On throwback night at the old Memorial Coliseum, the loud, boisterous Blazer fans enjoyed an otherwise-throwaway game, as Portland’s bench played big minutes in a 105-94 loss to the Denver Nuggets. What did we take away from this game? Well...
- We didn’t learn a lot tonight. The Blazers’ star backcourt duo of Lillard/McCollum only played the first half, and Nikola Jokic missed the game for Denver. This game served purely as a glimpse into the new look of the Blazers, and to enjoy a little fun and reminiscing at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.
- The revamped second unit is pretty bouncy. With Kent Bazemore, Anferee Simons, and Mario Hezonja on the court together, the cameras could barely keep up. Lots of passing, plenty of running, and a few dunks. Speaking of which...
- Terry Stotts played lineup bingo. Knowing it was a preseason game with a lot of new players, Portland’s coach played mad scientist with the lineups, leading to scenarios such as a single big man with four shooters. Expect the lineups to slowly normalize, and the rotation minutes to be established, as we progress through preseason.
- The stars haven’t missed a beat. Lillard and McCollum couldn’t find the range, but they looked like their old selves, including a strong drive and layup with a foul that led to Damian flexing. They should be ready by the regular season.
- The Blazers don’t look deep at center. With Nurkic still sidelined for the foreseeable future, the big man rotation featured starters Zach Collins and Hassan Whiteside, with backups Skal Labissiere and sort of Anthony Tolliver. They may gel nicely, but it was hard to see how Jokic would have been contained, had he suited up.
Stay tuned for more tonight, from our staff on site at Memorial Coliseum.