Like Jones, Richardson is an excellent defender; this season, he is holding players he guards to 40.6 percent shooting, fourth-best among all forwards who have defended at least 300 shots. “I love the way he defends,” Jones said. “He doesn’t want to be embarrassed [by the player he’s guarding]. I like watching him play. If you are a two-way player, it can take a toll on your offense. [But] I like the way he shoots the three.”
December 2, 2020 | 12:04 pm EST Update
Concerning Harden, the Nets and 76ers were strong suitors weeks ago but Houston is refusing to talk turkey with anyone — and they don’t have to. With Westbrook, the problem for imagining a trade with him as the centerpiece is there just isn’t that robust of a market for him right now. The teams that might have made sense have all seemingly gone in other directions — Detroit drafting Kilian Hayes, Charlotte drafting LaMelo Ball, New York signing Austin Rivers (kidding).
From that perspective, the Green signing makes even more sense. Green had interest from teams like the Clippers, Lakers, Spurs, Bucks and 76ers, among several others, according to a league source. Winning was important to him. “I always wanted to go to a team that was a contender and that’s going to compete, that was going to win,” Green said. “Pretty much every team that was coming to me was mostly a playoff team. It really wasn’t a hard decision.”
Griffin knows there’s no escaping his past. It wouldn’t be wrong to refer to him as “injury prone.” There’s enough history to support such a title. “I’ve been through this so many times: You miss a year, have a down year or deal with some injuries, and you hear it all,” Griffin said Tuesday. “In this league, you’re only as good as your last game, your last season, whatever it is you did the last time you touched the court. “So, I’ve had a lot of time to think and a lot of time to gather motivation, I’ll say that.”
Rehab is a grueling process. The ultimate exercise in boredom. Not everyone is built to withstand its monotonous nature. “The reason you’re able to do those things and the reason guys come back from injury and play at a high level is because of their work ethic and attention to detail,” Griffin said. “If you don’t broadcast that, people don’t see it. And if people don’t see it, people don’t think it exists.
And he didn’t want any more time to go by before he once again reminded Olshey of his urgency. “That’s just what I’ve been communicating to him: ‘Come on man, let’s really make a run for it. Let’s go for it,’” Lillard said. “Let’s not be the organization that says, ‘Oh, we’ve made the playoffs this many years in a row. We’ve got a good culture, we’ve got this …’ “Let’s put ourselves out there and try to do whatever we can do to give ourselves a real shot. Let’s try to bring the glory back to Portland.”
So when he says he wants to bring Portland its first title since 1977, it’s more than just lip service. “It’s been what, (44) years… 1977 has been a long time,” Lillard said. “I want to be a part of that. I get up every morning, and I train my ass off, take care of my body — you know I don’t live a wild life — and a lot of the steps I take in my life is so I can come out here and be at my best, and play at the highest level, so I can win a championship for this organization and this city.”