One way for the Trail Blazers to realize internal improvement would be for fourth-year guard Anfernee Simons to blossom. Simons wants Chauncey Billups to provide tough love in their relationship, Casey Holdahl of the team’s website writes.
“It’s been good, good feedback,” Simons said about the first-year head coach. “Tell me anything no matter what. Have no filter for me. And that’s the only way we’re going to get a better relationship and how we get better.”
Simons is off to a promising start, averaging 14.5 PPG and 2.5 APG.
“I just think he’s so good, he’s so gifted,” Billups said. “The way that he can handle the ball, he can get to anywhere he wants on the floor, he’s a big time shooter. So I’m always just trying to pump confidence into him.”
Simons will be a restricted free agent next season if he receives a qualifying offer from the club.
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- Nassir Little has also found Billups’ coaching style to be productive, as he told Mike Richman in his daily podcast (video link). “He’s calm but he’s straightforward,” Little said. “He’s not going to sugarcoat it or beat around the bush. He holds everybody accountable equally, including himself.”
- Norman Powell has been diagnosed with left patellar tendinopathy, Jay Allen of RipCityRadio 620 tweets. Powell departed early in Saturday’s game after injuring his knee. He’s listed as out for tonight’s game against the Clippers.
- Tony Snell is also listed as out, Allen adds. Snell continues to work his way back from a right foot sprain that sidelined him during the preseason. Snell suffered a minor setback in his recovery last week.