This one came down to the wire. What was key down the stretch to secure this win? We got enough stops they’re, a great offensive team lucas, a problem. He almost had a 41 triple double tonight, but i think we made it difficult enough hit some big shots down his stretch. Rojo, a lot of guys stepped up tonight defensively. We were down second down eight d trent a lot of guys, hoodie active hands tonight, and i think that was the difference in just your third game. Back after missing two months, you come out looking great tonight finishing with 32. cj’s back. Can we say cj is back yeah yeah. It took me a little bit to kind of find. My group, i told some of my teammates. I said this is my ninth workout since january 16th, including three games, so a little rusty. A little rush looked like. I had played basketball in a while, but i finally settled down my dad told me to show my ass tonight, so i tried to to make sure i go to work tonight. How did it feel out there for you to not only be back on the floor, but to be able to be such a contributor? It feels great, honestly it’s a blessing to be able to play the game and having to go through. You know injuries throughout my career. I have a greater appreciation of life in general, outside of basketball and like with basketball.
So i can take the wins with the losses. I can take the three for 16 nights and and better nights and take it all in strikers. I know how hard i work you’re fantastic in that fourth quarter but i’m, going to take you back to one of my favorite shots, the buzzer beater to end the first. With your left hand, you were talking to your left hand. What was that conversation? Like? I told her thank you for for being here with me today. You know it’s been a while, since we since we’ve seen each other right hand was failing me in the paint. So i figured i’d try out the left hand and she never fails. Oh that’s, fantastic and tonight your third straight win happens to be coach stocks. 500Th. What does it mean to you to be a such a big part of this one thankful we’ve been here for a long time together. I think i got here a year after he started and have been able to build a lot of great winning uh moments with him. So to have the 500th moment come tonight in the game against his former team. I think it’s very special and shows you what type of coach he truly is great job tonight. Welcome back my friend thank you, it’s a blessing to be here that is cj and your bio freeze performance. So the portland trailblazers have now won seven of their last nine games: cj mccollum damian lillard, each with 30.
. The second time this season, they’ve done that they’re 2 0 when cj and dame score 30 or more in the same game. Luka doncic, following up his 40 piece with 38 9 9 in the losing cause chris miles here with channing frye and lloyd, pierce coach let’s start with you on this and what we saw from damon cj. We were talking about it before the game and this duo and the little pressure coming off of dame still getting his numbers as a second leading scorer in the nba but cj. Adding to that yeah. I think the entire league is on notice about dame uh without cj and he’s still been able to perform, and so you see a lot of double teams. You see heavy pressure up the floor and to have cj come out and have a great first quarter and continue it out for four quarters: uh it’s, just kind of a momentum for them. You know they got both of their guys back and they’re still waiting for nurkic but uh. This team is going to be moving forward in the right direction, with great energy and a lot of storm power with portland down eight in the fourth quarter, channing. It never felt felt like they were out of this game like it felt like at any point. They could just turn it up and get this one. Well, i i just think it was a matter of who’s going to continue to stay hot from the three ball.
Nobody played defense, the last three minutes and then all of a sudden, the blazers started picking on porzingis. It was every time down the court. They were like who’s, the worst defender right now and they kept between cj and dame they kept getting that switch with porzingis and it was barbecued chicken at that point and then there was nothing else. You could do because you can’t send a double team, because if you double team to one guy with 28 you’re, giving the guy with 27 a free reign at the basket, and then robert covington hit corner 3., so that’s. What makes them so tough is number one. They got the ultimate green light and number two. They got two dudes that are going to pick the mismatch they want and they all sudden you’re going to hear that barbecue start going. Click, click, click, click, click and that’s. Dame cooking. We didn’t even need uh dame tom tonight in that sense, but he did have another efficient night. We know he scored 50, with 10 assists on just 20 shots earlier this week tonight. Didn’T need that many shots to get his 31 points again. Take a look at that shot chart under 20 shots 52 for the field when you’re talking about a lead guard to be able to shoot over 50. What does that do for your offense as a coach? Well, i think the game is about efficiency. Dame was shooting over 55 percent in the last three games.
You see him come up short 53 tonight, but he does it in different ways. He doesn’t he’s, not a high volume scorer. He can do it at the free throw line on some nights. He can do it behind the three point line and to play like tonight where he gets off the double team. Early, they go swing, swing and robert covington gets a corner three, and so i think the efficient play of dame lillard is what’s most important. You know coach right back to you on this uh, seeing terry stotts get his 500th career win to sustain success and be able to compete and make the playoffs every year. How difficult that is that in the league and how happy are you for terry scott, very happy for him? I think what they’ve done in portland, with dame and cj, specifically they’ve, been able to do it with other players coming in they’ve added robert covington they’ve added mellow last year, they’ve added derek jones, jr they’re, missing nurkish. They bring in cancer, but the consistent aspect of it is is coach, stotz dame and cj and uh really excited by the fact that he’s getting his 500th win and they’re sticking with coach being with those guys and they’re going to be good they’re going to be Tough in the playoffs – yes, certainly a team. When you look at seating out west channing, we were talking about this as well. The dallas mavericks have been headed in the right direction, but right now, they’re in the eighth spot, where’s portland sitting at six trying to move up to five and fourth to get away from being in that play in situation.
Good win for portland in that regard as well, their third straight victory for sure, and i think you’re you’re, seeing a progression of this team. I think they are a five six seed at the end of it, maybe a four if they get hot at the end. But for me, their health is most important if they could be a four five six that’s cool with me and then again in the playoffs. You know what happens when dame turns on and and get goes to another level, and i feel like this team. Their bench is better they’re been under fire, they’re they’re bench players because of injuries have had opportunities to really get film and develop their their skills as a starter right and i’m, referring to like gary trent jr enas cantor. Now you incorporate your true starters. They already have years underneath their belts, get them in shape, get them ready and used to the new guys and let’s go out there and see what can happen. Anything can happen in the playoffs trust me. Anything can happen in the regular season as well. Channing including great passes and that’s, something that we love on this here program. What do you award me to you and how do you try to process the idea that you are still a candidate you haven’t wanted in a while and what is the entity to the blind change uh? Well, i mean for me personally the mvp. I try to be that every night from my ball club and uh being available to them um and being the best player on the floor every night um, you know i mean just being a you know.
You rewarded that with that reward, it is something it means something for sure i’m not going to sit here and say it. Doesn’T mean anything to me um and for me to be able to win it. A few times in my career has always been special um and being in the running or hearing my name with some of the best basketball players in the league this year. Again, it would mean a lot. You know at my age what i’m able to do what i’ve been doing this whole season. You know what i bring to the table every single night on both sides of the floor. It would mean a unbelievable thing for me personally at this point in my career, so we should see where the chips may lay. Okay said that you uh, probably should have eight nine ten mvps. You have four. Is there a number that that you feel like when you look back at x amount of seasons where you’re like i should be at six? I should be at seven. Is there a number um? I should have more than four, i believe, um, but i don’t and i don’t sit around thinking about it or crying about it. Whatever the case may be, i just try to come in next season and be the mvp and be talked about again um. I bet you know a lot of the greatest that played this game feel like they should have had more as well.
If you ask any one of those guys you know so this is another opportunity you know for me, um, you know to be able to be recognized as the best player you know for that particular season. Um. You know in this season, so hopefully i’ll continue to play great basketball and and see what happens at the end. They’Ll want to spin it to your teammate. Dennis is kind of in an interesting situation where the lakers can sign him through an extension, and he said that he wants to be a part of this group that he really likes the team, the situation um. How do you think he’s performing especially in wins like this through that situation, where maybe some guys could be thrown off by sort of the the career sort of big decisions looming um? I think he’s hamlet, uh, great um, i haven’t got we. We, as his teammates, have got no uh sense of uh that he’s been dealing with that so um, you know, he’s been playing coming to work and he’s been playing great basketball. You know, despite having to deal with uh, you know extension talks and things of that nature. I think you know that’s, for you know his side, his agent and and the front office they’ll to figure out us as his teammates. We just you know we, we support him on the floor um. Obviously we support him off the floor and off the court and things of that nature, but you know the business side: that’s, that’s uh, we just separate from us, michael jordan, yeah lebron.
I remember that game in cleveland when you first went up against the rookie lonzo ball. What was it like? Going up against his little brother lamela tonight similarities differences. What was your first impression of him? Oh amazing, i think it’s damn good to be his age. You know his um, you know his speed, his quickness, his ability to uh, you know make shots at all facets. You know in the paint you know: floaters threes um. He has a three tier already um and he’s gon na only get better. Every game is a learning experience for him. He’S gon na get better and better um. You know, as the season goes on, as his career goes on and so on, and so on so um. You know you know he’s a him and so they’re, two just very unique players in our league and they showcase that every night i will take two more um harrison. Hey lebron, uh alex was just telling us that you guys aren’t uh, worried about your theme. You’Re worrying about winning a championship, but you’re only one and a half game back with the one seed. Now i was just wondering, like you’ve won. Four in a row is chasing that something that matters to you guys at all. Or do you not really care about where you end up the end season heading playoffs um? We haven’t really talked about it um. If it gets to a point where we can capture it, i mean why not, but we haven’t talked about it at all.
We haven’t talked about seating all year. You know we just talk about. You know playing championship, basketball, you know through wins, through losses. Whatever the case may be that’s what we talk about and um. You know we want to continue to get better and we’ve gotten better. Since the break, and but the most important for our our ball club is two things: he’s playing championship: basketball, every night and being healthy um when we’re, healthy and we’re full um, we can compete versus anybody in the world, so that’s that’s, what’s important for us. Your last question becomes lebron uh with you. Uh you’ve always been a historian as far as whatever sport that you’ve been a part of and being a baseball owner, um with major league baseball, incorporating the liberal league records in an important time in baseball. It will lead work. What does that mean to you and how important that is that to you as well as uh us and the baseball community um, i think it’s um overdue well deserved and uh kudos to the mlb on bringing those seasons, those players, those stats into the full, the Full uh landscape of mlb, obviously the negro league was – was huge and produced. So many great players produced so many great moments in baseball history and it deserves to be a part of the mlb um and um. You know that’s just uh, it’s it’s, unbelievable.