Given historical trends, Jason Kidd’s concerns about the Luka Doncic usage rate are natural

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks stands on the court during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on November 12, 2022 at the American...

Luka Doncic continued his excellent start to the campaign with a 42-point triple-double helping Dallas eventually overwhelm Portland with a 117-112 victory on Saturday night. With one of the highest usage rates in NBA history, and considering the conundrum which his Mavericks team still haven’t yet solved surrounding the supporting cast, Jason Kidd’s public concerns make sense for a 23-year-old they don’t want to burnout before it matters most in the postseason. Continue reading

Lopsided 135-110 road loss to Portland proves this season centres around patience for Jokic and co

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets drives against Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at Moda Center on October 24,...

Fresh from their comeback win over the Los Angeles Lakers over the weekend, Damian Lillard and a masterful Anfernee Simons display helped Portland (4-0) maintain their unbeaten start to the new campaign. As for Denver, the manner of this latest defeat against a Western Conference rival reinforces the belief this term is all about patience as things settle into rhythm. Continue reading

Adjustments, maintaining belief and new additions: Lillard-Simons duo headline newlook Portland

Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers talk with Head Coach Chauncey Billups of the Portland Trail Blazers during the game...

Armed with a new starting backcourt duo, offseason trade acquisition Jerami Grant, a promising first-round draft selection in Shaedon Sharpe among others from an eventful summer, the Portland Trail Blazers will be quietly hopeful they can settle quickly and vastly improve upon a dismal 27-55 record last season – their worst finish since 2005-06. Will they?
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Masterful or misguided? Beal and Lillard’s latest contract extensions predictably raise questions

Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers look on during the first half at Capital One Arena on...

Bradley Beal became the 10th player in league history to receive a no-trade clause as part of his five-year, $251m max contract extension with the Wizards. Ten days later, another All-Star – Portland’s franchise star Damian Lillard – inked a two-year, $121m max vet deal to remain with the Trail Blazers, now under contract until the 2026-27 season. Will these decisions age well? 
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Pistons open up cap space and hint at big summer, after trading Jerami Grant to Portland

Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons shoots against Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers during the third quarter at Moda Center on November 30,...

It appears on the surface as though Detroit have settled with less than they could’ve got for a 28-year-old power forward who has been performing at an All-Star level these last two seasons. However, this move also frees up cap space ahead of an offseason packed with speculation insistent that upgrades are inbound: Suns’ wantaway big man Deandre Ayton among them. Continue reading

NBA Q&A: Big questions answered, predictions made as 21-22 season into business months

Nikola Jokic of Team LeBron and Joel Embiid of Team Durant talk during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 20, 2022...

A few weeks removed from the All-Star break and now into the home straight for another eventful NBA season, I spoke to LA Clippers fan and NBA expert Jack Brown earlier this month – discussing multiple topics including: under-the-radar players, intriguing offseason storylines, the MVP race as well as why he has a surprise team emerging from the West come playoff time. Continue reading

CJ McCollum to the Pelicans: This exit from Portland felt inevitable, but also long overdue

McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers during the game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center on January 30, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO...

Midway through his ninth NBA campaign, after 564 regular season games and 57 more in the playoffs, Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum has been acquired as part of a seven-player trade package sending him to the New Orleans Pelicans. It’s the end of an era in Oregon for the 30-year-old, while opening up new opportunities elsewhere. But why now?
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New home: Lauri Markkanen joins Cleveland Cavaliers in three-team sign-and-trade

Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers tries to get off a shot under pressure from Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March...

In a three-team trade that has left critics with multiple questions, the Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired Chicago’s wantaway RFA PF Lauri Markkanen. They send PF/C Larry Nance Jr to the Portland Trail Blazers, while small forward Derrick Jones Jr will depart Rip City for the Bulls, alongside two future draft picks (2022 first, 2023 second-round). Is this a good move all-round? Continue reading

Spurs coach Becky Hammon hopes it’ll be normal for women to get NBA jobs

Assistant Coach of the San Antonio Spurs Becky Hammon talks to Keldon Johnson of the San Antonio Spurs during the game against the Utah Jazz on...

Entering her eighth season as an NBA assistant coach with Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, already interviewed for multiple head coaching jobs, the 44-year-old – who played 15 years in the WNBA – still awaits a first opportunity to be the first woman to lead a NBA team after being a finalist for the Portland Trail Blazers job, which went to Chauncey Billups this past offseason. Continue reading

Bucks 127-109 Blazers: Giannis’ 47-point effort exposes Portland’s ever-present issues

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on April 2 2021 at the Moda...

In a season where multiple players have staked their claim for Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP crown, the power forward produced a dominant showing to reinforce the notion that he’s quietly improving with less of the spotlight on Milwaukee after consecutive playoff disappointments, while the focus is centred around other contenders across both conferences.
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NBA Previews: OKC Thunder vs Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns host Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers works against Rui Hachimura of the Washington Wizards in the fourth quarter at Moda Center on February...

Read on for two NBA match previews as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Oklahoma City Thunder (12-18) host a determined Miami Heat (13-17) side, while reigning West Player of the Week Damian Lillard looks to propel an undermanned Portland Trail Blazers (18-11) to a big road win vs. Phoenix Suns (19-10), with both vying for fourth place out West. Who will prevail? Continue reading