HoopsHype Portland Trail Blazers rumors

Portland Trail Blazers highlights

March 18, 2014 Updates

When he caught wind of the Q & A and Matthews' challenge, Batum took to Twitter to defend himself. He quoted Matthews' answer and set up a Wild Wild West-style duel, just short of High Noon. “Wes tommorow 11am ...” Batum said Tuesday in his tweet. The Blazers probably will practice on Wednesday, setting up a possible stage for a fun — and perhaps — intense head-to-head matchup between two of their best players. At least one teammate is excited about the possibility. “I’ll be there,” Damian Lillard said in a reply to Batum’s tweet. Oregonian

With the NBA playoffs a month away, a handful of all-stars got into the March Madness spirit by filling out NCAA tournament brackets. All of the players, who provided their brackets exclusively to USA TODAY Sports, share one thing in common: They were all March Madness stars during their collegiate careers. Former Davidson star Steph Curry, former Weber State star Damian Lillard and former Kentucky Wildcats Anthony Davis and John Wall all shared their brackets, which included some surprises. (i.e. Wall has Kentucky losing early). Who will have the best bracket? Find out by following along on For the Win and USA TODAY Sports for the #NBABracketChallenge. We’ll have posts after each round scoring the players. We’ll share our scoring system and you can determine if your picks are up to par with these all-stars. For The Win

March 17, 2014 Updates

After yet another gut wrenching loss on Sunday night, the Blazers got after it in practice Monday. However, one thing stayed the same at Blazers practice. LaMarcus Aldridge's return doesn't seem likely to happen during this homestand. The update on Aldridge from Blazers coach Terry Stotts is that he will be out for Tuesday's game against the Milwaukee and is "probably doubtful" for Thursday against the Washington Wizards. He's been working with Blazer Director of Player Health Chris Stackpole and his staff. Stotts added that Aldridge did not participate in any of the Blazers practice and that they would like to have him back "as soon as he is ready." Columbian

Mike Tokito: According to #Blazers, LaMarcus Aldridge is not practicing today. He will not be available to media. Twitter @mtokito

March 16, 2014 Updates
March 15, 2014 Updates

It was Wednesday night in San Antonio, and the Blazers had just lost their fourth straight game. When Terry Stotts gave his postgame address to the team, it was the same approach the coach had always used: focusing on the positive, looking on the bright side, trying to offer perspective. The silence that signaled the end of his speech hung, only this time, it didn’t linger. “Hold on,’’ Lillard said. And from there, a passionate, pointed and spontaneous flow of emotions and leadership came from Lillard. His interjection, and subsequent soliloquy, sparked a team meeting. The players and coaches want the details of the meeting to stay in house, but Lillard said the essence of his speech was that it was up to the players, not the coaches, to step up in crunch time, and to not accept the “we competed hard” as a pacifier for losing. “He took control,’’ said Dorell Wright, who is in his 10th NBA season. “It was a big step for him.’’ Oregonian

“He was saying stuff to me that I don’t hear from young guys,’’ Wright said. “He was talkin’ ‘I can’t wait until the summer, because I’m going to be working on this and that.’ And I was like, you already have your head there? Just hearing him saying that, and him looking forward to doing that work, that’s big. When I was that age, I was looking forward to getting back to L.A. to hang out with my friends. That was my main goal. So to hear him say that let’s me know how much passion he has for the game, how much passion he has for winning, and how much of a competitor he is. You just don’t hear guys say that.’’ Oregonian

It’s not that Lillard has never showed leadership qualities. He has always been a strong presence on this team, but nothing like this week. When I told him I was surprised that it was him who spoke up in San Antonio, he acted offended. “Why are you surprised?’’ he asked. “Because you are so young,’’ I replied. “I just felt like it needed to be said,’’ Lillard said. “It turned out everybody was feeling the same way. As a point guard, you should be able to speak up and get your team to respond. I spoke like I felt about what had been going on, and people started to spit stuff into it. Guys spoke up — Earl (Watson), Mo (Williams), that’s what we needed. Keep it all the way 100, I guess.’’ Oregonian

It reminds me of that February night in 2007 in Los Angeles, when a rookie named Brandon Roy came barreling out of the bathroom in the locker room at halftime to confront Zach Randolph, who was berating the Blazers guards for being unable to keep Smush Parker in front of them. In front of everyone, Roy told Randolph he was out of line, that this was a team, and there would be no finger pointing. Randolph waited by the locker room door as the team filed out for the second half and stopped Roy. He apologized, and from there, the team was Roy’s. Oregonian

March 13, 2014 Updates

With two major pieces out dealing with injuries, the Portland Trail Blazers will not look at signing a player out on the open market, CSNNW.com was informed. In order for Portland to add a free agent to help offset the rash of injuries the team has endured as of late, they would have to waive a player being that they already have 15 guaranteed contracts on its roster. Eating a contract is something the organization is unwilling to do at this time, we're told. CSNNW.com

Chris Haynes: MRI confirms a low back contusion for #Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge. He's expected to miss next two games and will be reevaluated next week. Twitter @ChrisBHaynes

After the Portland Trail Blazers fell to the San Antonio Spurs 103-90 on Wednesday night -- losing their fourth straight game, which happens to be their longest losing streak of the season -- the players had a post-game hash-out session that was initiated by Damian Lillard, CSNNW.com was told. Earl Watson, Mo Williams and Dorell Wright were amongst some of the players to vocally address what was going on and what needed to change from here on out, we’re told. “I just felt like it was something that needed to be said,” Lillard responded when ask why he initiated the dialogue. “At some point, it’s up to the players.” CSNNW.com

The players maintain that there’s no desperation in the locker room. The session was solely meant as a means to eliminating issues from reoccurring. “It’s time for a players-meeting when we see a little slippage,” Wright said. “Every team has two or three a year. I love the fact that this was the only one this season where guys really had to step up and be vocal leaders. “And the best thing about it, we got vets in here that have been through things and young guys that have been through things as well and understand when it’s time to speak up. That’s what guys did tonight.” CSNNW.com

Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge was carried off the court after sustaining a back injury early in the third quarter of Portland’s game against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. The team announced that Aldridge sustained a back contusion and that he would not return to the game. Aldridge was driving the basket when he ran into Spurs center Aron Baynes and landed on his back. The Portland All-Star lay on the floor for several minutes holding his right leg before being helped off the court. Basketball Insiders

Aldridge did not speak to reporters after the game, but X-rays taken at the arena were negative and he was diagnosed with a back contusion. His status moving forward is unknown, but considering the serious nature of the fall it would seem unlikely Aldridge would be ready to play in the Blazers’ next game, Friday at the New Orleans Pelicans. “Injuries are a part of the game, but you never want to see any of your guys go down,” Dorell Wright said. “Especially one of the guys that is a key to your team. I just pray that he’s fine and has a speedy recovery. We’re a brotherhood in here, we’re a team, and you never want to see your guys go down. We’re just hoping it’s not too serious and whatever it is, he bounces back quickly.” Oregonian

March 11, 2014 Updates

Joel Freeland is making progress in his recovery from a sprained right MCL. But the progress is slow going. In fact, the Trail Blazers’ backup big man on Tuesday said he could miss another five weeks — or the rest of the regular season. “I look at it like I’ve got a month to get ready for the playoffs,” Freeland said. Oregonian

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN TRAIL BLAZERS HISTORY
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Only four Hall of Famers, but plenty of fantastic names in the Top 50 of the storied franchise.

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