Former Trail Blazers Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin traded yet again

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USATI

Former Trail Blazers Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin traded yet again

Former Trail Blazers Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin, who were just traded this past weekend from Portland to Cleveland as part of the Rodney Hood deal and then to Houston... Now they are on the move AGAIN...

Thursday morning ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting:

But you shouldn't expect Stauskas and Baldwin to stay with the Pacers either. 

Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes sounded off on the Rockets-Pacers trade in the post below. 

Wednesday:

Stauskas had been in and out of the Trail Blazers rotation throughout the season. Baldwin never latched on to any significant playing time, so the deal to acquire Rodney Hood was a nice move by Portland.

For Stauskas, the move to the Pacers would technically be his 7th team in five seasons and his 5th team since 2018.

Instant Analysis: Jayson Tatum, Celtics too much for Trail Blazers

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Instant Analysis: Jayson Tatum, Celtics too much for Trail Blazers

Tuesday night Portland's shots were falling early and often; however, the Trail Blazers have started off hot in the first quarter and then cooled off in recent games. That trend continued Tuesday night when the Blazers welcomed in the Boston Celtics.

Even though the Blazers outscored the Celtics 10-3 to start the game, it was Portland’s defense that stood out early. The Blazers were getting out in the passing lanes and disrupting shots down low.  

Boston held a 56-48 lead at halftime.

The Trail Blazers started off the third quarter, hitting three threes that began with Portland’s starting center Hassan Whiteside hitting from long distance. The problem for Portland: Boston was also hot from three.

In the third quarter, the Celtics went up by as many as 17 points and then never really looked back.

FINAL BOX SCORE: CELTICS 118, TRAIL BLAZERS 106

Here are three quick takeaways from Tuesday’s loss:

1. Stotts changes up rotation

It’s no secret that the Trail Blazers haven’t been able to get much production from their second unit, especially with all the injuries that have forced Blazers head coach Terry Stotts to go deep into his bench. Tuesday night, Stotts subbed out his starters earlier than normal and made sure to keep two starters on the court at all times until the game started to get away from the Blazers late in the third quarter.

2. McCollum still running the show

Tuesday’s game was the third straight game that Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard has missed with a right groin strain. In the previous two games with no Lillard, CJ McCollum was averaging 34.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 11.0 assists. Against the Celtics, McCollum was still getting good looks from three. After three quarters, McCollum was 5-of-10 from deep with 22 points and seven assists. Unlike the previous two games though, McCollum didn’t rack up the assists in the first quarter, but as the game went along he dished out more dimes. Hassan Whiteside was the beneficiary of those passes. Yet, McCollum struggled from the floor and from the free throw line in the final period.  

3. Cs splash in the 3s

At the break, Boston was shooting over 50 percent from behind the arc. The Celtics were led by shooting guard Jaylen Brown with his five-first-half three-pointers as Boston went 11-of-22 from deep for the first half. The Cs' efficient three-point shooting continued in the second half when Jayson Tatum got going from three. Tatum finished with 36 points on 14-of-22 shooting, including 8-for-12 from distance. 

Up Next: The Trail Blazers visit the Indiana Pacers Thursday night as Portland embarks on a three-game road trip. The Blazers and Pacers tip-off at 5:00pm PT on NBC Sports Northwest and the MyTeams App.

Be sure to check back throughout the night and tomorrow morning for analysis, articles, and videos from the players!

Trail Blazers Pregame Notebook: Is there concern of Blazer starters playing too many minutes?

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Trail Blazers Pregame Notebook: Is there concern of Blazer starters playing too many minutes?

Before the Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics tip-off at 7:00p.m. tonight on NBC Sports Northwest and on the 'MyTeams' App, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts was asked if he was concerned about the Blazers veterans playing too many minutes following Sunday’s game when CJ McCollum played the entire second half against the Pistons.

“I don’t like playing players over 40 minutes. I think that’s the bar that I try to stay under most of the season. I didn’t necessarily like playing CJ the whole second half against Detroit, but I felt like that was necessary. But, I think NBA players are capable of playing 35 to 37 minutes. I don’t think that’s unreasonable,” Coach Stotts said pregame.  

HEAR FROM COACH STOTTS HERE:

 

BLAZERS INJURY REPORT:

Damian Lillard (right groin strain), Rodney Hood (left ruptured Achilles tendon), Zach Collins (left shoulder dislocation), and Jusuf Nurkic (left leg fracture) are out for Tuesday's game vs. Boston. 

CELTICS INJURY REPORT:

Robert Williams III (left hip bone edema), Kemba Walker (left knee soreness), Tremont Waters (Two-way) and Tacko Fall (Two-way) are out.

STANDOUT GAME NOTES:

-- Tuesday's meeting will be the first of two games between the Trail Blazers and Celtics during the 2019-20 season.

-- LAST SEASON: Portland swept the 2018-19 season series with Boston, 2-0.

-- Portland's starters have averaged 86.4 points per game this season (second in the NBA) while Boston's starters have averaged 85.3 points per game (third in the NBA).

-- The Trail Blazers rank eighth in the NBA in scoring (113.3) while the Celtics are ninth (113.3).

-- CJ McCollum averaged 14.0 points (35.3% FG, 14.3% 3-PT, 66.7% FT), 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in two games against the Celtics last season. McCollum has scored at least 20 points in four of his last six games against Boston.

-- Hassan Whiteside averaged 9.0 points (60.7% FG, 22.2% FT), 10.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.00 block in four games against Boston with Miami last season. He has pulled down double-digit rebounds in seven of his last nine games opposite the Celtics.

-- Trevor Ariza averaged 8.5 points (29.4% FG, 25.0% 3-PT, 100% FT), 7.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in two games against Boston with both Washington and Phoenix last season. Ariza has scored in double-figures in seven of his last eight games versus the Celtics.

-- Kemba Walker averaged 18.0 points (25.0% FG, 33.3% 3-PT, 90.9% FT), 1.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists in two games against the Trail Blazers with the Hornets last season. Over Walker's 15 career games against Portland, he has failed to reach double-figures in scoring just twice.

-- Jayson Tatum averaged 20.5 points (51.7% FG, 45.5% 3-PT, 100% FT), 6.0 rebounds and 1.00 block in two games against Portland last season. Tatum has scored in double-figures in each of his four career games against the Trail Blazers, including a 27-point performance on Nov. 11 last season.

How to watch, stream Trail Blazers vs. Celtics tonight at 7:00pm

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How to watch, stream Trail Blazers vs. Celtics tonight at 7:00pm

In the third and final game of the Trail Blazers’ current homestand, Portland (26-32) welcomes in the Boston Celtics (39-17) on Tuesday night.

Damian Lillard will miss his third straight game due to a right groin strain. The Blazers are 1-1 without Lillard in the lineup. 

CJ McCollum has been shouldering a lot of the load with Lillard out. In  the two games with no Lillard, McCollum is averaging 34.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 11.0 assists.

You can watch all the action between the Blazers and Celtics on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers and you can stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

And, have you heard about Blazers Pass?

You can get 15 live Trail Blazers games, pre and postgame shows, and on-demand full-game replays with Blazers Pass! (Only available to fans located in Blazers Territory, pursuant to NBA rules and agreements. No TV provider required. Subscription Period: November 4, 2019 - April 16, 2020. Subscription auto-renews prior to start of next season.)

Don't miss any of the coverage of tonight's game:

4:30pm Blazers Game Day with Chad Doing

6:00pm Blazers Warm-Up

6:30pm Trail Blazers Pregame Show

7:00pm Trail Blazers vs. Celtics

After the game catch Blazers Outsiders with hosts Joe Simons and Dan Marang!

And, get full coverage of the game from Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team. Follow us on social throughout the night for the latest updates. 

QUOTABLE

“I think so. I think so,. [Rudy] Gobert won it because he was leading the league in blocked shots. This is going to be my second time (leading the league). Let’s talk about it.” -- Hassan Whiteside on if he believes he should win Defensive Player of the Year 

Damon Stoudamire calls Arvydas Sabonis the best big man passer to ever play the game

Damon Stoudamire calls Arvydas Sabonis the best big man passer to ever play the game

"It's crazy that when I got to Portland I played with Arvydas Sabonis, but Arvydas Sabonis was drafted when I was a kid. That's the craziest thing for me."

That is what former Trail Blazers star point guard Damon Stoudamire had to say about playing with the legendary Arvydas Sabonis. 

Sabonis and Stoudamire both made their NBA debuts in 1995, but took drastically different paths to get there. 

Stoudamire was the No.7 overall pick in 1995, starting his career with the Toronto Raptors and winning Rookie of the Year.

Nine years earlier, a 12-year-old Stoudamire watched the 1986 NBA Draft where his hometown Portland Trail Blazers drafted Sabonis with the 24th overall pick.

Sabonis would remain overseas, not making his debut in the NBA until he was 30 years old. 

In 1998, Stoudamire was traded to Portland and the young man got to play with the old man he remembered the team drafting when he was a kid. 

But, Sabonis wasn't just an old big.

He was a rare talent. 

Big men in the NBA aren't usually thought of for their passing skills. Rather, they are thought of for their big bodies that do damage on the glass and hard work in the paint.

But every once in a while there are rare bigs that have the body of Shaq, but pass like John Stockton.

Bill Walton, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Nikola Jokic are a few names that come to mind. 

But if you ask Stoudamire, the best to ever do it hailed from Lithuania. 

(Sabonis) made the game easy for everyone. The best big man passer, I believe, to play the game. He could shoot it, and this was all playing on one leg. I can't even imagine him healthy... a healthy Sabonis. - Stoudamire on Sabonis

Even on one leg, Sabonis averaged 12.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in seven seasons with the Blazers. 

Those are solid numbers for any center, let alone one that was "old" by NBA standards when he made his debut. 

Sabonis will forever be one of the NBA's biggest "what if" questions.

What if Sabonis came over in '86? What if prime Sabonis was on those Blazers teams the made it to the NBA Finals in the early 90s? What would have happened to Michael Jordan and the Bulls or Isiah Thomas and the Pistons?

There may be many questions, but there is no question about how good Sabonis truly was. Just ask the guys that played with him and they'll tell you. 

Sabonis was one of the greatest big men to ever play the game. 

Nike's simple tribute to Kobe Bryant will bring you to tears

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Nike/Twitter

Nike's simple tribute to Kobe Bryant will bring you to tears

As thousands of descended upon Staples Center Monday for a public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi, the tributes continued around the world. 

A tragedy that still doesn't feel real even weeks later. 

Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a tragic helicopter accident on Sunday, January 26th.

Monday, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Sabrina Ionescu, Jimmy Kimmel and Vanessa Bryant  were among those who spoke in honor of Kobe and Gigi.

As memorials continue through murals and heartfelt messages, Beaverton-based Nike released a touch tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. 

No images, no videos. Just words. 

It was powerful. It was touching. It was emotional. 

Mamba Forever.

Mike Barrett reminisces about Trail Blazers' 50 years: "It’s my team, it runs deep with me"

Mike Barrett reminisces about Trail Blazers' 50 years: "It’s my team, it runs deep with me"

Remember those Mike and Mike t-shirts?

The 2000s in Trail Blazers history – there’s a lot to reminisce about in that fun-filled decade.

Brandon Roy.

Scottie Pippen.

Damon Stoudamire.

Travis Outlaw.

Joel Przybilla.

These are just a few of the names that come to mind when thinking about the decade that was the 2000s in Rip City.

But, it's hard to think about those ten years, though, without one more: Former Trail Blazers play by play announcer Mike Barrett.

On Sunday night, as the Trail Blazers hosted the Detroit Pistons, the Blazers celebrated the 2000s.

There stood Barrett, along with Stoudamire and Outlaw, being introduced at center court during the first timeout of the first quarter.

It’s hard to say who had a bigger ovation.

One thing is for sure: Trail Blazers fans were happy to welcome back their former players, but also very excited to see the former television play-by-play announcer.

Barrett and his partner, Mike Rice, were both let go from their positions after the 2015-2016 season. While the news came as a surprise, Barrett said previously he doesn't harness any anger. 

"There was never bitterness about it," Barrett said on The Bridge Podcast last summer. "I was honored to have done it.” 

Now the Managing Director for the Portland Diamond Project, Barrett was honored to represent the 2000s and the Trail Blazers Sunday night. 

"It’s been great," Barrett said of his return to Moda Center. "I think we take for granted in this business sometimes the connectivity and the emotion and the relationship you have with fans. To hear those stories — and then everybody wants to tell you about their favorite call, their favorite game, their favorite team. That part’s been really neat. I probably underestimated how cool that would be."

As fans came up to him on the concourse before the game, Barrett said he also couldn’t help but reminisce about the 2000s.

There was one season that really stood out to him during his 2003-2016 TV gig with the Blazers.

“Travis Outlaw is here and the team in ’07 that had the 13 game winning streak, if you weren’t there, people don’t understand how crazy that was. That team was so young and had drafted Greg Oden and thought they were gonna make the next step, and this team that almost didn’t know what it was doing -- wins thirteen in a row, and I mentioned Travis because he put the cap on win No. 13 in a row. I still remember that,” Barrett said.

From Dec. 3rd through Dec. 30th that 2007-2008 team didn’t lose a game.

That team finished with a .500 record. It was during LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy’s second season, along with Travis Outlaw, who averaged 13.3 points and 4.6 rebounds that season.

Barrett has always been known for his professionalism along with the wittiness of many great calls. But for MB, the Trail Blazers were, and still are, much more than a job.

The Trail Blazers are his team and they always will be.  

I came to my first game here in about 1973 with my dad. My dad knew Jack Ramsay and then went on to know Rick Adelman and so I was fortunate to get some time at training camp and around some of the coaches. It goes without saying -- it’s my team and it runs deep with me with these guys. That’s the biggest part of being back and celebrating the 50 years. -- Mike Barrett

When Barrett was about to walk off the court after being honored during the first timeout of Sunday’s game, Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts stopped Barrett to give him a big hug. That hug was followed by a hug from Damian Lillard.

Both the current team and longtime fans alike showered Barrett with love, like they were seeing an old friend after a long absence.

And, like Trail Blazers President Chris McGowan tweeted out about the 2000s celebration –it’s always fun welcoming back players and members of the organization.

Blazer MB will always be part of Rip City.

Hassan Whiteside for Defensive Player of Year? 'Let's talk about it'

Hassan Whiteside for Defensive Player of Year? 'Let's talk about it'

The political season is upon us and the Trail Blazers’ Hassan Whiteside is all set to launch his own campaign.

The “Whiteside for Defensive Player of the Year” express is ready to leave the station and make stops all over the NBA.

And why not?

Just because his team is struggling to stop its opponents doesn’t mean he hasn’t had a very big year in the middle for Portland.

Whiteside is averaging a league-leading 3.1 blocked shots per game and the next closest to him is Brook Lopez, with 2.5.

Is Whiteside worthy of consideration for the award? Well, he certainly believes so.

“I think so. I think so,” he said Sunday night. “Gobert won it because he was leading the league in blocked shots. This is going to be my second time (leading the league). Let’s talk about it.”

Davis, Ben Simmons and Giannis Antetokounmpo have all been mentioned as candidates for this season’s award and they all play for teams with winning records. But historically, the player who leads the league in blocked shots -- particularly if it's by a wide margin -- gets major consideration.

Rim protection is still important in this era of a long-distance shooting.

The Trail Blazers have struggled due to their injuries but Whiteside has provided their only rim protection on most nights.

“The team doesn’t get the award,” he said. “It’s a player award. And as far as blocking shots, there isn’t anybody even close.”

Some might say he’s blocked so many shots because his team’s perimeter defense is porous -- but his block percentage -- the percentage of blocks based on his opportunities -- of 64.8 is one of the best in the league.

Whiteside is actually having a much better overall season than a lot of people know about. He’s flown under the radar, in part because he plays with another superstar and also due to his team’s struggles.

But he ranks 12th in ESPN’s player efficiency ratings, ahead of many of the NBA’s more well-known stars.

Will he win the DPOY? It’s probably not likely, but as he said, “let’s talk about it.”

And he certainly belongs in that conversation.

CJ McCollum shouldering the load with Damian Lillard out

CJ McCollum shouldering the load with Damian Lillard out

The Trail Blazers desperately needed him and CJ McCollum delivered.

He’s done it before, and on much grander stages, but on Sunday night at the Moda Center with his team staring down an ugly loss McCollum put together his best performance season to keep Portland’s playoff aspirations alive.

“He led us,” Carmelo Anthony said. “He led us tonight. He came up big when we needed it, made the right plays. His shot was falling tonight. He put us on his back.”

McCollum scored 41 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and dished out career-high 12 assists, pulling the Blazers back from what would have been a sobering loss to the Detroit Pistons. He played the entire second half, and committed just one turnover despite commanding nearly all of the playmaking duties in his 43 minutes on the court.

Beating a 19-40 Pistons team at home after surrendering a 19-point lead might not land too high on McCollum’s resume, one that includes some monster postseason performances and a Game 7 game-winner on the road last April. But a loss on Sunday would’ve pushed the Blazers' already dicey playoff hopes to the brink. So McCollum came to the rescue again, only this time playing a decidedly different role.

Damian Lillard missed his second straight game against Detroit, which thrust McCollum into lead guard duties away from his comfort zone as a high-scoring second option. For the second straight game without his backcourt partner running the show, McCollum struck an impressive balance between facilitator and his more typical fearless shotmaker.

In two games with Lillard out of the lineup, McCollum is averaging 34.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 11.0 assists. He says he welcomes the added responsibility.

“I’m ready for whatever honestly.  I’ve always felt like that,” McCollum said. “I work extremely hard on my game. I watch film. I adjust to the situation. I know how to play as the No. 2. I know how to play as other roles. I know how to play as a No. 1. Obviously right now we’re missing 30 points, eight assists, six rebounds. I can’t do it all by myself. I have to have help. I have to empower guys. I have to put people in a position to succeed, and take advantage of everybody’s skill sets, and still play at a certain level individually. I’m fully capable of that. I have all the confidence in the world in this team and myself because I know how much the game means to us.”

The knock on McCollum’s game is that it lacks variety. He can score with a dazzlingly array of dribble moves and counters but on most nights that’s the end of the story. However, McCollum has shouldered his Lillard-less responsibility admirably and he’s filled out the stat sheet in the process.

The Blazers have aided McCollum’s shift in roles. Terry Stotts is calling more plays from the bench than he does when Lillard is commanding the offense, and Lillard has been in McCollum’s ear regularly offering encouragement along with Xs and Os advice.

“He knows my demeanor,” McCollum said, explaining how Lillard has tried to help while sidelined with a groin injury. “He’ll tell you that I don’t lack confidence ever -- regardless of what’s happening. He’s just like, ‘Stay aggressive. When you need to keep the ball, keep the ball. When you need to make plays, make plays early. And then when it’s go time, go.’”

In the fourth quarter Sunday it was time to go. McCollum went. 

He scored 16 of 41 points in the final frame making 5 of 11 shots and working a two-man game with Anthony to guide the Blazers to a crucial comeback win. The scoring was familiar, the table setting was a necessary added wrinkle.

In the locker room afterwards, Trevor Ariza asked McCollum what his career-high was, and McCollum explained he had scored 50 in three quarters against the Bulls a couple season ago.

“I got hot,” McCollum told his new teammate.

“Stay hot,” Ariza instructed him.

To hear McCollum tell it that’s exactly what he plans to do.

“I think I’m built for the long haul,” he said. “Historically I’ve played well in the playoffs. I’ve played well down the stretch of games. Understanding there has to be a sense of urgency. We haven’t played well this entire season and for us to have a chance to make the playoffs I have to be elite, and I’ll do that.”

Blazers needed every bit of Vintage Carmelo Anthony

Blazers needed every bit of Vintage Carmelo Anthony

A jab here, a jab there.

And no, we aren’t talking about punches.

This season, the younger Trail Blazers have gotten a few old man cracks aimed at Carmelo Anthony.

It’s all love, though.

Bring on the jokes because Melo was laughing all the way to a season-high Sunday night.

The Trail Blazers clawed their way back after being down by as many as 10 points in the third quarter to snag a 107-104 victory over the Detroit Pistons Sunday.

Melo’s offensive production along with CJ McCollum’s takeover performance, sprinkled in with timely stops in the fourth quarter all added up to Portland snapping a three-game losing streak.

Anthony finished with 32 points in Sunday’s win, eclipsing his previous season high he set back on Jan. 7 at Toronto with 28 points. 

[RELATED]: Carmelo Anthony turns back the clock against Detroit, does something he hasn't done in three years

And boy was Melo right -- the Blazers required all 32 of those points to get the win.

I’ll tell you, we needed every bit of that. Every single point, we needed that tonight. Those guys just wasn’t trying to go away. After we got out in the first quarter, we kind of let our foot off the gas and those guys got confidence. They gained some momentum, they stuck with it to the end of the game. – Trail Blazers veteran Carmelo Anthony on scoring 30 plus for the first time in nearly three years. -- Carmelo Anthony

With Damian Lillard out for the second straight game with a right groin strain, both Melo and McCollum have stepped up in a big way.

“We have to,” Anthony said. “We don’t have a choice, right? We’ve got to go out there and do what we’ve got to do to help this team win, at least put ourselves in position to try to win a basketball game. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to us two putting that pressure on us and saying this is what we’ve got to do. It’s the last quarter of the season. We’re in a dog fight trying to get that spot.”

That dog fight has included Gary Trent, Jr. stepping up in a big way on the defensive end. Trent, who was inserted into the starting lineup with Lillard out, admitted he got to see the Melo he grew up admiring.

It’s like vintage Melo tonight. Man, you know, I have flashbacks. I grew up watching him. I love all his moves. I got to see a lot tonight. Big up to Melo. -- Trail Blazers shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. said postgame

“It’s crazy. I play with him on video games,” Trent added. “I watch all his games, all his highlights, his playoff battles with Kobe Bryant in ’09. I watch all of his stuff. It’s crazy. It’s surreal to come into practice every day and watch him, watch how he works, his approach to the game, he’s a true professional.”

Melo’s response of Trent Jr. playing him in NBA 2K:

“I’ve heard it before, but they won’t come to me and say it… It puts things in perspective. It puts a lot of things in perspective to know back then where I was at in my journey to see those guys finding my journey… It comes back full circle. [For Trent Jr.] to make that statement, it makes me proud.”   

Hearing that a second-year player plays him in NBA 2k, might make some people think Anthony would feel old with such a comment.

But, that’s not the case.

Melo was not only proud of that comment from Trent Jr., he was extremely proud of the way the Blazers came together to get the win Sunday night.

Now, who wants to bet Trent, Jr. went home Sunday night and started playing 2K?