Episodes
The Trail Blazers lost in Miami on Wednesday night, 104-92. CJ McCollum and Anfernee Simons each had monster firsts halves but the Heat defense locked up the Blazers down the stretch as Bam Adebayo put Portland away in final seven minutes. Today's episode also breaks down the Western Conference Tiers, ranking each of the 15 teams in the West by group. It's a fun exercise to see where the Blazers stack up and how the playoff picture is taking shape. It's a monthly check in with what the rest...
Published 01/20/22
My Friend Chuck (Charles Tuggle) joins the show to revisit our over/under predictions from the before the season started to see how right, and mostly how wrong, we were about the Trail Blazers now that the team has hit the halfway point. Here's a hint we were mostly wrong about Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and underestimated the roles and impacts of Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little. Plus, is Jusuf Nurkic the Blazers' most dependable player these days? Can that be true? It's worth...
Published 01/19/22
CJ McCollum made his return to the court for the first time since Dec. 4 on Monday, helping the Trail Blazers easily dispatch the lowly Orlando Magic, 98-88. McCollum finished with 16 points and looked mostly like himself in his first game back in nearly six weeks. Jusuf Nurkic was a force inside for the Blazers against Orlando, grabbing 22-rebounds to go with 21 points. The Magic had no answer for Nurk, who bullied his way to the third Barbara Walters game of his career. Finally, let's talk...
Published 01/18/22
Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) of The Dunc'd on Podcast joins the program to talk about the Trail Blazers ahead of the trade deadline and what direction the franchise will take from here. Can Portland trade veterans and retool around Damian Lillard or is it time to launch the full on rebuild and see what massive trade haul for Lillard is out there? Plus we discuss the trade value for Robert Covington and Jusuf Nurkic, options available for a CJ McCollum trade and the growth of Anfernee Simons...
Published 01/16/22
The Portland Trail Blazers lost a game on Thursday but look that's not really all that important. The Denver Nuggets scored a lot. It wasn't competitive. Got it? Okay now let's skip to the good part. TRADES! Yes, trades. Specifically trade chatter from Bleacher Report's Jack Fischer that has the Blazers linked to Indiana center Myles Turner and Detroit forward Jerami Grant. Those are two of the bigger names on the market and the Blazers reportedly have interest in both. Plus, Fischer reports...
Published 01/14/22
Damian Lillard is headed for abdominal surgery, will reportedly be out for 6-to-8 weeks and is very likely done for the season. This is the best move for Lillard and the Trail Blazers while shifting the priority for the team for the remainder of the season. It's time to tank. Make that Tank, rather. So what does a Tank, capital T, look like for the Trail Blazers? How can they improve the roster at the trade deadline and still prioritize losing in the near term and winning immediately next...
Published 01/13/22
It's the latest Special Delivery Mailbag from Locked On Blazers! It's time to answer your questions about Anfernee Simons joining Damian Lillard in the next iteration of Portland's backcourt. Is moving forward with two small guards a reasonable plan? How is it any different than CJ McCollum and Lillard of the past six seasons? Is it groundhogs day or does Simons offer more upside? How can you maximize two small guards? Plus, I take a stab at a mock deadline, remaking the Blazers with fake...
Published 01/12/22
Anfernee Simons scored 23 points and dished out a career-best 11 assists to lead the shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers to a 114-108 win over the Brooklyn Nets. Simons didn't shoot well but had the best floor game of his career in guiding the Blazers to a stunning upset win over Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and the Nets, who came into the game 14-3 on the road. Without Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum or Norman Powell in the lineup, Simons got help from Robert Covington (21 points) and Ben McLemore...
Published 01/11/22
The Portland Trail Blazers dispatched the Sacramento Kings, 103-98, on Sunday night at the Moda Center in a game without Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum or Norman Powell. Anfernee Simons had 31 points, Jusuf Nurkic came up one assist shy of a triple-double and the Kings did their part by being pathetic. It was a nice win for a team that hasn't had many of them in a while, but news broke before tip off that suggests the shorthanded Blazers might be shorthanded for a while longer and perhaps even...
Published 01/10/22
Tara Biggs-Bowen (@tcbbiggs) of We Have A Take joins the show to talk about the stretch run of the Trail Blazers season, how to assess Chauncey Billups' first year as a head coach, prioritizing development over wins, the growth of Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little and what massive changes to the Blazers roster might mean for the fan base. This episode is a big picture look at how to watch, think and feel about the final 46 games of the Blazers season where winning might not come on the floor...
Published 01/07/22
Jason Quick of The Athletic joins the show to talk about the Trail Blazers loss to the Miami Heat, Jusuf Nurkic's skirmish with Tyler Herro and Anfernee Simons' recent emergence. Then we zoom out to take a look at the direction of the Blazers in the second half of the season and as the trade deadline approaches. Is Damian Lillard going to return to the court or is he headed for season-ending surgery? Who is going to get traded and how will Joe Cronin navigate the trade deadline? What are the...
Published 01/06/22
It's the latest Special Delivery Mailbag from Locked On Blazers! It's time to answer your questions about the Blazers' future and whether it's time to embrace the tank for the remainder of the season, what a trade package for Damian Lillard might look like and the defensive potential of Portland's young contributors, Nassir Little and Anfernee Simons. The Blazers brutal season has switched the focused for many listeners and this episode has a decidedly forward looking tone. What's next and...
Published 01/05/22
Anfernee Simons had the best game of his career on Monday night, finishing with 43 points and seven assists to lead the Trail Blazers to a 136-131 win over the Atlanta Hawks at the Moda Center. Simons' set a career-high for scoring and became the youngest Blazers player ever to score at least 40 points in a game. It was a special night and it came on the heels of a family tragedy. Simons' maternal grandfather passed away on Sunday night and the Blazers guard dedicated this career night to his...
Published 01/04/22
With the trade deadline about six weeks away and the on-court production leaving a lot to be desired, let's zoom out and take a wider look at the future of the Trail Blazers. Damian Lillard wants to win in Portland and the franchise needs a reimagining to get their star point guard closer to championship level or even postseason threat level. So what needs to happen for the Blazers to maximize the next 2-3 year with Lillard on the roster. Let's look at trade ideas, the path forward, tanking...
Published 01/02/22
Jason Quick of The Athletic joins the show to discuss how he angered Damian Lillard and the current state of the Trail Blazers. Dame is angry, the team is extremely shorthanded and there aren't a lot of easy paths forward. What can we learn from a team missing eight players, how has Anfernee Simons' fared in the two weeks with CJ McCollum in the lineup and how can the Blazers maximize Larry Nance Jr. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Published 12/31/21
The Trail Blazers lost to the Utah Jazz, 120-105, on Wednesday night. Portland was yet again extremely shorthanded and Utah is just a really good team. That is a formula for a loss. Is there more to it than that? Well, not really, but Reggie Perry made his Blazers debut and the former second round pick was a little bright spot in a stretch of discouraging play. That's right, Reggie Perry is getting the first mention in this episode description. It's been that kind of year. Plus a listener...
Published 12/30/21
It's the latest Mailbag Monday from Locked On Blazers! It's time to answer your questions about what exactly is the Trail Blazers' plan, whether the season is salvageable, which Blazers would be the best snow day pal and why fans are freaking out more about this season than in year's past. That might sound like more doom and gloom than fun lighthearted questions posited by listeners, and there is some honest to goodness cheer in here, but the Blazers season has been a little challenging. So...
Published 12/29/21
The Portland Trail Blazers were blown out at home on Monday night and there were plenty of built in excuses. The Blazers were missing eight players due to health and safety protocols and injuries. They were facing a Dallas Mavericks team with a distinct size advantage. Portland hadn't played in a week and was missing its head coach and lead assistant. All those things are true. And yet the Blazers came out flat, failed to play hard or smart and got run off the floor by Kristaps Porzingis and...
Published 12/28/21
Seven Trail Blazers have entered the league's health and safety protocols and are set to miss 10 days before they are eligible to return to action. Portland will be without Jusuf Nurkic, Robert Covington, Dennis Smith Jr., Ben McLemore, Cody Zeller and Keljin Blevins for at least the next 10 days, and somewhere between four and give games, after all seven players were put into the protocols in the days after Dec. 24. The Blazers have since signed three players out of the G League and enter...
Published 12/27/21
The Trail Blazers' next game is postponed indefinitely so let's lean into the nonsense and have some fun. A listener asked to find bright spots during a drama filled, losing season and I went off the beaten path to track down a few. Plus, I searched the annals of Blazers history and the Euro League All-Star teams to find potential replacement players should Portland be in need. And finally, a listener shares a moment of joy from the Brandon Roy era in Rip City that will hit you right in the...
Published 12/23/21
The Portland Trail Blazers lost to the New Orleans Pelicans, 111-97 on Tuesday night. Damian Lillard dropped 39 points and got ejected in the closing seconds during a frustrating and deflating loss to a bad team on the road. It continues a trend on the season in which the Blazers have bene one of the worst clutch teams in the league. Their calling card a season ago was winning an inordinate number of close games. Now they seem to wilt with the game on the line more often than not. And after a...
Published 12/22/21
It's the latest Mailbag Monday from Locked On Blazers! It's time to answer your questions about how many Blazers will get traded before the deadline, revisit the CJ McCollum sixth man debate, discuss Portland's new starting lineup, and finally a run through which Blazers player is which beverage. It's a solid mix of real basketball analysis and nonsense, making it another instant classic mailbag that you won't want to miss. If you want to ask a question, tweet it to @mikegrich on Twitter or...
Published 12/21/21
Dame back? Dame back!? Dame Back!! Damian Lillard followed up a 43-point night against the Charlotte Hornets with 32 points in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night. Portland got its second road win of the season and Lillard topped 30 in consecutive games for the first time this year. It's time to open your windows and make some bold proclamations into the winter air: DAME BACK. (Hopefully, fingers crossed, etc.). Plus, a look at the crucial Dameless minutes in the win over...
Published 12/20/21
Jason Quick of The Athletic joins the program to play a game of What's More Likely, handicapping the next steps for the Portland Trail Blazers. What's more likely Damian Lillard requests a trade in July or Damian Lillard signs a contract extension? What's more likely the Blazers finish in the top eight in the West or pick top 8 in the NBA draft? All those questions get answers and more as we attempt to sort out a dreadful Blazers season in the most fun way possible. Learn more about your ad...
Published 12/17/21