It was all about getting some much-needed rest on Wednesday night for the Trail Blazers.
The Blazers hosted the Kings in the final game of the regular season and it was clear that Blazers head coach Terry Stotts valued rest and was pleased with how the playoffs seeding was shaking out early in the evening in the Western Conference.
Portland started Jake Layman, Skal Labissiere, Meyers Leonard, and the rookies Gary Trent Jr. and Anfernee Simons.
Zach Collins was the lone sub as Stotts went with a six-man rotation to give his top seven players the night off before the postseason gets underway.
The Kings ran away with the game until the young Blazers charged back in the final quarter to make it interesting. Portland ended up beating Sacramento 136-131.
The Trail Blazers finish the season 53-29 and now it’s time for the postseason! But first, let’s take a look at a few quick thoughts on the final game of the regular season.
Here are some quick thoughts from Game 82:
1. Extended look at the future
On Fan Appreciation night, the Blazers fans were able to get a glimpse at the future. During the starting lineup introductions fans gave the Blazers rookies the most love with the loudest applause.
Simons and Trent Jr. were not shy about finding their shots, nor should they have been. Between the two rookies and Labissiere those three were getting up most of the shots.
Rookies out here ballin' pic.twitter.com/bZC3663rks— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) April 11, 2019
Skal entertained the crowd with put-back dunks and his silky smooth jumpers.
Simons showed off his shot making and his ability to find his teammates. It’s pretty evident that Damian Lillard has taken Simons under his wing this season. Lillard looked like a proud big brother on the bench watching Simons take over the game.
2. Welcome back Biggie
Before the Blazers and Kings tipped off, former Trail Blazer Caleb Swanigan met a few of his old teammates at center court to exchange hugs.
Having Biggie out on the floor with Simons, Trent Jr., Collins, and Layman brought back memories of the Blazers winning it all at Summer League last year.
3. Bring on the playoffs!
Since the Blazers ended up coming back and getting the win, and Denver beat Minnesota, the Blazers finish the season as the third seed and will face the six seeded Thunder. So, bring on OKC!
NEXT UP: The NBA postseason starts this weekend. Game one of the Blazers playoff series against the Thunder will tip-off this Saturday or Sunday from Moda Center. The schedule should be set late Wednesday night.
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