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Early Returns on Kanter & New Rotations

Danny and Tara kick around the Blazers' bolstered bench on this week's edition of the Blazer's Edge Podcast.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On this week’s episode of the Blazer’s Edge podcast Tara Bowen-Biggs and Danny Marang take a look at the Blazers post All-Star break, the early returns on Enes Kanter, Jusuf Nurkic’s new found energy and trash talk with Ben Simmons, new rotations, Damian Lillard not having to work as hard for wins and more!


  • Opening Comments
  • 2:16 First two games since All-Star Break
  • 2:43 Enes Kanter impressions. Skilled big man who lives in the paint and gets rebounds.
  • 3:14 How the siging of Kanter demonstrates the Blazers are all in on offense.
  • 4:34 There are going to be buckets everywhere.
  • 4:53 48 minutes of Nurkic and Kanter is going to be a lot for any team to deal with.
  • 5:30 Kanter can do things that Nurkic can’t do in the post.
  • 6:21 Kanter has more offensive consistency than Nurkic, but less eye popping.
  • 7:14 Why do people say Kanter is bad at defense? He doesn’t take up as much room as Nurkic. He’s a step slower.
  • 8:03 He’s also not the worst defender. They are probably not going to struggle all that much, he doesn’t give up more than he gives.
  • 9:03 Is there any kind of defense that he is decent at? He’s passable at most, you just want to leave him under the rim and hope me keeps people away. He just needs to be his best offensively
  • 9:39 Will Collins see the court again?
  • 11:33 Collins is better at help side or pick and roll protector. He’s still not great at defending the rim. But most people in the NBA are not great at defending the rim. People are just too good at offense now.
  • 12:50 What if other teams go small? Is Collins a better possibility in those situations?
  • 14:21 Stotts is putting in lineups to push the pace and get up the floor.
  • 15:42 How much time do the Blazers have to experiment with the lineups?
  • 18:35 Offensively, in the first two games back, Damian Lillard has not had to force the issue.
  • 20:03 The ball is moving really well. Dame and CJ don’t have to hunt for so many shots.
  • 20:35 Other teams have historically gone after Damian Lillard at the end of games to wear him out. But the last two games Damian Lillard’s usage rate has been significantly lower.
  • 21:02 Blazers are 14-1 in games where Damian Lillard’s usage rate is less than 25.1 %
  • 22:22 A discussion about players “carrying their weight”.
  • 24:02 McCollum has come up big lately in his ability to do more than just score. Rebounding, steals, defense, etc.
  • 24:46 Rodney Hood and Jake Layman have been good at timely production. Moe Harkless too.
  • 26:02 Damian isn’t the only one who can spark a run now. Other players like Jake or even Moe lately have stepped up with key, well-timed energy plays.
  • 27:14 Moe made his presence felt in both games after the All Star break.
  • 29:05 Moe Harkless has tapped into something, lets keep it going.
  • 30:27 Damian Lillard’s signature move, the baseline step back fadeaway in traffic.
  • 33:22 Catch-and-shoot guys have signature moves in ways that they get themselves open.
  • 34:41 More praise for Damian Lillard because you can’t say enough good things about him. Referencing his interview with Chris Haynes.
  • 35:52 How much better are the Blazers after the new additions and how much credit should also go to continuity?
  • 38:10 Ed Davis praise for Jake Layman.
  • 39:55 Would bringing in big stars in years past been as effectve as the culture that Damian Lillard has grown in Portland?
  • 41:23 Looking ahead to Cleveland, Boston and Toronto
  • 42:47 Take care of business in Cleveland.
  • 43:33 What are the backup centers like for the upcoming games? What kind of a challenge will they pose for Kanter?
  • 45:34 Which Blazer has the best opportunity to shine this week? Lets see if Moe can keep it going.
  • 46:36 Jake has become a regular.
  • 47:54 Enes the Menace. Good nickname?
  • 48:26 Nurkic and Kanter trash talk on top of teams having to battle two big players for 48 minutes
  • 49:28 Blazers already made the Warriors melt down before they added Kanter to the roster.
  • 51:32 Thank you to everyone who made Blazers Edge night a reality again!
  • Closing Comments
  • Outro