Earlier today I shared my favorite moment from opening week for the Portland Trail Blazers. Actually, there were several...and they all centered around Damian Lillard. But Lillard wasn’t the only Trail Blazers player to pique our interest during Week 1 of the 2018-19 NBA season. Here’s the best of the rest!
Gold star and honorable mentions
Moms love good helpers and Evan Turner was everywhere this week, helping his teammates get decked out for Halloween as well as dishing out assists at a rate of 4.8 per game (seven assists is his highest mark this season, against Orlando), second only to Damian Lillard. Maybe the Blazers haven’t needed a backup point guard all along, what they needed was a backup point-forward.
We’re keeping an eye on assists this year to see if the Blazers can do better-than-last place. They are still in the bottom half of the league at 19th place with 22.8 assists per game. However, the Blazers’ bench unit, led by Turner, is second in the league with 11.5.
I don’t believe that the Blazers on the whole are built to get a lot of assists. No one should be asking skilled isolation players like Lillard and McCollum to change their style simply for the sake of getting more assists. But putting good shooters around a clever playmaker like Turner will naturally increase the assist rate.
One more note about Turner’s assists: there’s going to be some bad passes. He’s a guy who takes chances. He brought a penguin suit for an NBA player to wear, for goodness sake. But those chances sometimes pay off big time, like with this pass to Meyers Leonard.
GET UP MEYERS! pic.twitter.com/RxII0sTANH— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 21, 2018
To paraphrase the great Wayne Gretzky, you miss 100% of the assists you don’t attempt.
Jusuf Nurkic assists fan with Century Link challenge during game vs. the San Antonio Spurs.
NURK WITH THE ASSIST!@rileyurk wins $5K courtesy of @CenturyLink and @bosnianbeast27 pic.twitter.com/DJiKEGQDw4— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 21, 2018
Damian FaceTiming with Chris Kaman. Sigh.
Zach Collins’ first buzzer beater, at the end of the first quarter in Orlando. Oh, also he had a perfect game, 7-7 from the field, 1-1 from the free throw line. I mean, cool if you like that kind of thing (I do).
.@ZCOLLINS_33 CALLED BANK! pic.twitter.com/mXNZa9yMJ9— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 25, 2018
While there wasn’t a lot to get excited about the game in Miami, Zach Collins going 8-8 from the free throw line was a bright spot.
And because not a game goes by that I’m not out here campaigning for Al-Farouq Aminu to get the appreciation he deserves, this Chief dribble-drive up-and-under through three players (or whatever you want to call it) plus Zach Collins’ celebration is my favorite play of the week:
I think this is my Chief of the Week Favorite no wait, I know it is (until tonight anyway) #AminuAppreciationSociety #AminuHive pic.twitter.com/KRwV6yDxYY— Team Mom (@tcbbiggs) October 27, 2018
In the dog house: Markieff Morris
This award goes to the player on the other team with the most egregious/annoying act against the Trail Blazers. This week’s winner is obviously Markieff Morris for the shorts-tugging incident which went unnoticed by the officials. $15,000 seems like a pretty light fine for being a jerk-face.
Markieff Morris grabbibg Seth Curry's shorts from the bench pic.twitter.com/CRwsFxm7IG— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) October 23, 2018
That’s a wrap for the first Mom’s Favorite column of the year. What were your favorite things that happened with the Blazer’s this week? Let us know in the comments below!
Welcome to Mom’s Favorites, where we’re going to relive the week in Portland Trail Blazer basketball and I get to pick my favorites! Favorite people, favorite plays, favorite tweets—all the good stuff that makes us love this team.
xoxo Team Mom