Portland Trail Blazers

It’s official: we’re entering the regular season’s endgame. Every game from here on out will have much bigger consequences, a statement even truer in 2021 than perhaps any other season thanks to the NBA’s new play-in tournament. If you’re not familiar, the play-in tournament will consist of two matchups within each conference. The seventh and
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LaMarcus Aldridge signed with the Brooklyn Nets, hoping to win that elusive ring. Instead, a medical scare led to a surprising retirement announcement. On Thursday morning, LaMarcus Aldridge released a statement announcing his retirement from the NBA. The statement revealed that he had suffered from an irregular heartbeat, which sparked the surprising decision. “My last
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When the trade deadline passed, there were two knee-jerk questions about the moves Boston made. 1. Just Evan Fournier?2. You traded Daniel Theis to save a few bucks? It is true that the Celtics let a rare opportunity slip through their fingers. Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic were up for bidding and Boston came away
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The Whiteboard is The Step Back’s daily basketball newsletter, covering the NBA, WNBA and more. Subscribe here to get it delivered to you via email each morning. One of the strangest All-Star weekends in recent memory ended with an incredibly familiar sight — Damian Lillard hitting a contested and wildly clutch shot. The NBA All-Star Game
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Though it may seem like forever ago, it has only been nine years since the Oklahoma City Thunder were playing in the NBA Finals. The young quartet of Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka was unable to stop the Miami HEAT’s “Big Three,” as the team captured their first of two consecutive
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Several teams stand out as clear winners following Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. The NBA trade deadline arrived Thursday afternoon and teams were busy right up until the buzzer. Arguably the biggest news was that Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry stayed put. But there were plenty of trades that did go through, and a few teams
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The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a massive freefall. After hitting a home run with the acquisition of Christian Wood, the Rockets appeared to have a solid core with John Wall and Victor Oladipo both looking good coming back from devastating injuries. Wood was even the frontrunner for the Most Improved Player award
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There’s no need really to ask “what’s wrong with the Boston Celtics?” because it seems pretty clear as day what’s wrong with them. Jayson Tatum hasn’t returned to his dominant form since coming back from COVID. Kemba Walker’s slow recovery has led to maddening inconsistency. Marcus Smart’s calf injury put things out of whack. They
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During the 2000-01 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, finished 22nd in the league for defensive rating. They went on to win the championship, and are still the only team this century to finish outside the top 10 in defensive rating and win a title. One key caveat
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For this edition of ICYMI for Basketball Insiders, we’re looking at the Southeast Division. This breakdown follows the recent publications of ICYMI on the Atlantic, Pacific, Central and Northwest.  Starting off, this division is the only one in the NBA that has a single franchise above .500, the Atlanta Hawks. This should come as a
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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Gary Trent Jr., Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Bad Coaching in the NFL: Dan Campbell wants kneecaps by Mike Tanier Shai Gilgeous-Alexander found Gary Trent Jr.’s flop to be of the hilarious variety on Monday. There are flops and then there is whatever Gary Trent Jr. of
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Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder. (Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports) MMA champion Ben Askren to come out of retirement to fight YouTuber Jake Paul by Amy Kaplan Damian Lillard owns the Oklahoma City Thunder with his incredibly petty new Adidas shoes. When Damian Lillard dropped 50 points and eliminated the Oklahoma City
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Next up in Basketball Insiders’ ICYMI series – where we’re taking a look at the biggest storylines that you may have missed from around the league – is the Central Division. The Central is led by the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers, two playoff teams last season that made aggressive offseason moves to improve this
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