Los Angeles Lakers

Morning After: Everything you may have missed from the Blazers loss to the Lakers

Morning After: Everything you may have missed from the Blazers loss to the Lakers

It was a tough night for the Trail Blazers with LeBron James and the Lakers in town, and it had nothing to do with the result of the game.

Midway through the first quarter the Blazers lost starting small forward Rodney Hood. 

Hood went up for a rebound, but when he landed he fell to the floor clutching his left leg. He left the game and would no return.

The Blazers would later announce he had torn his Achilles and would miss the remainder of the season. 

With the next man up mentality, Kent Bazemore answered the call to fill Hoods minutes. But the blow of losing Hood was too much to overcome. 

The Blazers could not stop the Lakers. Anthony Davis and LeBron James combined for 70 points, and the Blazers had no choice but to head to the locker room wondering where they go from here. 

Final score in this one: Lakers 139 - Blazers 113.

QUOTABLES: 

LeBron James on facing Carmelo Anthony:

It’s always special, it’s always special to be the floor with a friend of mine. We have so much history, we have been playing against each other since 2001. It all started in Colorado Springs at the Jr. Olympics and we’ve been competing for a long time, being on the same team at the Olympics and he’s my brother. It’s always great to be able to compete and to be on the same floor period, no matter if it’s on team USA when we were teammates or competing.

Damian Lillard on Rodney Hood's injury:

It’s tough, man. You hate to see injuries in the league period, but you hate to see one of your teammates go down to an injury like that, especially a starter and somebody that’s really a good person, having a great season, fitting in really well with our team and a big part of what we do. You feel for him personally more than anything. Just sad to see that happen to him.

Coach Stotts on dealing with tough injuries:

Just gotta keep going forward. I mean we’ve got a season to play, as disappointing as it is to lose players to injuries, we have a team and we gotta just keep competing and playing. I mean you don’t have any other choice, you have disappointment for that player, that’s why I don’t think anyone is in there feeling sorry for us and the team, I think everyone’s feeling sorry for Rodney (Hood) or Zach (Collins) or Nurk (Jusuf Nurkic) or whatever it is, you feel for that player. But as a team we have a job to do, and we gotta go out and compete and try to win games.

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LATEST NEWS AND ANALYSIS

Instant Analysis: Blazers lose Hood to injury, Stotts to a double-tech, & the game to Lakers 

Terry Stotts ejected for first time in 880 games and 'it was very necessary'

The emotions after losing Rodney Hood to a torn Achilles: "There’s no words that can help" 

Blazers tempers reach boiling point: "Can we get the same calls?!" 

Blazers lose Rodney Hood: "It's heartbreaking" 

LeBron, Melo show mutual admiration: "That's my brother"

TALKIN' BLAZERS PODCAST

Terry Stotts ejected for first time in 880 games and 'it was very necessary'

Terry Stotts ejected for first time in 880 games and 'it was very necessary'

The Los Angeles Lakers Friday night showed everything you need to have to be a championship team.

With LeBron James and Anthony Davis they have two superstars, Hall of Fame-caliber players who are tough at both ends of the floor. They’ve surrounded those players with shooters and veterans who know how to play.

Almost as important as that, they’ve got an experienced coaching staff that appears to have its team buying into defense and moving the ball. Frank Vogel and his assistants are doing an outstanding job with this team that has won 20 of its first 23 games.

And in the Lakers’ 136-113 win over the Trail Blazers in Moda Center, the Lakers got all the help they needed from a very weak officiating crew -- John Goble, Tre Maddox and Leon Wood -- that had Terry Stotts going apoplectic and his players so frustrated they didn’t know what to do.

Stotts was ejected by Tre Maddox with a little more than a minute left in the third quarter after a foul call on Kent Bazemore, who had flown past Anthony Davis without touching him. This after Skal Labissiere was in the locker room getting four stitches in his lip from an elbow by Kyle Kuzma that was not called a foul.

My only question about Stotts getting run was, “What took you so long?”

It had been a poorly officiated game all night and it was the very first time Stotts, in his 880th game as an NBA head coach, has been booted from a game.

“It was very necessary,” Damian Lillard said, then said again. “It was very necessary.”

Bazemore said, “I had four fouls. I didn’t touch him. I was just trying to get out of the way.”

Bazemore got in James’ face and exchanged some words with him a couple of times, but wouldn’t share the content.  “I didn’t get here by backing down from anyone," he said. "That’s not who I am. I’m a fiery player. Very passionate. This is what I like to show.”

It was a contentious game that left Portland players feeling they didn’t get a fair shake. CJ McCollum reacted with dismay when he thought he was fouled in the third quarter. And he got a technical foul for it.

“I was clearly fouled,” McCollum said. “He hit me in the head. They didn’t call it. So I let him know that he missed the call. He didn’t appreciate it.

“They were very inconsistent all night.”

He was asked about Stotts’ getting ejected.

“Tells you the kind of night it was -- he doesn’t freak out for no reason,” McCollum said. “He just doesn’t do that. Kent runs by a guy and doesn’t touch him. Wouldn’t you be mad?”

Is it difficult to play a team with big-name players who seem to get calls?

“That’s what it looked like tonight,” he said. “It is what it is. It’s not even about the calls they get. It’s, can we get the same calls?”

The Lakers didn’t need any help. They buried Portland early with dunks off lobs and then put the hammer down with their three-point shooting, hitting 17 of 36 from long range.

Lillard had 29 for Portland, which now has the problem of replacing starting small forward Rodney Hood, who suffered a torn left Achilles tendon.

 

Instant Analysis: Blazers lose Hood to injury, Stotts to a double-tech, & the game to Lakers

Instant Analysis: Blazers lose Hood to injury, Stotts to a double-tech, & the game to Lakers

Friday night, the Blazers lost their starting small forward Rodney Hood to a season-ending injury.

Before Hood’s injury late in the first quarter, the Blazers and Lakers were exchanging buckets. 

While the Blazers made in-game adjustments without Hood, the Lakers started to run away with the game. LA’s biggest lead on the night was 21.

The Blazers starters continued to battle in the final period even after their head coach got ejected. 

FINAL BOX SCORE: LAKERS 136, TRAIL BLAZERS 113

Here are three quick takeaways from Friday’s loss:

1.  Hood leaves game early

Blazers starting small forward Rodney Hood left Friday night's game with torn left Achilles tendon.

The injury came at the 3:27 mark of the first quarter when Hood grabbed a defensive rebound. 

Hood planted his left foot and immediately fell to the floor. It was a non-contact injury.

Trainers rushed to Hood where he was surrounded by his teammates. He had to be helped off the floor by the team trainers. At the end of the first half, the Blazers announced that an MRI confirmed Hood had suffered a torn left Achilles tendon.

Kent Bazemore assumed the starting three spot for the night.  

2.  So many Laker dunks

Los Angeles showed off its size and length early and often against the Blazers. It was pick your poison under the basket on Friday night. LeBron James, JaVale McGee, Anthony Davis – all three Laker bigs were involved in a dunk-fest in the first quarter. Los Angeles took advantage of a smaller Blazers lineup, especially once Hood left the game.  

3.  Coach Stotts gets tossed

It has been a heated night between fans, between players, and between Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and the officials.

Coach Stotts was seen chirping at the referees and giving several looks of disgust through the first three quarters game.

After a personal foul was called on Kent Bazemore when Bazemore went up to contest Anthony Davis’ lay-in with 1:05 remaining in the third quarter that was the final straw.

Stotts was hit with two technical fouls and was ejected from the game. This is the first time in his Trail Blazers coaching career that he has been tossed from a game.

Up Next: The Trail Blazers host the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game will tip-off on Sunday at 6:00pm on NBC Sports Northwest and the MyTeams App.

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

UPDATE: Rodney Hood has a torn left Achilles tendon

UPDATE: Rodney Hood has a torn left Achilles tendon

What was feared has become a reality.

The Trail Blazers announced starting small forward Rodney Hood suffered a torn left Achilles tendon during Friday night's game vs. the LA Lakers.

The injury came at the 3:27 mark of the first quarter when Hood grabbed a defensive rebound. Hood planted his left foot and immediately fell to the floor. It was a non-contact injury.

Trainers rushed to Hood where he was surrounded by his teammates. He had to be helped off the floor by the team trainers.

The 27-year-old was holding his left lower leg while he was on the floor in serious pain.

Hood said after the win over Sacramento on Wednesday that his left Achilles was bothering him during the game and that he wasn’t sure if he would be able to play vs. the Lakers. Hood was subbed out in the fourth quarter because his left Achilles soreness.

We'll have more from players and coaches after the game.

Blazers Pregame Notebook: Which end of the floor are the Lakers more of a problem?

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Blazers Pregame Notebook: Which end of the floor are the Lakers more of a problem?

You can catch all the action between the Trail Blazers and Lakers at 7:30p.m. tonight on NBC Sports Northwest and on the 'My Teams' App.

Before tonight’s contest, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts met with the media to give his expectations vs. the Lakers, his thoughts on Carmelo Anthony signing his fully guaranteed contract, and more.

As the Blazers look to hand the Lakers just their second road loss of the season, Coach Stotts discussed how tonight’s game is a good test for his team right now, but doesn’t ultimately mean it will show where the Blazers stack up in the West at this point of the season.

When you’re playing one of the best if not the best team in the league, I guess it’s a measuring stick, but I think we already know they’re pretty good. We’ve been playing better… I don’t know about measuring stick. It’ll be a good test. – Blazers head coach Terry Stotts pregame

As for the announcement that the Blazers guaranteed Melo’s contract for the rest of this season, Stotts said, “that doesn’t change anything.” But added, “I think it sent a good message to him, and the team, and the rest of the league that he’s here to stay.”

To warp-up Friday’s pregame interview, our Dwight Jaynes asked Coach Stotts the millionaire dollar question: Is it the Lakers offense or defense that is more of an issue when facing them.

Stotts had to think about that one, starting off by saying, “that’s a good question.”

Stotts went back and forth at which end of the court is more of a problem, but ultimately, Stotts said, “I don’t know if I can answer the question to be honest.”

HEAR FROM COACH STOTTS HERE:

LAKERS INJURY REPORT:

Kyle Kuzma (left ankle; mild sprain) and Anthony Davis (right shoulder; soreness) are probable vs. Blazers.

BLAZERS INJURY REPORT:

Gary Trent Jr. (right hamstring strain) is questionable.

How to watch, stream Trail Blazers vs. Lakers tonight at 7:30pm

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How to watch, stream Trail Blazers vs. Lakers tonight at 7:30pm

The Trail Blazers (9-13) host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers (19-3) on Friday night on NBC Sports Northwest.  

Friday marks the first of three meetings this season between Portland and LA.

On Thursday afternoon, a report came out that the Blazers have made the decision to fully guarantee Carmelo Anthony's contract for the remainder of the season. 

Melo has played in eight games for the Blazers, averaging 16.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game.  

Portland has listed Gary Trent Jr. (right hamstring strain) as questionable for Friday’s contest.

As for the Lakers, Kyle Kuzma (left ankle; mild sprain) and Anthony Davis (right shoulder; soreness) are probable.

You can watch the Blazers-Lakers game on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers and you can stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

And, have you heard about Blazers Pass? Tonight's Warriors game is the first game of the "Blazers Pass Season!" 

You can get 15 live Trail Blazers games, pre and postgame shows, and on-demand full-game replays with Blazers Pass! (Only available to fans located in Blazers Territory, pursuant to NBA rules and agreements. No TV provider required. Subscription Period: November 4, 2019 - April 16, 2020. Subscription auto-renews prior to start of next season.)

Don't miss any of the coverage of tonight's game:

3:30pm Blazers Game Day with Chad Doing

6:30pm Blazers Warm-Up

7:00pm Trail Blazers Pregame Show

7:30pm Trail Blazers vs. Lakers

After the game catch Blazers Outsiders with hosts Joe Simons and Dan Marang!

Plus, full coverage of the game from Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team. Follow us on social throughout the night for the latest updates.  

Quotable

“I’m never really in any pain unless I’m doing rehab. Even then, if it’s painful we’re not pushing it too hard yet. I’m not really in any pain anymore.” – Zach Collins on his left shoulder rehab 

Countdown to Tip-Off: The Lakers (and NBA) got their first dosage of rookie Damian Lillard in 2012

Countdown to Tip-Off: The Lakers (and NBA) got their first dosage of rookie Damian Lillard in 2012

We're counting down the days until the Portland Trail Blazers open up the 2019-20 NBA season by looking back at each of the victories in the 18-game home-opener win streak. Here is a look at what happened back in 2012 when the Portland Trail Blazers and rookie Damian Lillard faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the home opener.

Can’t remember what the NBA was like in 2012? Let’s paint the picture:

- LeBron James was the reigning MVP

- The Miami Heat, lead by their big four of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Ray Allen, would go on to win back-to-back NBA titles (2011-12, 2012-13).

- Kyrie Irving had just won Rookie of the Year

- Anthony Davis was the No.1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft (selected by the New Orleans Hornets)

- The Blazers had the No. 6 pick and drafted Damian Lillard (Weber State). They also drafted Meyers Leonard (Illinois) at No. 11 and Will Barton (Memphis) at No. 40.

- Carmelo Anthony was the league's leading scorer

As for the Blazers home opener...

NBA, meet Damian Lillard; Damian Lillard, meet the NBA. 

The Blazers opened up their home schedule and the 2012 season with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite a combined 63 points from Bryant and Dwight Howard, it wasn’t enough to overcome all five Blazers starters reaching double figures. Rookie Damian Lillard recorded a double-double in his regular season debut combined with Nicolas Batum’s sharp shooting prevailed the Blazers over the Lakers 116-106.

Notable stats: 

Los Angeles -

Dwight Howard – 33 points, 14 rebounds

Kobe Bryant – 30 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists

Portland –

Damian Lilllard – 23 points,11 assists

Nicolas Batum – 26 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals

Wesley Matthews  – 22 points, 4 steals

LaMarcus Aldridge – 19 points, 3 rebounds

J.J. Hickson - 13 points, 10 rebounds

The Blazers would finish the season 33-49, good for the eleventh-best record in the Western Conference and would miss the playoffs for back-to-back seasons.

Western Conference Update: Lake Show bringing back an old friend in Dwight Howard

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Western Conference Update: Lake Show bringing back an old friend in Dwight Howard

What a summer it has been in the NBA.

Many people believe the West got considerable tougher.

And the Los Angeles Lakers got a lot of attention, per usual.

Now in late August, the Lakers are been talked about yet again.

Without DeMarcus Cousins in the mix for LA due to a torn ACL, the Lakers had been looking for its replacement candidate. 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. 

Friday afternoon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers had found their man. Dwight Howard is heading back to Los Angeles.

The Lakers are being cautious though as Howard has expressed he has been working on fixing his bad habits.

One thing is certain, the Lakers organization is looking at this upcoming season as a chance to make a deep run in the playoffs, if not win it all with the Warriors dynasty seemingly coming to an end.   

[RELATED]: How the DeMarcus Cousins injury affects the Trail Blazers' chances in the Western Conference

There has also been so much buzz around Rip City. Could this be the year, Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy?

The Western Conference showdown this season could definitely be one for the record books. 

The Blazers are scheduled to take on the Lakers three times this season. The first meeting is set for Friday, Dec. 6 at Moda Center.

A fun player matchup to watch between Portland and LA will be Howard against Trail Blazers new big man Hassan Whiteside.

In their eight, regular season games played against one another, the two are tied at four wins each.
In their most recent matchup on Nov. 10, 2018, Howard finished with 11 points and 16 rebounds, while Whiteside had 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Howard could prove to still be a useful big for the Lakers, or he could prove to bring more drama to La La Land.

Either way, now that Superman, who played for the Lakers from 2012-2013, is heading back to LA to now play with LeBron James, NBA fans are saying bring on the popcorn.

Trail Blazers could make a move, but don't expect Anthony Davis

Trail Blazers could make a move, but don't expect Anthony Davis

Now that the season is over and it looks as if the Golden State Warriors are going to have to make a miracle move not to look like a mediocre team next season, the talk turns to the Western Conference and the most basic of questions:

Who’s next?

As the runner-up to Golden State in the playoffs this last season, the Trail Blazers would certainly be a logical choice. And that means there’s pressure on Portland to make the Big Move to push it over the top – something that might duplicate what the Raptors did when they acquired Kawhi Leonard.

And the trade that is being tossed around the most, of course, is for New Orleans’ Anthony Davis. And I would advise those wishing for the Trail Blazers to pull that one off to slow down and be a little more realistic.

The Blazers would probably be willing to go all-in on Davis but they just don’t have the chips to tempt the Pelicans. Or, more correctly, other teams have more to offer.

And let me say first, if you think the Trail Blazer brass hasn’t already thought of this and hasn’t already engaged in some discussions with New Orleans, you’re probably off base. I would assume by now a whole lot of teams have not only knocked on David Griffin’s door, but have been rebuffed.

There’s a reason the Lakers continue to be the most-talked-about destination for Davis. No, not LeBron -- although that's certainly a factor in Davis wanting to be there. They have the most to offer. Los Angeles could send the Pels two previous No. 2 picks in the draft along with the current No. 4 pick – as well as Kyle Kuzma. The Blazers would be offering high-salaried players who could provide cap room in one more year but I would also assume a team welcoming Zion Williamson doesn't want to think about cap space NEXT year.

It wants talent now.

So if Davis doesn’t land in Portland it doesn’t mean the team didn’t give it a shot. Those guys in the front office know exactly what’s out there for them in the West and are more excited about that prospect than you are.

And I do think the Trail Blazers will pull something off – and it will probably prove to be better than you thought it was going to be. That’s the way a lot of Neil Olshey’s moves have turned out over the last several seasons.

Who could they get? I have no idea. But I certainly didn’t know Jusuf Nurkic and a pick could be had for Mason Plumlee – and I had no idea Nurk would prove to be the player he’s become. I also didn’t expect Rodney Hood and Enes Kantor to show up here for the stretch run last season.

Olshey’s plan all along has been to prepare this franchise for the time when the Warriors drop off. The Warriors didn’t just drop off, though, they fell down in a heap due to injuries.

But the Blazers are closer to a Western Conference title now than they’ve been in a long time. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are in their prime and Jusuf Nurkic – when they get him healthy – is a force at both ends of the court.

Portland could still use more three-point shooting and a rim protector until Nurkic heals and to back him up after that.

You can play with one of those online digital trade machines all you want, but I’m not sure you really know which players to plug into it.

So my best advice would be to be patient and see what happens.

It's no longer "Showtime" in Los Angeles, it's Show-Up Time

It's no longer "Showtime" in Los Angeles, it's Show-Up Time

I’m surprised how many people seem shocked that Magic Johnson resigned as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers.

I have seen such things before.

Great players very often don’t have the will or the skill to handle coaching in the NBA, let alone running a front office. Johnson himself attempted to coach the Lakers for a spell at the end of the 1993-94 season and after a few wins to begin his tenure, the team lost its final 10 games and Magic walked away from the job.

I’m certain that Johnson worked extremely hard as a player. All the greats work a lot harder than most people realize.

But the hard work associated with running a team is an entirely different skill set. It’s one thing to stay at the playground shooting baskets under the lights until everyone else goes home.

But it’s quite another discipline to keep yourself chained to a desk, a computer and a cell phone all night long, trying to figure out how to make a team better.

As much as people second-guess NBA general managers for draft picks, trades and personnel decisions, they often have no idea how tough those jobs can be. Over the past several decades covering the Trail Blazers, I’ve seen former players try their hand at assistant coaching jobs or secondary front-office positions and a good many of them just didn’t last.

Some of them didn’t have the skillset for it. Many of them simply don’t want to put in the time or they weren’t willing to take a job where they are subject to second-guessing and high expectations. And there are some who flat-out just didn’t want to work that hard when they have the money to just go home and work on their golf game.

I doubt Magic understood the difficulty prior to taking his position. But the man’s overpowering charisma and charm that has served him so well throughout his life did him no good. And without that, he just didn’t have the skills, even though he’s become known as a good businessman away from the game.

And of course, when you have plenty of options (and the money) to walk away, the necessary dedication isn’t always there.

“I want to go back to having fun,” he said Tuesday night. “I want to go back to being Magic Johnson again. I like to be free.”

And now he will. And he likely saved the franchise the painful step of having to fire a true legend, who was becoming known for being an "absentee executive."

That job with the Lakers will be a lot tougher that a lot of people think. We know by now that players aren’t just going to show up in Los Angeles merely to be a Laker. Or just to play alongside an aging LeBron James. And that franchise is in desperate need of talent.

But until that organization learns that all those championship banners hanging in the rafters mean nothing in terms of rebuilding a franchise that has missed the playoffs six years in a row, it isn’t going to get much better.

A solid business person will tell the Lakers what their broker is always careful to explain: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”

To improve, the Lakers have to escape their past and hire a front office full of experienced people who know more about doing the job than they care about the glorious past of what was once (but no longer) a dynasty.

It’s not Showtime anymore in Los Angeles. It’s show-up time.