July 10, 2018, 6:26 pm
The Portland Trail Blazers have prioritized shooting above all else since their decided lack of floor spacing against the New Orleans Pelicans was exploited time and again in a first-round playoff sweep. And if the Blazers’ performance in Las Vegas Summer League against the San Antonio Spurs proves a harbinger of things to come next season, 3-point shooting will be the least of Terry Stotts’ worries. The Blazers, scorching hot from beyond the arc to build a sizable early lead, held on to beat the Spurs 95-89 on Tuesday at Cox Pavilion, moving to a perfect 3-0 in pool play.
Portland, after leading 44-39 at intermission, opened up a 13-point lead on San Antonio with an 8-0 run to begin the third quarter. The Blazers held that lead going into the fourth quarter and extended it to 84-67 with 6:30 remaining, but fell victim to the Spurs’ own shooting onslaught from that point forward. They connected on five triples in the game’s last four minutes, coming within two points of tying the score after a three by Raphiael Putney with 36 seconds left. Fortunately, Caleb Swanigan made five of his six free throws as San Antonio was forced to play the foul game late, helping his team clutch to a well-earned victory.
Gary Trent, Jr., shooting 32 percent through the first two games in Sin City, scored a game-high 20 points for Portland on 7-of-17 shooting and 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Signed to a relatively pricey guaranteed contract last week, the rookie second-round pick showed off the sense of poise and patience that’s been obvious throughout Summer League play. The only difference this time out is that Trent had the jumper going, giving fans a glimpse of the mature, polished scoring repertoire that has Portland management so excited about his present and future.
— NBA (@NBA) July 10, 2018
Yet it was Wade Baldwin, unsurprisingly, who was again Portland’s best player – and it wasn’t particularly close. Running the show for his team from the opening tip, the 22-year-old guard finished with 16 points, nine assists and five steals on 6-of-12 shooting. Baldwin was his typically disruptive self defensively, igniting the Blazers’ fast-break attack, where he raced the ball up the floor to create scoring opportunities for awaiting teammates. He was especially impressive in pick-and-roll play, mixing in acrobatic finishes with the playmaking nuance of a veteran.
— NBA (@NBA) July 10, 2018
Portland has until July 18 to guarantee Baldwin’s $1.7 million contract for 2018-19. Up against the luxury tax and having spent the vast majority of their offseason resources on guards, the Blazers have reason to move on from the talented former first-round pick. But based on everything that’s transpired thus far in Las Vegas, Baldwin deserves to be on Portland’s roster next season – and perhaps be earmarked for rotation minutes off the bench.
Jake Layman, another summer standout for Portland, connected on 3-of-4 from deep en route to 15 points and eight rebounds. Swanigan fought his way to an impressive line of 12 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals, but struggled to finish on the interior and never found the range on his jumper, going just 2-of-10 from the field. The Blazers were able to extend their halftime lead so quickly courtesy of three third-quarter triples from John Jenkins, who had 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting while staking his claim for an invite to training camp. Teenage first-rounder Anfernee Simons went just 4-of-13 from the field and misfired on each of his three 3-point attempts, but again flashed athletically and made several smart plays on both sides of the ball that belie his lack of high-level playing experience.
At one point in the third quarter, Portland was a red-hot 9-of-12 from 3-point range, good for 75 percent shooting. That’s not a sustainable mark for any team, obviously, and the game’s remainder was evidence of that reality; the Blazers made just two of their next nine tries from distance. With adding capable shooters his team’s clear offseason priority, though, Neil Olshey is no doubt heartened to know that Portland will begin preparations for 2018-19 with a wealth of 3-point shooting at its disposal off the bench.
Portland, undefeated in pool play, will be a top seed in the knockout portion of Las Vegas Summer League, which begins on Wednesday.
October 15, 2019, 8:16 pmMatthew DellavedovaPG, Cleveland Cavaliers
Matthew Dellavedova (thumb) suffered a thumb sprain and will not return on Tuesday against the Celtics.
Big man Tacko Fall blocked Delly, sending him to the ground. Delly got up and grabbed his hand before coming out of the game and heading to the locker room. The Cavs ruled him out for the rest of the game.
Source: Gary Washburn on Twitter
October 15, 2019, 8:11 pmRobert Williams IIIC-F, Boston Celtics
After taking a blow to the head, Robert Williams will sit out the rest of the game on Tuesday against the Cavs.
Kevin Love gave an elbow to Williams' head, resulting in him coming out and sitting on the bench. The Celtics quickly ruled him out for the rest of the game, citing precautionary reasons. Williams will be re-evaluated on Wednesday in Boston.
Source: Celtics on Twitter
October 15, 2019, 7:15 pmTroy DanielsSG, Los Angeles Lakers
Troy Daniels (sprained left knee) did not practice on Tuesday and remains out ahead of Wednesday's matchup with the Warriors.
Daniels can get hot in a hurry from deep and has the chance to be a deep-league 3-point specialist if he can get back on the court.
October 15, 2019, 7:12 pmKyle KuzmaPF, Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma (left foot stress reaction) is improving, but it will take some time for him to get back as he still has some progressions to go through before he can return.
The team is going to play it very safe with their young forward. Kuzma's timeline is still a bit murky, but it's getting harder to believe he'll be ready for the opener.
October 15, 2019, 6:57 pmBrandon KnightPG, Cleveland Cavaliers
Brandon Knight (rest) will not play in Tuesday's preseason game against the Celtics.
Knight joins a long list of Cavs out tonight. The Cavs will likely disperse his minutes among a bevy of guards.
Source: Spencer Davies on Twitter
October 15, 2019, 6:55 pmDante ExumPG, Utah Jazz
Dante Exum (patellar tendon rehab) is being listed as out for Wednesday's preseason game against the Blazers.
Injuries have dampened the once-promising rookie's career. He is not on the fantasy radar.
Source: Jazz on Twitter
October 15, 2019, 6:51 pmMarkieff MorrisPF, Detroit Pistons
Markeiff Morris (illness) will not play in Tuesday's game against the Sixers.
Morris will join teammates Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin on the bench tonight, opening up a full allotment of minutes in the frontcourt. Christian Wood, Joe Johnson and Thon Maker should see heavy runs tonight.
Source: Keith Langlois on Twitter
October 15, 2019, 6:43 pmAric HolmanPF, Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs waived Aric Holman and Dakota Mathias on Tuesday.
There is no fantasy relevance here.
Source: Brad Townsend on Twitter
October 15, 2019, 6:35 pmJake LaymanSF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Jake Layman is getting the start at SF on Tuesday against the Pacers.
Layman remains entirely in the mix for the starting job as we head towards the opener. Jarrett Culver has shown the most this preseason among the SF options, but the team may prefer him in a sixth-man type role. This is a situation worth monitoring.
Source: Wolves PR on Twitter
October 15, 2019, 6:31 pmAndrew WigginsSF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Andrew Wiggins is getting the start at shooting guard over Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver in Tuesday's preseason game against the Pacers.
This is a very interesting development for the fantasy values of each. Culver is still worth a look in deep leagues as he can play the 1-3, but Okogie would take the biggest hit of the trio should this be the occurrence on opening night.
Source: Wolves PR on Twitter