Trail Blazers

Powell is always learning as Blazers continue growing in win over Grizzlies

Trail Blazers
Getty Images

The Trail Blazers are now 2-0 to begin their six-game road trip after dropping their previous five contests.

They've looked like a team they've talked about wanting to be this season. 

Portland’s three-guard lineup shot lights out Wednesday night, but they also stepped it up on the defensive end.

As the Trail Blazers defeated the Grizzlies in convincing fashion, 130-109, the Blazers got back to their winning ways, but they also avoided the season sweep.   

[RELATED]: Dillon Brooks gave the Blazers bulletin board material

Download and Subscribe to the Talkin' Blazers Podcast

While Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum put on an offensive show early, the Blazers also worked to get Norman Powell going.

 

And he rose to the occasion.

Lillard and McCollum combined for 38 points in the first half, while Powell added 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting.

The Blazers starting small forward was the second leading scorer in the win over the Grizzlies with 24 points, while McCollum finished with 26.

Powell went scoreless against the Pacers the night before.

I’m always trying to learn what I can do better, the mistakes I make game-to-game.  I wanted to come out be aggressive, stay confident in what I’m doing.

Norman Powell told Blazers sideline reporter Brooke Olzendam 

But as the Trail Blazers called Powell’s number early, head coach Terry Stotts noted that it was a rarity for Powell to not score a bucket after he went 0-for-6 against the Pacers.

“Last night was, obviously, it was an anomaly for him to go scoreless and I think he came out ready to play,” Stotts said. “We did call some plays for him, but I think you’ve got to give him a lot of credit for bouncing back."

The Blazers as a team also bounced back in a big way in their series with the Grizzlies.

After losing to Memphis twice in four days at home last week, the Blazers’ guards stepped it up on the defensive end, especially in transition in the first half.  Portland held Ja Morant to just 10 points.

We wanted to come out and make a statement. They were playing harder than us. We gave up a lot of transition points to them. We didn’t take away what their bread and butter was in those two home games.

Norman Powell

So has this team turned a corner?  

McCollum believes they’re "in a good spot mentally and physically."

“We’re playing the right type of basketball," McCollum added. “Defensively we’re taking strides… We’ve got a tough schedule down the stretch. It will be a good challenge for us. I think we had to go through some adversity.”

I think a lot of us do better when our backs are against the wall.

CJ McCollum

Just look back at the Blazers’ Orlando Bubble play for more confirmation on McCollum’s comment.  

 

And the Grizzlies know all about that. 

For Powell, he wants this team to continue growing together.

“We’ve just got to keep that energy, that focus, that togetherness offensively and defensively.”