Game 3 of Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors: How and Where to Watch

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Game 3 of Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors: How and Where to Watch

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The best-of-seven series between the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors now shifts to Portland. Both teams are expecting an extremely energetic crowd for Game 3, especially because the Trail Blazers fan base hasn’t seen a Western Conference Finals game in 19 years.

After the Warriors held on and defeated the Blazers in Game 2 on Thursday night, Golden State’s head coach Steve Kerr said, "We stole one tonight. They played better than we did."

Trail Blazer guard CJ McCollum didn’t think the Warriors just stole the game.

“I mean, they stole it, but they earned it down the stretch,” McCollum said postgame. “They made more plays than us in the last two minutes, last three minutes, but I like our chances going forward. I like the way we came out and competed.”

McCollum and Rodney Hood both expressed how eager they are to get back to Portland.

“We got to bring that same energy at home,” McCollum said. “Understand that this is the first time in 19 years we've been in the Conference Final. I know they will be excited and I'm really looking forward to the opportunity playing at home and building on what we've done. Being down 0-2, it's not what you would like to see but it's our reality, so now we got to go get some at home." 

“We were encouraged after Game 1 when we didn’t play as well and we are just as encouraged now,” Hood said. “We feel like we’ve proven we can play with those guys and we can win. It’s about sustaining it, which is the toughest part… There’s another game on Saturday. Take care of home and come back here Game 5. Every game is different. I know it feels bad, we had a chance to win this one but we’ll be ready come Saturday.”


GAME DETAILS

Where to Watch: ESPN

Tip-Off Time: 6:00 p.m. 

Point spread: Portland -7

NBCS NW Coverage: Blazers Outsiders Pregame Show (5:30 p.m.), Blazers Outsiders Postgame Show (immediately after the game). 

Radio: 620AM Rip City Radio
 

INJURY UPDATES

For the Trail Blazers, Jusuf Nurkic (left leg) is out for Saturday’s Game 3 vs. Golden State.

For the Warriors,  DeMarcus Cousins (left quad) and Kevin Durant (right calf) are out.


QUICK LINKS

Dwight Jaynes: Did the Warriors "steal" that game or did the Blazers just hand it to them?

Jamie Hudson: Seth Curry “watches more basketball than anyone I've ever met”

VIDEO: Locker Room Report - Moe Harkless on Game 2: "It sucks"

VIDEO: Players, Coaches weigh in on Seth Curry's impressive night

VIDEO: Trail Blazers need to stay hot from three-point range



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An exclusive with Meyers Leonard: Farewell, Portland

An exclusive with Meyers Leonard: Farewell, Portland

Right from the start of his time in Portland, Meyers Leonard was misunderstood in Portland.
“A seven-footer out there at the three-point line launching bombs?”
“Why isn’t he inside at the post?”
“Why isn’t he in the paint where he belongs?”
Leonard was ahead of his time, of course. Big guys are shooting threes routinely these days and traditional low-post centers are not as common as they used to be. The NBA is all about threes, nowdays, like it or not.
Leonard’s playing time went up and down through his time as a Trail Blazer, even in his seventh and best season in a Portland uniform. The backup center shot 54.5 percent from the floor last year, 45 percent from three-point range and 84.3 percent from the free-throw line but still played in only 61 games and averaged just 14.4 minutes per game. Even in the playoffs, when he would show his value as a scorer, he did not play in five of the team’s 16 postseason games.
Throughout that final season as a Trail Blazer, though, Leonard seemed to finally win over the fans. They noticed his athletic ability, dunking skills and confidence in clutch situations. And they probably also took note of his sideline demeanor – even when he wasn’t playing, he was the first man off the bench to congratulate teammates and cheer good plays.
When he exploded in the final game of the conference finals against Golden State, it was a vindication of sorts for those who believed all along he deserved playing time on a team that so often struggled to find floor spacing and outside shooting. Those people who never understood how he could have been playing behind the likes of Thomas Robinson and Joel Freeland.
Leonard played 40 minutes and 17 seconds in his finale in a Portland uniform. He made 12 of his 16 shots from the floor while missing just three of his eight three-point attempts. He had 25 points by halftime and 30 for the game, while grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing three assists with just two turnovers.
More than that, he gave the team what it had been lacking the entire series – somebody with the gravity to keep the floor spread for his guards to operate.
That game proved to be a fond farewell for a player the Portland fans were slow to take into their hearts. The fans chanted his name, cheered his every move and he just continued to do what he’d always done – shoot threes and play as hard as anyone on the court.
“The Hammer” as he was called, nailed it in his final game. And it was obvious how much that meant to him – not only how well he played but how he was embraced by the Trail Blazer fans.
But listen to him talk about it in the accompanying video feature as he reflects on growing up in Portland. See the emotion on his face and hear it in his voice – and understand how much this team and this city meant to Meyers Leonard.

Handing out grades for the Blazers at Summer League

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USA Today

Handing out grades for the Blazers at Summer League

The Trail Blazers failed to repeat as summer league champions last week, finishing with a 2-3 record as the MGM Resorts Summer League. Of the 14 players on the summer league roster, only four were actually under contract with Portland: Anfernee Simons, Gary Trent Jr., Nassir Little, and Jaylen Hoard (two-way contract). 

How did those four do? Let's grade them!

Anfernee Simons - Grade: B
Simons had a great summer league showing, but it was unfortunately cut short by an ankle injury. Simons played in just three games, averaging 22 points in those games. His performance in Las Vegas earned him All-NBA Summer League Second-Team honors. However, I don't know if Simons showed the true jump we all wanted him to. Sure, he lit up the scoreboard, but we knew he could do that. Blazers fans really wanted to see how he ran the offense. In that regard, he still has a little work to do. He averaged just 1.7 assists, which is far lower than you want from your point guard.  Once his vision and control catch up to his scoring prowess, Simons will be a force. His biggest weakness is still on the defensive side of the ball, and Summer League showed he has a lot of work to do. All-in-all, it was a great three games for Simons, but he still has some holes to fill.

Gary Trent - Grade: B+
Trent Jr. gets a slightly higher grade than Simons simply because of expectations. We already knew what we had with Simons. He showed it in the final game of the regular season against the Kings. With Trent Jr., we really wanted to see that second-year jump. Trent was a force for the Blazers in five games in Las Vegas. He averaged 20.6 points per game and led the team in rebounds, assists, and steals per game at 6.4, 2.6, and 1.4 respectively. He shot just 41% from the floor, which is far lower than the team wants from him, but boy his he a gunner. He has no fear and no hesitation when it comes to taking a shot. Give him the smallest of windows and he will jack it up. Like Simons, he needs to improve on the defensive end, but again, it was a pretty strong performance all-around. 

Nassir Little - Grade: D
Let's start off by first saying that the ceiling is very high for Little. He is an explosive athlete with the potential to change the game on both ends. However, right now he is as raw as they come. He averaged just 3.3 points in four games, which was the fifth-lowest PPG average on the team, and shot a poor 33% from the floor. Of players that averaged 15 or more minutes per game, he had the lowest PPG average. He often looked a step behind on both ends of the floor, struggling to get in the proper spots. For a player that was a projected lottery pick, you would have hoped to have seen better. However, when he did make the right play, it was electric. The kid has bounce and showed it off numerous times with some monster jams. What keeps this from being an F grade is his ability to push the tempo. What I really liked about his game was when he would grab the defensive rebound and quickly push the ball up the floor. It was Draymond Green-esque in that regard. If he can develop quickly and excel in this aspect, he could really change the offensive approach for the Blazers. Just imagine Little pushing the ball, playing point-forward, and finding McCollum and Lillard on the break! The future is still bright with Little, but his summer league was gloomy. 

Jaylen Hoard - Grade: C+
Hoard was the Blazer I was most impressed by in Las Vegas. He wasn't the best player on the floor, but for an undrafted rookie he looked solid. He had a good feel for the game, was in the right place at the right time, and never really forced the issue. He seemed to have a pretty good mind for the game. He is on a two-way contract and outperformed Little, the Blazers' first-round pick. He averaged 8.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in five games. 
He didn't do anything exceptionally great, but he didn't do anything exceptionally poor either. While I don't think his ceiling is as high as Little's, he is much more polished as it stands right now. As a two-way player, I find him to be very intriguing. The Blazers have two roster spots open right now. If the Blazers feel they need help as SF/PF as the season progresses and can't find a guy on the open market, Hoard could be a candidate to get the full-time call-up. He still has learning to do, but the foundation is there. He reminds me a lot of Al-Farouq Aminu, but with better ball-handling skills. I'll take that on a rookie contract all day long. 
 

Damian Lillard wouldn't give any spoiler alerts on Space Jam 2 but says his role is "not a cameo"

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NBC Sports Northwest

Damian Lillard wouldn't give any spoiler alerts on Space Jam 2 but says his role is "not a cameo"

Space Jam 2 is scheduled to be released in movie theaters summer of 2021.

Filming for the much-anticipated sequel has already began.

In mid-June, it was first reported that Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard would be joining LeBron James, along with Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, and other NBA and WNBA players to star in the new film.

The remake of the Michael Jordan Space Jam has had NBA fans buzzing and Rip City is excited to see Lillard play a part in the movie.

On Tuesday at his annual basketball camp, Lillard told the media that he spent a week in Hollywood for filming.

Lillard said shooting the movie was “different.”

He also quickly found out the movie directors and producers didn’t want him to have any facial hair for the movie.

"You all know I've always had a baby face, so this season I grew a beard out, it took me like six months to grow it,” Lillard said. “I show up on the set, they make me shave it off for the animation. That's why I look like this now. It was bare faced for the animation, 15-hour days… It was long."

Lillard added that he might have to "go back one more time" to film more, but it sounds like the bulk of Lillard’s shooting is done.

When asked what we can expect from Lillard in the movie, he wouldn't give much away, but he did speak on his role with a smile, saying, "it's significant, it's not a cameo."

Lillard was just six years old when the first Space Jam was originally released in 1996.

Early NBA win totals set for the 2019-20 season

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USA Today

Early NBA win totals set for the 2019-20 season

The early pre-season over/under for each NBA team has been released and Blazers fans might not be too happy.

According to Todd Fuhrman, a former oddsmaker for Caesars, the Trail Blazers over/under is set at 44.5. According to these projections, the Blazers would be seventh in the jam-packed Western Conference, behind teams such as the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets.

The same Golden State Warriors that lost Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala in the offseason, and will likely be missing Klay Thompson for a large chunk of the season, and the same Denver Nuggets the Blazers beat in the Western Conference Finals. Odds will be odd.

This is not the first time that the Trail Blazers have been overlooked when it comes to early win predictions. The past two seasons, Portland has shattered the bookmaker’s estimated totals. Last year, the over/under was set at 42.5 wins, yet they ended up smashing the mark with 53 victories. The year prior (2017-18), the Blazers crushed the preseason expectation of 42.5 by winning 49 games. 

In fact, the Blazers have gone over their pre-season win projections five out of the last six seasons. The only season the Blazers finished lower was 2016-17. That season the oddsmakers put the over/under at 45.5, and the Blazers finished with 41 wins.  

It is well known that this team is not only used to being an underdog, but they thrive off of it. With the perceived evenness of the Western Conference, expect a third straight year of Portland hitting the over of this win mark.

Looking back: Gary Trent Jr.'s top plays from NBA Summer League

Looking back: Gary Trent Jr.'s top plays from NBA Summer League

Back in 1995, a young rookie by the name of Gary Trent made his debut for the Portland Trail Blazers. Now, in 2019, his son is looking to make a big jump and crack the rotation for the very same team his dad made his name with. Gary Trent Jr, the 37th overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, played in just 15 games for the Blazers last season but hopes he can increase his role this season.  

Now in his second season in the NBA, junior hopes to continue to build upon his game and become an impact player for Portland. Last week in Las Vegas he had a chance to showcase some of his early offseason work.

In five games at the MGM Resorts Summer League Trent Jr. averaged 20.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists.

Perhaps none was more impressive than the 31 point outburst against the Rockets where Trent Jr. went 7 of 8 from beyond the arc.

Summer League Head Coach Jim Moran said of Trent Jr.:

“I know he’s a scorer, I know he can shoot, he’s a talented player, but I think as a coach you’ve just gotta keep working on their weakness and I think right now just getting him to buy in more on the defensive end... But, I’m happy for him. He had some good games out here."

He had some good games indeed, and some incredible plays to boot. So let's take a look back and enjoy the NBA's video of Trent Jr.'s best plays from summer league:

From Damian's Camp: Lillard, now older and wiser, is 'working smarter, not harder' this off-season

From Damian's Camp: Lillard, now older and wiser, is 'working smarter, not harder' this off-season

BEAVERTON -- With basketball drills in full swing, one excited camper yelled out, ‘he’s right there,’ as Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard walked through the gym high-fiving the campers on Tuesday afternoon.

This week marks the second session of Lillard’s annual basketball camp held at the Beaverton Hoop YMCA.    

With two camps each a week long; Lillard’s camp focuses on teaching the over 300 boys and girls between the ages 6 to 16 the basics of game action as well as life skills off the court.

“Obviously you want them to have fun,” Lillard told the media during his camp on Tuesday. “Learn some things on the court, learn some moves, get comfortable doing certain things, just foundation type basketball, but the most important thing is the lessons that we try to teach them with each camp coach -- learning to follow instructions, learning to be able to execute what somebody’s telling you, just take the direction and instill those things in them.”

[RELATED]: How Damian Lillard stacks up to other superstars in NBA2K20

During Lillard’s camp, he provides hands-on instruction daily, while all hoopers will have the chance to get a picture and autograph to take home.

Lillard wants each camper to, “meet a new friend,” and learn how to “treat people the right way, be kind, just stuff like that, that they can take back to school and they can take home.”

Lillard’s annual camp has been held at the Beaverton Hoop since 2015 with previous camps held at the Multnomah Athletic Club. Through the years, the annual camp has continued to grow.

“The first year I did it was kind of just on the fly,” Lillard said. “We didn’t know how many kids would show up… We didn’t know what we wanted to do, what direction we wanted to go in. Each year we’ve added things… The camp coaches went from coaches who wanted to work a camp to people who had college experience playing.”

[RELATED]: Spalding launched Dame Time Challenge

Despite the camp running from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily, Lillard is still finding time to get his workouts in early.  

The Trail Blazers All-Star point guard celebrated his 29th birthday on Monday. As he gets older, he has realized that it is a necessity to change up his offseason workout plan.

“Work smarter, not harder,” Lillard said. “I always try to just go, go, go. I workout two times [a day] and then I’ll be ready to do more stuff because I always tell myself you’ve got to put your body through it, you’ve got to be ready, you’ve got to do all these things, but what I’ve learned so far this summer is that I trained for like two weeks, I was doing a bunch of conditioning and I was on the court a lot and then I was in Mexico for five days, then I came to Vegas and then I went to LA to do some stuff. Then it was 10 days and I hadn’t trained at all, then last Monday I started working out again here and I felt great.”

“I was like I need to start giving myself a break more often than I do because I felt better after 10 days of nothing and hanging out with all of my cousins and stuff, I felt better. So, I think that’s the thing that I’m picking up more now. The older I get, the rest I need to give my body and I actually felt better when I did it,” Lillard added.

With Lillard gearing up for his eighth NBA season, he is making sure to “treat his body right,” but he also anticipating this upcoming season more than those in the past.

“I think probably [there’s] more anticipation now than probably any other time... Probably after my rookie year when we had a solid year and the next year we knew were going to be good, I was really excited… We ended up having a good season and then after everybody left, coming back with the new group, I was excited. But this year, it’s even bigger changes it seems like, we’re pretty much bringing in a whole new team… I’m excited to see what it’s going to be,” Lillard said.

Lillard is just like everyone in Rip City -- excited to see what’s going to happen this season.

 

How Damian Lillard stacks up to other superstars in NBA2k20

How Damian Lillard stacks up to other superstars in NBA2k20

The NBA2k20 Player Ratings have started coming out for the newest edition of the hit video game. 

Damian Lillard checks in at a 92 overall rating ranking him #10 so far out of the superstar player ratings that have been confirmed. 

Confirmed player ratings who rated higher than Lillard's 92 include:

Paul George, Joel Embid, 93

Anthony Davis, 94

Steph Curry, 95

Kevin Durant, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, 96

Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James 97

The top duos in the game do not include the Trail Blazer backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. They include:

Lebron and Davis, Kawhi and PG, KD and Kyrie, and Harden and Westbrook.

More to come as additional ratings are made available for other Trail Blazer players. 

Trent Jr. looking to crack rotation, coach Moran looking for Trent to improve on defense

Trent Jr. looking to crack rotation, coach Moran looking for Trent to improve on defense

A group text message quickly became a place to bond for the summer Trail Blazers.

This year, all eyes were on second-year player Anfeernee Simons, who was just named to NBA Summer League second-team. But when Simons suffered a sprained ankle in the final seconds of the Blazers’ third game and missed the rest of the tournament, the focus shifted to second-year player Gary Trent Jr.

The 20-year-old quickly picked up the slack with Simons out and he made sure the team camaraderie was strong.  

Portland finished Las Vegas Summer League play by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 99-84 on Friday night. Trent Jr. led the way with 28 points and eight rebounds, as the Blazers wrapped up Summer League with a 2-3 record.

The overall record may not have shown how close-knit the Blazers summer squad became in such a short period of time.

“It was a great Summer League team. The way they put the team together. It was great. In the Summer League group chat we have, everybody was joking… You could tell we gelled together quick, just it couldn’t translate on the court, but it was still fun, it was great to meet those guys,” Trent Jr. said.

The Blazers shooting guard not only took charge off the court, but he also averaged 28.4 points on 41% shooting from the field to go along with 6.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

Portland’s Summer League head coach, Jim Moran spent a majority of Trent Jr.’s rookie season working with him day in and day out.

Coach Moran is eager for Trent Jr. to make a leap on the defensive end.  

“I work with Gary every day, so he had 28 tonight, but I look at the defensive stuff. So, for me when I watch the film I’m going to be focused more on the defensive mistakes,” Moran said.

“I know he’s a scorer, I know he can shoot, he’s a talented player, but I think as a coach you’ve just gotta keep working on their weakness and I think right now just getting him to buy in more on the defensive end... But, I’m happy for him. He had some good games out here,” Moran added.  

Coach Moran knows Ternt Jr.’s defensive mindset is a working progress. Right now it’s all about repetition for the young Blazer. 

“Every time I go to talk to him about defense, he’s shaking his head going, ‘I know, I know,’ so we’re on the same page about it, it’s just a matter of committing to it every day,” Moran said with a smile.

“The opportunity to lead and just play,” Trent Jr. said was the biggest positive takeaway for him personally. “All last year, I didn’t really play that much, so just getting the opportunity to get on the floor, get up and down, being able to get a foul, being able to knock down a jump shot, it’s a great feeling."

It was evident by watching all five games played in Las Vegas that the game has slowed down for the Blazers shooting guard.

“Just being patient, I know where to get on the spot where I can get my shot off within the offense. I know the plays pretty well now, so just… be patient, let the game come to me,” Trent Jr. said.

As the son of former Trail Blazer Gary Trent Sr. now sets his sights on cracking the rotation for the 2019-20 season with the Blazers, he knows he must have an impressive training camp in the fall and make sure to “control” what he can on and of the floor.

“Really just control, what I can control. Just continue to work, if the opportunity comes I’ll be ready,” Trent Jr. said.