As Portland continues its five game homestand all three of the remaining games on the docket are Eastern Conference teams who are in the bottom half of the standings, which means the Blazers can pick up some momentum with the Knicks, Bulls, and Hornets coming to town. Portland will look to improve on its 15-7 home record tonight vs. New York.
Before tonight’s game tipped off Portland’s head coach Terry Stotts and New York’s head coach David Fizdale gave updates to the media.
Blazers Injury Update: Maurice Harkless (left knee) and Evan Turner (left ankle) were listed as ‘probable’ for tonight’s contest. The Blazers announced that both Harkless and Turner are available for tonight's game.
Coach Stotts said he feels that being listed as ‘probable’ means there is a 75% chance that the player will play and a 25% chance he won’t play. Stotts added that teams around the league have a different definition of ‘probable’ and ‘questionable.’
Tonight will be a homecoming for Noah Vonleh, who played in Portland from 2015 to early 2018.
Stotts is happy to see Vonleh is getting an opportunity and consistent minutes with the Knicks.
“It looks like he has fit in well… They rely on him defensively. He’s getting a good opportunity,” Stotts said.
This season Vonleh is averaging 8.5 ppg and 8.7 rpg in 26.8 minutes played.
Hear from Coach Stotts right here:
The Knicks are going to be “focused” on Damian Lillard on the defensive end, but Coach Fizdale added that you have to respect the other players around Lillard.
Coach Fizdale also talked about how he has been pleased with Vonleh’s “evolution.”
“His three-point shooting, he’s ball handling, his post up game, his overall effort and focus defensively, his rebounding,” those are all areas of improvement from Vonleh’s game according to Coach Fizdale.
Hear from coach Fizdale right here: