The Blazers layed the smackdown on the Suns, making every aspect of the game look easy. The offense was clicking and the defense was on lock. Big blocks and big steals were followed by big buckets. Even with CJ McCollum on the sideline the Blazers didn't skip a beat. Pat Connaughton had a career night scoring 24 points, and the Blazers left little doubt. Not a bad way to start the season.
It's the middle of August, so NBA news is a little slow but Bleacher Report put out a fun article about one player each team should be looking at when the trade deadline approches next season.
For the Trail Blazers, they picked Minnesota forward Jimmy Butler:
Jimmy Butler may be unhappy in Minnesota, and although adding him at the deadline creates a risk he'll bounce after opting out of his deal, it's possible Portland is ready to gamble. Ideally, the Blazers could build a package around Evan Turner and a first-round pick, but that'll only work if Butler makes it perfectly clear he's not going to re-sign with the Wolves.
Also within the article are mentions of CJ McCollum (for Detroit) and Evan Turner (for Sacramento):
"CJ McCollum and Turner for Griffin and Stanley Johnson works under the CBA, and it'd swap Griffin onto a roster that at least needs forwards. McCollum's arrival would signal the departure of Reggie Jackson, which would also be fine."
In regards to Turner to Sacramento...
"In this scenario, the Blazers are attaching a future first-rounder to Turner in a swap that brings back Kosta Koufos' expiring $8.7 million salary."
You can read the full breakdown of every team at Bleacher Report.
Social media was its usual self on Wednesday, blowing up after a video surfaced of Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum talking about superteams on China Central Television (CCTV). Asked about his thoughts on players like Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins joining the Warriors to chase rings, McCollum said "I would never do anything of that nature. I think it's disgusting. I'm not built like those guys, I was raised differently.
Seems innocent enough, but this is where social media took over. McCollum responded to a tweet, saying "Y’all stay bringing up old stuff. Yall got me out here looking like a bitter ex. 1 of the best teams ever assembled W/ 2 players you could argue are top 15 greatest to lace them up. 4 hall of "famers w/ another one on the way. I’m happy stop making me look like a scorn man sheesh"
Y’all stay bringing up old stuff. Yall got me out here looking like a bitter ex. 1 of the best teams ever assembled W/ 2 players you could argue are top 15 greatest to lace them up. 4 hall of famers w/ another one on the way. I’m happy stop making me look like a scorn man sheesh https://t.co/4xVYw5FDOv— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) August 15, 2018
Of course, NBA fans had to troll McCollum. Enter Jennifer. She tweeted back at McCollum "Win a playoff game then talk." His response has since gone viral -
Im trying Jennifer— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) August 15, 2018
"I'm trying Jennifer."
Rip City fans went wild. People were asking about making shirts, banners, and anything else. It almost became a rallying cry. Even McCollum himself had fun with it.
Somebody send me a “ I’m trying Jennifer “ t-shirt 😂😂😂— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) August 15, 2018
Ask and you shall receive.
🔥🤷♂️🔥 pic.twitter.com/ytj00OcnxY— Steve D. (@SteveDHoops) August 15, 2018
this should be your jersey for 2018 😂 pic.twitter.com/dQswLYOyfq— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) August 15, 2018
Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley posted a blog today listing out "NBA Sidekicks Who Could Star in Different Situations."
On his short list was none other than Portland Trail Blazer CJ McCollum. Buckley writes:
Inside the lines, though, McCollum can mostly go step-for-step with his higher-profile backcourt mate. Because McCollum plays the Robin role for the Portland Trail Blazers, the volume edge goes Lillard's way. But McCollum has had the higher field-goal and three-point percentages each of the last three seasons, and his career slash line comfortably wins both of those levels.
You can read the full story, and the full analysis of McCollum's potential in the B/R story. Of note, McCollum was the only Western Conference player to make the list.
Over his five year NBA career, McCollum is averaging 17.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assits per game while shooting an impressive 40.8% from three and 84.2% from the free throw line.
Blazer fans love them some Damian and CJ backcourt action and President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey has repeatedly said he will not break up the backcourt, which seems to sit just fine with fans and Lillard and McCollum who have developed into quite the dynamic duo for Portland.
After any professional team has its regular season schedule released, it’s time for the analytics gurus to shine with the various stats and information out there about when, where, and how a team will play a game on any given day. While I am not a stat nerd, the NBA did some of the work for me so let's dive into some interesting stats that were pointed out in a document sent over by the NBA along with the team's schedule as well as some various observations from our first day of analyzing it.
A COMPARISON OF BACK-TO-BACK GAMES
Overall the NBA has one fewer back-to-back game on average for all 32 teams.
As for the Blazers, with their 12 total back-to-back contests, they have three less than last season.
Breaking down those 12 back-to-backs includes three pairs where no travel is involved, five pairs with short travel (under 750 miles) and four pairs with longer travel (over 750 miles).
FRIST 10 GAMES (HOME/AWAY SPLIT)
HOME: 6 AWAY: 4
LAST 10 GAMES (HOME/AWAY SPLIT)
HOME: 4 AWAY: 6
A BREAKDOWN OF “TIRED” & "FRESH" GAMES
The Blazers will have 10 total games (same as last season) that will be “tired” games.
On the flip side, the Blazers have 8 "fresh" games for a Net rating of -2 (last year they were -1)
*Team is considered “tired” if it plays the day before and its opponent does not.
*Team is considered “fresh” if it did not play the day before and its opponent did.
LONGEST HOME STAND
11 days, 6 games from November 1st through November 11th
LONGEST ROAD TRIP
13 days, 7 games from February 21st through March 5th
The Trail Blazers will travel the most miles in the season with a total of 54,333 miles in distance traveled.
The Full Schedule:
Thu. 18-Oct-18 L.A. Lakers 7:30 PM (TNT)
Sat. 20-Oct-18 San Antonio 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Mon. 22-Oct-18 Washington 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Thu. 25-Oct-18 at Orlando 4:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Sat. 27-Oct-18 at Miami 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Mon. 29-Oct-18 at Indiana 4:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Tue. 30-Oct-18 at Houston 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Thu. 1-Nov-18 New Orleans 7:30 PM (TNT)
Sat. 3-Nov-18 L.A. Lakers 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Sun. 4-Nov-18 Minnesota 6:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Tue. 6-Nov-18 Milwaukee 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Thu. 8-Nov-18 L.A. Clippers 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Sun. 11-Nov-18 Boston 6:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 14-Nov-18 at L.A. Lakers 7:30 PM (ESPN)
Fri. 16-Nov-18 at Minnesota 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Sun. 18-Nov-18 at Washington 3:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Tue. 20-Nov-18 at New York 4:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 21-Nov-18 at Milwaukee 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Fri. 23-Nov-18 at Golden State 7:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Sun. 25-Nov-18 L.A. Clippers 6:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 28-Nov-18 Orlando 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Fri. 30-Nov-18 Denver 7:30 PM ESPN (NBCS NW)
Sun. 2-Dec-18 at San Antonio 5:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Tue. 4-Dec-18 at Dallas 5:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Thu. 6-Dec-18 Phoenix 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Sat. 8-Dec-18 Minnesota 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Tue. 11-Dec-18 at Houston 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 12-Dec-18 at Memphis 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Fri. 14-Dec-18 Toronto 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Mon. 17-Dec-18 at L.A. Clippers 7:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 19-Dec-18 Memphis 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Fri. 21-Dec-18 Utah 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Sun. 23-Dec-18 Dallas 6:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Tue. 25-Dec-18 at Utah 7:30 PM (NBCS NW and ESPN)
Thu. 27-Dec-18 at Golden State 7:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Sat. 29-Dec-18 Golden State 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Sun. 30-Dec-18 Philadelphia 6:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Tue. 1-Jan-19 at Sacramento 6:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Fri. 4-Jan-19 Oklahoma City 7:30 PM (NBCS NW and ESPN)
Sat. 5-Jan-19 Houston 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Mon. 7-Jan-19 New York 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 9-Jan-19 Chicago 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Fri. 11-Jan-19 Charlotte 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Sun. 13-Jan-19 at Denver 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Mon. 14-Jan-19 at Sacramento 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 16-Jan-19 Cleveland 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Fri. 18-Jan-19 New Orleans 7:30 PM (NBCS NW and ESPN)
Mon. 21-Jan-19 at Utah 6:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Tue. 22-Jan-19 at Oklahoma City 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Thu. 24-Jan-19 at Phoenix 6:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Sat. 26-Jan-19 Atlanta 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 30-Jan-19 Utah 7:30 PM (NBCS NW and ESPN)
Tue. 5-Feb-19 Miami 7:30 PM (TNT)
Thu. 7-Feb-19 San Antonio 7:30 PM (TNT)
Sun. 10-Feb-19 at Dallas 12:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Mon. 11-Feb-19 at Oklahoma City 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 13-Feb-19 Golden State 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Thu. 21-Feb-19 at Brooklyn 4:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Sat. 23-Feb-19 at Philadelphia 10:00 AM (NBCS NW)
Mon. 25-Feb-19 at Cleveland 4:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 27-Feb-19 at Boston 4:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Fri. 1-Mar-19 at Toronto 4:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Sun. 3-Mar-19 at Charlotte 10:00 AM (NBCS NW)
Tue. 5-Mar-19 at Memphis 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Thu. 7-Mar-19 Oklahoma City 7:30 PM (TNT)
Sat. 9-Mar-19 Phoenix 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Tue. 12-Mar-19 at L.A. Clippers 7:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Fri. 15-Mar-19 at New Orleans 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Sat. 16-Mar-19 at San Antonio 5:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Mon. 18-Mar-19 Indiana 7:30 PM ESPN (NBCS NW)
Wed. 20-Mar-19 Dallas 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Sat. 23-Mar-19 Detroit 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Mon. 25-Mar-19 Brooklyn 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 27-Mar-19 at Chicago 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Fri. 29-Mar-19 at Atlanta 4:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Sat. 30-Mar-19 at Detroit 4:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Mon. 1-Apr-19 at Minnesota 5:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 3-Apr-19 Memphis 7:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Fri. 5-Apr-19 at Denver 7:30 PM (NBCS NW and ESPN)
Sun. 7-Apr-19 Denver 6:00 PM (NBCS NW)
Tue. 9-Apr-19 at L.A. Lakers 7:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Wed. 10-Apr-19 Sacramento 7:30 PM (NBCS NW)
Trail Blazers big man Meyers Leonard has been putting in a ton of work on the court this offseason and doing some serious damage to innocent rims around the country. Just check out this clip that Chris Grenham uploaded to Twitter. Marcus Smart with the full-court pass to Leonard, and The Hammer finishes the alley-oop in style. BOOM SHAKALAKA
This full-court alley oop from Marcus Smart to Meyers Leonard is really impressive. @DrewHanlen and @PureSweat's latest Unseen Hours episode has some awesome footage once again. pic.twitter.com/lIeR5MrDTg— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) August 9, 2018
The countdown to the 2018-19 NBA season is on!
News is starting to trickle out about the NBA schedule and the Portland Trail Blazers will be playing in a couple of big events this season.
The Blazers longest active win streak over any one team in franchise history will be on the line on Day One of the regular season...
LeBron James and the Lakers open their season on October 18 on the road against the Blazers, per league sources.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) August 8, 2018
Yes, Portland’s season will start off with a bang! The Blazers welcome in LeBron James and the LA Lakers to tip-off the regular season on Thursday, October 18th. Blazer fans will be the first to see what LeBron can do with a young Lakers team that now also includes Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and JaValle McGee.
Last season, Portland split its series vs. LeBron and the Cavs, with each team winning at home.
And get ready for this Blazers fans — The Trail Blazers have a Christmas Day Game! Portland will travel to Utah to face the Jazz on December 25th.
Portland Trail Blazers will face the Utah Jazz on the road in one of the five Christmas Day games, league sources tell ESPN.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 8, 2018
This marks the first Christmas Day game for both teams in several years. Portland hasn’t played on Christmas since 2010, while the featured game for Utah dates all the way back to 1997.
Historically, the Blazers have had a lot of success on the December holiday, with a 14-3 overall record. However, in the most recent X-mas matchup, Portland lost at Golden State, 109-102.
Just something to keep in mind, the home team is 142–75 in Christmas games.
So now that the ‘big games’ have been released, you only have to wait a few more days for the entire 2018-19 regular season slate.
According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Portland Trail Blazers will be a part of the Christmas Day slate with Portland traveling to Utah.
The NBA Africa Game took place this year in South Africa with a star studded lineup of Team Africa vs. Team World.
The Portland Trail Blazers will represented by Al-Farouq Aminu, who is from Nigeria, who put up a solid stat line of 2 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals over the course of 20 minutes of playing time.
In the end Team World would come away with the victory, led by 23 points from Danilo Gallinari. Joel Embiid led Team Africa in scoring with 24.
Check out the game highlights above and you can see some of Aminu's highlights embeded below.