NBA All-Star

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:

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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

Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the NBA 3-Point Contest

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Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the NBA 3-Point Contest

Damian Lillard and Seth Curry represented Portland in the NBA 3-Point Contest during All-Star Weekend on Saturday.

While Seth was focused on beating the "other Curry" from behind the arc in his hometown of Charlotte, Lillard, who competed in the competition in 2014, just wanted to beat his Trail Blazers teammate. 

Seth Curry made his 3-Point Contest debut, coming into the competition shooting 46.5 percent from the arc in Portland. Lillard was named an All-Star for the fourth time and is knocking down 2.8 three-pointers per game and 37.1 percent from downtown.

Here's a few quick takeaways from the 3-Point Contest:

Seth vs. Steph didn't exactly live up to the hype: Heading into All-Star Weekend, the talk around the NBA was a Curry brothers shootout. While Seth came in with the league's highest 3-point percentage and even got an endorsement from father Dell Curry in advance of the competition, little bro just couldn't hang in the 3-Point Contest. Seth got going late, knocking down nearly all of the balls in his fifth rack, but only scored 16 points in the first round and did not advance. Meanwhile, Steph Curry cleared the money ball rack to close for 27 points in the first round, the most of all scorers, and advanced to the second round. He ended up making it to the finals, but lost to Nets small forward Joe Harris. 

Prior to the game, Steph told the media that the two brothers had a friendly wager: whoever loses has to buy the Curry family tickets whenever the two play against each other for the rest of their career. Darren Rovell of The Action Network says it could cost Seth as much as $195,000. Bad news for Seth: it's time to pay up. 

Dame can't get out of the first round: Lillard's second attempt at the 3-Point Contest probably didn't go as planned. The Blazers All-Star, who previously scored 18 points in the 3-point shootout in 2014, scored one basket less in his second appearance. He finished with 17 points, one of which was an insane buzzer beater (but did you really expect anything less?) and failed to advance to the second round. 

NBCS Northwest Blazers reporter Jamie Hudson made a good point though: The racks needed to be back a little further. 

Joe Harris won it all: Wait--who? My favorite moment of the 3-Point Contest was NBA Twitter asking who Joe Harris was. Harris, a guard for the Brooklyn Nets, dominated the 3-Point challenge on Saturday night, and now everyone knows who he is. In the first round, he scored 25 points, making his last eight shots and making all five of his money rack shots. In the championship round, he faced off against Curry and upped his scored to 26 with a perfect money ball rack to close out the round. 

Favorite Lillard moment before All-Star break? We choose “all of the above”.

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Favorite Lillard moment before All-Star break? We choose “all of the above”.

An All-Star player deserves an All-Star highlight reel. 

The Trail Blazers created a video highlighting Lillard’s impressive accomplishments and milestones from this season alone. If you don’t want to feel pumped up, like you can take on the world, or can run through a wall, then do not watch this video:

The list of Lillard-time moments this season from the video:

10/25 at Orlando: Franchise record 34 points all in second half to lead comeback.

10/27 at Miami: Season high 42 points, back-to-back 40-point games, most points scored through five games in team history.

11/23 at Golden State: Moved into third all-time franchise scoring.

11/28 vs Orlando: Franchise record 10 three-pointers, scored 41 points.

12/27 at Golden State: Game-winner. 

12/29 vs. Golden State: 40 points in night after game-winner.

And we are only at the All-Star break. There is still lots of basketball left in the season.

Currently, Lillard is averaging 26.4 points per game and 6.3 assists per game, and 4.6 rebounds per game, as Portland (32-20) sits in fourth of the Western Conference standings.

On Thursday, Lillard was named as a Western Conference All-Star Reserve, the fourth time in his career. 

The NBA All-Star game is Sunday, Feb. 17 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lillard will also compete in the NBA 3-pt contest to be held on Saturday, Feb. 16. 

Report: Damian Lillard to participate in 3-Point Contest

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Report: Damian Lillard to participate in 3-Point Contest

It appears that the Portland Trail Blazers will have yet another representative in the NBA 3-Point contest over All-Star weekend. 

It was announced on Friday that Portland's Seth Curry would be heading to Charlotte, and according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Damian Lillard will now be joining him.

Lillard last participated in the 3-Point contest in 2014, scoring 18 points in the first round but falling just short of advancing to the finals. Lillard pulled off the All-Star trifecta that weekend, participating in the 3-point, skills, and slam dunk contests. Lillard lost the dunk contest, but won the skills competition.

This season Lillard is shooting 37.1% from three-point range and is averaging nearly three made three-point field goals per contest. 

The All-Star festivities may not be bound to just the 3-point contest for Lillard. The Blazers star finished fifth amongst Western Conference guards in All-Star voting, and while he was not named a starter he is still a favorite to make the team as a reserve. 

The last time the Blazers had a player in the 3-point contest was when CJ McCollum represented the team in 2017. 




Really? Rose finishes above Lillard in All-Star voting

Really? Rose finishes above Lillard in All-Star voting

Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose finished above Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard in NBA All-Star voting. Needless to say, it didn't sit well with fans in Rip City. Chris, Alex, Jake, and NBC Sports National NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh discuss on this edition of the Outsiders Blog.

The final votes and starters for the NBA All-Star game were announced on Thursday. While Portland's Damian Lillard wasn't announced as a starter, he did finish fifth amongst Western Conference guards. That would usually be just fine for Portland fans, but a certain anomaly has Rip City a little upset. Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose finished above him. Rose finished third amongst Western Conference guards, and second in the fan vote. While Rose has had a bounce-back season, it is nothing compared to the season Lillard is having. Rose is averaging 18.6 points, 4.7 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game. Lillard is averaging 26.2 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.5 rebounds. Unfortunately, the All-Star Game isn't just about stats. How do you feel about Rose finishing above Lillard? Our panel gives us their thoughts. 

Tom Haberstroh: The Derrick Rose phenomenon is one of the most surprising elements of the NBA All-Star vote. He is a cult hero in Chicago but there’s a huge dissonance between the fans (2nd among West guards) and players (3rd) versus the media (zero votes). Damian Lillard doesn’t have the benefit of the massive Chicago market, but there’s no question Lillard is having the superior season. Consistent excellence is boring, I guess.

Alex Haigh: I don't get it. I figured the fans would be stupid enough to vote Derrick Rose, obviously it was happening. But the players, too? Are we ignoring everything that has ever been said about this guy just for the comeback story? Go watch a movie if you love a comeback story that much. Don't give it to Derrick Rose.

Jake McGrady:  I think the Derrick Rose "Stans" are the most obsessive fans in the NBA. I'm sick of it. He's doing what he's doing on the court. It's certainly a drastic improvement from the Derrick Rose that we've seen in the past. Taking it away from players that deserve it just because of the comeback story, the feel-good story... I know it's nostalgia. The NBA's like a fraternity, they're voting up their brother. 

Chris Burkhardt: As country singer Toby Keith once said, "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was." This holds true to Rose. For one night he turned back the clock, scored 50 points, and ever since there was been an odd fascination with Rose rising from the ashes. Don't get wrong, I understand. To see a player that has struggled for so long have a bounce-back season is nice, but let's be real here, he isn't having a better season than Damian Lillard. Rose fans tilted the vote in his favor cause they just love the dude. Players voted him in because a lot of them grew up idolizing him when he was with the Bulls. There is a very real nostalgia factor there. Honestly, this will blow over when Lillard most certainly makes the All-Star team. The All-Star Game is for the fans anyway, so let them have what they want. That's Rose. Rip City will take pride at the end of season when Lillard makes an All-NBA team and Rose doesn't. Nostalgia can only do so much.

NBA All-Star starters announced, Damian Lillard finishes 5th in voting among Western Conference guards

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NBA All-Star starters announced, Damian Lillard finishes 5th in voting among Western Conference guards

The 2019 NBA All-Star Game starters, as well as the voting results, were revealed on Thursday night.

Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard finished fifth overall in the voting amongst Western Conference behind guards Steph Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose.

Lillard finished sixth in the fan voting, fifth in player voting and he came in fourth in the media voting.

Here's how the fan voting finished for Western Conference guards: 

***Courtesy of NBA

Last year, Lillard finished eighth overall.

This year fans made up 50 percent of the vote for the starters, while the players and specific media members each made up 25 percent of the vote.

The 28-year-old is averaging 26.3 points on 45 percent shooting from the field and 37 percent shooting from long distance, to go along with 6.2 assists and 4.5 rebounds this season.

Lakers forward LeBron James will be the captain for the Western Conference, or as it should be noted, Team No. 1.

The other four starters from the West are Golden State’s Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, along with Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Paul George.

The five starters from the Eastern Conference include Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will be Team No. 2’s captain, Boston’s Kyrie Irving, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid.

The All-Star Game reserves will be selected by the head coaches.

For the second year in a row, the two teams captains will then pick their teams, regardless of what conference the player is affiliated with and it does not matter the position the player plays either.

People took to social media when it was announced that Rose finished ahead of Lillard in the players voting.

The reserves for the All-Star game will be announced next Thursday.

The 2019 All-Star Game is February 17th in Charlotte.

NBA's All-Star Game solution didn't solve a thing

NBA's All-Star Game solution didn't solve a thing

The NBA tried in vain this week to do something about its fading All-Star Game, deciding to go to a new format that features a player draft by two "captains," who will choose their own teams from already-selected players. All that's missing is shirts and skins.

But, as Ben Golliver pointed out, the league entirely missed the point. There will still be a vote by conference for the all-star players with 12 voted in from East and West in the pool that the captains will dip into for their teams. Wrong move. The vote should have been for the overall best 24 players in the league -- allowing for the selection of the truly top players, which means probably about 18 from the Western Conference and six from the East. THEN, you'd have something. But the new format doesn't solve the problem of many good West players being left out of the game.

And, of course, the even bigger problem hasn't been solved, either. The real dilemma about the game is that the players have turned it into a joke with the way they approach it. In the last two games, the winning West team scored more than 190 points. Now understand to get that many points in a 48-minute game you either have to be playing against air or for the Big Baller Brand's cherry-picking AAU team.

Not only do the teams now play ZERO defense, they have turned the game into a sort of casual beauty contest, with players jacking up long-distance threes or driving for uncontested fancy dunks. There is way too much preening and posing. All that's missing are courtside judges holding up cards.

You watch this stuff for 10 minutes and realize it's a waste of time. Believe it or not, players used to take great pride in this game. They wanted to win and played hard. That pride, I'm sorry to say, seems to be missing these days. There is no motivation to win the game and no amount of money you could give the winning team to provide incentive.

The league is stuck with a lemon of a game and it will stay that way until a few players show up and take it seriously. I'm waiting for a hotshot rookie to get there and decide to guard people -- really get into them. That, of course, would set up a testy atmosphere where other players would want to even it up and perhaps, give us a real game.

Right now, it's far from a real game and choosing up teams not named "East" and "West" won't help.