Cleveland Cavaliers

Woj Report: Cavaliers in Denver conducting interview with Trail Blazer assistant

Woj Report: Cavaliers in Denver conducting interview with Trail Blazer assistant

Adrian Wojnrowski reporting today that the General Manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers is in Denver conducting interviews for their vacant head coaching position. 

The juicy Trail Blazer nugget according to Woj:

"... and Portland assistant David Vanterpool, league sources said...The Cavaliers had received permission to interview another Trail Blazers assistant, Nate Tibbetts, but scheduling conflicts will push that meeting until after the Blazers-Nuggets Western Conference semifinals."

Both Vanterpool and Tibbetts have been linked to previous coaching vacancies in the past. It sure feels like only a matter of time before one, or both, get their crack at a head coaching gig in the NBA. 

Read Woj's full story here. 

More to come from Insider Dwight Jaynes and Trail Blazer Reporter Jamie Hudson throughout the off-season on the Trail Blazers coaching staff. 

WOJ REPORT: Cavs have received permission to interview Blazers assistants Tibbetts and Vanterpool for vacant head coaching job

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WOJ REPORT: Cavs have received permission to interview Blazers assistants Tibbetts and Vanterpool for vacant head coaching job

The Cleveland Cavaliers are searching for their new head coach and they are curious to see if their franchise coach could currently be in Portland.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavaliers have received permission to interview Portland Trail Blazers assistants Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool for the franchise's vacant head coaching job.

This is nothing new for Tibbetts and Vanterpool. Both assistant coaches have been looked at as potential head coach candidates in the past few years.  

Tibbets has been an assistant for the Trail Blazers since the 2013-2014 season, while Vanterpool joined Portland’s staff in August of 2012.

Tibbets had previously been an assistant for the Cavs from 2011-2013.

Last year, Tibbets was in the final running for the Atlanta Hawks head coach position.

This week, Vanterpool was also linked to be in the running for the Phoenix Sun’s job.

More to come on the coach situation as they progress. 

 

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Rip City Rewind: Everything you might have missed as the Blazers beat the Cavaliers

Rip City Rewind: Everything you might have missed as the Blazers beat the Cavaliers

On the third game of seven-game road trip, the Portland Trail Blazers traveled to Cleveland with one goal in mind: get another East Coast win on the road.

While the Blazers leaned on their center tandem of Enes Kanter and Jusuf Nurkic in Portland’s last two games, it was CJ McCollum who caught fire on Monday night.

Here’s a look at everything you might have missed as the Blazers beat the Cavs 123-110.

Portland got off to a hot start before halftime, running away with a 23-point lead behind the 3-point shooting of Seth Curry and CJ McCollum. And the third quarter happened.

The Blazers energy appeared to dissipate and the Cavaliers took advantage, outscoring Portland 36-17 in the third quarter. In the final four minutes, the tides changed behind four, 3-point field goals and Portland survived what could have been an epic collapse.

Dwight Jaynes noted the Blazers great escape: In spite of third-quarter trouble, Blazers' three-pointers bury Cavs

In front of nearly 100 family and friends, CJ McCollum made sure to impress. The Trail Blazers guard knocked seven three-pointers, tying his career-high. He finished the game 7-for-8 from behind the arc with 35 points and seven rebounds.

Jamie Hudson took a look at CJ’s monster night: Blackjack, naps and seven straight 3s --- Just another day for CJ McCollum

Following the game, Jamie shared her initial reactions to the Blazers victory over the Cavs: Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Trail Blazers win over the Cleveland Cavaliers

Blackjack, naps and seven straight 3s --- Just another day for CJ McCollum

Blackjack, naps and seven straight 3s --- Just another day for CJ McCollum

CLEVELAND –  When you have about 100 family and friends travel roughly 60 miles to come watch you play, you make sure to put on a show.

That’s exactly what CJ McCollum did in the Blazers 123-110 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

McCollum’s hometown of Canton, Ohio is about an hour drive from Quicken Loans Arena. McCollum was happy to see some familiar faces in the crowd. “It’s nice to play well in front of a lot of friends and family,” McCollum said.

The Trail Blazers two-guard knocked down seven straight three-pointers and with those seven, McCollum tied his career-high in threes made.

“Guys set some good screens for me, so I was able to get some easy threes… Offense was rolling, I just tried to take advantage of the movement,” McCollum said.

But McCollum was also taking advantage of what the Cavs were throwing at him.

“I think it’s just about being aggressive, mixing up cuts, and then trying to score in different ways and taking what the defensive gives you and tonight they gave me a little bit of everything,” McCollum said. 

In his last 10 games, McCollum is averaging one point more than his season average of 20.9, while shooting 44.9% from the field.

McCollum went 7-for-8 from beyond the arc in Monday’s win and totaled 35 points and seven rebounds, while also getting into foul trouble. He had five personal fouls on the night after picking up his fifth with 5:56 left in the game.

“He had it rolling. It was good to see. You know, first two games, obviously on this road trip we haven’t shot the three well, we made up for it tonight, but CJ, even despite the foul trouble, he had a good rhythm to his shot, getting into the lane, it was good to see some threes go,” Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said postgame.

The Blazers shot 62.1% from deep against the Cavs after averaging 21.8% from three in the first two games on this road trip.

Even though early on with McCollum scoring 22 of his 35 points in the first half and the Blazers jumping out to a 14-0 lead to start the game, it wasn’t all three-pointers and good rhythm for the Blazers.

The second half started out rough for Portland as the Blazers got outscored 36-17 in the third quarter.

But like the leader of this Blazers team, Damian Lillard, said, “I think it’s important that we're able to weather the storm and find a way to get it done.” Lillard knows that closing out the game to go 3-0 on this trip is what is significant.

He also knows that McCollum was the big reason why the Blazers started hot and were able to finish hot in Monday’s game.

“He carried us on the offensive end, just from shot making and scoring the ball, I think it was a pretty easy night. When you’ve got a guy going like that, they can turn it into forty, fifty points and we try to just keep that rolling. I was just trying to keep him involved and keep trying to get him opportunities,” Lillard said.

Lillard finished with 21 points and eight assists.

The duo of Lillard and McCollum came up big in the final minutes. Both players hit two threes each in the final six minutes of the game.

“I liked the way we finished, the threes – that little run that we made with the threes certainly made a difference,” Coach Stotts said.

Was there anything special about how McCollum prepared for this game? Did he an extra good shootaround in the morning?

Nope.

“It was just a normal day,” McCollum said. “I took a long nap like I always do, played some Blackjack last night and got ready for the game.”

A normal day for CJ -- win at the tables, win on the court.

That's a good day.

Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Trail Blazers win over the Cleveland Cavaliers

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Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Trail Blazers win over the Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND – The Portland Trail Blazers entered Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers looking to avoid a trap game against the lowly Cavs and improve its 12-15-road record.

Not only did the Blazers avoid a trap game, but, they put on a show in the first half.

The ball movement, the three-point shooting, and the team defense – it was all on point for Portland in the first two quarters as the Blazers came away with a 123-110 win over the Cavaliers.   

Even though it’s been a rough season for Cleveland, they had been playing well recently, and the Cavs showed that when they almost completed a comeback against Portland. 

Final Box Score: Trail Blazers 123, Cavs 110

Here are some quick thoughts from the Blazers third straight road win:

1. Blazers get off to a quick-start

Portland hit its first three three-pointers and started off the game with a 14-0 lead. To end the 1st quarter the Blazers were up 29-18 after shooting 57.9% from the field.

The quick start was more impressive on the defensive end. Portland was active with its hand and made sure to disrupt the Cavs’ offense.  

The quick start proved the Blazers were not overlooking the Cavs who entered this game with a 14-46 overall record with just nine home wins on the season.

The Blazers shooting continued to rise in the second quarter as Portland continued its impressive play. It should come as no surprise that the Blazers are now 3-0 post All-Star break. For the past few seasons this has become a normal thing to see a surge in this team. Blazers head coach Terry Stotts attributes a lot of the second half of the season success to Damian Lillard. That’s what he told the media before Monday’s game.

The Blazers biggest lead of the first half was 23 after shooting 68% for the half, which is their best shooting half of the season.

2. Raining threes

It was a fitting way to end the first half with Maurice Harkless knocking down a three-pointer from the wing at the buzzer because it had been a big half of splashing in threes. Portland converted 11 of its 13 three-point attempts.

Sometimes it feels like three-point shooting is contagious and that can be a good thing or bad thing. For the Blazers it was all-good in the first half on Monday night.

The second half wasn’t as kind to the Blazers, but Portland was able to overcome the Cavs 36-17 third quarter. The Blazers cooled off from three and went 0-for-6 from deep in the third.  

The NBA is a game of runs and that was definitely the case in Cleveland on Monday.

3. Blazers able to hold off comeback, but it wasn’t easy

CJ McCollum was a big reason the Blazers were able to hold onto the lead and get a fourth straight victory. McCollum was scoring in a variety of ways the entire game. He was shooting 8-of-10 through the first three quarters and continued his hot shooting to help his team finish strong.

The Blazers stayed calm down the stretch and didn’t let the loud Cavs fans get to them despite the Blazers’ tale of two halves as far as shooting goes.

McCollum hit two clutch three-pointers down the stretch to really secure the victory.  NEXT UP: The Trail Blazers visit the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night in the fourth game on this seven-game trip. Tip-off is set for 5:00pm PT start time. Our pregame coverage tips off at 4:00pm on NBC Sports Northwest.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your Blazers and stream the games easily on your device.

 

Everything you need to know from pregame as Trail Blazers prep for Cleveland Cavs

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NBC Sports Northwest

Everything you need to know from pregame as Trail Blazers prep for Cleveland Cavs

CLEVELAND – Nik Stauskas is just happy to land on his feet in Cleveland.

The former Trail Blazers guard, who was traded three times and released before the league's trade deadline, has been adjusting to his new NBA home with the Cavaliers.

“That whole week of being traded multiple times and just not knowing where I was going to end up, it was a little stressful, but I’m happy I landed on my feet and able to have an opportunity here in Cleveland,” Stauskas said.

Before the Blazers and Cavs tipped off on Monday, Stauskas got a chance to catch up with his former teammates.  

“It’s fun just to see everyone again, especially because with the way I got traded after practice I didn’t really get to say goodbye to everyone like I wanted to, so it was just cool to say hi to everyone again and just check in… But it’s crazy, I think the trade happened like two weeks ago, but it feels like it’s already been forever. I miss everyone,” Stausksas said.  

In 44 games for Portland, Stauskas averaged 6.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He shot 41.9 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from 3-point range.

Stauskas has played in three games so far for Cleveland since being traded. He’s averaging 3.3 points per game in 16 minutes of work.

The 25-year old had a message for the fans of Rip City before he faced his former team:

“The fans were amazing. The amount of people that I had reach out to me when I got traded, showing their support and saying that there were gonna miss me, it meant a lot and I know I was only there for like half a season, but I really felt like Portland was home and the fans treated me with nothing but love,” Stauskas said.  

In his pregame interview, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts stressed the importance of not overlooking Cleveland, who is currently 14-46 on the season. Stotts also said he got a chance to talk with Stauskas.

“He said he misses us, that was nice,” Stotts said with a smile.

Hear from Coach Stotts:

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: How and Where to Watch

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: How and Where to Watch

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your Blazers and stream the games easily on your device.

GAME DETAILS

Where to Watch: NBC Sports Northwest

Where to Watch on the go: Stream the game live on the new MyTeams App

Tip-Off Time: 4:00 p.m. 

Point spread: Portland -9

NBCS NW Coverage: Blazers Outsiders Pregame Show (3:00 p.m.), Blazers Outsiders Postgame Show (immediately after the game). 

Radio: 620AM Rip City Radio

 

INJURY UPDATES

Blazers guard Evan Turner (left knee) is out for Monday’s game at Cleveland.

For the Cavaliers, Deng Adel (G League), Jaron Blossomgame (G League), John Henson (left wrist), JR Smith (Not with team) and Tristan Thompson (left foot) are out.


QUICK LINKS

Dwight Jaynes: That sound you hear is the Blazers eating the Sixers alive on the boards

Jamie Hudson: Maurice Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu bring that spark that nobody talks about

VIDEO: Highlights: Early tip-off is kind to the Blazers

VIDEO: Blazers doing damage on the offensive glass

VIDEO: Aminu, Harkless back-to-back games in double figures

 

Download the brand new MyTeams app today - This is the app for everything Blazers: games, highlights, articles, podcasts and more from your NBC Sports Northwest Blazers team.

A quiet Rodney Hood: A seamless fit for the Portland Trail Blazers

A quiet Rodney Hood: A seamless fit for the Portland Trail Blazers

After the Trail Blazers acquisition of wing Rodney Hood became official on Tuesday, Hood spoke with the media for the first time here in Portland. He started off his interview expressing his excitement and how he is ready to play “freely” and “really move the ball.”

Hood’s skill set and demeanor is going to work out just fine

Over the past few days since the Super Bowl Sunday trade went down, players and Blazers head coach Terry Stotts have talked about how they believe Hood can excel in the Blazers’ system.

After Hood’s first full practice with Portland on Wednesday, Trail Blazers captain Damian Lillard discussed how his newest teammate is already fitting in, “He’s quiet," Lillard said. “I think if he had like this big, wild, crazy personality it would be like, take a little bit more time, but he’s kinda just blending in… I think he’ll be good for our team.” 

Hood worked on half court sets before practice started on Wednesday morning since the main focus of Wednesday’s practice was on team defense.

The 26-year-old shooting guard has been studying videos of the Blazers’ sets since Monday morning and he has already picked up how this team likes to play after sitting on the bench during Tuesday’s matchup against the Heat.

Two players that stood out to Hood during Tuesday’s game:

Jake Layman and Jusuf Nurkic.

“The guys really play the right way. Guys really play hard… They trust each other. You see a guy like Dame, who doesn’t try to force a lot out there; it’s a great way to play… Jake is a really good cutter and guys know that. Nurk is a better passer than I thought before I got here,” Hood said.

The biggest goal and challenge for Hood now that he is a part of Rip City, does not depend on his stat line. 

“I just want to be a part of winning. Just throw myself into it. I’m not worried about coming in and trying to score X-amount of points or getting some notoriety and things like that, it’s just about being competitive and being whatever the coaches need from me to do and then try to do it to the best of my abilities,” Hood said.

Duke Blue Devils blood runs strong 

With the addition of Hood, Portland now has three Duke University Men’s Basketball alumni on its roster including Seth Curry and rookie Gary Trent Jr.

Hood was a redshirt during Curry’s final year as a Blue Devil.

In Curry’s mind there’s no doubt that Hood will fit in well with this Blazers squad, “he’s a pretty chill guy, always composed," Curry said. “He’s professional. He’s a mature guy and he’s smart, he knows the game, been around the league so, like I said he knows me, knows a few other guys that are already here.”

The two had many battles on the scrimmage court at Duke.

“He was always on the scout team and I would always have to guard him,” Curry said. “He was in the same position as me because a couple of years before I was redshirting and I think I was the third transfer that Coach K ever had and he might’ve been like the fourth, so I guess that’s elite company to be in.”

Now, it may sound a little out there, but after having a full practice under his belt, Hood isn’t the only one believing he is already making strides to get himself situated in his new role in Portland.

“For him being here a day already it looks like he feels comfortable. Curry said after Wednesday’s practice. He hit the ground running. We’re excited to have him.”

 

Lessons from the NBA Finals and King James

After being a member of the Utah Jazz from the 2014-15 season until right before his 40th game of the 2017-18 season, Hood was traded to Cleveland.

During the end of the 2017-18 season, Hood got to experience the NBA Finals with LeBron James and as you might imagine, he takes a lot away from his Finals experience.

“I learned a lot from the guys there. You know, LeBron, K-Love, Kyle Korver, just how to be professional, how to win at a very high-level… Those guys had a machine going, obviously going to four straight Finals and be a part of the one last year I learned a lot from him,” Hood said.

Even though he has only been in the league since 2014 and on just two different rosters before making his way to Portland, Hood realizes that it was not a bad situation for him Cleveland, it just wasn’t the perfect situation. 

“I look at it different now that I’m out of it—I got a chance to experience going to the Finals, I played with one of the best players to ever play the game… Sometimes it’s just things just don’t fit… It doesn’t have to be a bad thing, that’s just how it is. Sometimes you go to a job and something just might not fit,” Hood said. 

It looks like a change of scenery will be just what Hood needs. 

“I was excited to get a chance to play some competitive basketball,” Hood said. “This is a really good opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to it… Coming here I think it will be an easier transition for me (than the previous trade from Utah to Cleveland) – personal wise and playing wise,” Hood said.

What it comes down to is this…

After talking to Hood over the past two days, you can expect him—to be dialed in and be himself.

“Just be me. Get back to being me like I did a couple of years ago, just play my game. Coach Stotts lets you play your game and that’s a big reason why I was attracted to here,” Hood said.

He will get his chance to showcase “his game” on Thursday night at Moda Center when the Blazers host the Spurs at 7:30pm.

Blazers get Rodney Hood, roster spot without dealing major assets

Blazers get Rodney Hood, roster spot without dealing major assets

The Trail Blazers made a trade Sunday, certainly not a major deal but one that keeps alive -- or even enhances -- their ability to make another, bigger trade prior to Thursday’s noon (Pacific time) deadline.

Portland acquired wing Rodney Hood from Cleveland in exchange for guards Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin and a pair of second-round draft choices.

Hood, a 6-8 left-hander out of Duke, has averaged 12.8 points per game while shooting 36.8 percent from three-point range in his career. The 26-year-old played his first four seasons in Utah before being dealt to Cleveland.

He has been a sought-after guard/forward at the deadline and provides depth for the Trail Blazers at wing, a position that could be considered the team’s weakest.

And a few things should be pointed out: The 2-for-1 deal leaves an open roster spot for Portland, allowing the acquisition of a player being waived or bought out of a contract. And it was made without surrendering the team’s main trade assets – a quality rotation player or a first-round pick. And as far as those second-round picks? If the Blazers want one, they’ve always just traded for or bought one.

Portland Coach Terry Stotts would make no comment on the deal, apparently waiting for the trade to be confirmed by the league office.

But his players had something to say.

“I don’t like that he went to Duke,” CJ McCollum joked. “But besides that, I think he can play. He’s a solid player. He’s a big guard, good mid-range, pretty good pick-and-roll.

“I know he’s in a contract year, so he’ll be eager to get out there and play well.”

Damian Lillard said, “I love him as a player. I respect him. I remember when he was in Utah, he was breaking into the rotation and he always came in and gave them a spark. He’s a good-sized wing who can score the ball, shoot the ball, solid defender – it will be interesting to see how he will fit in with us."

Hood is in the final season of his contract but did sign a one-year qualifying offer with Cleveland, which meant he had to agree to the trade to Portland.

“He made the playoffs with Cleveland last year, he’ll make a nice addition,” McCollum added.

Of course the playoffs didn’t turn out to be a bright spot in Hood’s career. He started the team’s first playoff game but was relegated to bench duty after that. He refused to go into a game during garbage time at the end of Game 4 of the Cavs’ series against Boston, for which he later apologized.

Jusuf Nurkic grabs a piece of a Bill Walton record -- and now he'd like one of his jerseys

Jusuf Nurkic grabs a piece of a Bill Walton record -- and now he'd like one of his jerseys

It was one of those nights when the Trail Blazers were supposed to win – a matchup of their 26-19 team against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team lugging around a 9-35 mark.

But who knew it would turn out to be an eventful night? And for the longest time, it didn't appear it would be anything but a routine Portland victory. A special night?

Well, it was – at least for Portland center Jusuf Nurkic, who recorded his first career triple-double and added five blocked shots to it, the first triple-double for the Blazers in more than five years. And it was a game in which the Blazers shot a season-high 55.2 percent from three-point range, hitting 16 of 29. Portland had a season-low four turnovers and the Cavs had just three, setting an NBA record for fewest turnovers in a game since the stat came into being in the 1970-71 season.

Nurkic’s triple-double was one of the quietest you will ever see – and certainly one of the more amazing ones.

With four minutes to go in the game he had 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. He racked up his final four assists over the next minute and 32 seconds.

“Is that a record?” he asked with a smile. Well, maybe – certainly when you need those assists for the triple-double.

“Yeah, I guess it happened pretty quickly there at the end,” said Portland Coach Terry Stotts. “And I’m glad it happened in kind of a natural way.”

Nurkic said, “I thought the game was over but I guess it’s never over until it’s done.

“It’s cool. But it isn’t special. It happened random. People appreciate it more. I just tried to impact the game in a different way and it worked out well today.”

Nurkic has become the hub of the Portland offense at times during games and has killed teams with backdoor bounce passes to cutters at the basket.

“I just try to make the right play,” he said. “Not necessarily try to hunt points or assists. Just out there having fun and trying to make the right play at the right time.”

Nurkic admitted he’s never been on a team that his featured him in a playmaking role like this year’s team has – but it certainly suits his skills.

“I knew I had seven assists and then the game went kind of back and forward, timeouts and then Dame said, ‘One more.’

“It’s interesting because there’s always some kind of record. It’s funny. But we want to go deep in the playoffs and that’s what means the most.”

When he was told that he is the only Trail Blazer other than Bill Walton to have a triple-double with five blocks, he smiled.

“Send me the jersey,” he said.

Does he want a Walton jersey, autographed?

“Yes,” he said eagerly. “Yes, I do.”

OK, Bill – I know you are a regular reader of this space. Let’s make that happen.

Then this game will be even more eventful.