the game. He made it.
  • Only six Portland players, of the 10 who played, shot a three.
  • Nine of the 10 players the Mavs used shot a three and you really wouldn’t expect DeAndre Jordan to shoot one.

Look, I realize Leonard, Curry, Stauskas and Aminu are not high-volume shooters. But my point is this: When those players are on the court, my goodness, get them some three-point shots.

We’ve seen games when Stauskas and Leonard are hot from the field in the first half and not get one in the second half. Aminu, coming off his last two efforts, certainly should have gotten a few three-point attempts prior to the fourth quarter.

When Leonard is on the floor, he should be getting more three-point attempts – and yes, I know he turns some down. Sure… one of the two or three he might get.

One reason Portland has been having trouble on defense lately is that it has been facing lineups loaded with three-point shooters. The floor has been spread, making it difficult to close out on all of them.

The more the merrier.

Despite offensive spark, Trail Blazers' defense gets worse in loss to San Antonio Spurs

Despite offensive spark, Trail Blazers' defense gets worse in loss to San Antonio Spurs

Just when you thought the Trail Blazers’ defense couldn’t get any worse, it did.

The San Antonio Spurs made 60.2 percent of their shots, including a ridiculous 73.3 percent from three-point range, in a drubbing of Portland, the Blazers’ sixth loss in their last nine games.

Never mind the fact that the Trail Blazers got positive offensive performances from their starting forwards, Al-Farouq Aminu and Maurice Harkless. Or that Damian Lillard scored 37 points with 10 assists and just one turnover. Or that Portland shot 52.3 percent from the field.

None of that matters when you give up the kind of red-hot shooting that produces 131 points.

“I thought LaMarcus (Aldridge) played like an all-NBA player and (DeMar) DeRozan played like an all-NBA player,” said Portland Coach Terry Stotts. “Those two guys are great offensive players and they got untracked tonight. They have two all-NBA players and the rest of their players make threes.

“They shot a lot of twos, they made a lot of twos. We gave up some easy ones when we doubled LaMarcus in the second half.

“The doubles in the first half were good, they adjusted in the second half. I thought we competed. We gave up too many transition shots, and we didn’t communicate on the backside on double teams as well as we could have.

“I thought DeRozan and LaMarcus worked for their points.”

Maybe so, but they combined for 65 points and drew enough attention to leave teammates wide open for many easy shots. And the normally pedestrian Spurs had 17 fast-break points.

Portland clawed back to lead by seven in the third quarter but couldn’t get enough stops to make it stick and trailed by seven heading into the fourth quarter.

The Blazers opened the game looking like a team that wanted to force turnovers – slapping at ball-handlers and diving for loose balls. That was fine, but when it came to contesting shooters, there wasn’t a lot of improvement.

This is a team that allowed 106.3 points over its first 13 games but is now allowing 118.9 over its last 10.

Harkless hit both his three-point shots, scored eight points, had seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks in his best game of the season.

Aminu had his second straight 20-point game (the first time in his career he has put together such games back-to-back) on seven of nine shooting, with nine rebounds.

“It’s been a struggle,” Aminu said of his team’s defensive problems. “Teams have been able to score at a high efficiency rate pretty easily in the last couple of games.

“I like the way we started the game. We had a couple of steals, guys getting on the floor – we even showed that at halftime. We just have to make sure we sustain that.

“I think sometimes we just get happy and just start thinking you don’t have to work hard for it. We just have to learn how to do it for four quarters in order to win games. In the beginning of the year, it was just coming easy. We have to understand that this is the NBA and things are just not going to come easy.”

If they don't know that by now, I'm not sure if they will ever learn it.

 

A missed opportunity for the Trail Blazers, despite shoddy defense vs. the Denver Nuggets

A missed opportunity for the Trail Blazers, despite shoddy defense vs. the Denver Nuggets

The Trail Blazers, given a golden opportunity to steal a win they probably wouldn't have deserved Friday night over the Denver Nuggets, blew the chance and have now lost four of their last five games.

Whatever happened to that hot start they were on?

And the losses have come the old-fashioned way, too – they earned them. Earned them by playing poor defense, often at the start of games but also at key times late in games.

And if they don’t get that straightened out, this season is going to look a lot more like a .500 campaign than it should.

“I think we have to be more aggressive and more locked in defensively,” Portland Coach Terry Stotts said. “We can’t feel out the game… I believe a lot of defensive stuff is your mental preparation to begin with.

“It’s funny, we have the same record this year as we did last year. I don’t know about at what point do you consider it a good start? Is it 10 games? Fifteen games? Twenty games? What’s a good start? I’m not really concerned about the first 20 games. We’ve just got to go the next one.”

The Blazers were seemingly pushing a boulder up a hill all night against the Nuggets, trailing by as many as 17 in the first half and not getting the game tied until 58.9 seconds remained in the game.

But with 16.5 seconds to go, the Trail Blazers allowed a wide-open three-point shot to Gary Harris, which pushed Denver into a 113-110 lead.

Portland got a miracle chance to win the game, though. After CJ McCollum dunked with 10.2 to play to pull the home team within a point, the Nuggets inbounded the ball but were called for stepping out of bounds with it.

Upon review, the call was reversed and the Nuggets had a chance to inbound again. This time, they turned it over once more – presenting the Blazers, who were going to have to foul to gain possession, a chance to win with 5.7 seconds left.

Portland got it in to Damian Lillard, who penetrated and passed to McCollum along the right baseline but his shot as the buzzer sounded was short.

McCollum summed it all up perfectly.

“We’re going to have to defend a lot better, so we don’t have to depend on somebody stepping out of bounds with five seconds left to win a game,” he said.

Denver picked the Trail Blazers apart in the first half, shooting 52.1 percent from the floor and 60 percent from three-point range.

The Blazers picked their energy up in the second half a bit, but the Nuggets still finished 14-30 from distance, while Portland ended 6-22.

“That’s a tough loss,” Lillard said. “A tough loss.”

Portland is having a problem defending the three-point line in recent games.

“I think they’re getting high-quality looks,” Lillard said. “I think that comes down to us controlling penetration better, defending a lot of those pick and rolls and dribble hand-offs better…”

Defending everything better. Or nothing is going to get better.

Portland Diamond Project picks Terminal 2 site for future MLB Ballpark

Portland Diamond Project picks Terminal 2 site for future MLB Ballpark

The Portland Diamond Project Thursday made it official, its preferred site for a proposed baseball stadium in Portland is the Port of Portland’s Terminal 2.

The terminal is located on the Willamette River, north of the Pearl District. The media release from PDP:

PORTLAND DIAMOND PROJECT ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE WITH PORT OF PORTLAND TO DEVELOP TERMINAL 2 PROPERTY Portland, OR – November 29, 2018 – Portland Diamond Project (PDP), the organization behind the effort to bring Major League Baseball to Portland, today announced it has signed an agreement in principle with the Port of Portland to develop the Port’s 45-acre Terminal 2 property, according to PDP Founder and President Craig Cheek. “We believe this has the potential to be a transformative landmark project for this city,” Cheek said. “Building an iconic, state-of-the-art ballpark along the Willamette River will catalyze economic development and capture great views of both the urban scale of the city and regional character of the Pacific Northwest.” This letter of intent with the Port kicks off a collaborative process with the City of Portland, and local communities, to create a Major League Baseball ballpark and community destination.

“We're committed to building a sustainable, equitable, and accessible ballpark that reflects what makes Portland such a special place to live,” Cheek said. “That means outstanding locally sourced food and beverage amenities, environmentally sustainable construction and operations, opportunities for makers and small businesses, and an atmosphere that celebrates diversity and inclusion and is welcoming to all Portlanders.”  

Terminal 2, which for decades handled commodities such as steel rail, bulk ores, and other oversized international cargo, offers approximately 45 acres of riverfront property with more than 2,000 linear feet of waterfront. The site is located on N.W. Front Ave., just north of the Pearl District and rapidly evolving Slabtown.  

“For the past year, we’ve been highly focused on securing the best possible property for development of a ballpark and have deeply analyzed multiple sites,” Cheek said. “Although additional options continue to present themselves, we are excited to announce that Terminal 2 is our preferred location and want to thank the Port of Portland for being such a great partner in this vision.”

For more information visit http://portlanddiamondproject.com .