Evan Turner on the Trail Blazers: 'Dame always figures it out'

Evan Turner on the Trail Blazers: 'Dame always figures it out'

If anyone understands what it’s like to have a rocky adjustment with the Trail Blazers it’s Evan Turner, the now Atlanta Hawks wing, who spent the past three seasons going through his own ups and downs in Portland.

Turner, who sat out on Sunday with an Achilles injury, said he has watched the Blazers a “decent amount” in the early stages of the season and while he understands that fans might be panicking about a less than ideal start to the year, he doesn’t think it’s warranted.

“It’s literally not anything to fret over,” he said.

The Blazers started 12-14 in Turner’s first season in Portland in 2016-17 and opened the following season at 6-6 before surging to the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs. So when Turner saw this iteration of Blazers struggle out of the gates, it didn’t raise much concern.

“It’s a lot of new guys in the locker room,” Turner said. “So they’re adjusting to how you do things. The core, the focal point are the two guards so you have to really get acclimated and find your way around how you can make an impact the best way you can.”

Turner isn’t one to insincerely butter up his former team. He is refreshingly honest, the type of player who will tell reporters the truth to a fault. If he thought this team was bad, it would be in the headline. Instead he insisted this team will be fine. So what is inspiring Turner about the Blazers who needed an overtime win Sunday to run their record to 4-6 on the season?

Chiefly it’s Anfernee Simons, the 20-year-old guard who scored 20 points against the Hawks, and is averaging just shy of twelve points a game in his second season.

“I thought he was going to hit his stride like this eventually but I didn’t know it’d be this quick. It’s unreal. He will be very, very, very, very, very, very, very good,” Turner said, giving his seven-very seal of approval.

“I think the thing I’m noticing about him now is — his confidence wavered sometimes in and out. Like even in the summer he’d have those big games and stuff. He had like 35 and 10 (at summer league). Now the kid knows he’s got it, and you could see it on the court (Sunday) where he went off and Dame and CJ and the coaches were letting him rock out. I think it’s obvious.”

Turner and Simons developed a close bond last season and Turner was one of the first Blazer veterans to confidently proclaim that Simons was going to be an impact player in the NBA. But Turner’s Blazer optimism extends beyond his admiration for their promising youngster. He has seen enough Lillard, his good friend, up close to hit pause on the skepticism.

“If three games go a different way, they’re 7-3, and nobody’d be whining, right?," Turner said. "I think they’ll be fine. Dame always figures it out."

Sunday wasn’t a perfect game. The Blazer looked disjointed early and failed to put the Hawks away late, before narrowly avoiding a five-game losing streak in overtime. But to hear Turner tell it: the Blazers are in a good spot, even with the injuries, even with the new parts adjusting to a new system. But for fans still concerned over a 4-6 record and the obvious issues facing the roster, Turner points in one direction: Toward the team’s All-Star point guard.

“He just keeps getting better and better each year,” he said. “I think it’s still early on in the year and the dude is just going to keep being Dame Lillard. He’s going to keep getting better, and you think you’ve already seen the best he has and there’s more. He’s in his prime and he’s flourishing.”

Hassan Whiteside imitating the 'lag' while playing NBA 2K on bad Wi-Fi is amazing

Hassan Whiteside imitating the 'lag' while playing NBA 2K on bad Wi-Fi is amazing

Since the start of the 2019-20 Trail Blazers season, Portland’s starting center Hassan Whiteside has been making us all laugh.

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Anfernee Simons have all mentioned that Whiteside is one of the funniest dudes on the team.

During the NBA’s hiatus, he is continuing to keep Rip City entertained.

In his latest Instagram post, Whiteside makes fun of the lag on NBA 2k video games when playing the game with a bad Internet connection.  

Here is what it’s like playing NBA 2k “on that hotel Wi-Fi,” according to Whiteside:  

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That LAG spike🥴😂 #nba2k

A post shared by Hassan Whiteside (@hassanwhiteside) on

That is pretty hilarious and pretty spot on.

Sometimes I wonder how he comes up with this stuff!  

Here are just a few other Hassan Whiteside social media posts that can put a smile on your face during this time of quarantine:

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Mood

A post shared by Hassan Whiteside (@hassanwhiteside) on

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Stay Bundled

A post shared by Hassan Whiteside (@hassanwhiteside) on

Keep them coming, Hassan! 

Damian Lillard isn't afraid of Russell Westbrook

Damian Lillard isn't afraid of Russell Westbrook

The date was April 23rd, 2019. 

On that night, Damian Lillard dropped a 50 piece on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. 

The game is best known for what happened at the final buzzer. That is when Lillard launched what is now known as the "Bad Shot."

Lillard rose up from the Moda Center logo, launched a shot over the outstretched arm of Paul George, and sent OKC home. 

The result was the Thunder hitting the reset button in the offseason. 

They traded Paul George to the LA Clippers, and the face of the franchise Russell Westbrook was sent to Houston.

A year later, OKC fans are still salty. 

"PAT BEV TRICK YALL MAN," if that is his real name, is definitely a Westbrook Stan.

What gives it away? Maybe it's the @TripleRussell0 handle, or the Westbrook avatar, or maybe it's the Westbrook banner. We can't quite put our finger on it. 

Regardless, Rip City saw the tweet and was more than a little perplexed. 

After dispatching the Thunder, Portland went on to play in its first Western Conference Finals in nearly 20 years. 

It seems like wanting no part of Westbrook worked out pretty well for Lillard.

Damian Lillard shares heartfelt message to Dame Jr. on his 2nd birthday

Damian Lillard shares heartfelt message to Dame Jr. on his 2nd birthday

On this day in Trail Blazers history... we welcomed a new addition to Rip City!

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Dame Jr. 🙏🏽

A post shared by Damian Lillard (@damianlillard) on

Damian Lillard and now fiancée Kay’La Hanson greeted Damian, Jr. to the world and since then, he's melted our hearts. 

On this day in Trail Blazers history... we welcomed a new addition to Rip City!

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Dame Jr. 🙏🏽

A post shared by Damian Lillard (@damianlillard) on

Damian Lillard and now fiancée Kay’La Hanson greeted Damian, Jr. to the world and since then, he's melted our hearts. 

The two have a very sweet connection. 

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No bond like the father and son !

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And Dame doesn't seem to mind that his son always steals the spotlight!

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#somethingnewchallenge😂😂😂😂

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And on this day, Dame Jr.'s day of birth, Damian Lillard, Sr. shared a series of photos of his son. 

Happy birthday, Dame Jr.!!!

 

How to Watch: Brandon Roy's 4th quarter comeback vs. the Mavericks

How to Watch: Brandon Roy's 4th quarter comeback vs. the Mavericks

Are you ready for another special moment in Trail Blazers history?  

Let’s go back to April 23rd, 2011 at the Rose Garden…. You know it as the magical Game 4 performance from Brandon Roy.

Roy scored Portland’s final eight points to cap off a huge fourth-quarter rally, as the Trail Blazers erased a 23-point deficit to defeat the Dallas Mavericks, 84-82.

In that classic Western Conference quarterfinal game, Roy scored 24 points off the on 9-of-13 shooting.

The Blazers entered the fourth quarter down 67-49.

And now you can relive the Roy go-ahead bank shot in the Blazers comeback victory on NBC Sports Northwest.

Dallas would eventually go on and beat the Blazers in six gams, and then win the whole thing, being crowned the 2011 NBA Champions after defeating the Miami Heat 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. Dirk Nowitzki was named NBA Finals MVP.

But, in Game 4 of the Blazers and Mavs first round series the real MVP was B-Roy.

And honestly, this game always gets Rip City pumped not just for the playoffs, but anytime. 

Starters for 2011 NBA Playoffs Game 4:

DALLAS

DeShawn Stevenson

Shawn Marion

Dirk Nowitzki

Tyson Chandler

Jason Kidd

PORTLAND

Wesley Matthews

Andre Miller

LaMarcus Aldridge

Gerald Wallace

Marcus Camby

HOW TO WATCH Blazers vs. Mavs

WHEN: Sunday, March 29th at 4:30pm

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

CHANNEL FINDER

Stream the game here. 

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

The full schedule can be found here.

The core value Carmelo Anthony emphasizes in parenting

The core value Carmelo Anthony emphasizes in parenting

Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony isn't the young rookie sensation that competed with LeBron James for Rookie of the Year anymore.

He's developed as a player and perhaps more importantly, as a parent. 

As a parent, one is able to make decisions on what is important in life, a chance to learn from mistakes and an opportunity to see someone blossom.

In a recent Instagram Live with best friend Dwyane Wade, Anthony detailed what's the most crucial core value to instill in your offspring.

Respect. Respect. I don't care who you are. I don't care what you do. If you don't have no respect then nobody is going to respect you. And that's like one of the things that we preach in this household. You gotta respect people. You gotta show people that you're respectful. You gotta have manners. You gotta treat the janitor like you treat the CEO of the company... That's real. 

Carmelo and his wife La La Anthony are raising Kiyan Carmelo Anthony, age 12, who recently learned the deceptiveness of NBA highlights too with his pops. 

You can watch Wade and Anthony talk about respect in the embedded video above. 

Payton Pritchard would be a great fit with the Portland Trail Blazers

Payton Pritchard would be a great fit with the Portland Trail Blazers

Payton Pritchard, the kid from West Linn, has a habit of winning. 

Early on in his youth basketball days, four state championship at West Linn High School in Portland, Oregon, the winningest player at the University of Oregon… Pritchard knows and love the game of basketball through and through.

The Pac-12 Player of the Year, first consensus All-American in 80 years at Oregon, Lute Olson Award winner is now turning his focus to the NBA, with the NCAA season cut short. 

The Oregon men’s basketball star joins the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with NBA champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.

As a Portland native, Pritchard grew up a Portland Trail Blazers fan. 

But the player he truly aspired to be was Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade.

I always rooted for the Blazers but my team was actually the Miami Heat with D-Wade. I was always a D-Wade fan from the beginning even when like Shaw and all them were there, before LeBron came. — Payton Pritchard

Despite Pritchard’s love for Wade and the Heat, Frye explains that Pritchard could be a good fit for a number of NBA teams right now:

I could name three teams off the top of my head I think you'd be good at. I think you'd be great here in Portland. Right? Backup point guard. I think you would be really good in Phoenix. Obviously, depending on what happens in Miami, those kind of places. Like, Miami would be number 3. And then, depending on what happens in Dallas, I think Dallas would be great. -- Channing Frye

I would love to play for any of those four teams. — Payton Pritchard.

Frye goes on to say it’s all about “culture and stability.”

The Portland Trail Blazers currently hold the No. 14 and No. 44 pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft. Pritchard is listed as a late second-round pick.

You can listen to the full Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with Pritchard below:

Carmelo Anthony explains the most beautiful thing and most dangerous thing in the NBA

Carmelo Anthony explains the most beautiful thing and most dangerous thing in the NBA

In a recent Instagram Live with best friend and NBA Legend Dwyane Wade, Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony broke down what he thought was "the most beautiful thing and most dangerous thing" in the NBA.

Highlights.

It all started when Melo was watching old replayed games with his son who recognized some of the NBA players.

He like 'Oh Dad is that so and so? I seen that hightlight.' And yeah you saw the highlight, Now you get to see the game, now you get to see what happened in the highlight. - Melo

However, with added context, the plays were not as impressive to the young viewer.

He was like 'Yo... Now that highlight don't even mean much to me no more....Because I'm actually seeing the lead up to the actual highlight.' - Melo

Melo was glad to see that his son understood that highlights can be deceiving because they're clips stripped away from context. Wade added that when his NBA teams went through film sessions, "every player looked like an All-Star" and each team looked like the 1996 Bulls. That's what highlights do.

Highlights are the most beautiful thing and most dangerous thing at the end of the day. - Melo

Then, Carmelo brought up that specifically AAU mixtapes can be misleading and that he'd rather just watch the game.

But that doesn't mean all highlights are bad. They can quite entertaining.

I support all the highlights because that's where we at and people love highlights. Like everybody loves highlights. We love highlights. We love to watch our own highlights. 

You can watch the exchange in the video embedded above. 

Carmelo Anthony reminisces on 'special' Trail Blazers debut

Carmelo Anthony reminisces on 'special' Trail Blazers debut

When the Trail Blazers needed additional reinforcements in the frontcourt with the injury to Zach Collins, they knew who to call.

Insert 10x NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony fresh from... the couch? 

In an Instagram Live with fellow NBA Legend and best friend Dwyane Wade, Anthony talked about his first game as a Trail Blazer and how he ended up in Rip City.

I'm sitting in the crib and just get the phone call like 'Is this what you wanna do?' and like I have been down this road before. Let's make sure it's right. Let's make sure all parties are onboard and we go from there.

After agreeing to join the team he needed to figure out a starting date. Melo hadn't appeared in a game in nearly a calendar year after being sent home and ultimately waived by the Houston Rockets in 2018-2019. Anthony has stayed in shape but the initial ask from Portland was optimistic, to say the least. 

This is like a Wednesday. They like 'Oh can you meet us Friday?' I'm like 'Oh Friday? I'm sitting on the couch I can't meet y'all on [Friday]. I can't go play...on the game on Friday I've been on the couch!'

The Trail Blazers would welcome Melo to the starting lineup to make his Portland debut on November 19, 2019, in the Smoothie King Center against the New Orleans Pelicans.

When the game tipped off Anthony had one goal in mind: make it through the first timeout.

I wanna get through the first timeout, like if I can get through the first timeout I'm good... Once I got through the first timeout... there's no more adrenaline... my work been paying off. My conditioning is paying off.

The Trail Blazers lost to the Pelicans 115-104 and Anthony looked good at times but struggled from the field shooting 4-for-14 for 10 points. However, despite the result, Melo felt his return to the NBA was special primarily because of the city where it happened.

That was a special game man going back to New Orleans. Like everything started to come to me: being in New Orleans, playing down there again, first game back, Syracuse National Championship in New Orleans. Like all of that stuff started to come back to me.

As a freshman, Anthony led the Syracuse Orange to a National Championship before declaring for the 2003 NBA Draft. 

Now, New Orleans has a special place in his heart for another reason; not an ending but a new beginning. 

The real reason Michael Jordan shrugged his shoulders after hitting those 6 threes

The real reason Michael Jordan shrugged his shoulders after hitting those 6 threes

In preparation for an upcoming documentary about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, there is a lot of Jordan talk going around right now, particularly at the four-letter network.

And when showing highlights of Jordan's incredible career, it never takes long to get to what people call the "shrug game." That's Game 1 of 1992 NBA Finals when Jordan knocks down six straight three-pointers in a half and then turns toward a camera and shrugs. I've heard all sorts of explanations for that shrug, including one that involved Jordan not believing the Trail Blazers were leaving him open to make those shots.

First, let me say some of those attempts were taken with Clifford Robinson guarding him. Robinson was 6-9 and a terrific defender at four positions.

But most important, the one thing nobody ever points out was that Jordan was a terrible three-point shooter at that stage of his career. Teams would dare him to take those shots. Jordan, in fact, shot just 27 percent from three-point range during the 1991-92 regular season.

That's right, 27 percent! And that's why in that season, he averaged only 1.3 three-point attempts per game.

I was there in Chicago Stadium when Jordan hit those threes and I always felt the one and only reason that he shrugged his shoulders the way he did was:

Of all the fantastic things he did in his career, Michael Jordan himself simply couldn't believe he did THAT.