Can you smell a Summer League Title? Blazers undefeated so far!
Blazers look confident heading into tournament play
That’s a wrap on Summer League pool play as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the San Antonio Spurs at Cox Pavilion on Tuesday afternoon, 95-89.
It was a physical game with plenty of high-flying dunks and fouls called. Good thing for the 10 foul rule in SL!
The Blazers rookie Gary Trent Jr. continued to impress, having his best game in Summer League on Tuesday.
Portland will get a bye as the #2 seed and play their first tournament game on Thursday at 7:30pm.
Portland was without its starting center Zach Collins vs. the Spurs due to a right ankle sprain and ruled out about an hour before tip-off.
Through the first two games of SL, Collins showed his defensive prowess. He had a total of 5 blocks in 20 minutes of play in game 2, before he left the game early in the 3rd quarter with the ankle injury suffered while driving to the hoop.
Collins was already dealing with a broken nose that he suffered in Summer League practice last week during team scrimmage. The 20-year-old had a rough night shooting in the Blazers first game, going 2-of-12 from the field and finished with 5 points, however, he did pull down 7 rebounds and have 3 blocks.
Gary Trent Jr.
Trent Jr. led the Blazers at the half with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field. He finished the game with 20 points to lead all scorers. Trent went 7-for-17 from the field, including 4-of-8 from three-point range.
The Blazers rookie not only showed he can stroke it from long distance but is able to get open shots in a variety of ways.
Simons has shown he can run with the big boys through three games. The rookie played 25 minutes and scored eight points on 30.8 percent shooting, and as Blazers Summer League coach Jim Moran put it, Simons is “is a lot further along than I had anticipated.”
Coach Moran also went on to say, in his postgame interview, “[Simons] is kind of a little anxious at certain times… I told him to wait, calm down... He’s hard to guard when he gets a hand off and turns the corner… He’s got a little bit of everything.”
On the defensive end, Simons has showed poise. He had just one foul on the day.
Through pool play, Layman has come up big for Portland. Layman scored 6 of his 15 points in the first quarter to help the Blazers get off to a 22-16 lead. He is coming off a game in which he scored, 23 point on 9-of-14 shooting.
Layman was an efficient 5-of-8 from the floor in Tuesday’s win, while going 3-of-4 from deep. The Blazers forward also had eight rebounds.
Baldwin continued to be effective on both ends of the floor. He finished the day with 16 points (6-of-12 FGs), and recorded five steals.
Baldwin has been able to find his teammates, as well. He finished with nine assists. After the win, Baldwin told the media, “I got to bring full energy. I’m going hard as I can. My job is on the line, my career is on the line. I’ve got to bring the best out myself every time.”
MVP honors of the tournament is also what Baldwin is hoping to accomplish as far as personal goals. For team goals, he says he is looking for the Blazers to win it all.
Swanigan was tasked with a key matchup up against former Oregon State center Drew Eubanks. It was a battle of two very competitive and physical bigs.
Biggie made a living at the free throw line vs. San Antonio. Eight of his 12 points were from the charity stripe. However, Swanigan committed five turnovers and had five fouls. His counterpart, Drew Eubanks, finished with six points and three rebounds.
Now that pool play is over, it’s time for the tournament portion of Summer League to start. The Trail Blazers tournament schedule will be released late Tuesday night. Portland is guaranteed at least two more games. The Championship game will be held on Tuesday, July 17th.