Eric Bledsoe's struggles continued in Game 4 vs. Toronto as he managed to score just five points on 2-of-7 shots with three boards and two assists.
May 21 11:46 PM
Coach Mike Budenholzer kept him on a short leash tonight with just 20 total minutes with the Raptors sagging off him and begging him to shoot. Unfortunately for the Bucks, backup PG George Hill wasn't much better with five points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and one triple with a +/- of -17 in his 27 minutes. Bledsoe has now been held to single-digit points in three out of the four games in this series, and if he doesn't turn things around quickly coach Bud will keep going back to Hill and Malcolm Brogdon off the bench.
Fred VanVleet made his presence felt in Game 4 vs. the Bucks with 13 points, six assists, one rebound, one steal and three triples in 25 minutes.
May 21 11:25 PM
He had been a ghost for most of the series and there was some talk in the media about him potentially losing his rotation spot to a guy like Jeremy Lin, but coach Nick Nurse kept the faith in his backup PG and was rewarded. After scoring a combined 10 points in Games 1-3 on 20 shots, FVV hit 5-of-6 from the field in tonight's win. He wasn't the only Raptor to find success off the bench though, as Norman Powell delivered with 18 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and four triples while Serge Ibaka scored 17 points with 13 rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped 25 points on 9-of-17 shots in Tuesday's 120-102 Game 4 loss as the Raptors evened the series 2-2.
May 21 11:25 PM
Giannis pulled down 10 rebounds with five dimes, one steal, three blocks and one triple, but apart from Khris Middleton notching 30 points on 11-of-15 shots with seven assists, six rebounds and four triples, the rest of the Bucks weren't very inspiring. Giannis bounced back nicely after his quiet Game 3 with renewed aggression, so expect more of the same in Milwaukee for Game 5 on Thursday. He'll want to stay away from the T.V. for a while though after Kawhi Leonard dunked all over him (link below).
Steve Kerr called Kevon Looney a "foundational piece" to the Warriors after Golden States Game 4 win in Portland.
May 21 6:40 PM
"Looney has become one of our foundational pieces," said Kerr. "I think one thing that we’ve seen in almost every series, is as the game goes on and players get tired, Loon gets more and more rebounds. He just has a knack for the ball. Really long arms. Great feel for the game." Looney will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and it could be tough for the Dubs to retain him if both Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant re-up on max contracts, but he clearly has the support of his head coach.
Enes Kanter said signing with the Trail Blazers this past season was the "best thing that's ever happened" in his eight-year career.
May 21 5:02 PM
"It's not even a question how much I love this entire organization and my teammates," said Kanter during his exit interview. "It's been a family to me." Kanter will again hit the open market this summer, but it sounds like he would be happy to be back in Portland. That's not an ideal spot for him in fantasy hoops, though, as he'd be relegated to serving as Jusuf Nurkic's backup.
Terry Stotts has agreed to a multi-year, contract extension with the Trail Blazers.
May 21 5:02 PM
It was just last year that we heard reports of Stotts being in the hot seat after 10 straight playoff losses, but he took his squad all the way to the Western Conference Finals this year despite not having Jusuf Nurkic, so this was a pretty easy decision for management.
Zach Collins said he "absolutely" would like to be a starter in Portland next season.
May 21 4:45 PM
Al-Farouq Aminu didn't look great this postseason, and he'll be headed for free agency, so if the Blazers don't bring him back there will be an open spot in Portland's starting unit. Collins spends most of his time at the five-spot, but if he could develop a reliable 3-point shot this summer, it would be easier to have him on the floor for prolonged stretches at the four. He might not start, but if he could earn minutes in the mid-20s, that might be enough for him to emerge as a shot blocking specialist in deep leagues.
Pelicans GM David Griffin said that he plans to meet with Anthony Davis in Los Angeles and is hopeful that AD will want to stay in New Orleans.
May 21 3:19 PM
Since winning the right to draft Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick in June's draft, Griffin is hopeful that a Big 3 of Zion, AD and Jrue Holiday will be enough to entice Davis to rescind his trade demand. "We’re very confident that we have a compelling situation for him here," Griffin said.
It was announced on Tuesday that Luka Doncic and Atlanta Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.
May 21 3:19 PM
Luka and Trae are joined on the First Team by Deandre Ayton, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marvin Bagley III. The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, Clippers guard Landry Shamet, New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter.
Damian Lillard dropped 28 points with 12 assists, four rebounds and four triples vs. the Warriors in Game 4 on Monday but it wasn't enough as his team was swept from the Conference Finals.
May 21 1:36 PM
Dame had the final two shots in overtime but Klay Thompson and Draymond Green swarmed him on his layup attempt with 3.3 seconds to go and he couldn't get his final fadeaway 3-pointer to drop at the buzzer. It's a tough way for Portland to go out, and while this wasn't Dame's best series, keep in mind that he's been playing through separated ribs since Game 2. Lillard will be turning 29 in July and is still very much in the middle of his prime with two more years under contract with Portland.
Updating a previous item, Frank Ntilikina's agent said that Ntilikina has not requested a trade and that he is "extremely happy to be part of the Knicks."
May 21 12:54 PM
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Grizzlies recently interviewed Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin for the franchise’s head coaching job.
May 21 11:51 AM
Griffin has coached for the Magic, Thunder and currently for the Raptors since retiring from the NBA as a player. Woj also reported earlier today that Memphis had been granted permission to interview Portland assistant Nate Tibbetts.
Damian Lillard and the Blazers are expected to come to terms over the summer on a four-year, $191 million supermax contract extension.
May 21 10:59 AM
Ignas Brazdeikis said he is "definitely leaning toward staying" in the 2019 NBA draft.
May 21 10:20 AM
Brazdeikis was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season after averaging 14.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.5 three-pointers per game, while shooting over 46 percent from the floor and 39 percent from downtown. He will likely be a second-round pick if he stays in the draft.
Memphis has been granted permission to interview Portland assistant Nate Tibbetts for franchise’s head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
May 21 10:20 AM
Tibbets interviewed with the Suns for their head coaching vacancy earlier this month, and was a candidate for the Hawks job back in 2018.
Draymond Green triple-doubled in Game 4 vs. the Blazers on Monday, scoring 18 points with 14 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, two blocks and one triple.
May 21 12:28 AM
Stephen Curry dropped 37 points on his way to a triple-double, as the duo became the first pair of teammates to triple-double in playoff history. Green has flipped a switch in recent weeks with this being his 10th playoff game with 14+ points after reaching that total just 10 times during the regular season. While those two guys are the big storylines from tonight, Kevon Looney was also terrific with a 12-point, 14-rebound double-double with one steal and one block.
Meyers Leonard dropped 30 points with 12 rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block and five triples in 40 minutes of Monday's Game 4 loss as the Blazers were swept by the Warriors.
May 21 12:28 AM
Credit to coach Terry Stotts for making Leonard an X-factor in this series as he had a very sporadic role prior to the last few games. This is the type of player the Blazers thought they were getting when they signed him to a 4-year, $41M contract back in 2016, so they will be hoping he can build on this momentum leading into the 2019-20 season. With Jusuf Nurkic (leg) out indefinitely and Enes Kanter hitting free agency, Leonard could play a key role next season if he can keep it up.
Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie will enter the starting lineup for Game 4 vs. Portland on Monday.
May 20 9:17 PM
Andre Iguodala (leg) will join Kevin Durant (calf) and DeMarcus Cousins (quad) on the sidelines for this one. Bell has put together a few strong performances and is getting an overdue reward from coach Steve Kerr with the starting nod. In addition to Bell and McKinnie, Kerr mentioned Jonas Jerebko and Quinn Cook as guys who could see a bump in minutes.
Dwight Powell has declined his player option for the 2019-20 season and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
May 20 7:41 PM
Powell played some of the best ball of his career after the All-Star break this past season, posting averages of 14.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 dimes, 0.8 steals and 0.8 swats per contest on 62.1% shooting, so he's due for a decent-sized pay raise this summer. Mavs GM Donnie Nelson was quoted after the season saying he'd like to keep Powell around "for years to come," but he'll assuredly have some competition to retain his services.
Dwight Powell has declined his player option for the 2019-20 season and will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
May 20 6:10 PM
Powell played some of the best ball of his career after the All-Star break this past season, posting averages of 14.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 dimes, 0.8 steals and 0.8 swats per contest on 62.1% shooting, so he's due for a pretty substantial pay raise this summer. Mavs GM Donnie Nelson was quoted after the season saying he'd like to keep Powell around "for years to come," but he'll assuredly have some competition to retain his services.
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