Norman Powell has threaded the needle inside his role since joining the Portland Trail Blazers in late March. But it’s more than just his two-way play that has his teammates grinning. Powell’s championship experience has helped guide the team through its recent rocky stretch, writes Lindsey Wisniewski NBA Sports Northwest.
Powell, who landed in Portland in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood, has averaged 17.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 33.9 minutes. His productive play comes 22 months after Powell and his former Toronto Raptors teammates held aloft the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
And it’s this experience that recently helped the Blazers navigate and bounce back from a couple of weeks of poor play.
“More and more I’ve gotten comfortable in talking to the guys on what I see defensively throughout the game. Telling the guys to pull over or be in the gaps, and different ways we can help with rotations and things like that.”
“I’ve felt the respect of having a championship in the locker room, the guys have said it a couple of times.”
Powell added that he is impressed with the drive within the team to win at the highest level, particularly from leader Damian Lillard.
“I really want to help make a deep playoff run and get to the finals and get to the championship,” Powell said. “I talked to Dame a couple of times about how badly he wants to win a ring, so hopefully this year I can help in different ways when we get into the playoffs. Kind of give them the little stories and things that I went through that playoff run to help probably motivate us to keep our foot on the gas and compete.”
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