Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts wasn’t in a mood to hear criticism about his team’s defensive strategy Tuesday night. After the Blazers’ 116-94 loss at the hands of the Warriors, in which Stephen Curry dropped 36 points and nine 3-pointers, Stotts was asked about Portland’s defense on Curry by Anthony Slater of The Athletic .
Slater: Houston had some success trapping Steph and really getting out on him. Is it sustainable to keep dropping the bigs so far off on him?
Stotts: “I can’t remember when he had 33 in the second half were they trapping then?”
Stotts: “They were? And he scored 33 in the second half?”
Stotts: “Okay. Yeah, we’ll look at that.”
The sarcasm from Stotts is interesting, considering Houston’s strategy was largely effective, holding Curry to 26 percent shooting from deep in the first five games. Curry went 9-of-15 in Game 1 vs. the Blazers, many of which were wide open. The Warriors targeted slow-footed Portland center Enes Kanter in the pick-and-roll, leading to numerous scenarios where Kanter was still in the key while Curry drilled easy looks.
While it would stand to reason that Stotts and the Blazers will try something different in Game 2, trapping Curry doesn’t seem to be at the top of the coach’s list.
Zion ‘looked like he had been hit by a truck’ after NBA draft lottery -Rachel Nichols
Jason Owens | Yahoo Sports
The New Orleans Pelicans have won the NBA draft lottery and the first shot at selecting Duke superstar Zion Williamson, the presumed choice as the top pick in the draft.
The New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns each had a 14 percent chance of landing the top pick under a new system that gives equal weight of winning the lottery to the teams with the three worst records in the league.
The Pelicans were a long shot, holding a 6 percent chance of winning the lottery, the 7th best odds entering the night. The Grizzlies and Lakers also moved up with the Lakers improving up from the 11th pick to No. 4, while the Grizzlies improved from No. 8 to the No. 2 pick.
Here’s the full order from the lottery that was held on Tuesday evening.
Williamson surpassed expectations at Duke
Williamson is one of the most coveted NBA prospects in years and will provide an immediate injection of relevance to the Pelicans. He somehow exceeded the massive expectations he arrived with at Duke as a member of one of the most heralded recruiting classes in college basketball history alongside R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish, who also project as lottery picks.
Williamson was the third-rated prospect in Duke’s class but quickly established himself as the star of the team as he wowed crowds with the spectacular dunks that made him a social media sensation before he left high school.