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Lessons the Trail Blazers Can Learn from the NBA Playoffs

Portland isn’t participating, but inspiration and cautionary tales abound.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Your favorite Portland Trail Blazers podcast is back on the air! The 2023 NBA Playoffs are well into the second round, with every series hotly contested in the Eastern and Western Conferences. Not only do Dave Deckard and Marlow Ferguson run down those series for you, they pull inspiration and/or caution relating to the Trail Blazers from each. You probably haven’t thought of all the things Phoenix-Denver or Knicks-Heat can teach Portland. We’ve got you covered.

In the process, there’s plenty of talk about Jimmy Butler and Draymond Green, of course, but also RJ Barrett, Kevin Durant, and other NBA glitterati, some fortunate and some less so. And speaking of fortunes, what’s with the Milwaukee Bucks firing Mike Budenholzer just a couple years after a championship? And Nick Nurse in Toronto too?

Naturally, that segues into a conversation of Chauncey Billups’ performance as head coach in Portland. What, if anything, do we know about his strengths and weaknesses? How did he fare this season in the midst of injuries and ambiguities? What are the hidden difficulties and pitfalls for NBA coaches, from struggling franchises like the Blazers all the way up to ascendant ones like the Boston Celtics?

Finally, Dave and Marlow conclude with discussion about Anfernee Simons. He’s the most-mentioned player in prospective Blazers trades, a singular combination of talent and salary weight to be thrown into most any deal. How high is his value, really?

All that, plus a brief farewell to the Sacramento Kings, a discussion of Portland’s pecking order in the West, and more in this edition of Dave and Marlow!

You can download this episode or subscribe to the podcast here, or just click play on the embed below.