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Breaking Down the Trail Blazers Upswing

The Portland Trail Blazers have surged back to the playoff race. Lamar Hurd and Kris Koivisto break down the reasons for improvement. 

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

A month and a half ago the Portland Trail Blazers were considered a lost cause. Their season stalled, ping pong balls loomed large in their future. One trade a whole bunch of wins later, the Blazers are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff hunt. In a new segment entitled “Scene and Hurd”, Blazers TV Analyst Lamar Hurd joined the team’s Digital Content Manager Kris Koivisto to pick out examples of why the team’s fortunes are turning.

Among other factors, Hurd and Koivisto singled out the defensive play of Moe Harkless, the deft touch of CJ McCollum, and the power of Jusuf Nurkic as he drives and dunks. Hurd made a point of saying that Nurkic is a “different dude right now” on the back of Koivisto’s comments about the center mimicking the Dikembe Mutumbo finger wave and how “he probably wouldn’t have done that in Denver”.

Hurd also praised Vonleh and his development over the past month, cheekily suggesting that Miami’s Hassan Whiteside sensed that the Portland Power Forward was a different player after the Heat big man chose not to contest a Vonleh drive in the recent game between the Heat and Blazers.

Koivisto also raised the point that since the All Star break, Damian Lillard has reminded everyone that “he can still dunk”, pointing out his increased athleticism after some much-needed rest.