After joining the team following a trade with the Toronto Raptors, Norman Powell is fitting right in with the Portland Trail Blazers. According to Casey Holdahl of Trailblazers.com, his teammates are already making him feel welcome after he ripped his jersey against his former team following two missed free throws.
“Dame and CJ were giving me a hard time about my jersey,” said Powell. “I’m usually more calm and tame than that, but I think there’s a lot of emotion with it just because you want to make those free throw so badly because you’re playing against your former teammates.”
Powell feels good about his role on the team.
“I feel good, I feel like the transition has been really easy,” said Powell. “The coaches, the guys have made it real easy to fit in. I feel like the more time I spend with them, the more practices we get in, the more games, I’ll start to feel better with the chemistry, the flow of the game, the play-calling and rotations on defense. I’m liking it so far.”
Damian Lillard was enthusiastic about the addition of Powell, emphasizing his fit with the Blazers and their culture.
“I think he’s fitting in perfectly, fitting in really easy,” said Lillard. “He gives us another guy who can handle the ball and attack the rim. Typically for us, I’m one of the only guys who plays in the paint off the dribble and he’s a slasher, he can play in pick and roll, he can make jumpers. He makes us even more versatile on the wing.
“Defensively, able to block shots and get steals and he’s competitive. He cares about winning and contributing to the team, so I think all with of those characteristics, it’s been a smooth transition. I feel like we haven’t had to go our of our way to try and make him fit, he just fits into our team.”
Powell is looking forward to continuing to work and learn alongside his new teammates.
“I want to just build on where I came in and started,” said Powell. “The coaches and the guys really talking to me about having a defensive presence, using my voice, helping anyway I can on that end. And helping CJ and Dame, I think I can be a guy who can come in and help play-make, have them play off the ball a little bit, shoulder the load that way.
“Just a guy that they can have finishing plays on the other end, catching and shooting, driving the basket when they draw so much attention. So being another guy to make plays and be a threat out there. I think I’m going to fit perfectly playing off them.”
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