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Trail Blazers Big 3 of Lillard, McCollum, and Nurkic in Fine Form

Portland’s star players have looked good so far in preseason play.

NBA: Preseason-Utah Jazz at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers preseason schedule is progressing nicely as stars Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic prove that they’re ready to start the regular season in style. Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune wrote extensively about the Big 3 and their early progress.

Eggers quotes Head Coach Terry Stotts lavishing praise on his main trio:

“All three of those guys played well,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “Damian played with a good pace, had good looks and was very efficient with his offense. ‘Nurk’ was outstanding defensively. He disrupted things at the rim, blocked shots, rebounded. And CJ had a very good all-around game. It was good to see them out there playing that well.”

He also cites Lillard saying he’s ready for the season to begin.

“I did a lot of conditioning this summer, so I came into (training) camp and felt I was in pretty good shape,” said Lillard, a first-team all-NBA selection last season. “Once we started playing, I was like, ‘I’m in better shape than I thought I was.’ Tonight, 25 minutes was a breeze. I think I could play my regular minutes and be fine, so we’ll see going forward.”

Eggers discusses the improved play of Nurkic, Portland’s re-emphasis on three-point shots, and the possibility of the Blazers fielding a legitimate 10-man rotation. The article is extensive and well worth reading.

The Blazers begin their regular season schedule on October 18th, facing LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.