Nassir Little

Damian Lillard went through 'non-contact practice,' Tuesday's status is still unknown

Damian Lillard went through 'non-contact practice,' Tuesday's status is still unknown

With just four more days until the eight 'seeding games' tip-off for Portland, and just one more scrimmage on the docket, the Trail Blazers have turned their attention to getting healthy and preparing for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Besides the NBA’s restart scrimmages, the Blazers aren’t getting in a lot of scrimmage time against each other right now.

Trail Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic, who finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds in Portland’s 110-104 loss to Toronto on Sunday, explained that the focus of the teams’ practices are not about getting up and down at the moment.

“Honestly not a lot of playing," Nurkic said after Monday's practice. "We’re down some bodies and trying to figure out the health and trying to ramp up for Memphis... We focus pretty much all days from yesterday and on, on Memphis. That’s our main focus.”

In the Trail Blazers second scrimmage Sunday, Portland was short-handed once again. After not having Hassan Whiteside (Achilles) and Nassir Little (concussion) in the first scrimmage, the Blazers were without Little and All-Star Damian Lillard on Sunday. The Blazers captain sat out to rest his left foot after dealing with inflammation near the bottom of his foot. 

Tuesday will be the one-week mark since Little suffered a concussion in practice and entered the NBA's concussion protocol.

Both Lillard and Little’s status for Tuesday’s scrimmage against the Thunder is still up in the air following Monday’s practice.

The good news though: Both Lillard and Little were active in Monday's practice.

It was basically a non-contact practice with shooting and weights and everything. Dame did everything. Nassir played some one-on-one, which is the last hurdle in his protocol, so hopefully he’ll be available tomorrow. That’s not definite now, but hopefully that leads to him being able to play tomorrow. -- Blazers coach Terry Stotts after Monday's practice

Stotts said Lillard’s status for Tuesday’s scrimmage is “to be determined.”

The Blazers training staff and Lillard himself will have the final say on if he plays or sits out of Portland’s final scrimmage.

[RELATED]: If Damian Lillard isn't at his best, the Trail Blazer restart is 'a waste of time'

Stotts added, “If it would serve him better to sit out tomorrow then he’ll sit out. We’ll evaluate that and make a decision tomorrow.”

Both Hassan Whiteside and Zach Collins, who were limited to 20 minutes of action in Sunday’s scrimmage, had no lingering effects from Sunday’s contest as the two 7-footers look to get as close to 100 percent as possible ahead of Portland’s push for the playoffs. 

Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

  

Damian Lillard's foot x-ray came back negative, Hassan Whiteside returns to starting lineup today

Damian Lillard's foot x-ray came back negative, Hassan Whiteside returns to starting lineup today

Heading into Sunday’s scrimmage against the Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts explained that he is hoping to see improvement in his team’s transition defense and a better flow offense.

Coach Stotts also gave an injury update prior to Sunday's scrimmage.

In Thursday’s loss to the Pacers, the Trail Blazers were without big man Hassan Whiteside (Achilles) and rookie forward Nassir Little (concussion).

But now, in the second of three scrimmage games, Portland will be without their point guard Damian Lillard, who is dealing with inflammation in his left foot.

Stotts says Lillard had an x-ray on his left foot. The x-rays came back negative. From the sounds of it, it seems the inflammation is at the bottom of Lillard's left foot. 

He did have an x-ray. The x-ray was negative. He just has some inflammation. I don’t expect it to be a long-term deal. Hopefully he’ll be able to play our last scrimmage. I think it’s a little bit on the bottom of his foot, but I’m not quite sure about that, but I think it is. -- Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts

Here is how Portland’s starting lineup will shake out for Sunday’s scrimmage against Toronto:

  • Hassan Whiteside
  • Jusuf Nurkic
  • CJ McCollum
  • Gary Trent Jr.
  • Carmelo Anthony

Whiteside (Achilles), who is returning to action after missing the team’s first scrimmage will be limited to 20 minutes of action on Sunday, as will Zach Collins.

Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

  

As for rookie forward, Nassir Little (concussion), he will not play Sunday. Coach Stotts added that, “Nassir is doing better.”

You can watch the Blazers-Raptors scrimmage on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers starting with the pregame show at 2:30 p.m. PST. 

You can also stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

And, for full coverage of the scrimmage make sure to follow Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team throughout the day. Follow us on social for the latest updates. 

How to Watch, stream Trail Blazers vs. Raptors scrimmage TODAY@ 2:30pm

How to Watch, stream Trail Blazers vs. Raptors scrimmage TODAY@ 2:30pm

Sunday’s scrimmage will be the second of three NBA restart scrimmages in Orlando for the Trail Blazers and another chance to get ready for the 8-game playoff dash. 

In their first game Thursday, Portland lost to Indiana 91-88.

In the Blazers’ second scrimmage, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said he won’t be playing two completely different units as much as he did in the first scrimmage. But, he also added he isn’t sure how many minutes the starters will get Sunday against the Raptors.

You can watch the Blazers-Raptors scrimmage on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers starting with the pregame show at 2:30pm PST.

Stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

And, for full coverage of the scrimmage make sure to follow Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team throughout the day. Follow us on social for the latest updates. 

Portland’s Remaining Scrimmage Schedule:

  • Sunday, July 26 vs. Toronto at 3:00 p.m. PT
  • Tues, July 28 vs. Oklahoma City at 3:00 p.m. PT

Blazers Injury Update:

The Trail Blazers were without big man Hassan Whiteside (Achilles) and rookie forward Nassir Little (concussion) on Thursday in the Blazers loss to the Pacers.

Their status for Sunday is still unknown at this time.

Coach Stotts gave a brief injury update after Saturday’s practice:

Nassir was… on the bike, so he cleared the first stage of the [concussion] protocol, so he was able to be at practice, but did not participate. Hassan -- this was a light practice we didn’t go a lot, five-on-five, but Hassan participated in everything. 

Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

   

Quote of the Week:

Stotts has yet to confirm who his starting big men will be once the seeding games begin next week. After Saturday's practice, Zach Collins discussed the possibility of coming off the bench

I’m going to have to be a star in my role, whatever that is -- if I’m starting or coming off the bench and that’s been my motto from day one. You take pride in being a starter and that’s something that I’ve always wanted to be in this league, and I want to be a starter for the rest of my career, but if me coming off the bench helps us win a championship, I’m a hundred percent in. -- Trail Blazers big man Zach Collins  

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers road to the playoffs, NBCSNW to carry all eight games 

Top Game Notes vs. Raptors:

All Time: Trail Blazers lead, 29-18

• The Trail Blazers and Raptors split the season series in 2019-20, 1-1.

• Last Meeting: The Trail Blazers defeated the Raptors in Toronto on Jan. 7, 101-99. Carmelo Anthony made the game-winning shot with 3.3 seconds remaining to seal the victory. Anthony finished with a game-high 28 points (10-17 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 3-3 FT) to go with seven rebounds, one assist and two steals. Kyle Lowry led the way for the Raptors with 24 points (7-23 FG, 4-16 3-PT, 6-7 FT), four rebounds and 10 assists. It was Portland's first win at Toronto since March 15, 2015.

Damian Lillard recorded 20 points (5-11 FG, 4-7 3-PT, 6-6 FT), four rebounds, nine assists and two blocks against the Raptors on Jan. 7. In two games against Toronto this season, Lillard averaged 14.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 2.0 blocks.

Hassan Whiteside logged 14 points (7-13 FG), 16 rebounds, four assists and seven blocks against the Raptors on Jan. 7. He is the only player to hit those statistical thresholds in a game this season and the first to do so since Spencer Hawes did so for the 76ers in 2013.

Anfernee Simons scored 17 points (6-11 FG, 3-8 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with one rebound and one assist against the Raptors on Nov. 13.

Pascal Siakam had 36 points (15-of-28 FG, 4-7 3-PT, 2-3 FT), six rebounds and three assists against the Trail Blazers on Nov. 13. He missed the Jan. matchup with a groin strain.

Fred VanVleet recorded 30 points (10-16 FG, 4-6 3-PT, 6-6 FT), four rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block against Portland on Nov. 13. It marked the third game of 30-plus points in his career.
[RELATED: Big Z's Bubble: Zach Collins takes you on a tour of hotel's barbershop]

[RELATED: Trail Blazers can salvage their season if their big lineups can work vs. smallball]

[RELATED: Blazers' take on arena ambience in Orlando ranges from 'weird' to 'funky' to 'unique’] 

[RELATED: NBA to add new broadcast enhancements for restart in Orlando]

[RELATED: Instant Analysis: Trail Blazers’ bigs with strong return in first scrimmage]

Trail Blazers injury updates heading into second scrimmage

Trail Blazers injury updates heading into second scrimmage

As Portland gets set for its second of three scrimmages, there are still a couple of question marks surrounding who will be able to play Sunday against the Toronto Raptors.

The Trail Blazers were without big man Hassan Whiteside (Achilles) and rookie forward Nassir Little (concussion) Thursday in their loss to the Pacers.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts gave a brief injury update after Saturday’s practice as Whiteside participated in Portland’s “light practice,” while Little spent time on the stationary bike. 

Nassir was… on the bike, so he cleared the first stage of the [concussion] protocol, so he was able to be at practice, but did not participate. Hassan -- this was a light practice we didn’t go a lot, five-on-five, but Hassan participated in everything. -- Blazers coach Terry Stotts

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

 

Coach Stotts has said that the plan is to get some scrimmage time in with Whiteside playing alongside Jusuf Nurkic. 

After Saturday’s practice Stottts added that the Blazers second scrimmage will look a bit different from the first one depending on the status of Whiteside and Little, saying,“I’ll be rotating players in like a normal game, but I haven’t made a decision on the number of minutes for the starters.”  

The Trail Blazers will tip-off against the Raptors Sunday at 3:00p.m. Pacific Time on NBCSNW. 

Nassir Little sat out of Tuesday's practice due to concussion protocol

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USA Today Images

Nassir Little sat out of Tuesday's practice due to concussion protocol

It's now been a week and a half since the Portland Trail Blazers arrived in the Orlando bubble, and have since gone through daily team practices and training.

After Tuesday’s practice, Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts informed the media that rookie forward Nassir Little sat out of Tuesday's activities following a hard spill in Monday’s practice.

Little has now entered the concussion protocol.

Nassir took a fall yesterday in practice and he is in the concussion protocol. So, he was not at practice today. I don’t know when he’ll be available. -- Blazers coach Terry Stotts

 


The NBA concussion protocol calls for a four-step process in which the player must follow to be cleared to return to the court:

A player diagnosed with a concussion should be regularly monitored for 24 hours for the evolution of symptoms, and accordingly the player may not begin the return-to-participation exertion process until 24 hours after the time of injury.

 

b. Return to Participation Requirements. A player who had a concussion may not return to

participation until:

  • He is without concussion-related symptoms at rest;
     
  • He has been evaluated by a physician;
     
  • He has successfully completed the NBA return-to-participation exertion process; and
     
  • A team physician has discussed the return-to-participation process and decision with the
    Director of the NBA Concussion Program. Note that the final return-to-participation
    decision is to be made by the player’s team physician, in order to maximize the consistencyof care for the player.”  -- The NBA Concussion Policy Summary

​​​​

Little averaged 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 48 games played this season in 11.9 minutes per action. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

 

Damian Lillard, Nassir Little sound off on WNBA ‘bubble’ disturbing accommodations

Damian Lillard, Nassir Little sound off on WNBA ‘bubble’ disturbing accommodations

We are finally just three weeks away from the NBA season resuming at the Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida.

Meanwhile, the WNBA will also begin the 2020 season at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, starting on July 24. 

However, the accommodations in the WNBA ‘bubble’ are certainly questionable.

On Monday, a video surfaced on social media sharing one of the laundry rooms available to WNBA players that features a mousetrap and plenty of mold and rust.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

On Tuesday, another video showed one of the meals served to the players which… doesn’t look appetizing. 

It’s pretty sad to think about the differences in accommodations between the NBA and WNBA in general, but let’s just narrow in on the conditions at each ‘campus’ this month. 

It’s considerably less than what NBA players are being treated like. — Stephen A. Smith on First Take

Seattle Storm’s Jewell Lloyd gave fans a glimpse and threw some shade at the WNBA on her Instagram story:

It’s a problem to say the least and one that should have been figured out a loooooong time ago.

But, a somewhat light at the end of the tunnel, the IMG Executive VP of Events said he’s working currently to address and relieve all issues.

And, it is nice to see NBA players, like Dame and Nas, showing support for the WNBA.

Let’s hope the season will begin on a better foot.

Is CJ McCollum prepared to play some small forward? YEP!

Is CJ McCollum prepared to play some small forward? YEP!

With Trevor Ariza not making the trip to Orlando to resume the 2019-20 season, there have been several opinions and ideas thrown out as to how Portland is going to cover that gaping hole.  

The Trail Blazers could go real big with their starting lineup, but then there’s also the chance they could go with a real small lineup.

Big man Jusuf Nurkic, who believes he is near the best shape of his life, mentioned that coach Terry Stotts has discussed with him that he could earn some power forward minutes.   

But, Nurkic says he is ready to fill whatever role Coach Stotts decides for him.

“I think we just need to fill in role with what the coach supposed to give us and what he thinks is the best for us and for the team,” Nurk added. “That's his part of the job, but I went down as a center, so I'll be back at the center. If I'm going to play some minutes at the four – yeah, I think [after] talking to the coach, I will definitely play some four.”

The 7-footer understands that in the few days left before the Blazers travel to Orlando to enter the quarantine bubble, he has one job:

“It’s just a matter of what [Coach Stotts] thinks is the best for the team -- that’s his part of the job to figure out. My part is -- I'm going to be as healthy as I’ve probably ever been.”

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon]

Stotts has also thrown out the possibility of shooting guard CJ McCollum moving over to the three.

There’s already been a lot of chatter about Carmelo Anthony moving from the four to the three with Gary Trent Jr. and Nassir Little playing backup small forward as well.

But, what does CJ think?

“Melo probably will play some small forward, G-Trent can play some small forward, Nas can play some small forward. I’ll probably play some small forward,” McCollum said with a smile.   

McCollum is an undersized two guard at 6’3”, 190 pounds. That’s a lot to ask of him to go up against an even bigger wing player.

But, it doesn’t sound like he’ll play too many minutes if any at the three and, of course, it will depend on matchups.

The NBA has been moving towards a positionless game for years and this restart for the Blazers could be the most positionless team we've seen. McCollum made a good point though, there really aren’t too many LeBrons in the league.

We'll be alright. We have a bunch of professionals, guys who worked on their games and this gives other players an opportunity that they probably wouldn't have gotten had Trevor been going, so will be fine. There's only so many LeBrons out there. -- Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum

Sure, McCollum defending wings isn’t ideal for Portland, but there is something else to consider:

McCollum and Damian Lillard will have a lot of help behind them with a healthy Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic.

“When you look at our roster we lost a really good defender in Trevor, but we gain two really good ones in Zach and Nurk,” McCollum said. “I know we had great rim protection with [Hassan] Whiteside and will continue to have elite protection with Nurk. He's a guy who can be active in pick and rolls, he can be at the level, Zach can be at the level, they can drop, they can switch, they can guard guards. And they rebound really well for their positions and they can rebound outside of their areas. So, I think those are the keys in defense. Get a stop and being able to get the rebound, I think we are in position to do all those things and have some serious interior presence.”

As the Trail Blazers embark on their trip to Orlando, with the NBA season ready to resume July 30th, Portland currently sits 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Blazers do have one of the toughest roads to the playoffs based on strength of schedule. Six of Portland's eight games will be against teams with a winning record.

McCollum believes of the eight regular-season games, the Blazers will only be able to lose two games or they won’t make it to the postseason. 

“Probably six, I’d guess,” McCollum said when thinking about the number of wins they’ll need to get past Memphis and New Orleans for that final playoff spot out West. “I mean, it's hard to say. You don't know how the other teams are going to do. So I think that also factors in but I believe we've gotta go 6-2, that’s my guess. Maybe 5-3, but it just depends on how many games they win.”

There’s no time for Portland to ease into the return to play, that’s for sure.

The Blazers tip-off the resumption of the season on July 31 against Memphis.

Will any Trail Blazers take advantage of NBA's new social justice policy?

Will any Trail Blazers take advantage of NBA's new social justice policy?

The NBA plans to resume the 2019-20 season in Orlando, Florida at the end of July but not without some concerns from the players.

Besides the coronavirus pandemic that shut down the season to begin with reaching new heights, especially in Florida, some players are concerned that the resumption of the NBA season will serve as a distraction away from the Black Lives Matter movement against systemic racism of black people and police brutality. 

Then Saturday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the NBA and NBAPA "are planning to allow players to replace the last name on their jerseys with statement[s] on social justice" with initial details of the plan being sent to players that evening.

As of now, the only Trail Blazer that has opted out of the bubble is starting small forward Trevor Ariza who will sit out the remainder of the season to instead commit to a one-month visitation window with his young son.

[RELATED]: Trevor Ariza will not join the Trail Blazers when NBA restarts-- here's why

That leaves the question of if any Trail Blazers plan to take advantage of this new policy? 

Damian Lillard was seen protesting in Portland with Black Lives Matter on June 4th. Later that week, Lillard joined Sportscenter and discussed committing to the bubble during the nationwide protests.

"As far as the racial injustice, I think that's where a lot of the struggle is for a lot of athletes," Lillard said. "I think our league is made up of so many African American players. And a lot of our hearts are with our people; our minds are with our people. And we feel like we should be a part of that fight. And that's where the struggle is; I think that's where you're hearing a lot of guys kinda coming out, saying maybe we should be focused on that instead of worrying about going back in and jumping into the season."

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon]

But Lillard also sees the benefits of returning to the court which is why he's willing to take the risk of going to Orlando. 

"I can only speak for myself -- but I think it goes for other guys as well -- we are the financial support for our families and for a lot of our community. We bring a lot of that financial responsibility to support black businesses in black communities. So it makes a lot of sense for us [to return], from that standpoint."

Lillard wasn't the only one to join protests. Nassir Little, Rodney Hood, Gary Trent Jr. and Anfernee Simons all also protested in the Portland area.

[RELATED]: Nassir Little, Rodney Hood, Gary Trent, Jr. attend Black Lives Matter protest in Portland

Hoodie and Little along with hundreds of other protestors were chanting “Say her name” referencing to Breonna Taylor who was wrongfully shot multiple times and killed in a police raid of her home two months ago.

Perhaps one of them would put her name on their jersey, which appears to be the plan of Las Vega Aces small forward Angel McCoughtry when the WNBA starts next month, per her Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

I will be playing this upcoming @wnba and I am looking forward to continue to fight social injustice issues while playing and supporting front line workers. ⠀ ⠀ I am currently working with the @lvaces and @wnba to use our voices, our uniforms, and our sport to continue to impact and create real change. I am creating a petition (LINK IN BIO) to allow players the ability to put the FIRST & LAST NAME of HUMAN BEINGS that who have been injured or KILLED in incidents involving POLICE BRUTALITY! Even Front line workers during the pandemic The goal is also to create a relationship with the families of who’s name the athlete has chosen. This is a way to use our platform to be a helping hand during these trying times. Silence is an ally for EVIL and when sports resume WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. ⠀ ⠀ #SayTheirNames ⠀ #blacklivesmatter ⠀ #thetimeisnow

A post shared by Angel McCoughtry #35 (@mccoughtry) on

"I am currently working with the @lvaces and @wnba to use our voices, our uniforms, and our sport to continue to impact and create real change," wrote the first overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft. "I am creating a petition (LINK IN BIO) to allow players the ability to put the FIRST & LAST NAME of HUMAN BEINGS that who have been injured or KILLED in incidents involving POLICE BRUTALITY! Even Front line workers during the pandemic

"The goal is also to create a relationship with the families of who’s name the athlete has chosen. This is a way to use our platform to be a helping hand during these trying times.
Silence is an ally for EVIL and when sports resume WE WILL NOT BE SILENT."

We'll have to wait and see if any Blazers will follow her lead, but the league will let them do so if any of them so desire. 

Nassir Little buys his parents a car for Father's Day

Nassir Little buys his parents a car for Father's Day

It's nearly every kid's dream to give back to their parents when they're older.

Portland Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little got to do just that this year for his first Father's Day as an NBA player.

The rookie posted that he bought his parents a car with the wealth gained from playing in the NBA.

"One of the proudest days of my life," wrote Little on Twitter. "Finally was able to get my parents something nice after all these years of taking care of me. I love you guys." 

His father loved it!

[Listen to the full Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon with special guest Lamar Hurd]

Earlier in Father's Day, Little posted a photo of his dad and himself on Instagram.

"Happy Fathers Day pops‼️ Thank you for helping me become a strong, independent, black man in this world," wrote Little. "I love you."

The Portland Trail Blazers selected Little 25th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. As a first-round selection, Little gets a guaranteed four-year contract with a fifth-year option for the team to give a qualifying offer. As the 25th overall pick that contract was four years worth approximately $10 million per hoopshype

Little also signed a multiyear deal with Nike shortly after the draft, as announced on his Instagram. 

Download and listen for free to Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football

Nassir Little, Rodney Hood, Gary Trent, Jr. attend Black Lives Matter protest in Portland

hoodie.jpg
Rodney Hood Instagram

Nassir Little, Rodney Hood, Gary Trent, Jr. attend Black Lives Matter protest in Portland

With a nationwide outcry against systemic racial injustice in the USA, police brutality and the death of George Floyd, NBA players across the nation have taken action on social media and been seen demonstrating in protests around the country.

The Portland Trail Blazers continue to make a stand in the city of Portland.

First, Damian Lillard was seen peacefully protesting in southeast Portland, Oregon on Thursday evening.

Now, Rodney Hood and Nassir Little were spotted on Friday night 

Hoodie and Little along with hundreds of other protestors were chanting “Say her name” referencing to Breonna Taylor who was wrongfully shot multiple times and killed in a police raid of her home two months ago.

Gary Trent Jr. was also among tons of protestors on Friday night walking along the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland.

Anfernee Simons walked with protestors from Revolution Hall in southeast Portland to the waterfront on Friday night.