It’s too early to say whether the Trail Blazers‘ investigation into Neil Olshey‘s conduct will lead the franchise to make any major changes at the top of the front office. However, Howard Beck of SI.com said on the latest episode of The Crossover NBA Show that he wouldn’t be surprised if Danny Ainge‘s name is connected to the president of basketball operations role in Portland if the team looks to replace Olshey (hat tip to RealGM).
“I don’t know if Danny would take it, but I would expect Danny Ainge would be in the mix for a vacancy in Portland,” Beck said, admitting that he was putting the horse before the cart. “It’s one of the cities he’s been connected to over the years because of his history there.”
Ainge, who spent a couple seasons with the Blazers as a player, was also born and raised in Oregon, which is the “history” Beck is referring to. Ainge has shifted into a consultant role in Boston after stepping down as the Celtics’ head of basketball operations this summer.
Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Western Conference…
- The NBA has acknowledged that its referees are still working to find the right balance between instituting the league’s new philosophy on foul calling and continuing to allow freedom of movement. Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard believes there’s still plenty of work to do, as Kurt Helin of NBC Sports relays. “I feel like the way the game is being officiated is unacceptable,” Lillard said on Tuesday night. “I don’t want to go too deep into it so they make a big deal out of it, but the explanations, the s–t that’s getting missed, I mean, come on. I felt like coming in, the rule change wouldn’t affect me, because I don’t do the trick the referees, the trick plays… (but) it’s just unacceptable.”
- Spurs big man Jock Landale has been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, according to Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News, who says it’s unclear whether or not Landale tested positive for COVID-19. The rookie is the second Spur to enter the protocols, joining fellow center Jakob Poeltl.
- Rudy Gay, who signed with the Jazz in the offseason, is inching closer to making his debut for the team, writes Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. The team said on Tuesday that Gay has been taking part in “controlled court work,” and Todd says he’s begun participating in 3-on-3 action. Utah will provide another update on the veteran forward on Monday.
11 thoughts on “Western Notes: Blazers, Ainge, Lillard, Landale, Gay”
This is an internal investigation, apparently unprompted by any legal (or league) action. So, the owner already knows where it’s going to lead, at least in so far as Olshey keeping his job.
I’ve not heard one fan complaining about the new way of officiating, I’ve listened to a million nba podcasts I’m in fantasy leagues and everyone has fallen back in love with the NBA as is…I watched Dame cry after missing shots last night asking for fouls, I like Dame a lot as a player but the officiating is heads and shoulders better than it has been in years, this is real basketball not the fake trash we all had to watch as people played defense with their hands behind their backs because they knew a foul was coming
It’s affected quite a few guys to start the season. It will be interesting to see which ones bounce back (and how fast) and which ones see prolonged dips in production.
FWIW, guys like Dame and Harden are 30+ … the Old Dogs New Tricks cliche does come to mind here just a tad.
I have watched plenty of vids of these Star players who now aren’t doing well this year. If you look, they are shooting to draw a foul not shooting to make a basket. If they want to actually score they should try playing the game correctly. Harden flailing and throwing the ball with his off hand won’t ever result in a basket and a foul shouldn’t be rewarded.
A few shooting splits and PER.
36/25/85 PER 15.2
42/33/90 PER 21.4
40/40/88 PER: 19
44/30/70 PER: 20.1
39/32/75 PER: 15.8
39/20/68 PER: 12.6
42/25/97 PER: 17.8
What’s of particular note is 3 point shooting % is WAY down almost across the board here.
Much has been made about guys not getting to the line, but giving defenders the ability to contest shots with more physicality is clearly reducing open looks for a lot of these guys.
And when you reduce open 3’s AND free throw attempts . . . the advanced stats are going to do a 180. Subsequently, some All-NBA guys may start to look significantly more pedestrian.
Only about a dozen games in, but it’s definitely a trend to keep an eye on.
They’re letting a ton more contact go while still calling fouls for heavy breathing in the same game.
I can appreciate letting more contact go but if you aren’t consistent you’re just managing results.
I’ve never been a fan of the BS foul drawing, yet having said that, guys are going to play by the rules as they’re called in reality.
And reality has been BS Foul World for years now.
So I do feel to some extent for the vets like Dame, Beal, Harden et al who have been playing by one set of rules for years now, only to come into this season starting essentially at ground zero, and now look like scrubs through 12 games.
I think most of the truly great guys will be smart enough to figure out ways to still succeed given the changes, but it might take a bit.
I am with you Dame, well all true hoops fans hate the new officiating, it really sucks & this is by far the worst season so far in many many years… I so wish the NBA went back to be the great entertainment that always has been, not the trash that we are having to endure this year… guys are getting hacked left, right & center, how anyone can enjoy the poor show of the NBA this year truly beats me… but as I said true hoops fans don’t like it & we stand by the players in this one!
I wonder if Robert Sarver is forced to sell if Danny Ainge will be the new Suns owner?
Wow didn’t they see Boston Fans suffering for years? Ainge really ? hey I know let’s retread the old white guy who pissed away so many high picks in Boston. Yes he is qualified he once lived here in the state.
It should be illegal to box out a player beyond the 3pt line… doing so is obviously a way to get away with pushing with your butt to discourage 3pt shooting. There is no need to box out that far from the rim. That is the defense playing tricks, like what they are trying to fix.