November 2nd, 2019 will not be fondly remembered for Rip City. First, the Blazers announced that forward Zach Collins was sidelined indefinitely for shoulder surgery. Then, in their game against the 76ers, Rodney Hood fell to the court with an apparent injury. Lastly, despite missing Hassan Whiteside, Collins, and now Hood, the Blazers looked like they’d scrap to a gutsy victory thanks to a last-second three-pointer from Anfernee Simons... only to see Furkan Korkmaz swish a three-pointer with 0.4 seconds left on the clock. Yes, Furkan Korkmaz. Portland fell, 129-128.
It was a long day for the Blazers and their fans.
Well, that was fun, until it wasn’t. Without either of their starting big men, the Blazers tossed out shooters all over the court, and even better, most of their shots were swishing. It made for a fun night of raining three’s and frustrated Sixers players holding out their arms. Portland was in control most of the night.
Unfortunately, the good parts probably weren’t sustainable. Portland’s not going to hit this many three’s every night. And Tolliver won’t be hitting multiple three’s and a turnaround fadeaway every night. Skal won’t catch teams off guard every night. But for most of tonight’ they did. It ended badly, but the good news is that the Team Formerly Known As The Warriors is next up.
The supporting cast shines. Tolliver, pre-injury Rodney Hood, Anfernee Simons, and Skal Labissière all had key stretches where they kept momentum going for the undermanned Blazers. Everyone tried to step up. Until the injury and the ending, the team looked really, really good.
Portland plays in Golden State next. The Warriors are sitting nearly all their core players. Theoretically, Portland should be a favorite on the road, even with their injuries.