Live Chat: Trail Blazers vs. Rockets, 5 PM

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 years ago

HOUSTON – Greetings from Texas, yet again. We’ll be hosting a live chat for tonight’s game versus the Houston Rockets at The Toyota Center. Trail Blazers are trying to be the first team since the Celtics in 2008 to sweep the Texas Triangle. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 PM on TNT and 620 AM.

If you haven’t done so already, please create an account (you can use your Twitter of Facebook account to log in, or you can create a new Livefyre account) so you can add your own comments and commentary. Then come back here at 5 PM for tipoff.

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Phife Dawg Of A Tribe Called Quest: 'Damian Lillard Is A Monster'

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
8 months ago

NBA TV’s Sekou Smith and Lang Whitaker kicked off their Hang Time Road Trip yesterday in Oakland, home of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. The Oak Town tour included a sit down with Phife Dawg of the seminal rap A Tribe Called Quest. Though he and the rest of the A Tribe Called Quest crew hail from Queens, Phife Dawg, aka Malik Taylor, lives in the Bay Area now, which might be why he’s so familiar with Damian Lillard’s musical pursuits. In the video below, Phife Dawg is asked which player is currently the best rapper in the NBA, which Dame getting the nod (the segment starts around the 3:30 mark)…

High praise indeed. Complimenting Shaq’s rap skills seems a bit questionable to me, but I’m in no position to challenge Phife Dawg’s authority on the subject.

Phife Dawg joins the likes of Ice Cube and Waka Flocka as rappers who have shown their admiration for DAME DOLLA’s flow. A lot of crossover opportunities in today’s NBA.

You can listen to a number of Lillard’s tracks on his Soundcloud page.

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Phife Dawg Of A Tribe Called Quest: ‘Damian Lillard Is A Monster’

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
8 months ago

NBA TV’s Sekou Smith and Lang Whitaker kicked off their Hang Time Road Trip yesterday in Oakland, home of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. The Oak Town tour included a sit down with Phife Dawg of the seminal rap A Tribe Called Quest. Though he and the rest of the A Tribe Called Quest crew hail from Queens, Phife Dawg, aka Malik Taylor, lives in the Bay Area now, which might be why he’s so familiar with Damian Lillard’s musical pursuits. In the video below, Phife Dawg is asked which player is currently the best rapper in the NBA, which Dame getting the nod (the segment starts around the 3:30 mark)…

High praise indeed. Complimenting Shaq’s rap skills seems a bit questionable to me, but I’m in no position to challenge Phife Dawg’s authority on the subject.

Phife Dawg joins the likes of Ice Cube and Waka Flocka as rappers who have shown their admiration for DAME DOLLA’s flow. A lot of crossover opportunities in today’s NBA.

You can listen to a number of Lillard’s tracks on his Soundcloud page.

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Four Blazers On NBA.com's Fantasy Basketball Big Board

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
8 months ago

With the NBA season rapidly approaching, some of you are probably doing preliminary research for your fantasy basketball drafts. While not as popular as fantasy football, fantasy basketball is arguably more fun and definitely more challenging, as you have to be on top of your lineups every day, not just a couple of times a week. And if you’re like me, your fantasy football teams are basically already out of the running for the championship anyway (thanks a lot DeMarco Murray and Marshawn Lynch), so you might as well turn your attention to fantasy hoops.

Which the folks at NBA.com have already done, for fairly obvious reasons. The league website recently posted their Top 150 fantasy players for this season, with four Trail Blazers making the list.

As you would expect, point guard Damian Lillard is the highest ranked Trail Blazer, coming in at No. 9 on the Top 150…

Here is Portland’s starting five from last year – Aldridge (gone), Matthews (gone), Batum (gone), Lopez (gone) and Lillard. As the Blazers work to gel as a squad, Dame (21 pts, 6 ast) will be the one they lean on most.

The assumption is that Lillard, between being the only returning starter and head and shoulders the best player on the roster, will put up impressive numbers this season even if the Trail Blazers find wins hard to come by, which seems like a pretty safe bet to me. Between points, assists, free throws, three-pointers and the fact that he’s yet to miss a game in his professional career, Lillard easily qualifies as a go-to fantasy guard.

What’s more, Jon Hartzell of NBA.com ranks Lillard as the fourth-best fantasy guard, be it point or shooting…

Lillard is the only returning starter for the reigning Northwest Division champs as the loss of LaMarcus Aldridge sparked a complete rebuild. Lillard has so far embraced a mentor role for the young Blazers and will be their main offensive weapon for the first time in his career. Expect big numbers across the board as the ball will seldom leave the fourth-year guard’s hands.

Hartzell has Lillard ahead of John Wall at No. 5 and behind Chris Paul at No. 3. He’s also one spot ahead of Wall in the overall rankings, and sits behind Kings center DeMarcus Cousins at No. 8.

You have to go a ways down the list (79 spots to be exact) before finding the next Blazer on the Top 150, which is shooting guard CJ McCollum, who comes in at No. 88…

With Wes Matthews and Arron Afflalo gone, CJ McCollum will get his chance to prove himself on a rebuilding Portland roster. McCollum certainly showed flashes when given the chance, averaging 25.7 pts in the final three Playoff games last season.

I’m guessing McCollum is going to be a popular fantasy sleeper pick, if you can call him that, thanks to both the reasons listed above. He’ll also qualify for both guard positions, seeing as how he’s Portland’s first backup point guard option on the roster, which should help his assist totals as well. McCollum is ranked behind Minnesota center Gorgui Dieng at No. 87 and ahead of Brooklyn forward Thaddeus Young at No. 89.

I was a bit surprised to see power forward/center Ed Davis as the next Trail Blazer on the Top 150. But he is coming off a career year and is a rebounding machine, so coming in at No. 127 makes some sense…

Career highs in rpg and FG% for Easy Eddie last season in LA. Has a great opportunity to build on that success in Rip City.

“Easy Eddie” eh? I could see that. Davis is ranked behind Cavs center Timofey Mozgov, who I once saw driving an orange Nissan Cube, at No. 126 and ahead of Boston forward Jae Crowder at No. 128.

Meyers Leonard is the last Blazer to make the cut, just squeezing into the Top 150 at No. 148…

It’s anyone’s bet who will emerge in Portland’s front court now that LMA and RoLo have departed. Meyers has tenure and upside playing in his favor.

Not to take anything away from Davis, Mason Plumlee or Noah Vonleh, but if anyone is going to “emerge in Portland’s front court” this season, it’s going to be Meyers. Just as I was a bit taken aback to see Davis so high, I’m a bit surprised to see Leonard so low considering he’s a pretty good bet to average a near double-double and is going to shoot a gang of threes. I would imagine Portland’s big man rotation is going to be robust, but I still think Leonard is going to get the best opportunity to put up numbers. Leonard is directly behind L.A.’s Lance Stephenson at No. 147 and ahead of Phoenix’s PJ Tucker at No. 149.

As for guys who didn’t make the list, I suppose you can’t expect much coming off a horrendous season, but I think Moe Harkless is going to do be a nice fantasy option in what I figure will be a bounceback season in Portland. And it’s still a bit early to start touting Vonleh as a fantasy sleeper, but if he’s able to sustain anything close to what he’s shown at summer league and in Portland’s first preseason game, he’s worth a look.

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