Each week, Team Mom highlights her favorites plays, players and other things that made the Trail Blazers fun to watch. Who is Mom’s Favorite this week? Did anyone get put in the dog house? What were your favorite things this week? Let us know in the comments below.
Week 18: Feb 10-16. Dallas Mavericks (L), Oklahoma City Thunder (L), Golden State Warriors (W)
To be honest, heading into the game against the Warriors I thought I would be left with meager list of positives to choose from. For example: the Blazers shot 57 percent from the free throw line against the Dallas Mavericks, but Damian Lillard was 4-4! Jusuf Nurkic fouled out both games, but Zach Collins didn’t! Yay!
I was prepared for the worst on Wednesday. For the first three quarters I told myself, “Good for the Blazers, they really hung in there.” Then the fourth quarter happened. The last 12 minutes of that contest had so many of my favorite things: a shot clock violation on the other team, an out-of-bounds bad pass right into the home team’s bench, a scoring barrage (12 points) by Jake Layman, a drawn charge, a flagrant foul, a scuffle, more technicals, and a coach ejection.
When it was over, the defending champions had five turnovers and only two free throws. Their dismal 5-23 shooting performance down the stretch facilitated a 35-12 scoring deficit. The Blazers committed zero turnovers and only three personal fouls, and were perfect 11-11 from the line.
The Warriors’ seven fouls in the quarter were key to this melt down. Let’s re-live each one of them, shall we?
We start the quarter with the Blazers down one. Evan Turner drives to the basket with a full head of steam. He’s fouled by Alfonzo McKinnie. Turner sinks the free throws and Blazers take the lead.
With 7:30 to go and Portland up by three, Klay Thompson knocks Zach Collins off his feet on his way to the bucket. Flexing and bumping and jawing ensue. Three minutes later, Layman takes a charge from Draymond Green. Less than 20 seconds after that, Green bodies Collins on his way to the hoop, the foul is reviewed and deemed a flagrant.
Green draws a technical for arguing. Steve Kerr is ejected. Damian Lillard and Collins combine to hit five of five free throws. Blazers inbound the ball, and Green fouls Layman chasing him around a screen, sticking a forearm across his chest and under his chin. Blazers inbound the ball and Layman drills a three right in Green’s face (followed by, of course, the Layman Shrug).
Finally, with three minutes left and their one-point lead now a 15-point deficit, Kevin Durant shoves both Layman and Collins off the ball, committing his fourth foul before heading to the bench.
It was a team effort to win this game, but a special recognition goes to the bench unit behind sharp-shooting Layman and pain-in-the-neck Collins.
Kudos to the Blazers’ front office for surprising us all this week with the signing of big man Enes Kanter. I am absolutely delighted by this addition to the roster.
A plug-and-play big man, Kanter was averaging a double-double before parting ways with the New York Knicks. He’s averaging a career-high 3.9 offensive rebounds this season, which would be a welcome addition to the second unit. Collins leads the bench in offensive rebounds with 1.4 per game. While Collins is frequently able to get the ball in his hands in these situations, he struggles to hold on to it or finish, especially in a crowd.
Kanter is also a man after my own heart when it comes to up-to-date profile pictures on the internet. Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted news of the Kanter signing at 1:47 on February 13,
Enes Kanter has agreed to a deal with Portland, league sources tell ESPN— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 13, 2019
Two minutes later, at 1:49, Kanter tweeted a photoshopped picture of himself in a Blazers uniform. Notice the detail that he chose an image that was clearly taken at the Moda Center? This is going to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
#RipCity pic.twitter.com/4dTLXyZedg— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) February 13, 2019
Love reigned supreme this week.
Seth Curry got engaged:
Per TMZ, Seth Curry and Callie Rivers are engaged. Congratulations to both! https://t.co/E3HsX1kyGT— Blazer's Edge (@blazersedge) February 16, 2019
Take your mom to work day. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum brought their moms to the game on Wednesday.
Bring your mama to work day pic.twitter.com/zTPEbNlAXG— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) February 14, 2019
Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge make nice. After years of strained relations between the two of them, Lillard and Aldridge reportedly cleared the air and seem to be enjoying each other’s company in Charlotte this weekend.
Talkin’ bout jersey swaps #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/HxhhWHAXdO— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) February 16, 2019
Blazers’ message their loved ones. Blazers were on top of their romantic game this week with touching messages to their partners. Oregon Live complied all their tweets and Instagram photos. This message from Chief to his wife doubles as this week’s Al-Farouq A-Photo of the week:
That will do it for this week’s Mom’s Favorite. What were your favorite things that happened with the Blazers? Let us know in the comments below.