Led by Damian Lillard, the Blazers are in Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs, against the Denver Nuggets.
These two teams finished within one game of each other during the 2018-19 NBA regular season. The Nuggets wrapped up the year with a 54-28 record while the Blazers were 53-29, earning a tiebreaker for the No. 3 seed over the Houston Rockets.
Jason Kidd thinks the Blazers could win the NBA title.
“Nobody’s really talking about them,” he said.
“They’re playing at a very high level. Lillard is playing at a very high level. If you’re healthy and shooting the ball the way they are, they can beat anybody.”
“At his position, he is the number one guard in the league right now,” Portland Trail Blazers legend, Bonzi Wells told NBA scribe Landon Buford.
NBA Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley also believes Portland is going to the NBA Finals.
“I like Portland in the Finals,” Barkley told me.
“With [Damian] Lillard and [CJ] McCollum. The addition of Rodney Hood and Enes Kanter. I like them in the West.”
Blazers big man, Zach Collins is averaging roughly 15 minutes per game for the Blazers. The Gonzaga product is shooting 60% and 33% from downtown.
He’s a fan of what Damian Lillard is doing this season.
“He kind of had this look in his eyes,” Collins told Jason Quick of The Athletic.
“He was a little more serious than usual. You could tell he was ready. It almost looked like he couldn’t wait to get out there, like he was kind of caged up.”
Check out a recent Q&A with Zach Collins and myself on Scoop B Radio:
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Funny story, National Championship Game I fell asleep on the first half and I’m thinking y’all got that in the bag. I happened to turn over, look at my phone and the TV was on and it was like 35-30 at the half so I’m like “yea they got it.” It was raining at my house, I fell asleep again and I woke up and said, “How the hell did y’all lose?!” Have you heard other stories like that?
Zach Collins: Yeah, I hear stories like that all the time but it’s such a long game and a lot of people were expecting us to win especially how we played in the first half and went into the locker room up five a lot of people were like man we thought you guys had it, you guys were right there so they picked us to win but I don’t know it was just a tough game where two juggernauts were going at it.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: How often do you replay those fouls and do you think you were wronged?
Zach Collins: I mean I rewatched the game a lot you know there were a lot of fouls that could have been questionable here and there but I think that happens in every game. I’m mad at myself because the fouls that were fouls put me in a position where I had to many and I fouled out and I feel like that there were a lot of things that happened in the game but I feel like me fouling out put us in a position where we couldn’t play our regular rotations and we got out of rhythm so I kind of put some of that on me fouling out, you can’t put wins and losses on the refs.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: I’m curious, the South Carolina game you were on fire you had like six blocks, 15 points, 9 rebounds?
Zach Collins: I think I had like 14 points, 15 rebounds.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: I know you had six blocks, what the hell were you listening to before the game? I want to know I need to know the secret.
Zach Collins: To be honest with you I can’t remember it probably was like some Travis Scott something deep and methodic.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: So, you had a lot of blocks, you had a lot of points was Travis Scott a big motivator for you going into that game?
Zach Collins: I mean a little bit I love Travis Scott and with the rappers and musicians coming out now a lot of it sounds the same but his is different it’s real dark and methodic like I said and stuff like that puts me in the zone and kind of gets that edge to come out of me.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Who else’s music motivates you?
Zach Collins: As far as rock, I like Green Day and Metallica, I like Logic just a bunch of rappers anything loud and hard I listen to before games.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You get compared to different people all the time. If you had to pick one guy that motivates you or that your think your game is similar to who would it be?
Zach Collins: I tell people all the time I try to be as much of a combination of Tim Duncan and Dirk as I can because of the way Dirk can score and shoot the ball and the way Timmy can get any shot he wants on the floor and block shots and rebound.