In yet another ugly display of basketball, the Portland Trail Blazers fell behind the Atlanta Hawks in the Summer League Playoffs. But like yesterday, they made a spirited comeback in the second half. And just like yesterday, they tied the game in the final seconds to send it to overtime.
In the abbreviated 2-minute OT, nobody scored for 97 seconds, but CJ McCollum forced the issue, getting the foul call on a drive. He made one free throw to give the Blazers a lead. CJ committed a foul at the other end, and the Hawks took the lead on two free throws. And Will Barton took a wild shot that bricked off the rim... and bounced up... and in the bucket. The Hawks couldn't score at the other end, and boom the Blazers unexpectedly head to the next round.
CJ McCollum had a solid but quiet night. He didn't shoot well (5-14), but looked comfortable on the court. Overall, he wasn't particularly dominant. After seeing Damian Lillard take over games last summer, looking heads and shoulders above every other player on the court, we got a reminder it's not always that easy. 19 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, 4 turnovers.
Thomas Robinson didn't seem like he'd keep up the pace from yesterday's game. He worked hard on rebounds but capture capture them as easily. Then, suddenly, he's back in double-digits in the second half. His energy is undeniable, including a primal scream when he tied the game in regulation. His inside game is, as advertised, a work in progress. He's definitely Raw Material, but you can see some promise mixed in. Have hope, everyone. 13 points, 17 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 turnover.
Meyers Leonard wasn't relevant most of the night. If you saw previous Summer League games, you've seen the same Meyers you'd have seen tonight. Except he finally made a three-pointer (in the clutch no less), and had a few more rebounds. It's unlikely this game changed your opinion. A few commenters (including the esteemed Corvid) have noticed that Meyers seems to think before every action. And as JAnderson98VR observed in tonight's Gameday Thread, he seems to make a decision before receiving the ball, and struggles to adjust based on a change in the situation. That's similar to where I see Meyers right now. Long term? This doesn't mean anything, because things could "click" for Meyers in the future. But for now, I'm still hoping to see the signs of promise. 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 turnovers.
After a great game yesterday, Victor Claver had the rubber-band effect tonight, springing back into a tough game. He had a really rough shooting night (2-12), including airballing multiple three-pointers. He still looks calm and solid on the court, but if you can't put the ball in the bucket, that won't get you a lot of minutes in the NBA. 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers.
Will Barton took a lot of heat in tonight's Gameday Thread until the final shot. He shot well (8-17), but had a lot of turnovers, as he repeatedly looked out of control on the court. He hit the last shot though, so hey, we'll take it. 16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 7 turnovers.
Joel Freeland was quiet. Too quiet. It's no secret that Summer League isn't for big men, but you still want to look like you're an important part of the team. Rough night. 3 points, 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers.
Allen Crabbe continues his run of "incompletes". 16 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover.
The Blazers play in the next round of the Playoffs. We'll get you the details as soon as they arrive. -- Tim