Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons erupted for 45 points against the Jazz on Saturday and jokingly lamented he wanted more, Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian writes. “Back of my mind, I wanted 50,” Simons said. “There’s going to be plenty of opportunities for it. But it’s alright. We got the win.” Simons, who is filling the scoring void for injured Damian Lillard, is in the first season of a four-year, $100MM contract.
We have more Western Conference news:
- Gregg Popovich may return to the Spurs bench on Thursday when they host Houston, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. Popovich underwent a minor medical procedure. “He is fine. That’s what people should hear the loudest,” said Brett Brown, who is filling in as San Antonio’s head coach. “It was just a minor situation, and you’ll have to deal with me for another night, another afternoon. But he is fine.”
- Lauri Markkanen needs to realize he’s now the top offensive option with the Jazz and should be just as aggressive with the ball when he’s having an off night as he is when filling up the nets, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News opines. Markkanen’s unselfishness is admirable but he needs to think like an All-Star, Todd adds.
- Cameron Payne was disappointed in himself for making four turnovers despite a 20-point, 12-assist night against Houston on Friday. But Payne has continued to impress with Suns starting point guard Chris Paul sidelined by a heel injury, Dana Scott of the Arizona Republic writes. “I love his balance. I love what he’s done for our team,” coach Monty Williams said. Payne’s $6.5MM salary for next season is only guaranteed for $2MM.
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7 thoughts on “Western Notes: Simons, Popovich, Markkanen, Payne”
Remember when certain ppl tried to ridicule Cam Payne & call him a bust lol what are they up to now?
In all fairness to them, he was pretty horrible in Chicago, and that was right after the Bulls had a successful run of finding solid backup PGs.
Hw was supposed to be the next good find, but yeah, he never really held up his end of the bargain..
Obviously, he just needed to mature, find himself, and slow the game down, but I’d bet alot of his success now were from some of the lessons he learned as a Bull.
“Alot of his success now [stems] from his time as a Bull.”
Anfernee Simons been solid this season. He needs to keep getting better on the least glamorous side of the ball.
Lauri Markkanen been solid this season and only getting better. If he continues playing how he is and the Utah Jazz stay in the playoff picture he will represent Utah in the All Star game. That will be nice too because the All Star Game in Utah this season. Everybody had them tanking when they traded Royce O’Neale Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
Gregg Popovich is one of the greatest head coaches in the history of the NBA. I just want his health to be priority number one. Take his time and get healthy.
Cameron Payne is having a very good season and one of the better backup Point Guards. Chris Paul is getting long in the tooth and needs a really good backup at this stage of his career.
Payne has a team friendly deal. I’d feel guilty paying him that if I was the suns. Maybe he has some performance bonuses written in?
MVP/prime KG mode… link to m.youtube.com
In other news, Sarah Todd better get used to it when it comes to Markkanen being overly passive. That is what plagued him as a Bull, and that’s ultimately what kept him from growing into a perennial 20 and 10 All-Star.
He is excellent when he’s confident and is feeling his shooting stroke, but when he isn’t feeling confident in his shot he becomes very passive, he stops driving to the basket, he stops utilizing his pump fake, and he becomes an afterthought..
If Lauri can get these passive lulls out from his game, and if he can change his mindset to consistently be the aggressor THEN AND ONLY THEN will he truly unlock his full potential..
Definitely wish him the best regardless, he is truly a talented player and sad he isn’t still with the Bulls…