NBA summer league

Looking back: Anfernee Simons top plays from NBA Summer League

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USATI

Looking back: Anfernee Simons top plays from NBA Summer League

LAS VEGAS - Damian Lillard is the now of the Trail Blazers, but the future of the Trail Blazers might be in his protege, Anfernee Simons. 

We've seen plenty of potential from the young guard, who dropped 37 points on Sacramento in the regular season finale. 

He also had a great summer league until an ankle injury prematurely ended his time in Las Vegas. 

Simons led the Blazers in scoring with 35 points in 25 minutes in Portland's third game of summer league. He was in position to tie the game vs. the Jazz, but instead injured his right ankle on his way to the rim on an attempt to hit a game-tying dunk or layup. Simons would sit out the remainder of the summer league due to the injury.

Simons would end summer league averaging 22.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in three games played

Summer League Head Coach Jim Moran has this to say about Simons:

“It was fun to watch him run the team... I was happy to see the growth from him, the confidence, picking his spots, getting guys involved. I thought he did a great job. We put the ball in his hands for the last play of the game when he got hurt, that’s the level of trust we have with him. He’s grown a lot.”

For now, let's enjoy the NBA's video of Simons' best plays from summer league:

The Scoop Live from Las Vegas: Wrapping up NBA Summer League

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NBCS NW

The Scoop Live from Las Vegas: Wrapping up NBA Summer League

LAS VEGAS - That's a wrap on the 2019 NBA Summer League for the Portland Trail Blazers. After a consolation bracket win, the Blazers finished with a 2-3 record. 

Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little both missed time due to injuries but Gary Trent Jr. shined throughout the week. 

Jamie Hudson gets you caught up with the latest edition of The Scoop, live from the Cox Pavillion in Las Vegas, presented by Toyota of Portland

Summer League Scoop live from Vegas

That’s a wrap on Summer League for the Blazers. Let’s chat about tonight’s game and SL overall! The Scoop brought to you by Toyota of Portland starts now!

Posted by NBC Sports Northwest on Friday, July 12, 2019

2-way contract player Jaylen Hoard finding his way on Trail Blazers summer squad

2-way contract player Jaylen Hoard finding his way on Trail Blazers summer squad

LAS VEGAS – Thursday marked the fourth Summer League game for the Portland Trail Blazers. It was a hard-fought game between the Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Portland was down by as many as 14 points, but despite their fight back mentality, the Blazers were unable to complete the comeback. Portland drops to 1-3 after losing to OKC, 92-87.

The Blazers were undermanned with point guard Anfernee Simons out due to a right ankle injury and rookie forward Nassir Little going down in the first quarter with a left shoulder injury. Little did not return to action.

With Little out, forward Jaylen Hoard was given more of an opportunity. Hoard has been showcasing his aggressiveness on both ends through the Blazers’ first four games in Vegas.

Hoard signed a two-way contract with the Blazers after going undrafted out of Wake Forest.

Blazers assistant coach, and Summer League head coach, Jim Moran has been very pleased with Hoard’s defensive effort.

“Jaylen’s been really good. I think he’s unique defensively because he can switch multiple positions,” Moran said.

“We’re still trying to get him to be more aggressive on the defensive end. And, offensively… just trying to figure out where he fits in the offense, where he’s gonna get us plays. But I’ve been happy with his overall effort for the last four games,” Moran added.

The 20-year-old led the Demon Deacons in rebounding and ranked second in scoring during his freshman 2018-19 season. He finished the year averaging 13.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 31 games. He also recorded seven double-doubles.

Hoard is all about bringing the energy.

“I feel like I’ve been doing pretty good. I just come out there give energy, rebound hard and just control what I can control which is playing hard,” Hoard said.

“Hoard was also very complimentary of his teammates, saying, “We’ve fought really hard through these past few games. Obviously we didn’t get the results we wanted… We’ve played great defense and we’ve really tried to compete as hard as we can.”

[RELATED]: Jaylen Hoard brings versatility to the table

Through his first three Summer League games, Hoard averaged 8.3 points on 58 percent shooting from the field.  

The Blazers small forward admitted there are a couple of big differences from his college ball days to playing against NBA caliber players.

“Guys are much more athletic, quick, fast, you really have to be able to be real conditioned and get up and down a lot,” Hoard said.

[RELATED]: Jaylen Hoard ready to pour his heart out with Trail Blazers

In Thursday’s loss to OKC, second year player Gary Trent Jr. led the way with 22 points.

Trent Jr. has been pleased with the rookie’s performance so far.

“He’s been great,” Trent Jr. said of Hoard. “When he first got here, I really didn’t know too much about him. I know he works hard and he plays every possession. So, he has a bright future if he just stays with it, continues to work hard he’ll be successful,” Trent Jr. said.

Hoard and the rest of the Blazers Summer League squad will play a consolation game on either Friday or Saturday. The schedule will be set late Thursday night.  

The Scoop: Live from Las Vegas Summer League

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NBCS NW

The Scoop: Live from Las Vegas Summer League

LAS VEGAS - It's hot, but Jamie Hudson found the comforts of the Thomas and Mack Arena to bring you a special Summer League edition of The Scoop!

With the Trail Blazers sitting at 1-2 so far in summer league and an injured Anfernee Simons, it's almost certain the team is headed for the Consolation bracket, which begins Friday. 

Before that, Portland will play its final pool play game on Thursday at 5pm just after the team introduces Hassan Whiteside to the media at 4:30pm. You can follow that live on our Twitter, as well as on TV or on Rip City Radio tomorrow. 

In the mean time, here's the first Las Vegas Summer League edition of The Scoop with Jamie Hudson where she covers everything from grading the Trail Blazers offseason, catching up with Portland favorite Ben Golliver, plus hear from former Oregon Duck Louis King! It's all right here on The Scoop, brought to you by Toyota of Portland:

Summer League Scoop

The Portland Trail Blazers are now 1-2 in Summer League. I want to get your thoughts on SL so far! Hit me up here on FB. The Scoop presented by Toyota of Toyota of Portland starts now!!

Posted by NBC Sports Northwest on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Anfernee Simons gets 35 points and an injured ankle in summer-league loss

Anfernee Simons gets 35 points and an injured ankle in summer-league loss

LAS VEGAS – Everything was going very well for Anfernee Simons Tuesday night in Cox Pavilion. He was leading the Portland Trail Blazers in scoring with 35 points in 25 minutes, hitting six of his seven shots, and had the ball in his hands with a couple of seconds to go and his team trailing Utah by a basket. He was in position to tie the game.

But instead, he ended up in a prone position, under the Portland basket after slipping on the way to the rim on an attempt to hit a game-tying dunk or layup.

And with Simons flat on the floor, surrounded by coaches, players and trainers, that was a lot more important than the final score. The second-year guard suffered an ankle injury but was headed for further examination and unavailable for comment.

The injury was not believed serious but there was nothing official at the time of this writing.

The Trail Blazers lost the game 97-93, but Simons was the story – as he’s supposed to be. He’s being counted on to be a rotation player for Portland this season after seeing little action last year. He showed off a lot of his arsenal against the Jazz, hitting six of his seven three-point shots, 13-18 overall, and scoring on drives, a dunk off a lob and assorted other attempts.

“I thought he played really well,” summer league coach Jim Moran said. “I took him out in the first quarter and I probably should have let him go the whole quarter. I still want him to be more assertive and more vocal. Running the team, he needs to be more communicative. But overall, I think he had a really good game.”

Gary Trent Jr., coming off a game when he made seven of his eight three-point goals, saw things even out a bit, hitting 4-15 overall and 2-7 from three for 12 points.

The Blazers’ first-round pick, Nassir Little, made two of seven shots, 0-4 from three-point range and scored four points, with his college coach, Roy Williams looking on from a seat near the Portland bench.

“He’s the most explosive player I’ve ever coached,” Williams said during a halftime interview.

 

NBC Sports has you covered from Las Vegas Summer League!

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USATI

NBC Sports has you covered from Las Vegas Summer League!

LAS VEGAS - The NBA Summer League is in full swing on the campus of UNLV and your Portland Trail Blazers are in action as we speak!

We've got you covered from all the angles here in Las Vegas before, during and after the games. 

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for live updates during the game and on Instagram for photos and videos straight out of the arenas!

Our Trail Blazers Insider, Jamie Hudson, is on the ground as well and will have postgame insight right here at NBCSportsNorthwest.com plus we will have loads of videos where you can hear from players and coaches!

NBA SUMMER LEAGUE CONTENT ARCHIVE

Hassan Whiteside shows love for Portland and is excited about his 'fresh start'
2-way contract player Jaylen Hoard finding his way on Trail Blazers summer squad
Hoard: The Energy Man
Highlights: Trail Blazers vs. Thunder

Poised and polished: Zach Collins ready to play key role with Trail Blazers
When Gary Trent Jr. hits a couple in a row, "It's all over." And it was
Trail Blazer summer league team struggles in opener vs. Detroit
It's not just the players that are learning
Just be great: Trent Jr. continues to work on his game
"Are we shakin'?" Blazers react to earthquake in Las Vegas
Trent and Simons playing important leadership role
HIGHLIGHTS: Blazers fall to Pistons in Las VegasThe Scoop: Live from Las Vegas Summer League
How Dame's wave changed the face of the NBA
Louis King tapping into Dana Altman's advice during transition to NBA
Anfernee Simons suffers Grade 1 right ankle sprain
Anfernee Simons gets 35 points and an injured ankle in summer-league loss

When Gary Trent Jr. hits a couple in a row, "It's all over." And it was

When Gary Trent Jr. hits a couple in a row, "It's all over." And it was

LAS VEGAS – Anfernee Simons, who has spent untold hours alongside Gary Trent Jr. in gymnasiums getting up hundreds and hundreds of shots, knows what happens when Trent gets in a groove.

“When Gary hits a couple in a row, it’s over,” Simons said with a smile.

And it was over early Sunday night and Trent hit more than two in a row.

Trent hit all six of his three-point shots in the first half, made 10 of his 12 shots from the field in Cox Pavilion and seven of his eight three-point shots during Portland’s 97-87 win over the Houston Rockets in Summer League play. When the smoke cleared, the second-year guard had scored 31 points in 25:02, along with six rebounds, five assists, two steals and just one turnover in a spectacular performance.

“We just tried to get him the ball and let him go,” said Simons, who had a solid shooting night himself, hitting 6-11 and 4-6 from long distance.

Trent is refreshingly honest about where he is and where he wants to be.

When told what Simons said, Trent offered, “I would like to think that. Me and him work countless hours in the gym with the coaches, just working on our jumpers day in and day out. When it’s time to showcase it and prove it, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Trent spent time in the G-League last season and it was about the only extended playing time he got during his rookie season. With the depth the Blazers had at guard, he was at the back of the line. And when you’re behind Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum it’s like going to graduate school for basketball. You better get your homework done.

“I’m not going to lie at all, it was tough,” Trent said. “First time in my life not playing at all, for a while. It was great people and fun to me, that I was learning from them, watching them day in and day out, everything they do – how they work, how they stay after, how they eat. I watched every single thing they do. It makes you work even harder, it makes you more hungry. So, I’m just going to continue to work.”

Both Trent and Simons have continually been asked what they’re working on in summer league and both give just about the same answer.

“I’m working on everything,” Trent said. “I’m not a finished product. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, so I’ve got to continue to work on my all-around game – my dribbling, my shooting, my mindset to the game, my playmaking. Everything.”

Trent and Simons did not play well in the team’s 20-point loss Saturday and the two combined to go 8-26 from the floor. Summer League Coach Jim Moran said he went over a tape of the game with the pair and challenged them to take more leadership.

And it worked.

“We had to pick it up,” Trent said. “Coach Jim Moran said that as well. Pick it up at the offensive end and the defensive end, if we want to win. And that’s what we did tonight.

“I think we bounced back pretty well.”

The team gets Monday off before getting back in action Tuesday.

Trail Blazer summer league team struggles in opener vs. Detroit

Trail Blazer summer league team struggles in opener vs. Detroit

LAS VEGAS – The defending-champion Trail Blazers’ summer league team got off to a rocky start Saturday afternoon in the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Blazers were outscored 25-16 in the fourth quarter and dropped a 93-73 decision to the Detroit Pistons.

Portland made just 24 of 70 shots from the floor, including a 5-for-20 effort from three-point range. Meanwhile the Pistons went 15-41 from three.

“It was tough,” said Portland assistant coach Jim Moran, who is in charge of the summer leaguers. “Very tough. I was a little disappointed. We had a really good week of practice and then that game did not resemble what we did. It was frustrating.

“They were hitting threes early but they weren’t contested threes. We dug ourselves a hole early and then had to give up so much energy to get back in the game. I thought ‘Ant” (Anfernee Simons) was good in the first half. We were a little sloppy. We had some possessions when we really guarded, which was encouraging. I think for Ant and Gary (Trent Jr.) being veteran guys, they’re going to have to be more vocal. And it’s hard – they’re second-year guys. They have to learn that and grow into it."

Simons scored 15 to lead the Blazers, but had only one assist and three rebounds. Trent scored 10 on 3-12 shooting and Devin Robinson added 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The Blazers are back in action Sunday at 7 p.m. in Cox Pavilion vs. Houston.

“I’m expecting us to be much better,’ Moran said, “I’m expecting us to guard, not give up open threes, keep the ball out of the middle. There were some positive things and hopefully we’ll bounce back tomorrow.”

Zion didn't cause that earthquake in Vegas but he had some ferocious dunks

Zion didn't cause that earthquake in Vegas but he had some ferocious dunks

LAS VEGAS – It was a happening. A big event – which this city loves.

And even with an earthquake that stopped the game with 7:53 left, the fans probably got what they came to see:

A few Zion Williamson thunderdunks.

The Thomas & Mack Center has been sold out for a week in anticipation of a Summer League game between the Knicks and Pelicans featuring several players who won’t even sniff an NBA roster this season. Or ever.

But it was also the very first professional game – a non-counting one, at that – for the league's No. 1 draft choice. And the fans greeted him with huge ovations for every dunk in the layup line during warmups and everything he did during the game.

Alas, they got him for only nine minutes and 10 seconds. He suffered a knee-to-knee contusion during the first half and didn’t play after intermission.

Williamson – or should we just go with the one-name thing now and call him Zion? – is one of the most interesting players I’ve ever seen in the NBA. He’s listed at 6-7 and 285 pounds on the New Orleans Pelicans’ roster but in person he doesn’t look that tall. Some say he’s just not in basketball shape at this time and he did seem stockier than I expected.

Given all that, he’s crazy athletic. He’s quick, can handle the ball some and is a ferocious dunker – the attribute that people seem to most want to see from him.

There aren’t many guys with his body type who have made it big in the NBA. Charles Barkley is the one he’s most-often compared with but my recollection is that Barkley had longer arms and did a better job of creating space for himself under the boards.

Now keep in mind, this is off just a few minutes of a summer-league game and he’s playing with a bunch of guys who don’t have NBA skills and probably just three or four days of practice together.

All that matters.

During his 9:10 on the court, Zion hit 4 of his 9 shots, nothing from any range at all, went 0-2 from three and 3-6 from the foul line. He had three rebounds and finished with a minus-15 plus-minus --- the worst of any player on the court. All of that means nothing, of course, but I do have some questions about him that will be answered this season:

Is he going to be a good rebounder? You would think so, because he’s so aggressive and bouncy. But during this game people were grabbing boards over the top of him and he’s going to have some adjusting to do to the size of NBA players.

Can he guard people? Not sure. Couldn’t tell in this game but with his toughness and quickness, he should be able to do it. I would also say he’s going to get a lot of calls from the officials. Star players do and he’s already perceived as a star.

Can he stay healthy? He’s going to have to get into shape or he’s probably going to have some injuries. This is an 82-game slog he's headed for and he’s going to be carrying a heavy load for the Pelicans.

Time, not the summer league, will tell.

He’s fun to watch, that’s for sure. Too bad we didn’t get to see more of him.

What you need to know about NBA Summer League 2019 and the Trail Blazers

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What you need to know about NBA Summer League 2019 and the Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers final game of their 2019 Western Conference Finals run was on May 20. 

That was just 46 days ago.

And now, the young Blazers squad tips off Las Vegas Summer League on Saturday vs. the Detroit Pistons at 12:30 p.m.

This year’s Summer League will feature all 30 NBA teams along with the Chinese and Croatian National Teams, and will span over 11 days, with 83 games scheduled.

The event starts with all 32 teams playing four preliminary games each at the Thomas & Mack Center or Cox Pavilion on the campus of UNLV.

Of course, the talk of the town in Las Vegas at the moment is the matchup between New Orleans Pelicans forward and No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson, vs. New York Knicks wing and No. 3 overall pick RJ Barrett. The Knicks and Pelicans square off on the first night of the event on July 5. 

Leading up to the tournament portion of Summer League it will be a little different this year. The top eight teams are seeded for the tournament with the Championship Game held on July 15.

Teams that do not qualify for the tournament will each play a consolation game.  Every team will play at least five games.

The 2018 Las Vegas NBA Summer League championship game featured a rematch of the previous year's teams, between the Blazers and the Los Angeles Lakers, with Portland getting its revenge last year. Portland went undefeated on the way to beating the Lakers in 2018.

As the Blazers attempt to repeat as Summer League champions here are few things to keep in mind:

Portland is returning key contributors from last summer with Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr.

But Zach Collins, who is entering his third year in the league, will not play in Summer League this year.

Wade Baldwin IV and Caleb Swanigan were traded during the 2018-19 season after playing key roles on the Blazers summer team in 2018.

Over the last few days after Summer League practice, Simons and Trent Jr. have talked about how they mean business when it comes to repeating as Summer League champs.

Rules to keep in mind during the non-tournament portion of Summer League:

-- Each team is allowed one Coach’s Challenge during the entire game.  If a team’s initial challenge is successful, it will retain its timeout (but not the challenge). 

-- A player fouls out once he commits his 10th personal foul. 

-- A team reaches the penalty either on its 10th team foul or 2nd team foul in the last two minutes of each period. 

Rules during tournament games:

-- A player fouls out once he commits his 6th personal foul.

-- All overtime periods last two minutes.

BLAZERS SUMMER LEAGUE QUICK LINKS:

Portland Trail Blazers NBA Summer League Schedule announced, title defense begins!

Get to know the Blazers Summer League roster

Blazers' Anfernee Simons is trying to make a point in Summer League

Jaylen Hoard ready to pour his heart out with Trail Blazers

Together again: Skal Labissiere reunites with mentor Anthony Tolliver in Portland

 

VIDEO: All eyes on Nassir Little at Summer League

VIDEO: Repeat champs? Don't count the Trail Blazers out in Vegas

VIDEO: Simons out here to prove he can run the second unit

VIDEO: Nassir Little describes first moments as a Trail Blazer