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April 20, 2015 Updates

Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $25,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice. McLemore designated Saint John’s Program for Real Change, which intends to buy a 15-passenger van to take homeless kids currently without transportation to and from school. The winner will be chosen by NBA judges and fan votes. The window for voting is April 20-27. This can be done with a post on Twitter, an NBA Facebook account, or an Instagram post by using the hashtags #NBACommunityAssist and #BenMcLemore. Cowbell Kingdom

The Blazers have a laminated motivational card affixed to the television monitor in the visiting locker room. It's titled, "We are Rip City." It lists all the ways in which the No. 4 seed Blazers will find a way to win this series against the No. 5 Grizzlies. It begins with "We will be tougher," and ends with, "Staying together through adversity." But the middle part is what has to alarm anyone following this matchup closely. Oregonian

Because that middle section included such oddities as, "We don't lose to Spanish players," and "Nobody can beat us eight times in one year." Also, it includes a vow to, "Win the dog fight," and, "We will play as a team and outwork Memphis each and every night." Also, "We are better when we come to play," and a promise to be, "(Expletives) on defense." Instead, Portland was mostly a sloppy pushover. Also, the Blazers just lost their fifth straight to Marc Gasol (See: Spanish player). Oregonian

When seen afterwards leaving the locker room, Afflalo was asked if he’d be good to go in Game 2, telling CSNNW.com, “Yeah, I’m good.” Afflalo, who suffered a right shoulder strain earlier this month against the Golden State Warriors, missed the last three games of the regular season while recovering. Blazers coach Terry Stotts said Afflalo did partake in some shooting drills on Sunday morning, adding that it was good "he's getting some range in motion." CSNNW.com

Some Blazers players have already said they are worried free agency will take Aldridge away from Portland this summer. Earlier this month, before a home game, a Blazers player estimated the chances of him returning to Portland at 50-50. Oregonian

A couple hours later, after the Blazers were embarrassed by Memphis, I'm beginning to wonder whether Allen, and the rest of the Blazers, shouldn't be the ones offering Aldridge the well wishes. After an atrocious performance by the Blazers that at one point left Aldridge sitting alone on the bench as his teammates joined a late-game huddle, the Blazers need to worry about more than just losing this series. Oregonian

For Aldridge and Gasol, waiting to sign long-term contracts until 2016 could add $50-80 million to the total value of a potential five-year deal under the higher salary cap on the horizon. "If I don't think about it, I don't expect my teammates to think about it," Gasol said. "And if I don't talk about it, I don't expect anybody to talk about it besides you guys [in the media]. It's going to come anyway, just like everything in life. It'll come, and you'll deal with it. You can't worry about things you can't have an impact on just yet because it's just useless." ESPN.com

It means the 28-year-old, whose initial deal was worth $8.9 million over three years – could opt to sign elsewhere in the NBA or even pursue a return to Europe. However he told Gigantes.com that remaining Stateside is likely to be his preferred option. “I want to stay in Portland where I am happy and feel at home and am contributing to a team that wants to go for a ring,” he said. “The NBA is my priority but until July, I will not take an decisions on my future.” MVP 24/7

April 19, 2015 Updates
April 18, 2015 Updates

And in order to advance past the first round for the second straight year, the Blazers know they have no choice but turn up their physicality against the rough and rugged Grizzlies or face an early summer break. "Being physical, taking the fight to them, not letting them bring the fight to us," forward Lamarcus Aldridge said of the key to this series. "If you don't get physical or you're soft or passive they'll punch you in the mouth." Oregonian

April 17, 2015 Updates

Damian Lillard just made these elderly folks’ days. The Trail Blazers guard sent new pairs of his Adidas D Lillard 1 kicks to a group of Portland-area seniors. And they were absolutely elated. “Just because I’m not 29 anymore doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have something this beautiful,” one woman says in the video above, smiling. The crowd got even more excited when Lillard himself walked in — an adorable reminder that NBA fans can be any age. For The Win

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN TRAIL BLAZERS HISTORY

Only four Hall of Famers, but plenty of fantastic names in the Top 50 of the storied franchise.

   

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