Draymond Green accuses Trail Blazers coach of cheating -- here's why he's wrong

Draymond Green accuses Trail Blazers coach of cheating -- here's why he's wrong

“Hey, how much time does he get? How much time does he get!?”

That's the question Trail Blazers assistant coach Jim Moran was overheard asking on the Trail Blazers television broadcast during the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's game vs. the Golden State Warriors.  

With 5:22 remaining in the game, the buzzer went off. It was a dead ball and Draymond Green was at the scorers table set to check in. Only, he remained there for almost 13 seconds, taking off the heating pads on his knees, warm-ups still on.

That's when Moran pleaded with referees, to which they obliged. 

Green, noticeably upset, yelled a derogatory phrase at the Trail Blazers bench, which was picked up on the nat sound microphones on the floor.  

Play resumed before Green eventually subbed in for Omari Spellman at the next timeout, which was with 4:35 remaining in the game.

After the game, Green took exception to Moran's plea.  

 "Asking for a delay of game don’t help you in the playoffs!" Green yelled in the locker room loud enough for reporters to hear after the game.

Green can be upset all he wants, but here's what he needs to know: 

He was wrong.

According to the official NBA rule on substitution

RULE NO 3: Players, Substitutes and Coaches
Section 5, article C: A substitute must be ready to enter the game when beckoned. No delays for removal of warm-up clothing will be permitted.

Green still had his warm-ups on and his heating pads wrapped around his knees. He should have been prepared to enter the game. He wasn't and the referees used their discretion and kept the game moving.

It was just two weeks ago that Thunder guard Chris Paul called out Timberwolves forward Jordan Bell for an untucked jersey with 1.1 seconds remaining in the game, which then resulted in a technical foul on the Timberwolves, helping to send the game into overtime.

The Thunder ended up winning that game.

Green believes now that players and coaches saw CP3 get away with such actions, that they can too.

"Those that cheat the game don't win in the playoffs," Green told reporters postgame. "Monkey see, monkey do. 'I see one guy ask for a delay of game and get it, then I'ma ask for one.' S--t's weak. "

"But that’s the league we in. Everyone cheating the game, whether it’s cheap-a-- fouls or asking for a delay of game.”

There was no call for a delay of game, nor would that have truly mattered in Wednesday's game with the Blazers holding on and beating Golden State by 10 points; however, the fact remains that Draymond Green is out there wanting his opponents to not be tattletales or in his words, to not be cheaters. Also, worrying about the playoffs this season might be a bit premature since Golden State's record is now 5-24. 

Memories from Damian Lillard's career-high vs. Golden State

Memories from Damian Lillard's career-high vs. Golden State

I’m pretty sure a lot of Trail Blazer fans have been waiting for this (Sunday, 6 p.m.) classic game. Not because it was played a long time ago and they haven’t seen it in a while, but because of the spectacular nature of what happened on this January night in Moda Center against the Golden State Warriors.

This was the night Damian Lillard went for 61 points and you have your chance to see every single one of them.

Lillard broke his own franchise record (60) for points in a game, set earlier in the season, while taking just 37 shots from the field. He became the first player in NBA history to score 60-plus points and hit 10-plus three-pointers in a game and he was just the sixth player in league history to have more than one 60-point game.

Portland trailed the outmanned Warriors by a dozen points in the third quarter and needed a Lillard three with 14.9 seconds to go to send it into overtime.

The Trail Blazers then faced a six-point deficit in overtime before rallying for the win.

‘’He’s a great player,‘’ Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said of Lillard. ‘’He’s an All-Star who has had a million big shots in his career, so none of it was surprising. You just take it for granted with him.‘’ 

Lillard made all 16 of his free throws, had 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Hassan Whiteside had a memorable game, too, getting 17 points, 21 rebounds and six blocked shots.

But this game will forever have Lillard’s name stamped all over it. A night when Lillard Time lasted the entire four quarters and an overtime. 

How to Watch: Damian Lillard’s 61-point game vs. Warriors

How to Watch: Damian Lillard’s 61-point game vs. Warriors

Enjoy your Sunday evening with this instant classic and what Damian Lillard calls one of the best performances of his career.

It was less than three months ago when Lillard topped his own franchise scoring high with 61 points along with a career best 11 three-pointers in a home win over the Golden State Warriors.

The short-handed Trail Blazers defeated the Warriors 129-124 in overtime behind Lillard’s 61 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists on the night.  

"It's one of the best of my career," Lillard said postgame. "One of my better performances in a game we needed to win. “I think that's just what it is. We needed a win tonight. A great performance. I'm excited about it. I'm happy about it, but I wish it counted for three wins instead of one."

Lillard’s previous career high was 60 points that he set earlier in the season against Brooklyn, which broke the club record at the time.

With the rare feat, the 5x All-Star became the first player in NBA history with 60-plus points and 10-plus 3-pointers in a game, and just the sixth player with multiple 60-point games.

But, the 61 points almost didn’t happen.

After Hassan Whiteside nailed two clutch foul shots with 8.5 seconds left, Lillard, was tossed two more free throws in the final seconds.

The Trail Blazers point guard admitted after the game that he knew what his point total was when he went to the line.

"Yeah, I knew," he said. "I knew I had 59 after it was eight seconds left so I was like, it's probably going to sit at 59. Then the shot went up, I got the rebound, the guy bumped me and I was like, I'm going to fall down. They’re going to have to blow the whistle and I’m getting those two free throws."

This 61-point game from Lillard was smack dab in the middle of a tremendous scoring run for the 29-year-old. During an eight game span from Jan. 17 to Feb. 2, Lillard averaged 45.1 points, 9.6 assists, and 5.5 rebounds.

Starters for Blazers vs. Warriors Game on Jan. 20, 2020

GOLDEN STATE

D’Angelo Russell

Damion Lee

Eric Paschall

Willie Cauley-Stein

Alec Burks

PORTLAND

Damian Lillard

Anfernee Simons

Carmelo Anthony

Nassir Little

Hassan Whiteside

HOW TO WATCH: Lillard’s 61-point performance

WHEN: Sunday, April 5 at 6:00pm 

Channel: NBC Sports Northwest, Channel 737 (Portland), 617 (Seattle)

CHANNEL FINDER

Stream the game here.  

OR stream the game on your phone with the 'MyTeams' App -- available in the App Store for iPhones and on Google play.  

NBC Sports Northwest is airing 12 Trail Blazers Classic Games over the next few weeks.

The full schedule can be found here.

No way NBA is throwing in the towel this soon with so much money at stake

No way NBA is throwing in the towel this soon with so much money at stake

Yesterday I wrote about my doubts about the NBA, and other pro sports, resuming play as quickly as they would like. Soon after that was published, there was this report:

...the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down.

That could well be true. But from what I’ve heard from sources within the league, the NBA is also doing its due diligence in regard to multiple scenarios that would allow it to complete the regular season and/or the playoffs.

It’s what you do in this situation -- you still have plenty of options and plenty of time to make a final decision, so why not make plans for all outcomes?

There is no particular reason at this time to give up on playing a season, even if it would be judged the most probable outcome.

Let’s say that a treatment for COVID-19 is developed quicker than anticipated, a league would need to have a plan in place based on whatever date it would get the all-clear to gather for games, either with or without fans.

Those plans could be made and changed based on when a possible return could happen. And the point is, the league must prepare for all eventualities. 

It’s hard to believe but the NBA has been shut down for just a little more than three weeks. It seems like three months. But we're still a few months away from having to make a call on the season.

I’m sure the NBA -- and the other major pro sports leagues -- will do what’s best for the health of their employees and fans. But at the same, keep in mind there are billions of dollars at stake here -- for owners, players, staff and associated businesses.

The league will do anything and everything to make sure it exhausts all avenues for retaining some or all of that money. You can depend on it.

There is no point in cashing in the chips at this point. I think there could be doomsday planning being done, but you can bet that scenarios are also being developed to pick up the pieces of this season whenever possible.

It’s just the smart thing to do.

Miami Heat throws shade at Hassan Whiteside with social media post

Miami Heat throws shade at Hassan Whiteside with social media post

When Hassan Whiteside got traded to the Portland Trail Blazers on the second day of 2019 free agency, he took to his Instagram to announce his pleasure with the move.

'WE GOT SHOOTERS."

Of course, Whiteside was referring to guards Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Rodney Hood, and more which looked much more promising than Whiteside's previous stop, the Miami Heat, which ranked 20th in three-point percentage that prior season. He seemed hyped to have more open space in the paint to operate created by the spacing from playing with one of the league's elite backcourts.

Well, that prior season may have been an anomaly in Miami because in their first season since trading Hassan Whiteside, the Heat are tied for first in the NBA in three-point percentage at 38.3%. (In Whiteside's defense the Blazers are sixth which isn't shabby at all.)

Part of the Heat's newfound success from distance has been the emergence of second-year player Duncan Robinson who's shooting a scorching 44.8% from beyond the arc, good for fourth in the NBA. 

The Miami Heat decided to give a shoutout to their sensational sophomore by comparing him to NBA legend Ray Allen who shot 41.3% from three in 2012-13 for Miami...and also threw some shade towards Whiteside in the process.

"We (always) got shooters" is obviously a reference to Whiteside quote, and while it may just be referring to how over they had elite shooting this season and with Ray Allen. It also can be shading the Portland center by saying the franchise has always had shooting and he shouldn't have acted liked he didn't have any when he got traded. 

NBA planning a televised H-O-R-S-E competition with 'high-profile players'

NBA planning a televised H-O-R-S-E competition with 'high-profile players'

Yes, the NBA is talking about horse and no, they're not referring to Hassan Whiteside. 

They're talking about the schoolyard game of H-O-R-S-E where players shoot a shot and if they make it, their opponents need to shoot the same shot to avoid getting a letter. Get five letters and you lose. The last player standing remains. 

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA and ESPN are planning to put on a game of H-O-R-S-E between NBA players involving several "high-profile players" and players would shoot in isolation in separate gyms. 

Given that the NBA will be on hiatus for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, the basketball community will take anything close to professional basketball they can get. Getting to see some of the best shooters in the world go head to head in a game of H-O-R-S-E is better than nothing and a welcome sight.

Plus, perhaps one of the "high-profile players" could be a Blazer like Damian Lillard who is famous for his deep range i.e. Logo Lillard. Watching Dame warm up from that distance is something you don't see every day and would make him a force in the competition. It'd be great to see him bomb away from deep after having to sit out of the Three-Point competition due to a strained groin, especially after the contest implemented a new deeper shot with green "Dew" balls. 

Also, this wouldn't be the first time the NBA has held a game of H-O-R-S-E. In 1977-78, the NBA and CBS aired multiple games during the regular season and postseason to crown a champion between 32 players. Eventually, Paul Westphal defeated Rick Barry in the finals.

The NBA tried it again over the 2009 and 2010 All-Star Weekends where Kevin Durant won both games, defeating Joe Johnson and O.J. Mayo in 2009 and Rajon Rondo and Omri Casspi in 2010. 

It's reported that details for the newest edition are still being finalized.

Donald Trump wants fans back in arenas in time for NFL, CFB season

Donald Trump wants fans back in arenas in time for NFL, CFB season

President Donald Trump had a conference call with the heads of numerous leagues Saturday, including NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NFL commissioner Rodger Goddell to discuss the next steps in the coronavirus pandemic.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski, Trump told the panel that he wants to see fans returning to arenas and stadiums by August and September, which would allow the NFL and NCAA College Football seasons to start on time with fans in attendance.

The report also clarified that it's unclear if medical experts find that to be a realistic timeline or if it's just Trump's desire.

Adam Silver stated that he wants the various leagues to help lead the economy back to normalcy once they received the "all-clear" from public health officials. The NBA was the first sports league in the United States to suspend their season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11th. 

The President also brought up the idea of leagues lobbying for tax credits to allow for the deduction of tickets and concessions from taxes to incentivize fans to return to games during the current economy. 

The call had representation from higher-level executives from the 12 major sports leagues in the United States: The NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, NHL, Major League Soccer, WNBA, WWE, the PGA Tour, LPGA, UFC, IndyCar and Breeders' Cup, according to a White House pool report.

Real talk: Only game we will have for next several months is the waiting game

Real talk: Only game we will have for next several months is the waiting game

Some real talk about the resumption of sports in these times:

It should not be at all surprising that the NBA would be considering cancelling the remainder of this season. In fact, I expect Major League Baseball will soon be considering the same thing.

It’s because so many things have to be accomplished before it would be safe (and sane) to restart:

  • China’s pro league thought it could begin its season anew by simply taking players’ temperatures to gauge whether they are carrying the virus. That apparently doesn’t always work with asymptomatic people. China gave up on the restart. Real tests with results within an hour are needed. And then, of course, players and staffs would have to be in strict quarantine throughut the schedule -- which could prove difficult.

  • A vaccine is not likely in the offing, but would obviously open the door to a return. But that could take years -- or maybe never. It is not on the immediate horizon.

  • A medical treatment for the virus, something that could at least keep people from dying, is a much more viable solution, but such things require clinical trials that could take several months. This is the most probable road out of this hell, but not easy. Scientists are working on it all over the world and we’re rooting for them.

  • Without a treatment or a vaccine, there is no way crowds should gather for anything such as sporting events. Any restart would have to include a ban on fans for what I believe could be several months. And the idea of bringing the whole NBA together in one spot to finish the regular season or playoffs is the best idea, if they are determined to try something. But I’m not sure you could expect to isolate that many people in one spot for a great length of time. Somebody is going to go off the ranch or behind the lines and then you have a possible big problem.

I will reiterate, fans at events are just a non-starter. Totally isolating this virus is nearly impossible. All it takes is one infected person showing up in a big crowd and the whole war is on again. This deadly virus is extremely contagious.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but I believe the NFL season is at risk, too, until there is readily available, reliable testing and a valid treatment for those carrying the virus.

And these leagues are going to have to accept the reality that the only game being played for months will be the waiting game.

And that’s likely to go into overtime. Or extra time. Or extra innings.

Damian Lillard's game winner vs. Houston wasn't the original play call

Damian Lillard's game winner vs. Houston wasn't the original play call

While it happened in the blink of an eye, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard remembers nearly every detail about one of the biggest shots of his career. 

It should. "The shot" changed his life forever. 

On the latest episode of the Ledlow & Parker Podcast, Damian Lillard played a game called "Game Time: Dame Time" where hosts Candance Parker and Kristen Ledlow quizzed him on how well he remembers the best game-winners of his career, including his shot in Game 6 against the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs.

He (nearly) got a perfect score knowing all of his teammates on the floor, who was guarding him, who hugged him first when the shot went through the net, and what he yelled into the mic in the post-series celebration. His only miss was how much time was on the clock when the ball left his hand, and he was only a tenth of a second off. 

After playing the game, Lillard spoke about why that shot brings chills every time he watches it. 

I just get chills now when I see that one because that was my second year and that was like my first playoff series. And I just remember the play was for us to just spring towards half court and we'd try to lob it over the top so LA could get a tip in to force overtime. But when I was walking on the court Mo Williams was like 'F- that, go get the ball. You go to the ball. Just run to the ball.' and I was walking to my spot and I just wasn't worried... If we would have lost that game we was going back to Houston for Game 7...and I wasn't worried about that. I was just like 'we ain't going back.' Like, I never felt like we was going back so when I see it now I'm like 'how was I not like more concerned?' It's werid. 

The hosts went on to quiz him about his game-winner against the Oklahoma City Thunder as well in Game 5 from this past postseason.

As you can see, Lillard has made a career out of being the calm in the storm, the stone cold assassin. 

Because when the clock is winding down, we all know what time it is: Dame Time. 

Report: NBA preparing scenarios to cancel the 2019-20 season

Report: NBA preparing scenarios to cancel the 2019-20 season

The NBA has been working diligently on various scenarios on how they will proceed with the league now being suspended for over three weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the NBA has been looking to China and how they are handling the progress of resuming play with the Chinese Basketball Association.

Some things that have happened this week have turned it south about what could happen. A big factor was what happened in China where they halted the return of their league and one of the big reasons is because they really believe that they just tested the players temperatures all the time that it would work and the Chinese are finding that asymptomatic carriers are causing maybe a second wave in that country and they have just slammed the breaks on sports. The talks between the players union and the league this week -- I have talked to both sides of this issue --  and it is clear that the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down. – ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said during Friday’s SportsCenter  

Of course, a lot can change over the next several weeks and months as Windhorst also pointed out the NBA is not ready to make any decision on the 2019-20 season, but are trying to prepare for all of the what-ifs.

It was back on Mar. 18 when NBA commissioner Adam Silver laid out three scenarios in which the NBA returns:

“I’d say I’m looking at three different things here,” Silver told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.

“One is -- Of course, when can we restart and operate as we’ve known -- 19,000 fans in buildings, that’s one set of criteria.

Then option two is – Should we consider starting without fans and what would that mean? Because presumably if you had a group of players and staff around them and you could test them and you could follow some protocol, doctors, health officials may say it’s safe to play…
And then, the third option that we are looking at now, and I would say all suggestions are welcome, is that… Are there conditions in which a group of players could compete and maybe it’s for a giant fundraiser or just for the good of the people?” 

Another issue for the NBA will be looking ahead to the 2020-21 season and not letting this hiatus drastically affect next year.