Blazers

Key takeaways from the Portland Trail Blazers summer league opener

Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers began its summer league season Sunday afternoon with a 93-86 win over the James Bouknight and the Charlotte Hornets.

The 2021 NBA lottery pick was 7-of-14 from the floor for 19 points against a Blazers summer league roster full of former NBA players. 

For Portland, however, there were still a few key takeaways.

Antonio Blakeney is a bucket

Despite having just two points at halftime, Blakeney scored 25 second-half points to lead the game in scoring. In fact, he scored 20 consecutive Portland points and 19 points in the fourth quarter.

For the game, he finished 9-of-10 from the floor and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line. 

The former LSU guard went undrafted in 2017 and spent a few seasons in Chicago on a two-way contract. In 2017-18, he won the G-League Rookie of the Year award. 

Greg Brown III and Trendon Watford were as expected

The two Trail Blazers rookies looked as advertised: raw and athletic.

Brown in particular had numerous highlight dunks but also showed an incapability to attack closeouts well, with one resulting in a travel and another having his shot brick off the backboard failing to hit iron. He also turned it over when trying to shove his way into position on the block, committing a charge. 

Brown III did hit one of three attempts from beyond the arc. For the game, he had 9 points on 4-of-8 from the floor to go with two rebounds. 

Watford hit both of his shots, finishing with four points, four rebounds, one assist and one block. 

Given how little assets it took to acquire them, nothing happened to scream disaster as both players were acquired as long-term projects. 

 

George King should get a training camp invite

While Blakeney stole the show, it was King who led the Blazers during the first half, hitting five first-half three-pointers. 

The 6'6" forward shot with confidence en route to 17 points on 75% shooting, including 83.3% from three-point range.

He also had three steals and a block. 

With the Blazers in desperate need of help on the wing, maybe King can develop into an end-of-rotation player which would be a home run for Portland. 

What's next?

Portland plays the Los Angeles Clippers at 8:00 p.m. PST on Tuesday, August 10th on ESPNU.