NBA All-Star

Social Media has spoken: Damian Lillard would have never let the All-Star Game go that long

Social Media has spoken: Damian Lillard would have never let the All-Star Game go that long

Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game was an overall experiment from the league with its new format.

And it seemed to work.

Both teams were playing a little bit of defense and the fourth quarter was way more competitive than it has been in recent years.

The new format looked like this:

Each of the first three quarters begin with the score of 0-0 and lasted for 12 minutes.  At the start of the fourth quarter, the game clock was turned off and a final target score was set of 157.

The final target score was determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points.

Team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo were laying it all out on the line.

It came down to the free throw line with Anthony Davis hitting 1-of-2 to help Team LeBron secure the win. 

FINAL: Team LeBron 157, Team Giannis 155

Team LeBron had to score 33 points in the final period to get the win.

About halfway through the 33-point flurry, NBA fans started posting on Twitter about five-time Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard. They knew what time is was...

Fans were letting the world know that the game would’ve already been over if Lillard had been healthy enough to play.

 

One fan even mentioned, Lillard would’ve ended the game just like he did in the postseason against the Thunder.

Oh snap.  

As King James attempted a Logo Lillard game-winner, but with no success, fans were quick to say Dame would’ve had that one.

It wasn’t just fans in Rip City that wanted Damian Lillard out on the court.

Fans from all over the country were posting about how Lillard Time would've been spectacular down the stretch of the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. 

https://twitter.com/hillsburrry/status/1229255462454874112

NBA fans sure missed them some Logo Lillard.

This season, Lillard is averaging 29.5 points per game, while shooting 46 percent from the floor and 39.3 percent from deep.

https://twitter.com/philane__/status/1229258377815109633

This fan even went as far as to say that Lillard should've still won the MVP honors.

Even though Lillard was reppin’ Team LeBron from the bench and didn’t get a chance to get on the floor, it was clear that social media was missing Dame Time.

Fingers crossed the All-Star Game will have the same format moving forward for Lillard to shine once again and prove social media right. 

Pat Connaughton invited to NBA Slam Dunk contest, likely snubbing Anfernee Simons

Pat Connaughton invited to NBA Slam Dunk contest, likely snubbing Anfernee Simons

When you think of Pat Connaughton, a few things come to mind.

He's a former Trail Blazer (now with the Milwaukee Bucks) who has high energy, unique athletic abilities and is willing to do the little things to help his team win. Things that don't necessarily set off alarms when Connaughton's name is spoken? Dunk contest participant.

Well, that'll soon change. 

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Connaughton has received an invite to participate in the NBA Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend. Perhaps Connaughton's 44-inch vertical leap measured at the NBA Combine will come in handy?

This will be Connaughton's first time participating in the dunk competition. Aaron Gordon, Dwight Howard, Derrick Jones Jr., each competed in previous years with Howard's last appearance coming 11 yeas ago. Considering the fact the dunk contest has been limited to four participants each of the last five years, this is likely the finalized group. 

So, what that means Trail Blazers fans is that Anfernee Simons will not be playing. 

The sophomore guard recently told NBC Sports Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes he would participate in the contest, if he was invited. 

"I'm going to be online vouching for [Simons' invite] too...He should definitely be in it," All-Star guard Damian Lillard said. 

Trail Blazers Twitter launched a Simons to dunk contest campaign in effort to get the 20-year-old into the event, but it appears the NBA is not ready for dunks like these...

Maybe next year, Ant.

The NBA doesn't think so, but Portland deserves to host the All-Star game

The NBA doesn't think so, but Portland deserves to host the All-Star game

News broke earlier this week that the 2023 NBA All-Star Game will be played in Salt Lake City, Utah, home of the Utah Jazz. 

Over the next four years, the All-Star Game will be played in Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Salt Lake City. Nowhere to be seen in the past, present, or future: Portland, Oregon. 

Dwight Jaynes pointed out some of the various reasons the NBA All-Star Game hasn't stopped in Portland, but I'm here to tell you it's all a sham. Portland can and should host the All-Star game. Here are a few reasons why.

  • The first reason people latch onto is Portland's lack of hotel rooms. Ok? That's a joke. The MLS All-Star Game stopped in Portland in 2014, and the 20,000 fans (mostly from out of town) that filled Providence Park had no problem finding a place to stay. Also, look to the future of hotels in Portland. The Ritz Carlton is currently under construction in the Pearl District and will add 251 rooms to Portland's hotel scene by 2023. The rooms are there, don't believe the lies. 
  • Traffic is a huge problem in Portland, but no need to worry. We’ve already seen that e-scooters are a thing in PDX, and don’t forget about Tri-Met, still one of the best and easiest ways to get to and from Moda Center. Maybe even with all the tourists making a stop in Portland we could convince Tri-Met to bring back Fareless Square.  
  • Trust the power of Voodoo - Sure, locals stopped going to VooDoo Donuts in like 2005, but that hasn't stopped the shop from becoming a powerhouse in the sugary delight industry. Just imagine the thousands of social media influencers flocking to VooDoo for that special Instagram photo. Sure, all the selfies will be overwhelming, but the pink boxes in the pictures represent a giant economic boom.
  • Speaking of tourist staples - Salt and Straw. Sure, Los Angeles and San Francisco have locations, but neither of those cities needs the All-Star Game. LA has already hosted it about 100 times, and Golden State has been its own All-Star game for the last half-decade. Plus those are expansion Salt and Straws. There is only one original, and that's in the Rose City.
  • In-N-Out is moving closer and closer to Portland, with one set to open in Keizer in just a few months. By 2024, there could be one within Portland city limits. I only bring this up because it would help the celebrities in attendance feel at home. A little piece of California to make their hearts warm. Come take a weekend vacation to Portland and feel the level of comfort only a Double-Double with animal style fries can bring. 

 

Now, all joking aside, it is ludicrous that Portland hasn’t hosted an All-Star game. In fact, Portland, along with Memphis, Oklahoma City, and Sacramento, are the only NBA cities that have yet to host one. Oklahoma City has only had a team since 2008, Memphis got the Grizzlies in 2001, and the Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985. The Blazers? They joined the league in 1970! That’s 50 years of history and 50 years without an All-Star game. The Seattle Supersonics joined the league in 1967 and hosted the All-Star game in 1974, and again in 1987. Hosted twice and moved towns before Portland got to host once. 

Of the four cities hosting over the next four seasons, all have hosted at least once, with Chicago having hosted two already. Cities, even cities as big as Chicago, shouldn’t be getting their third game before Portland gets its first… Heck, the NBA hosted the All-Star game in Las Vegas in 2007 and that city doesn’t even have an NBA team.

We can joke, we can state facts, but the point remains unchanged – Portland deserves to host the NBA All-Star Game… Or at least send it to Honolulu. Who wants a weekend in Indiana when you can have a weekend in paradise?

Trail Blazers CEO Chris McGowan updates us on Portland's All-Star game bidding situation

Trail Blazers CEO Chris McGowan updates us on Portland's All-Star game bidding situation

News broke today that Utah had been awarded the 2023 NBA All-Star game.

This means the next four years worth of All-Star Weekends will be held in Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Salt Lake City. 

Portland, nowhere to be found. 

The fact that Portland has never hosted an NBA All-Star game has long been a sore spot for the fans of Rip City and just another example often pointed to in the way the rest of the league and country overlooks the Trail Blazers. 

Dwight Jaynes caught up with Trail Blazers President and CEO, Chris McGowan, to get an update from the team on if they've been active in the bidding process and what the future might hold for Portland. 

When asked what has to happen for the All-Star game to end up in Portland, McGowan put it simply:

"I think we just gotta continue to trying to get 'em. We actually haven't been trying to get them the last couple of years. We've took a step back. We just have to continue to be aggressive. Eventually we're going to get one, a lot of things have to happen, timing has to be right."

So there's a big piece of the puzzle. After many years of trying, Portland hasn't been active in the bidding process. 

Was McGowan surprised by Salt Lake City, another small market, being awarded the event?

"No, I think it is a great city. Obviously that bodes well for us, we are very similar in terms of being not the biggest cities. So I was happy they got it. It's a great organization I think it's going to be a unique All-Star game and that's what we would provide here as well."

The on-going excuse for many years was the lack of hotel options in the Portland area that would be able to support an event of this size. McGowan doesn't see that as an issue any more.

"Maybe at some point it was. But I don't see it as a stumbling block now," McGowan explained. 

So the big remaining question is if Portland will throw its hat in the ring when the next round of bidding begins. Always the business man, McGowan replied simply:

"Probably."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plus, the two debate --

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

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

But, is this the season for CJ?

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

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

Watch the FULL EPISODE of The Scoop right here:

Summer Scoop

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

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

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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USA Today

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.