Zach Collins 'single handedly' ignites Trail Blazers in win over Warriors

Zach Collins 'single handedly' ignites Trail Blazers in win over Warriors

High-scoring.

Chippy.

Entertaining.

And then, there was a block that changed it all.

The Trail Blazers and Warriors showdown did not disappoint on Wednesday night as the two teams went at each other figuratively, and then literally in the final quarter.

Portland came out victorious 129-107 to even up the season series at 2-2. 

The run down block made by Trail Blazers backup center Zach Collins was what the players called a “game changer” and it was obvious that block on Damion Lee with 7:35 remaining in the game was a big momentum swing for the Blazers.

“That play was big and then he made other effort plays, emotional plays that fired up the team and the crowd,” Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said postgame.

"I got blocked and I was running back down, I picked up head and the dude was going to the rim and I thought I could get there, so I just went up and gave it my best shot,” Collins said.

Less than four seconds later, the Blazers backup center drew an offensive foul after Klay Thompson went to the basket. Collins and Thompson exchanged words and there was a little shoving going on. Both were hit with offsetting technical fouls.

Damian Lillard knew how valuable both the block on Lee and taking the charge were in the Blazers getting the win.

“Both game-changing plays. I think the first thing you think about is a big shot or somebody getting dunked on or something like that as like an energy, game-changing play, but I think tonight those two plays is kind of what changed the game completely for us,” Lillard said.

Backup wing Evan Turner felt the same way about Collins’ performance as the Blazers’ second unit outscored the Warriors’ bench, 52-23

“He got a lot of extra possessions for us and he played tough. I think he single handedly changed the game,” Turner said.

Collins continued to get under the Warriors skin through the fourth quarter. Portland led 110-103 before Draymond Green was called for a Flagrant 1 on Collins with 3:54 left. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr stood up for Green and after yelling at the officials and throwing a clipboard, Kerr was ejected.

Lillard made the three technical shots and Collins made his free throws to give the Blazers a 115-103 lead.

Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant was asked about Collins’ performance after the game, to which KD simply replied with: “He played with a lot of energy. He played with a force, you know, blocking shots, the crowd got him hyped, so it is what it is.”

To KD, the crowd got Collins hyped. To Zach, he was getting the crowd hyped right before he was jarring with Thompson.

“I was just hyping up the crowd and then he came up to me, we just kind of went back and forth and that was it,” Collins said.

Coach Stotts said on Wednesday during his pregame interview that the newest edition to the roster, center Enes Kanter, will be the backup center for the Blazers and so with that it looks like Collins could be the odd man out.

But Collins isn’t letting that bother him.  

“I know what I bring to this team, so I’m gonna go out there regardless if I play two minutes or thirty minutes, I’m gonna go out there and play as hard as I can… Whatever happens with minutes happens. I’m excited that [Kanter] is a part of our team,” Collins said.

So no matter how much Collins sees the floor we can all look forward to more game changing hustle plays from the big man. 

Kevin Love opens up to CJ McCollum on the latest Pull Up podcast

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Kevin Love opens up to CJ McCollum on the latest Pull Up podcast

Episode No. 71 of the ‘Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum’ addresses mental health and the crucial balance between an NBA player’s social life and work life.

On this latest podcast, McCollum and NBA analyst Jordan Schultz take a deep dive on the physical and mental aspects of NBA players’ lives.

This episode also has an extra special Portland connection.

Special guest 5x NBA All-Star and NBA Champion Kevin Love joins the discussion.

This is the first edition of a two part series. Love talks about each phase of his career and making sure he continues to taking care of himself.   

From his start at Lake Oswego High School, OR to winning a championship with Lebron James, this podcast takes you through Love’s journey of how he became the player he is today as he get sets to enter his 12th season in the league.

Love recently addressed how he has been battling mental health issues when he wrote about it in ‘The Players’ Tribune’ back in May.

Love and McCollum talk more about Love's mental health and depression issues on the podcast.  

“If you kill the body, the mind will die,” Love told McCollum.

 

“Working on what’s between the ears… I think that’s lost on so many guys and we play such a long drawn out season… You do have to find some sort of break,” Love continued.   

NBA fans appreciate Love and McCollum’s honesty and how the two opened up on this latest podcast.

Love also discussed what he does in the offseason to get his mind right. During the summer Love focuses on meditation as well as attending talk therapy sessions.

The podcast was a chance for Love to reminisce about growing up in Oregon, too.

“I grew up in Nike’s backyard… I’ve developed lifelong friendships from my backyard in Beaverton, Oregon,” Love said.

The soon to be 31-year-old also talked about being overweight earlier in his basketball career and how he’s worked to stay in shape.

Love’s work ethic has been inspiring other Trail Blazers this summer.  Blazers forward Mario Hezonja had to kick it up a notch with his personal workout. Or to be exact, he had to add five pounds.

LISTEN TO THE PULL UP PODCAST ON APPLE PODCAST HERE.

LISTEN ON SPOTIFY RIGHT HERE.

The NBA Rookies sure do love Damian Lillard

The NBA Rookies sure do love Damian Lillard

One thing is for sure here in the city of Portland - We love Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard. Well, we aren't the only ones, folks. It appears the newest batch of NBA rookies love him too. 

According to the annual NBA Rookie Survey, Damian Lillard is one of the more liked players in the league. Of the 42 rookies surveyed, 38% voted for LeBron James, 20% voted for Kevin Durant, and Lillard and Kawhi Leonard tied for third place with 8% of the vote. 

While he didn't finish in the Top 5, Lillard's backcourt mate CJ McCollum was among the "others receiving votes." That's saying something, considering Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry received 0% of the vote.

Lillard and McCollum weren't the only Blazers players being shown some love. It appears Blazers rookie Nassir Little is well respecting among his 2019 draft class peers.  

Little finished in third place with 5% of the vote in the category "which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the draft?" If you don't remember, Little was a projected lottery pick but slipped all the way to No.25 where the Blazers quickly grabbed him. He was considered a steal on draft night, and the rest of the rookies agree. 

The Blazers rookie also could be a force on the defensive side of the ball in this league. According to the survey, the rookies consider Little one of the best defenders in the class. In that category Little finished in third place with 8% of the vote, tied with Brandon Clarke and Jaxson Hayes.

The rookies and the rest of the league will get a chance to see Lillard, McCollum, Little and the rest of the Blazers when they open up preseason play against the Denver Nuggets on October 8th.  

Trail Blazers rookie Nassir Little enjoying his busy summer in Portland

Trail Blazers rookie Nassir Little enjoying his busy summer in Portland

Trail Blazers rookie Nassir Little surprised 170 young athletes at the Trail Blazers Summer Hoops Camp over the weekend.

The Portland Trail Blazers and Beaverton Hoop YMCA Youth had a total of two five-day Summer Camps at the Beaverton Hoop YMCA this summer. These camps are “for athletes in grades 1-8 and offer a great Trail Blazers Camp experience.”

Camp coaches focus on both introducing and building on fundamentals of the game.

The campers receive a game ticket to a Trail Blazers game, a reversible Nike Dri-Fit Jersey, special guest visits, and of course, five days of basketball fun and fundamentals.

Little helped coach the youngsters who had no idea that the Trail Blazers forward would be in attendance.

The 19-year-old has been spending his August in Portland. He made it known earlier this month that he loves PDX.

As Little gets set for his rookie season, he has already shown in Summer League that he can become a solid wing defender at the NBA level. There’s no doubt he will need to work on developing a consistent three-point shot.

But, one thing is for sure, Little is already winning over the hearts of Rip City youngsters.

Check out more pictures from this weekend’s Trail Blazers Summer Hoops Camp right here.

Can we have Bill Walton broadcast baseball games all the time?

Can we have Bill Walton broadcast baseball games all the time?

Former NBA and Trail Blazers star Bill Walton took over social media when he took over the broadcast booth on Friday night while working as a special guest analyst for the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels game in Anaheim.

Friday's game was broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago as Walton joined NBCS Chicago’s play-by-play host Jason Benetti.

The 1977 Trail Blazers champion was a fill-in for regular White Sox analyst Steve Stone.

The broadcast went just as you would imagine it to would.

SO MANY GREAT QUOTES.

Here are just a few of the top quotes of the night from Walton:

“Is that the catcher? I tell you I’m not a very good catcher…”

“Putting all the powers together of the rare Earth minerals, you’ve just come up with this incredible computer generated stud for the future.”

“Rainbow is my favorite color.”

“Good eye, good patience… You tell that pitcher to bring it right in here.”

“GO! GO! This is gonna be a run… Here we go Sox. Take me out to the ball game, I don’t care if I never come back!”

In the fifth inning, when Mike Trout hit his 41st home run of the season, Walton analyzed it as so:

"That's Trout? Swimming upstream, avoiding all the flies, and sending one ricocheting through the universe."

MLB fans took to Twitter to express their love of Walton’s calls. There's no doubt fans want Walton to be in the broadcast booth for more MLB games.

The Scoop: Is this the year CJ McCollum becomes an All-Star?

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The Scoop: Is this the year CJ McCollum becomes an All-Star?

The latest Scoop livestream is brought you by Toyota of Portland.

This week on The Scoop, our Trail Blazers reporter Jamie Hudson and host of ‘The Bridge’ Justin Meyers take you around the NBA, and get you caught up on all things Trail Blazers as we get closer and closer to training camp!

Of course, with the NBA releasing the 2019-20 regular season schedules earlier this week that means it’s time to look ahead! The Blazers tip-off the regular season at home against the Denver Nuggets on October 23rd and all of Rip City is counting down…

Here’s a quick rundown of Thursday’s show:

Jamie and Justin find out Trail Blazers fans initial thoughts on this year’s regular season schedule. Also, they discuss the Blazers 50th anniversary court unveiling that happened earlier this week. 

Plus, the two debate --

Will CJ McCollum make the All-Star team this year?

In 2016, McCollum singed his first $100 million dollar contract. At that point, he was the fourth non-All-Star to have signed that large of a contract.

But, is this the season for CJ?

Of course, being an All-Star depends a lot on your team’s success. The Blazers are coming off a season in which they made it to the Western Conference Finals and McCollum showcased his consistency throughout that postseason run.

Injuries to other stellar backcourt players could also help McCollum on receiving his first All-Star nod this season.

Watch the FULL EPISODE of The Scoop right here:

Summer Scoop

Is this the year CJ McCollum becomes an All-Star? Let’s discuss! The Scoop brought to you by Toyota of Portland starts now 😎

Posted by NBC Sports Northwest on Thursday, August 15, 2019

The offseason work doesn’t stop for Anthony Tolliver

The offseason work doesn’t stop for Anthony Tolliver

On July 1, 2019, the Trail Blazers signed free agent Anthony Tolliver on a one-year, $2.6 million dollar deal. Tolliver provides depth at the power forward position, which was a bit thin heading into this upcoming season. 

Looks like he is eager to begin his journey in a Trail Blazers jersey. Tolliver posted a highlight video to his personal instagram account from a run the other day:

Tolliver is hitting from all over the court: taking his man down the baseline, smooth step backs, three-pointers. This was a great pickup for the Portland Trail Blazers. The 34-year-old shows leadership, experience and skill in this short 55 second highlight clip.

In his introductory press conference, Tolliver said to the media, “I was really looking for an opportunity to go to a team where I was valued and wanted. They made that very clear. I haven’t had free agency go this quickly in my entire career. But I couldn’t really pass up the opportunity to play for a contender and play with guys like Dame and CJ and there are a lot of great players on this team… And also, kind of watching the playoffs last year, how they got double-teamed a lot and that’s literally how guys like myself can excel.”

We are just 69 days out from the debut of Tolliver and the Portland Trail Blazers’ season-opener at home vs. the Denver Nuggets. 

You can view the full Trail Blazers 2019-2020 season here.

How the DeMarcus Cousins injury affects the Trail Blazers' chances in the Western Conference

How the DeMarcus Cousins injury affects the Trail Blazers' chances in the Western Conference

News broke today that newly acquired Lakers big man, DeMarcus Cousins, tore his ACL in a workout in Las Vegas.

Video of the injury has been acquired by TMZ:

This is just another in a string of terrible injuries Cousins has suffered in a short time span:

The league, and certainly LeBron James and the Lakers, will not be the same without Cousins in the mix. In a revamped West, any injury has a ripple effect across the Conference where just a few wins can mean the difference between home court advantage, the right match-up or a deep playoff run. 

The Blazers are scheduled to take on the Lakers 3 times this season. The first coming on Friday, December 6th at Moda Center. Another home game follows on Saturday, December 28th and finally a single road game at Staples Center on Friday, January 31st. Yes, they still have LeBron and Anthony Davis, but the loss of Cousins shouldn't be overlooked. Prior to the Cousins injury, the Lakers were sitting at about 4 to 1 to win the NBA Title making them one of the Top 3 teams along with the Clippers and Bucks. The Blazers come in at around 33 to 1 depending on where you pull the odds from. 

In the end, the Lakers odds in the West probably won't significantly change because of this. It makes three games on the Trail Blazers schedule just a little bit easier and with two games vs. LA being at home a chance to take the season series is certainly possible. It will make life for the Blazers front court in Hassan Whiteside, Zach Collins, and Pau Gasol a little bit more manageable in those games vs. LA, as they will already have their hands full with Davis.

All that said, the Trail Blazers are still projected at about a #7 seed, but we know how Damian Lillard and company like to prove people wrong.

You can check out the entire Trail Blazers schedule here. 

It’s Jerseyyyyy Tiiiiiiime with DJ Pauly D

It’s Jerseyyyyy Tiiiiiiime with DJ Pauly D

Star of the hit MTV show Jersey Shore, DJ Pauly D was caught sporting a Portland Trail Blazers jersey on his personal Instagram account…

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Known for not just his music but his iconic sayings on Jersey Shore “It’s t shirt time!”, “Cabs are here!”, and "GTL: Gym, Tan, Laundry", DJ Pauly D is quite the sports fan. He can also be seen sporting other NBA jerseys: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, L.A. Lakers as well as NFL’s Patrick Mahomes and Beast Mode when he performs his music. 

Add the Portland Trail Blazers to that list.

Will we eventually see DJ Pauly D at Moda Center? One can only hope so.

2009-10 Portland Trail Blazers one of six legendary teams coming to NBA2K20

2009-10 Portland Trail Blazers one of six legendary teams coming to NBA2K20

The 2009-10 Portland Trail Blazers squad was epic.

Steve Blake, Andre Miller and Jerryd Bayless ran the point. “The Natural” started at shooting guard with Rudy Fernandez coming off the bench. Nicolas Batum and Travis Outlaw checked in at small forward. A young LaMarcus Aldridge started at power forward with Dante Cunningham coming off the bench. And there was former No. 1 pick Greg Oden and the Gorilla “Joel” Pryzbilla at center.

This team was supposed to start the initial process of turning back the clock to 1977. But as all Trail Blazers fans now know, the roster didn’t stay that way.

Oden went down with a season-ending knee injury on the Rose Garden hardwood, Rudy Fernandez later went under the knife and Joel Pryzbilla ruptured his right patella tendon and missed the remainder of the season.

When all odds were stacked against Portland, the Trail Blazers battled through the cold, hard winter into the first round of the playoffs, where the short-handed Blazers lost to the Suns in six games. The Trail Blazers didn't have the success they had outlined for the season, but their resilency is why they will go down as one of the most memorable teams in NBA history. 

NBA2K announced Tuesday that six legendary teams would be coming to NBA2K20 and the Trail Blazers 2009-10 squad has made the list.

Gamers will get to re-live B-Roy's explosive play that earned him All-Star honors, LA's fourth year in a Trail Blazers uniform and Oden at full health. NBA2K20 will be released on September 6.