The Scoop Podcast: Inside the Trail Blazers locker room after Game 5

scoop_16x9.png
NBCS Northwest

The Scoop Podcast: Inside the Trail Blazers locker room after Game 5

Head inside the Trail Blazers locker room with the NBC Sports cameras and Jamie Hudson to hear from Enes Kanter, Meyers Leonard, CJ McCollum and Rodney Hood following Game 5. 

Be sure to check back after every game for a new Scoop Podcast with all the audio from the Trail Blazers locker room!

Stay ahead of your Trail Blazers and get all you need to know this postseason. Get LIVE Trail Blazers coverage, in-depth articles, podcast, videos and more.  All you have to do is download the app, log-in and the Blazers are at your fingertips. Download Now!

After trading Harkless, Portland is now only the 5th most handsome city in the USA

usatsi_12664415.jpg
USATI

After trading Harkless, Portland is now only the 5th most handsome city in the USA

Oregon is known for its breathtaking landscapes, but the men of Portland match that beauty. 

According to groominglongue.com, Portland ranks fifth in the nation for having the most handsome men. The Rose City was beat out by Seattle, WA, Maidson, WI, Boise, ID and Arlington, VA. 

We think one Blazers offseason transaction could have improved our standing. 

Remember this past offseason, when the facial beauty network at South China University used artificial intelligence to rate the attractiveness of starters in the NBA?

Former Trail Blazer Maurice Harkless was named the most attractive player in the league. 

If the Blazers hadn’t delt him in the Hassan Whiteside trade this past offseason, who knows how it could have affected Portland's standing. Having such an outlier of a man could have catapulted the city of Portland to an even higher placement on the list.

Lillard’s series clincher against OKC wasn’t made that night, but 15 years prior

Lillard’s series clincher against OKC wasn’t made that night, but 15 years prior

Dame’s a killer on the court, but you already knew that.

In the premiere episode of his new documentary series produced by Adidas Basketball Dame Time, Lillard details his iconic game winner to end the Russell Westbrook era in Oklahoma City. 

That shot was made 15 years ago. 20 years ago.

During Lillard’s high school career, he rose up late, in classic Lillard fashion, for a deep three pointer against the best team in his state. Of course, he made the shot to tie the game and he went nuts as did everyone in attendance.

Well, not everyone. 

Dame remembers seeing his father happy, but stone faced in the top corner of the arena. He expected his son to make the shot but the game wasn’t over, so he wasn’t acting like it was.

Lillard remembers that moment clearly.

I look up and see my Dad up there, and he’s just sitting there. He didn’t move at all...He did a fist pump...and it was just like ‘okay, now what?’ It was just one of those moments I was like ‘man, this dude is different.

Years later when Lillard made the game winner in Game 5 of the 2019 first round playoff series against Oklahoma City, he reacted the same way his father would have. While everyone went crazy, Lillard remained calm. Stone cold calm.

You can watch the full episode below. 

Blazers Shootaround Notebook: Nurk running stairs, Melo happy to be in Denver, & game plan vs. Jokic

Blazers Shootaround Notebook: Nurk running stairs, Melo happy to be in Denver, & game plan vs. Jokic

DENVER – As the Trail Blazers get set to face the Denver Nuggets, who have now lost five of their last six games, it’s a time for Carmelo Anthony to reflect on the place that started it all. 

It was in the 2003 NBA Draft when the Denver Nuggets selected Anthony as the third overall pick. The 10-time All-Star played for the Nuggets from 2003 to 2011.

“This means a lot,” Melo said of coming back to play in Denver.

This is where I spent my first seven and a half years here, right? So, I kind of grew up here in Denver with these people and this city. -- Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony  

When Thursday morning’s shootaround wrapped up, Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (left leg) was seen running two sets of stairs with Trail Blazers Sports and Performance Specialist Todd Forcier.    

 

From the looks of it, Nurk's rehab is coming along nicely. As of right now there is still no official timetable on his return. This is the first road trip Nurkic has been on with the Blazers since Portland's very first trip of the season in late October. 

With the Trail Blazers looking to even the season series up at one apiece vs. the Nuggets, Damian Lillard discussed how they plan to defend point-center Nikola Jokic.

I think you try to make him a scorer. It’s kind of like – not comparing him to LeBron [James]- but with LeBron you want him to be a scorer you don’t want him to be picking you apart, then scoring, and doing everything that he wants to do. Jokic, he’s a point-center, like, he’s facilitating everything and making them go, making all the plays.  -- Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard

“You don’t want to have him out here with 28 [points], 16 rebounds, and 14 assists because he’s capable of that. So I think just make him a scorer, try to take away the play-making,” Lillard added.

This season, Jokic is averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.

Portland and Denver tip-off at 7:30p.m. PT on TNT.

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

Should the Blazers sign up for the Iman Shumpert free trial?

Should the Blazers sign up for the Iman Shumpert free trial?

The Brooklyn Nets have waived guard Iman Shumpert to comply with the NBA's restraint of rostering 15 players ahead of forward Wilson Chandler's return to the team. Chandler's 25-game suspension for PED usage ends on Sunday. 

Now off of a team, Shumpert still desires to play.

Shumpert has averaged 4.2 points in 18.2 minutes per game for the Nets this season. The 6-foot-5 wing can still play at an NBA level. The Nets only released him out of necessity from their guaranteed contracts limiting roster spots. 

Given his release, teams will get the opportunity to put in a waiver claim for his services. Should the Blazers?

I think yes. 

In wake of letting Aminu walk, trading Harkless, Zach Collins' dislocated shoulder and Rodney Hood’s season-ending Achilles injury, the Blazers wing rotation needs upgrading. That much is clear if the Blazers want to remain competitive in the Western Conference until Collins and Nurkic return. With Hood’s injury, Hezonja has been reinserted into the rotation, and I believe Shumpert would be an upgrade over him. 

ESPN’s Bobby Marks said the Blazers are an option to claim Shumpert but the acquisition would increase Jody Allen’s tax bill.

However, given the open roster spot and the non-guarantee on Shumpert’s deal, the Blazers could add Shumpert without hurting any future roster flexibility until Shumpert’s deal becomes guaranteed the first week of January. 

Yes, his shooting splits have been bad: 32.4 percent overall, 24.2 percent from beyond the arc and 57.1 percent from the free throw line, but he’s a low risk solution to replacing Hezonja’s minutes with a more capable player. Hezonja's shooting splits are slightly better at 36.1 percent overall, 32.3 percent from beyond the arc and 81.2 percent from the free throw line. So if Shumpert proves to be worse than Hezonja, then the Blazers can cut him before his deal guarantees in January. 

Why not sign up for Shumpert’s free trial?

Rodney Hood’s wife shares heartfelt photos post Hood’s surgery

Rodney Hood’s wife shares heartfelt photos post Hood’s surgery

In a dark, injury-riddled time for the Portland Trail Blazers and after losing Rodney Hood to a season-ending Achilles injury, there is a bright, smiling face amidst this time and that smile comes from Hood himself.

Hood's wife Richa posted a few heartfelt photos to her personal Instagram following his surgery:

Today is the day! We’d like to thank everyone who reached out and sent their well wishes. We are grateful for the outpour of love and support! He’ll be back stronger than ever! Let the journey begin! -- Richa Hood

[RELATED]: Rodney Hood undergoes successful surgery to repair torn Achilles

Hood also spoke out thanking everyone who reached out to him to wish for a speedy, healthy recovery:

[RELATED]: Rodney Hood sends heartfelt message to Rip City

Best wishes to you Rodney, and keep that smile on your face!

Tenth Annual Trail Blazers Coat Drive: Giving back to the community

Tenth Annual Trail Blazers Coat Drive: Giving back to the community

The Portland Trail Blazers and Fred Meyer have teamed up for their tenth annual coat drive this December.

Trail Blazers fans are asked to fill donation bins at all participating Fred Meyers with new or gently used coats which will then be distributed to the Portland-Metro Boys and Girls Clubs.  

Over the weekend, Trail Blazers shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. helped 30 kids from the Portland-Metro Boys and Girls Clubs shop for new winter coats at the Fred Meyer in Beaverton.

We’re here to give back to the community. Fred Meyer, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Portland Trail Blazers’ Boys and Girls Club is here. I had the opportunity to come out with the kids, sign autographs, help them pick out warm coats for the wintertime and it’s a great thing. I’m blessed and I’m fortunate that I’m here.  -- Trail Blazers shooting guard Gary Trent Jr.

Not only did Trent Jr. go shopping with the kids to make sure all thirty kids received a winter coat, he also took time to take photos, shoot hoops, and draw pictures with the youngsters. 

Marlene Ascencio, the Director of the Portland-Metro Boys and Girls Clubs, explained the goal of Saturday's event was for all thirty members to go home with a brand new winter coat.

“Most of the kids that we serve are from low-income households or they just don’t have enough resources to purchase new winter coats… We have been doing this partnership between Fred Meyer and the Portland Trail Blazers for 10 years, we just want to say thank you so much for all of the support,” Ascencio said.  

Rehab update: Jusuf Nurkic running stairs in the Mile High City

Rehab update: Jusuf Nurkic running stairs in the Mile High City

DENVER -- While local Denver media, national media and reporters from Portland geared up to talk with Carmelo Anthony about his return to the Mile High City, off in the distance was a welcomed surprise.

After Thursday morning’s shootaround wrapped up, Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (left leg) was seen running two sets of stairs with Trail Blazers Sports and Performance Specialist Todd Forcier.    

The big fella was going hard. It wasn’t as if he was lightly jogging up the stairs.

And to think he’s getting his rehab and cardio in at the high altitude.

Nurkic was in good spirits after running the stairs. He was smiling and joking with his teammates as beads of sweat dripped down his face.

There is still no official timeline on Nurkic’s return. He had surgery in late March to repair a fractured tibia and fibula that he sustained versus the Brooklyn Nets. 

There has been some speculation that Nurkic could be back to the court as soon as January.

And after watching him run the Pepsi Center’s stairs Thursday, it looks like there might be some truth to that speculation. 

Rodney Hood sends heartfelt message to Rip City

Rodney Hood sends heartfelt message to Rip City

The Blazers were dealt a tough blow last week when starting small forward Rodney Hood went down with an injury against the Lakers. He left in the first quarter and would not return. It was later concluded that Hood had torn his left Achilles and would be out for the season.

Hood, the team, and the fans got a bit of good news on Wednesday - Hood underwent successful surgery to repair the injury. It was the first step in a long road to recovery. 

Following surgery, Hood took to social media to thank Blazers fans for all the love and support they have sent his way.

From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank everyone who sent prayers up for me. Today was a successful surgery and I’m excited about this process. Every text, call, post, edible arrangement, etc meant the world to me! The support has been unreal. One thing I’ve never done is ask Why. I know I’m built to get through this. All positive vibes this way! - Rodney Hood

Thousands of fans liked the post, and many of his NBA brothers reached out via Instagram to send their wishes his way. Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Jahlil Okafor, Baron Davis, Quinn Cook, Jeff Green, Robert Covington, and Elfrid Payton were just a few of the past and present NBA stars that sent him love. 

No timetable has been set for Hood's recovery, but regardless of how long it takes Rip City will keep sending him love. He can certainly feel it, and on Wednesday he made sure to send it right back.

Rodney Hood undergoes successful surgery to repair torn Achilles

usatsi_13581680.jpg
USA Today Images

Rodney Hood undergoes successful surgery to repair torn Achilles

The Portland Trail Blazers announced Wednesday, veteran wing Rodney Hood has undergone successful surgery to repair his ruptured left Achilles tendon.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Richard Ferkel at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute earlier today.

It was on December 6th in the Blazers loss to the Lakers when Hood suffered the injury at the 3:27 mark of the first quarter

As of right now, the Blazers are saying there is no timetable for Hood’s return to basketball activity.

[RELATED]: Fans and NBA players send their love to Rodney Hood 

This season in 21 games, the 27-year-old averaged 11.0 points 3.4 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 29.5 minutes per game.

Hood was having one of the best seasons of his career.  

His shooting percentage (50.6%), along with his three-point shooting percentage (49.3%) and rebounding average were all career highs.